Divorce can be a painful and emotional time, which is why processes like uncontested divorce are so valuable. In an uncontested divorce, you will be able to negotiate with your ex. That should make it easier for both of you to agree on what needs to be settled to get the divorce underway, as compared to a contested divorce, where a judge may end up deciding rather more independently of what you would prefer. But how do you file for an uncontested divorce? This blog post will explain. Remember that it is very important to work with a lawyer for your divorce, as even in a relatively less complex uncontested divorce, there are still myriad topics that need to be addressed before the divorce can be finalized. If you have questions about the divorce process, please call a Sussex County divorce attorney soon. We’ve worked in divorce law for years, and that experience will let us give you the advice you need.
How Do I File an Uncontested Divorce in New Jersey?
As a legal process, an uncontested divorce requires the timely submission of certain forms and supporting documents. There are roughly four steps to this process:
Acquire and Fill Out the Divorce Forms.
Even in an uncontested divorce, where both parties agree on every salient part of the separation, one former spouse will need to obtain and fill out divorce forms. (You aren’t permitted to file for uncontested divorce jointly.) The former spouse who completes the form will be known as the plaintiff.
Hand in Your Divorce Papers
Once completed, you will take the forms to the Family Division of the New Jersey Superior Court in the county that will manage the divorce proceedings. The county will usually be the last one you and your former spouse resided in.
It is worthwhile to review fault and no-fault divorces at this point. Fault and no-fault divorce are categories of divorce in the United States. Fault divorce places the blame on one spouse for acting wrongly toward the other, whereas no-fault divorces allow the divorce to proceed while blaming no one and nothing except irreconcilable differences.
In the majority of cases, which in New Jersey are no-fault, the county filing requirement means that you can file in the county:
- Where you lived at the end of the six-month period when you realized the marriage was irreparable.
- Where your spouse was living.
- Or, where you and your spouse presently live.
Serving Your Ex-Spouse Court Papers
Court papers inform defendants that a plaintiff has started a cause of action against them, and that’s known as serving papers. For your divorce, you can serve papers by giving them the forms in person or mailing the forms. Upon receipt, your ex-spouse will sign and send to you an acknowledgment of service form. When you can’t mail or personally deliver the forms, a sheriff or a different authorized process server can deliver the forms on your behalf.
Within 35 days of being served papers, your ex must file an appearance form. Court processes are slow, which be frustrating, and all the more reason to get help from a professional lawyer.