Sometimes, a couple cannot continue a marriage. In some heated and emotional cases, the process can be complicated and lengthy. In the fortunate case that spouses can agree to all of the issues related to divorce and file an uncontested divorce, the process may conclude within a few months. Couples that litigate a divorce may be able to resolve their matter in a year or more. Whether a contested or uncontested divorce, both situations must address the same applicable issues. These include:
If you are seeking a divorce or want more information about the process, Contact Paris P. Eliades Law Firm, LLC for a consultation today.
Residency requirements and grounds for divorce in New Jersey
In New Jersey, there are requirements that need to be satisfied in order to start the divorce process. Firstly, a residency requirement must be fulfilled in order to file for divorce. In New Jersey, either party must be a bona fide resident of the state or lived in the state for at least a year, unless adultery is cited as grounds for the divorce.
Once you establish jurisdiction, one must cite grounds for divorce. The rules have changed years ago and if you want a divorce, you will get one under the “no-fault” divorce laws of New Jersey. Even though “no-fault” divorce is common in New Jersey, they allow for divorcing parties to cite “fault” divorces that can impact spousal support and other issues. Some applicable grounds for divorce include:
- Irreconcilable differences
- Separation of at least 18 months
- Deviant sexual conduct
- Institutionalization for mental illness
- Extreme cruelty
How the divorce process begins
Once jurisdiction is established and grounds are cited, you may serve the court with a Divorce Complaint, detailing grounds for divorce and residency requirement. Once the court files the document, you have to serve the other party within 4 months. The other party can answer the claim, but once you file the Divorce Complaint with the court and legally serve the other party, no one can stop you from acquiring the divorce, contested or not.
Case Management Conference
Once the process has commenced, the court will schedule a case management conference in which all parties will discuss:
- The contested issues of the case
- The time frame and application of pre-trial discovery
- A trial date
- Possibility of mediation
The conference is to introduce the judge to the case and see what can be done to expedite the situation. Mediation is highly recommended in cases where there are few contested issues and a judge will use their discretion in their recommendation.
Early Settlement Panel
If the parties are not able to settle their differences, the court will refer the case to an Early Settlement Panel. This usually consists of a group of attorneys who will make recommendations to resolve the contested issues. If the parties reject the recommendations, they may still try and settle through mediation. If they cannot, they will most likely have to litigate the matter.
Final Judgment of Divorce
To end your divorce matter, the court will draft and hand down a Final Judgment of Divorce. Your divorce is finalized. This document will include all orders from the court addressing issues including, but not limited to:
- Spousal support
- Child custody and visitation
- Child support
- Property distribution
Contact a firm with the experience you deserve
Paris P. Eliades Law Firm, LLC is a wealth of knowledge stemming from years of applicable divorce experience. We are ready to assist you with the divorce process and ease you towards the best possible outcome. If you and your spouse would consider mediation, our firm can assist both of you in coming to an amicable conclusion to your matter that can save you time and money. If you are in need of effective representation, contact us to assess your case and guide you through your options. Whatever the case, it is in your best interests to contact Paris P. Eliades Law Firm, LLC for the quality legal services you deserve. Contact us today.