New jersey divorce waiting period

Divorce can be as simple or as complicated as both parties make it. There is no across-the-board waiting period in the State of New Jersey.
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You will also need to submit an Order Waiving Filing Fees as well. Documentation is critical to approval of the waiver so make sure you are thorough with requested information. After you receive a copy of the complaint that has been filed with the court, you must fill out a summons and proof of service form. New Jersey law requires that a defendant be served with paperwork either by having a sheriff complete the services in the county where the defendant lives or works, or that the paperwork is delivered through the mail, using certified mail, restricted delivery with return receipt requested.

The defendant will need to sign for the complaint, providing proof that service has been completed. When you receive proof of service, mail proof to the courts and keep a copy for your records. Until proof of service has been completed by any of these means, a divorce complaint cannot move forward.

What Are Grounds for Divorce in New Jersey?

After the paperwork has been served, the defendant has 35 days to either file an appearance to object to some of what the plaintiff is asking for, file an answer to either agree or disagree with statements in the complaint, or file a counterclaim to state new reasons for the divorce. This will also vary and will depend on the location of your spouse and the method that you choose for service.

You can file a divorce online in New Jersey either on your own or with the help of family law attorneys or specialized firms that complete paperwork on your behalf. Online filing may be preferred if spouses currently do not live in the state. However, once paperwork is completed, regardless of how it is completed, at least one spouse, which would be the plaintiff, must appear at a hearing in person in front of a judge. Complete online divorce is not available in New Jersey. For whatever reason, if you are not able to appear in court, you should consider postponing your divorce until you are able to do so.

The Divorce Process in New Jersey

There are some exceptions if a divorce is complex but this is usually not the case. In an uncontested divorce, the entire process may be completed in as little as 45 days from start to finish. This assumes that you have met the waiting period requirements based on the acceptable grounds for divorce that you state in the complaint. For example, if you are claiming separation, you must have been separated for at least 18 months prior to filing. When citing irreconcilable differences, both parties must state that the marriage has been in a state of disrepair for at least six months and that there is no hope for a fix.

Divorce in New Jersey: How Much Does It Cost? How Long Does It Take?

When citing irreconcilable differences, the length of time after a complaint is filed is about two months, assuming there are no outstanding issues. To file for a divorce in New Jersey, at least one of the spouses must have lived in the state for a minimum of 12 months prior to filing initial paperwork. You can file for divorce in New Jersey without using a lawyer as long as you meet certain requirements, including an agreement to file an uncontested divorce. In this case, the process of filing an uncontested, no-fault divorce is fairly simple.

Filing an uncontested divorce is less stressful, saves time and saves money because there is no trial in front of a judge. When spouses can agree on all terms, all that is required is for a judge to review the terms and sign an order called a Final Judgment of Divorce that officially dissolves the marriage. Another way to go through a divorce is by using the services of a mediator, as long as both you and your spouse agree on this option. Over the course of one or more sessions, a mediator will review financial documents, forms and worksheets as part of a discovery process and then guide you and your spouse through a series of discussions about the outstanding issues, attempting to peacefully resolve things such as child support and custody, alimony and a division of assets.

Once these issues are resolved, a mediator will draft a Memorandum of Understanding and you will file this document with the court as part of your divorce process. If a spouse is pregnant this does not present any kind of barrier for either party to file for a divorce in New Jersey.

What are the grounds for divorce in the State of New Jersey?

If the child is a product of the marriage, it will not be treated any differently than any children who were born before a separation or divorce took place. There will still be custody and support issues to resolve and the father could also be ordered to pay some or all of the pre-natal and birthing expenses. If there is reason to believe that this is not the case, then the biological father must take steps to make sure he does not end up as the legal father permanently.

This can be accomplished through genetic testing as well as other legal actions. If you or your spouse are a member of the military and want to get a divorce in New Jersey, the state will allow the member of the military or their spouse to file for divorce in the state, even if they are not residents. The service member or their spouse can also choose to file in the state where the spouse resides or in the state where the service member claims legal residency. The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act eases many legal and financial burdens of military personnel and their families who face the added challenges of active duty.


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What are the basic steps for filing for divorce? Where can I find additional information about divorce? Yes No. You can file for divorce in NJ based on any of the following grounds reasons : Adultery - when your spouse cheats on you.

Uncontested Divorce in New Jersey | New Jersey Divorce Online

Abandonment - when your spouse left your house for 12 months or more. Note: If you are filing for divorce based on this, you have to wait at least 3 months after the last incident of cruelty. Addiction to drugs or habitual drunkenness for a period of 12 or more consecutive months after marriage and prior to filing for divorce.

Institutionalization for mental illness for a period of 24 or more consecutive months after marriage and prior to filing for divorce.


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  • Imprisonment - Your spouse was sentenced to go to jail for 18 or more consecutive months after marriage. Note: This term is not well-defined in NJ law - if you are unsure if you meet this ground, please talk to an attorney for advice.

    New Jersey Divorce Forms

    Irreconcilable differences — When there has been a breakdown of the marriage based on a failure to get along for a period of 6 months or more and there is no reasonable belief of reconciliation. While divorce laws vary by state, here are the basic steps: First, you must meet the residency requirements of the state. Third, you must file divorce papers and have copies sent to your spouse. Speak to a lawyer in your state about how long you have to wait to see if your spouse answers before you can continue with the divorce. Fifth, if there is property that you need divided or if you need financial support from your spouse, then you will have to work that out either in an out-of-court settlement or in a series of court hearings.

    Custody may also be decided as part of your divorce. Did you find this information helpful? We hope the following links to outside sources may be helpful.


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    • Divorce | What Is A Default Divorce.
    • LSNJ also publishes a self-help divorce guide for people who are filing on their own. The New Jersey Courts website has court forms for divorce. Back to U. View a state New Jersey Laws State vs.