Divorce law in any state can be very simple or extremely complicated. There are many factors at work that will decide whether your case is cut and dried, or if you case will take some time to sort out. All divorces are taken care of in The Family Division of the Superior Court in New Jersey. When you file for a divorce in New Jersey there are certain requirements. You must be a resident of the State of New Jersey for at least 1 year before you may file a petition for divorce. If you choose to file a divorce claiming one if you is at fault, you must prove fault grounds. These include adultery, abandonment, extreme cruelty, addiction and incarceration.
You are allowed to represent yourself in court if you feel you are able to do that. You may be able to do that is if you are filing for a no-fault divorce. A no-fault divorce means that neither person involved in the marriage at fault by action or behavior. In order to file a no-fault divorce in New Jersey, the couple must have been separated for at least 18 months prior to filing.
After filing a complaint, the Defendant will be served with a summons and they will have 35 days to answer the summons. The Plaintiff and Defendant will then negotiate regarding the separation of marital property, spousal support, and child support. If everything is agreed upon between the parties, the case will be set for a final hearing.
Both spouses must agree on child support
Both spouses must agree on child custody
Both spouses must agree on property division
Both spouses must file appropriate paperwork
After everything is agreed upon, other issues are hashed out in the property settlement agreement and the Final Judgment of Divorce is issued.
Contested divorce requires the plaintiff to file all paperwork that is mentioned above, which includes filing a complaint to begin the proceeding. It also means that plaintiff and defendant will be working for their greater good. There are many steps that have to be taken during this process. The defendant still has to file a counterclaim within 35 days upon receipt of the complaint. Then the plaintiff will have a chance to answer the counterclaim within 20 days of receipt. Both parties are then required to file statements regarding assets, property, spousal income, other important financial issues and other issues that are contested. The plaintiff may then file a motion to settle on a temporary basis issues concerning child support, spousal support and child custody. If a divorce is contested, it would be wise to speak to an attorney and possibly retain them to represent you during the divorce. As the process progresses the steps continue to grow and must be followed to the letter. If something isn't filed correctly or in a timely matter, that could cause you much heartache.
Some defendants cannot be found or will not come forward with regard to a divorce case. If that happens, there are steps that must be taken in order to attempt to locate the defendant and serve them with the appropriate paperwork. There are different forms of service that can be used in order to locate the defendant and present them with the complaint. Sometimes defendants can't be found but it is necessary to make every effort to serve your spouse with the correct paperwork.
Child support, custody and visitation can become very sticky situations in contested divorce proceedings. There are many factors that must be taken into account in order to make sure decisions are made in the best interest of the child. A parent cannot be denied the right to visit their children. That is a law that is set under the New Jersey Constitution. In cases of child support factors such as the standard of living of the child, the non-custodial parents income situation and other factors have to be carefully weighed. The non-custodial parent will have to provide check stubs and other forms of financial proof in order for the amount of child support to be set at a fair amount.
It is always in your best interest to at least speak with an attorney and decide if you need to retain one for your case. You can get a free consultation with most attorneys and they will evaluate your case. Take into consideration how many divorce cases the attorney does in a year, is it the attorneys specialty, have you heard good things about the attorney who you are going to see, will the staff and the attorney be available to answer questions or concerns when you call their office. The attorney will work for you to make sure that you will receive a favorable outcome to the proceedings. This also ensures that your children's interests are looked after as well. If the divorce is scheduled for a hearing of any kind always make sure that you arrive early and that you have prepared with your attorney before it begins.
Call Anthony Carbone, PC today for a FREE consultation. His practice handles NJ Divorces, restraining order in NJ, filing a restraining order in NJ, fighting a restraining order in nj, and expungement of criminal records in NJ.