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Divorce in New Jersey

Finding yourself in a position where divorce seems like the only option is tough. It is normal for even the strongest people to feel extremely stressed and uncertain during this time. How difficult your divorce will be depends on a number of factors. If you are fortunate enough to agree with your spouse on the need for divorce, the division of your property and child custody issues, your divorce could be fairly straightforward and you may be able to proceed without a lawyer. New Jersey allows you to represent yourself in an uncontested divorce, meaning you can fill out the required new jersey divorce papers and file for divorce on your own.

Not everyone is in a situation where they agree with their spouse on everything, though. If you are in a situation where you have disagreements about child custody, child support or how your property should be divided up, you may need to divorce mediation or seek professional legal guidance.

If you and your spouse are ready to move forward with the divorce and you have come to an understanding about all the important issues, you are ready to seek an uncontested divorce. New Jersey’s divorce papers are available online at CompleteCase.com. Our divorce form preparation service  can make this process even easier as we help determine the appropriate documents you need for your circumstances, and can help you make sure you fill them out correctly. With this assistance, you can complete the divorce as quickly as possible.

New Jersey Divorce Facts

In 2011, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the divorce rate in New Jersey was 2.9 for every 1,000 residents. New Jersey's divorce rate is lower that many other states in the country.

Like many other states, New Jersey uses the term “dissolution” in the place of “divorce” in many cases. The specific document you will fill out and submit to start the divorce process is called the “Complaint for Divorce/Dissolution”. As the person seeking the divorce, you will be known in your legal documents as the “plaintiff”. Your spouse will be known as the “defendant”.

New Jersey has a longer residence requirement than many states. For you or your spouse to seek a divorce in the state, one of you will have to have been a resident there for at least one year.

New Jersey requires you to file your divorce papers in the county where you or your spouse lives. You can find a list of New Jersey's superior courts on the New Jersey Courts website.

In New Jersey, you have the option of seeking a no-fault divorce or a fault divorce. Most people choose the no-fault option, as it does not require you to prove that the other party did anything wrong to cause the end of the marriage. With a no-fault divorce, you can get divorced due to a separation of at least 18 consecutive months, or due to the fact that you have “irreconcilable differences”. If you divorce due to irreconcilable differences, these problems need to have begun at least six months before you file.

If you choose to seek a fault divorce, you will need to give grounds for the divorce. There are a number of different grounds for a fault divorce in New Jersey, including extreme cruelty and desertion.

New Jersey Divorce Papers and Forms

As stated above, the primary form you must submit for divorce in New Jersey is the Complaint for Divorce/Dissolution. You can obtain this and other divorce papers from your local county court. You can also obtain some of the forms online. There are a number of other forms you will need to fill out, which will vary based on your specific circumstances. Legal Services of New Jersey offers a Divorce Handbook that contains some of the forms needed for divorce, as well as information on divorce in the state. Although it may seem long, at 129 pages, it is probably beneficial to go through it and absorb as much information as you can. The more informed you are about your divorce, the better. The New Jersey Courts website also offers a FAQ about Divorce in the state, where you can see some commonly asked questions about divorce.

It only takes a little research to realize just how many possible forms and different categories there are in the New Jersey divorce process. For many people this can be overwhelming. CompleteCase.com offers a way to cut through the clutter and find exactly what you need for your situation. Our online divorce paper preparation service for New Jersey ensures that you are submitting the right divorce documents the first time, which can help you avoid unnecessary delays and complications.

How to File Divorce Papers in New Jersey

When you have completed your divorce paperwork, you will need to submit it to the county clerk. Be sure to make copies of your documents – at least 2 along with the original – so you have enough to submit to the clerk and to serve to your spouse. You will need to pay a fee to the state to file, although this can sometimes be waived in cases of financial hardship.

How to Serve Divorce Papers in New Jersey

New Jersey requires you to serve the divorce papers to your spouse. If you are on good terms, you can hand him or her a copy and have your spouse fill out an acknowledgment of service, which you will file with the court. You can also have the sheriff or a private process server serve your spouse. These options require paying a fee, but sometimes it is necessary if you and your spouse are not on good terms.

As long as there are no objections from your spouse, the divorce remains uncontested and you can file for a default judgment after 35 days. This will result in a hearing date being set, where a judge will review the papers and ensure that you and your spouse are still in agreement. He or she will then issue the final divorce decree.

Do you qualify for an online divorce?

Do you know the location of your spouse?
Is your spouse in agreement regarding this divorce and willing to sign the divorce papers with you?
Do you and your spouse have any children under the age of 18 from this marriage?