A wooden gavel rests on a desk beside two gold wedding rings, placed overlapping each other on a set of divorce process documents.

The Divorce Process

Couples that need to divorce have options for how to proceed with the process. While some can resolve their matter outside of court, others are not able to come together to discuss marital issues, leading them to court.  At Haber Silver Russoniello & Dunn, we work with clients to come to the best conclusion for their legal matters. For the divorce process to conclude, applicable marital issues must be addressed, including the division of assets, spousal support, child custody, and child support. The divorce process depends on many factors, including whether it is a contested or uncontested divorce, whether one party cites fault grounds, or whether the couple uses alternative dispute resolution to resolve the matter outside of the courtroom. When facing divorce, it is important to consult with an experienced legal team. With decades of experience, Haber Silver Russoniello & Dunn are ready to step in and represent your interests in court. For a consultation with our firm, contact Haber Silver Russoniello & Dunn today.

A Brief Overview of the Divorce Process in New Jersey

Grounds for divorce

The plaintiff will need to cite appropriate grounds for divorce. Fortunately, New Jersey is a no-fault divorce state. A person can cite no-fault grounds to start a divorce. This allows a person to go through the process and no one can stop them. No-fault grounds are as follows:

  • Irreconcilable differences
  • Separation for at least 18 months

Though New Jersey is a no-fault divorce state, it still allows for a party to cite fault grounds, including:

  • Adultery
  • Abandonment
  • Addiction
  • Extreme cruelty
  • Deviant sexual conduct
  • Incarceration
  • Institutionalization

It is important to note that fault grounds are rarely utilized because many of them will have little impact on the case itself and can lead to legal troubles before the case even commences.

The Complaint for Divorce

The Complaint for Divorce is the document that officially starts the process. This document will resolve the residential requirement and cite grounds for the divorce. It will be filed at the local court. The defendant must be served within 4 months of the filing. If the party cites fault grounds, the other party may answer the Complaint and contest the grounds.

Case Management Conference

After the Complaint is filed and papers served, the parties will discuss the applicable factors of the case. The conference introduces the case to the judge and works to expedite the proceedings. The Case Management Conference will discuss or address:

  • Contested marital issues
  • Pre-trial discovery
  • A trial date
  • The possibility of alternative dispute resolution

Early Settlement Panel

If it is appropriate and applicable to the couple’s situation, the court will discuss the employment of alternative dispute resolution, saving the court and the couple time and money. The Early Settlement Panel is a group of attorneys that make a recommendation after hearing both sides of the case. The Early Settlement Panel will only discuss financial issues and that of property. Child custody and visitation will not be addressed. The parties are not bound to the program and if it doesn’t work, they can turn to litigation.

Final Judgment of Divorce

The Final Judgment of Divorce is the end of the process. Whether a couple goes through mediation, arbitration, Collaborative Divorce, Early Settlement Panel, or a trial, The Final Judgment of Divorce will finalize the matter. The document will include orders to contested issues. Each party is responsible for following the court’s direction.

Contact Our New Jersey Divorce Attorneys

For decades, Haber Silver Russoniello & Dunn has been a legal resource to clients across the state of New Jersey. Divorce is a complex process that deserves the attention of an effective legal team. If you are facing divorce, picking the right attorney is a crucial decision. Contact Haber Silver Russoniello & Dunn for a consultation today.

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