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What is the divorce process like?

Making the decision to get a divorce can take time. Throughout a marriage, couples can go through many ups and downs that they can navigate. However, sometimes issues cannot be resolved. Couples may not be able to agree on a compromise. Fights may become all too common or maybe there has been indifference in the marriage that has changed the course of your relationship. Whatever the reason is, divorce has given couples the option to escape the situation they are in. The state of New Jersey gives couples the option to claim a no-fault divorce when they decide to end their marriage.

What is the difference between a no-fault divorce and one with fault grounds?

In New Jersey, it is allowed for couples to cite a no-fault ground when initiating a divorce. This means that the couple does not have to place blame on someone. They can claim that there are irreconcilable differences or separation for at least 18 months. With this reasoning, it allows a person to go through the process and no one can stop them.

Although New Jersey allows for no-fault grounds, it still gives the option for people to claim a fault ground. These citations may include adultery, abandonment, addiction, extreme cruelty, deviant sexual conduct, incarceration or institutionalization. Although fault grounds are rarely used because they may not have a big influence on the case, some individuals wish to cite them. However, sometimes citing a fault ground may lead to legal troubles before the case even begins.

How does the divorce process begin?

If you are considering a divorce, it is important to weigh all your options. If you have not been able to rectify the situation with your spouse, then a divorce may be the best fit for you and your spouse. To start this process, you will have to fill out a complaint for divorce document. This will start the official process. In this document, it will resolve the residential requirement and cite grounds for the divorce. After being filed at your local court, the defendant must be served the papers within four months.

If fault grounds are claimed when the complaint for divorce is made, the opposing party may answer the complaint and contest the grounds that are claimed.

What happens next?

After the complaint for divorce is seen by both spouses, the parties will meet in a conference. This next step is called the case management conference. During this meeting, the spouses will discuss the factors that have led to a divorce case. The judge will be hearing this case for the first time through the conference.

This case management conference will address topics relating to contested marital issues, pre-trial discovery, a trial date and the possibility of alternative dispute resolution. An early settlement panel may be applicable to a couple’s situation. This panel will discuss the possibility of an alternative dispute resolution. They may only discuss financial and property issues, not child custody matters. If this step doesn’t work, it may lead to litigation.

The final judgment of divorce is the last step in any case. This will finalize the matter in a document that includes orders to contested issues that both parties need to follow. When going through a divorce, it is best to seek legal counsel so your best interests are represented.

If you require strong legal representation for matters related to divorce or family law, Haber Silver Russoniello & Dunn is here to help. We proudly represent clients in Morris County and throughout the state of New Jersey. Contact our firm today to schedule a consultation.

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