Online Divorce in New Jersey
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Valid Grounds To Get A Divorce
Legal requirements for divorce refers to valid grounds for divorce. In New Jersey, divorces are similar to other states. There are fault and no-fault grounds for divorce.
In the cases that include no-fault grounds for divorce, spouses do not have to prepare evidence of liability and blame each other. The only request for filing the no-fault divorce is that the couples need to live separately for at least 18 months.
When we talk about fault divorce, it is necessary to provide evidence and adequate reason for dissolving the marriage. For instance, things you can state as a reason for divorce are adultery, cruelty, desertion, some addiction, irreconcilable differences, etc.
In the process of divorce, there are all kinds of things that need to be determined. The key issues are the division of debts and assets, alimony awards, custody, and child support.
Everything about family laws and divorces is covered in N.J. Rev. Stat. 2A-34:10.
How to Get a Divorce in New Jersey
When you decide to start a divorce, there are some documents that you need to fill. One of the essential documents that you need to complete is the Complaint for Divorce.
It sustains the necessary details and facts about marriage and the family. One of the first segments you need to complete is the grounds for divorce. In other words, you need to highlight if you file for fault or no-fault divorce. The procedure of dissolution of marriage will depend on whether the spouses have children.
The divorce cases, when there are no children involved, are less stressful. The spouses can decide by themselves if they want to conduct a contested or uncontested divorce. It is always better for the spousals to choose the form of uncontested marriage. In that way, spousals can agree on all the key terms in their process by themselves. They can make the process finalize quicker. The primary thing they need to agree on is material division, such as property and finances.
The divorce process where children are included is tiring. Parents need to discuss different things and ensure a normal life for their child. Kids often have to deal with huge stress in those situations. In all that confusion, the parents and the court need to establish an agreement that will be in the child’s best interest. If the child is older, his opinion will matter. The first thing parents need to determine is who will get custody and how much time the child is going to spend with a non-custodial parent.
There are two custody options – joint and sole custody. Also, other things need to be put in the calculator. Paying child support and determining the necessary costs for the child’s maintenance is one of the key points. In some divorce cases, one of the spousals needs to pay for spousal support and to give him alimony. In other words, one of the parents does not have enough income, and the other one will help him financially as long as it takes. If parents can’t set the agreement about these key terms, the Judge will do that after the hearing.
New Jersey Family Laws
Spousal Support, Maintenance, or Alimony
Spousal support or alimony will determine the quality of spousal’s life after the divorce. Some spousals do not have enough income to provide a financial standard after the separation. However, it is necessary to maintain a similar lifestyle after the divorce. For that reason, it is essential to settle the agreement about the payment.
The courts in New Jersey do not have some specific guidelines in calculating spousal support. Logically, while making the final decision about the payment, they take into consideration all key factors.
Custody And Visitation
When the children are involved in the case, the court and the parents make the decision based on the child’s best interests.
New Jersey courts consider it is healthy for children to spend time with both parents. There are two options for custody. Joint custody means that children live with one parent or equally with both parents. Also, parents work together and determine everything about a child’s life. The medical and educational decisions are included here primarily.
In the case of sole custody, the child lives with only one parent. However, he visits the other one. Visitation schedule needs to be established by parents. There are no specific laws and guidelines that courts provide about visitation.
The court orders payments for the parent that does not have custody to help financially the custodial parent. The obligation of child support lasts until the child turns 18. However, in some cases, the payment can last longer. The court determines this based on some facts. By following some guidelines, the court decides how much the person needs to pay for child support. In other words, the court makes the decision based on the child support calculator. That person is called the obligor. There is an online application for child support that parents can complete. Also, there is the option to fill this document in the local Child Support Agency.
New Jersey Child Support Guidelines are the best option in cases where the other parent does not want to cooperate.
New Jersey Divorce Papers and Forms
When you decide to start with the divorce process, be aware that you must fill adequate forms. Forms are different from case to case, so you need to be careful when you choose the one that suits your case. Also, keep an eye on all the details when you complete them.
We will give you the list of necessary court forms. In further text, we will analyze them, so you can see which one you should complete.
The form 1A, form 1D, form 1C, and form 1B are related to divorce reasons. For that reason, you need to choose the form that refers to your case. After that, you need to complete the Complaint Form, form 3A, Certification of Insurance, Certification of Notification of Complementary Dispute, and Confidential Litigant Information Sheet.
Requirements for an Uncontested Divorce in New Jersey
In uncontested divorces, spousals can agree on how to solve their issues in the divorce process. In other words, they can reach an agreement about all the problems, and they can go to court and get a divorce closer without hearing. In this case, there is no need for court intervention. The only requirement they need to follow is to live separately 18 months before filing for divorce. After that, the no-fault divorce will be pronounced easily because both spousals are cooperative and willing to communicate effectively.
What If I Have Contested Divorce?
There are two models of divorce – contested and uncontested ones. In contested divorces, spousals do not have adequate communication, and they can not reach an agreement relevant to their divorce issues. All aspects of the divorce matter and the big problems occur when the couple doesn’t get along. In those cases, both spouses need to find lawyers that will represent them in court. After the hearing, the court will order the final terms about all the issues spousals have.
Property Division in New Jersey
Division of assets and debts
The problem of dividing the property is always present. Both spousals often claim that some property and assets are rightfully theirs. In cases where couples can not determine by themselves the division of property, they must hire attorneys. Logically, attorneys need to be experienced in asset and debt distribution. It is essential to say that the state of New Jersey is an equitable distribution state. In other words, all material property, assets, and debts need to be divided equitably and fairly by the judge. Many factors will have an impact on the final orders. Some of them are physical and emotional health of both partners, each partner’s income capacity, length of the marriage, etc. The final determination can be achieved through mediation, as well.
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How to File Divorce Papers in New Jersey
The first document you need to complete when you start the divorce process is a Complaint for Divorce. Interestingly, the New Jersey courts have four types of divorce complaint forms. For that reason, look carefully and choose the one that best suits you and your case.
New Jersey has an option for online divorce. That is probably the best possible way to find out more about all the forms that you need.
Before we start with the necessary forms, you need to know the law terminology. If you are the one who is filing for divorce, you are the plaintiff, and your partner who responds is the defendant.
- It is essential to know that the state of New Jersey offers two types of no-fault divorce. According to your circumstances, you fill the different forms. If your divorce is based on separation, you fill the form 1A. Also, you and your spouses must live separately for at least 18 months in that case. In the other type of no-fault divorce, where the spousals had irreconcilable differences in their marriage, you fill the form 1D. In that case, the required period for experiencing those differences must be for at least six months.
- In fault divorces where there is clear evidence for breakdown, there are also two marriage breakdown types. In the case where one partner left the other one, you fill the form 1B. The partner who left must be gone for at least 12 months. In another type of fault divorce where there has been cruelty, you fill the form 1C. In other words, you were a victim of the violence that your partner caused.
The other necessary documents that you need to complete are:
- Filing Letter to the Court – Complaint Form (form 6) – you are filing for divorce, and you have enclosed the filing fee, or you are asking for a fee reduction.
- Certification of Insurance (form 2) – list of all your insurance coverage
- Certification of Notification of Complementary Dispute Resolution (form 2B) – you are aware that you can go to mediation.
- Family Part Case Information Statement (form 3A) – issues on custody, support, alimony, division of debt, or assets. This form also requires the listing of income, assets, and debts.
- Confidential Litigant Information Sheet (form 3B)
After you fill all the necessary documents, you must make three copies of them. You need to give the original and two copies to the adequate New Jersey court.
File your Divorce Paperwork
The state of New Jersey demands that you file the divorce paperwork in the state where the actions that cause the divorce happened. In other words, if the plaintiff lived somewhere else after they separated, they need to file for divorce in that place. When you need to file your divorce paperwork, you need to find your local court. You can check the New Jersey Courts website and find the court for your case. Also, you need to prepare the money to pay filing fees. If you can’t afford this, you can ask the court to free you of payments.
Serve your Spouse
After the court clerk gives you a copy of your complaint documents where it says “filled”, you need to serve them to your spouse. Also, you need to fill the form 7 – proof of service.
Your spouse needs to get the documents personally. There is an option that the local Sheriff gives your spousal documents, or he can get them through an attorney. Also, there is an option of Certified Mail. Your spouse needs to sign the acceptance of service. The defendant has 35 days to respond.
The spousals can get financial disclosure when the process of divorce is over. First, they need to complete the forms where they will state their financials. All debts, incomes, assets need to be carefully listed. When the court has insight into the spousals’ economic picture, they can make the final order. In other words, they will declare financial disclosure.
How to Serve Divorce Papers in New Jersey
When you fill all the necessary forms, you need to serve them to the court clerk. After you give the original documents and two copies, you need to wait and to receive the copies where they will be stamped as “filled”. Once you get them, you can serve them to your partner. He/she has 35 days to respond.
How to Get A Divorce In New Jersey Without a Lawyer
One of the ways you can choose to start with the dissolving process is by using the online method. If you decide on this method, you need to follow the steps and to complete the forms.
File Divorce Papers Online
By following an online guide, you can easily file the divorce papers by yourself. There is no need to invest a lot of time and energy in going to court and collecting all the necessary documents. From the comfort of your home, you can do the same thing even faster. Not only it will save you time, but you will save a lot of money as well. The costs for paying the attorney and different form fees can be avoided. For all listed reasons, many couples decide to divorce online nowadays. An online step-by-step guideline is so popular, and rarely goes to court because of its benefits. Considering all of these benefits, you can start with the process and see for yourself how easily you can finish the process.
Check if You Qualify
How much does a divorce cost in New Jersey?
The costs vary from different things. For instance, if you fill the papers online, you will not pay the form fees. However, you need to pay a filing fee from $99 to $299. Also, if you are hiring a lawyer, the divorce may cost $2000, $3000 and even more.
How long does it take to get a divorce in New Jersey?
If the spousals agree on all terms, the divorce process can be over in 6-8 weeks from filing the papers. However, often it takes 3 to 4 months. In contested divorces, the process can last from six months to even a year.
How can I get a copy of my divorce in New Jersey?
The court clerk will give you a copy when you file for divorce.
Do my spouse and I need to live in New Jersey to get a divorce?
Both partners need to live at least one year in the New Jersey state to file the divorce in the state.
Can I still get a divorce if my spouse does not want to get one?
State and local rules may vary, but generally, if your spouse failed to respond to your divorce petition within 30 days (if your spouse lives in New Jersey), 60 days (if he/she lives outside of New Jersey, but in the United States), or 90 days (if he/she lives outside the United States), you may file a request to enter a default along with a proposed judgment.
My spouse doesn’t want the divorce. What if he won’t sign the papers?
Serving divorce papers anyway, maybe he will change his mind. However, you have the option if he does not respond for 30 days to file a request to enter a default.