New Jersey allows someone to file for divorce within certain periods dependent upon the reasons listed for ending the marriage. In cases of adultery, the court does not require a waiting period. When a spouse charges extreme cruelty, the person can file after three months. In cases of desertion, the abandoned spouse must wait a year. The courts also permit “no-fault” divorce and allow for the filing of divorce after 18 months of the couple living separately.

Using an attorney during the divorce process will help ensure that the party will not need to worry about technical legal issues, including properly filing the paperwork and knowing exactly what to say in court before the judge. If the person’s spouse files for divorce and they do not respond, the divorce will proceed through the system. It is viewed as a no-contest divorce or a default judgment.

Scheduling a no-contest divorce for court can take time but can happen as soon as three months after the complaint is filed. A couple can expedite the process by resolving certain matters ahead of time at a settlement. Both attorneys will be present, and they will draw up a settlement agreement that will be included in the paperwork. An Early Settlement Panel also works to address financial matters and child support concerns. If the parties cannot reach a resolution, the case will be scheduled to go before a judge. A contested divorce takes longer to process because certain technical aspects, such as appraisals, must be completed before the divorce is granted.

A family attorney might help a client with paperwork, property division and decisions related to the children. They might protect the rights of their client when the marriage ends to ensure that they are treated fairly.

Source: New Jersey Courts, “Divorce/Matrimony”, September 29, 2014