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An overview of the New Jersey divorce legal process

New Jersey residents who are looking to get a divorce may be interested in some information about the filing process. Depending on the views of both spouses, the process could be more or less complex.

The first step in getting a divorce in New Jersey is to ensure that one of the parties meets the residency requirements outlined by statute. This means that, except in cases of adultery, either one of the spouses must have lived in the state for at least a year before filing. Next, the person filing for divorce must be sure to have an adequate reason for ending the marriage. This could include adultery, separation, abandonment or irreconcilable differences, among other reasons.

The third step in getting a divorce is actually filing the papers. A copy must be served to the filer's spouse, as well, to give notice of the action If the other spouse disagrees with the matters set forth in the filing, the divorce may be contested. This involves the filing of other papers, with the opposing side laying out their side of the various divorce issues. A contested divorce will require court hearings to complete the process. If the spouse signs the divorce papers without contesting them or fails to file any motions in a designated time period, the divorce is considered to be uncontested. A failure to respond may allow the filer to proceed with the process without the other party being involved.

An attorney may be helpful with these and other important matters, including negotiating an agreement for property distribution, child custody and support matters. In most cases, it is advisable for both parties to attempt to reach an accord on these issues rather than leaving it up to the court to make its determinations.

Source: Women's Law, "Divorce", January 06, 2015

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