Cheap Divorce in New Jersey

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Ready to an amicable divorce? Still hesitate about where to start? CheapDivorceNJ.com is a divorce resource which will help you with your marriage dissolution. Get a cheap online divorce in New Jersey with no worries or extra expenses. We realize that any divorce is rather painful and exhaustive experience, that is why we are do our best for our customers to get only up-to-date 100% court approved divorce forms!

What Is an Uncontested Divorce in New Jersey?

When a couple decides to file for an uncontested divorce in New Jersey, it means that there are no disputes between partners regarding alimony, division of the joint assets, post-divorce childcare, and some other issues related to divorce litigation. The uncontested divorce process in New Jersey is usually significantly cheaper and lasts not that long, as couples who have decided to have an amicable divorce do not need mediation to establish agreement by involving the third-party and that is how they can save up on their case – come to an agreement about mentioned above issues. Thus, those, who choose an uncontested divorce, are able to have their marriage finalized without a lawyer and it will be possible to have their case done with a self-representation.

New Jersey Divorce Laws

In case a couple decides to file for divorce in the state of New Jersey, they are likely to be familiarized with the state divorce laws, so that they may be aware of possible options in their case.

As in any other state, divorce laws in New Jersey are strictly defining the circumstances under which the couple can have their marriage finalized. Under state divorce laws, like in most states, the divorce can be “no-fault” and “fault”-based. In the case of the no-fault divorce, there is no alleging of wrongdoing to any of the divorce parties and that means that the marriage is dissolved due to irreconcilable differences. As for the fault-based divorce, the court requires clear evidence of the responsibility of another party for the break up (such as adultery, mental incapability, habitual intoxication, violence, desertion, incarceration after a crime, and some other situations).

It is also a must for couples who want to have a divorce in New Jersey to meet residency requirements. It means that either one or both spouses reside in the state for a legally specified time period.

What Are New Jersey Residency Requirements for Divorce?

No matter whether a couple agrees or disagrees on the post-divorce issues, choose self-representation at court or hire an attorney to have their marriage finalized, they must meet divorce residency requirements in order to be able even to file the case. If court representative discovers that the couple doesn’t comply with the state residency requirements, the divorce papers would be simply rejected.

To avoid that make sure that at least one of spouses has lived on the territory of New Jersey for 1 year and longer before the divorce papers are filed. There is only one exceptional case, when the couple may file for divorce while living not that long, when their case is based upon infidelity.


What Are the Grounds for Divorce in New Jersey?


Besides the compliance with residency requirements, mentioned by New Jersey divorce laws, it is important to define the legal grounds for divorce as that would be mentioned in the divorce petition. In a court list of grounds for divorce there are two major reasons to end up a marriage in New Jersey: fault and no-fault. Fault grounds for divorce means that one of the spouses is responsible for the divorce happening and s/he has committed adultery, has habitual drug or alcohol intoxication, has some proven mental illness or is convicted due to a crime or some other deviant behavior mentioned.

No fault grounds for divorce do not suppose any blame for broken marriage by any party and if couple decides to select “irretrievable breakdown” they must state that their relationship were broken for more than 6 months and the marriage can’t be restored. The marriage can also be dissolved in case if couple lives separately for 18 months and thus there is no possibility to continue marital relationship.


New Jersey Divorce Laws in Case of Adultery

Extramarital affair is a durability test for any relationship and there is no surprise that almost a half of marriages which experienced infidelity would end up in a break up. Taking into consideration the fact that the state laws allow divorces on fault and no-fault basis, divorce based on an adultery would run as a fault-based one. It means that one of the spouses alleges that the another one could be blamed for committing wrongdoing which caused a divorce.

Thus a fault-based divorce tends to be a longer and more complicated process, as it generally takes time to represent the evidence of spouse’s misbehavior in front of a court and that can’t usually be performed without a mediator and/or an attorney, who will represent your financial, parenting and other interests. Why do couples choose to blame the responding party and fault-based procedures, which are known in advance as a more expensive and time-consuming option to have their marriage dissolved? The answer is in the spousal support and property-distribution. There are rare cases, when the court could take into consideration the fact of cheating if it was proven that the extramarital relationship has affected the couple’s financial status before the divorce occurred (like expensive gifts for the love interest of a cheating spouse or hidden assets/bank accounts).


Child Custody Laws in New Jersey

Since the couples who are getting a divorce in may have children, the parental rights in New Jersey are a common point of interest for those who are solving childcare-related issues. It is essential to realize that the court will always look after the interests of the child and that is why the custody would be reached in a way to ensure the well-being of the child(ren) so that the divorce would cause minimum effect over the life aspects of the kid.

That is why under New Jersey family laws it is highly recommended for divorcing spouses to create parenting plan, so that they could represent their willing to cooperate in order to cover basic needs of their child. In case the parents can’t come to an agreement and are unable to resolve parental conflicts, the court would likely intercede the procedures to establish parental rights, visitation and custody. The divorce will not be granted until that very moment when the parents come to an agreement that provides the welfare of their child(ren) and reduce post-divorce traumatizing experience.

The next step is to determine what kind of custody you could apply for: sole or joint. Sole custody means that there is only one custodial parent, who provides general childcare (related to education, healthcare and well-being of the child) and the non-custodial parent is legally allowed to visit the child in a court approved manner.

As for joint custody in New Jersey it could be legal or physical (residential). Joint legal custody assumes that both of parents are equally allowed to make decisions which involve healthcare, education and general wellbeing of their child. Residential custody doesn’t exclude the legal one and there is the only obligatory condition that the place of residence for the child is strictly determined by law with the one of the parents whilst the other parent is allowed to visit their child according to the schedule. If the couple intends to receive joint physical custody, they have to make sure that their place of residence is not far from each other in order not to affect the educational process of the child.

Alimony in New Jersey

Any financial-related issue, whether it occurs within a marriage or during a divorce, could become a stumbling block for a further litigation as if one of the spouses depends on the another financially being married, the arguments regarding post-divorce financial support could become rather harsh.

Once a divorce takes place, New Jersey alimony laws define 5 major kinds (or their combination) of spousal support to be paid:

  • Temporary (pendent lite) – paid only during a divorce to cover the expenses of financially dependent spouse.
  • Limited duration – the payments are made in a court-granted so that the dependent spouse could become financially independent. This kind of alimony is usually paid when a strict list of conditions is met.
  • Rehabilitative – is paid to cover the living expenses while acquiring job training or education by the dependent spouse to get employment/financial independence.
  • Reimbursement alimony is paid to a spouse, who was financially supportive during the marriage for another spouse in advanced education with clear intention to get profits, however a divorce happened earlier than the benefits became possible.
  • Permanent spousal support is generally set for long-term marriages by court and are seldom life-time. Mostly this type of support is paid until the dependent party becomes able to support him or herself or there is absolutely legal reason for court why there is no chance to become financially independent.

The amount of spousal support in New Jersey couldn’t be calculated with a specific formula as it is done for a child support for example and there are multiple factors considered by court. That is why in order to skip court interceding the couple is allowed to negotiate the alimony themselves and represent their decision.

01


WHERE

Where to File for Divorce in New Jersey?

Any divorce in New Jersey is started with filing the divorce papers at court clerk’s office. In order to initiate a divorce a Plaintiff (the spouse, who files for divorce) collects and completes divorce forms and files them in one of New Jersey divorce courts (usually in the county, where the situation that caused a divorce occurred).

02


HOW LONG

How Long Does a Divorce Take in New Jersey?

If you were wondering how long does it take to get divorced in New Jersey, you have to take into consideration that it depends on numerous individual input data for each individual case. The duration of any divorce is rather a variable notion. Depending on the benchmark situation and the amount of disputes between partners the process could go faster or be hindered by numerous factors.If the couple is willing to accelerate the process of divorce they might come to an agreement in order to avoid disputes about support, childcare and property distribution, still keep in mind that there are some moments which couldn’t be speeded up. Despite the fact that waiting period in a state of New Jersey is not required to grant a divorce, before filing a no-fault divorce couple should end up their marital relationship so that there would be clear statement that the marriage is irretrievably broken. How long do you have to be separated before divorce? That is 6 months if couple mentions “irreconcilable differences” and 18 months of continuous separation for “irretrievable breakdown”.

As you can see from mentioned above, New Jersey divorce laws do not require obligatory cooling off period, however in order to answer the question: “Uncontested divorce in New Jersey – how long does it take?” you must take into account the variables that were served as a ground for a divorce. In case of the most favourable outcome, the uncontested case could be finalized within 6-8 weeks since the moment of filing, still, as a rule it takes up to 3-4 months.

03


DIVORCE PROCESS

Divorce Process in New Jersey

As with any legal process, divorce must be strictly outlined so that there is a correct sequence of actions that any divorce participant may follow. The New Jersey divorce process starts with collecting and completing divorce papers for your individual case. It is better to discuss with your spouse the forthcoming divorce so that you know beforehand whether you are able to have an agreement and file for New Jersey uncontested divorce without wasting precious time and money.

To begin any uncontested divorce, you have to prepare the requisite information in order to fill out your forms. That includes dates of birth for a spouse, marriage data (like place and date), grounds for divorce, and some other information, which could be requested by the court depending upon your personal divorce circumstances.

After divorce forms are completed, you file them at the court clerk’s office, so that your case is registered and gets its specific number. Once it’s done you may prepare documents in order to formally notify the respondent spouse about the divorce. The other marriage party must be properly served with a regard to be able to file the response to a divorce complaint at court.

No matter whether the couple is having a contested or uncontested divorce, both of them must complete a Case Information Statement – the obligatory form which contains pertinent financial information for a further divorce.

On the assumption that both spouses agree with divorce conditions, the couple should wait for the trial appointed by the court. Under New Jersey family laws, it’s a common practice to grant a divorce without compulsory court attendance, however that depends on numerous input considerations.

How to File for a Cheap Divorce in New Jersey?

If your marriage is in its worse state and you have made a decision to finalize it you are likely to realize the sequence of actions that you must perform not only to file for a cheap divorce in New Jersey but also have your divorce granted.

  1. The first step to get a New Jersey divorce is to file a Complaint for divorce (a document where the one marriage party testifies the desire to dissolve the marriage and the document, which should be responded by another spouse). Spouses are called the Plaintiff and the Defendant respectively. It is important to mention the reason your marriage was over and if you are looking for an answer on how to file for divorce in New Jersey irreconcilable differences will be the most beneficial option as there is the shortest waiting period for spouses to be separated prior to filing for a divorce.
  2. The second step in filing for divorce in New Jersey is related to a proper serving of divorce papers to a Defendant. It means that the Plaintiff is responsible to ensure the legally acknowledged way to deliver divorce papers so that the respondent spouse could certify his agreement or disagreement with divorce conditions. In case the Defendant doesn’t contest the divorce circumstances, the couple is eligible to proceed with an uncontested divorce. If no the divorce turns into a contested one and there is a place for the mediation or an attorney. If the Defendant is avoiding paper service or the served papers were ignored, the court will proceed with a default divorce and the respondent spouse forfeits his or her right to disagree with divorce circumstances.

Once divorce papers were filed, served, and acknowledged by both spouses, the court arranges the hearing for finalizing the divorce. The visitation of the court by spouses depends on the complexity of the case, spousal agreement, and custody issues, however, there are numerous cases when the trial is done without the presence of both spouses.

How Much Does a Divorce Cost in New Jersey

The financial matters during any divorce are a point of interest and increased attention as the lifestyle of spouses totally changes and the expenses rise. That is why the questions about the average cost of divorce in New Jersey are not that uncommon. It’s obvious that there is no precise answer as the divorce in New Jersey costs could differ for every individual case. However, you can count it if you know the aspects to consider.

The first thing to take into account is the divorce filing fee in New Jersey, which is $300. It is paid when one of the spouses files a Complaint for divorce, where they mention all the divorce conditions – like reasons for divorce, alimony, and child support. If the couple has children, they are also obliged to attend parenting classes which would cost $25.

Add there the expenses on the process server (the person or establishment that ensures the delivery of divorce papers to a respondent spouse). In New Jersey that is usually performed by a sheriff’s office, so include service and mileage fees along with expenses on copies of divorce documents into your budget.

Uncontested divorce New Jersey costs significantly less in comparison to a contested one just because you don’t have to hire a mediator to solve disputes between you or an attorney to represent your interest during divorce litigation. Divorce lawyers in New Jersey cost from $150 and hourly rates depend on county and professional experience, so if you are considering the contested divorce, you may spend more than $12 000.

Cheap Divorce in New Jersey Without a Lawyer

The couples who are considering divorce are often wondering if getting divorced in New Jersey without a lawyer is an option for their case. Well, that depends. The primary role of an attorney is to make sure that the rights settled by spouses are fair for both participants and that is always hard to define in case of abuse, domestic violence, and other disputable situations.

So if you were wondering how to file for divorce in new jersey without a lawyer you must be sure that you and your spouse are not going to contest the divorce circumstances. Keep in mind that if you intend to have an affordable uncontested divorce you and your spouse are responsible for completing and filling out all the divorce forms along with settling the agreement between you two and solving the parental conflicts, establishing post-divorce parenting responsibilities, and deciding the support matters.

On the other hand, if you and your husband or wife are able to come to an agreement, you have no disputes that require mediation, you can have a cheap divorce in new jersey without a lawyer.

New Jersey Divorce Forms

Any uncontested marriage termination starts with collecting New Jersey divorce papers, which are appropriate for the individual case. The typical package of divorce documents in New Jersey includes the list of following forms:

1)    Complaint for Divorce Form

Complaint for Divorce Form New Jersey
Filing Letter to the Court – Complaint Form
Summons
Parenting Plan
Family Case Information Sheet
Certification of Insurance
Confidential Litigant Information Sheet
Divorce Decree New Jersey

Note: New Jersey family court forms vary from case to case and could include some additional forms depending on couple’s specific needs.

Cheap Divorce in New Jersey: A Self-Help Guide

A regular person, who decides to have do it yourself divorce in NJ could be easily confused by the filling out procedure of court divorce forms that is why when you decide to get divorce in New Jersey a self-help guide will definitely come in hand.

When you are not aware about the sequence of divorce papers filling steps or are not sure regarding the information to provide in court form and you are unable to have a meeting with a lawyer, you may download a self-help guide that provides you with step-by-step instruction on how to complete divorce forms and get New Jersey divorce decree.

New Jersey Mediation in Divorce

When a couple is unable to resolve their disputes and they are not willing to have durable and expensive litigation they might seek New Jersey divorce mediation. The first priority of a mediator is to settle all the issues related to economic and childcare matters, like the determining, valuing, and distribution of acquired assets along with or separately with parental duties, visitation for birthdays and holidays, and so on.

New Jersey divorce mediation process can be provided with a private mediator if both spouses are willing to do so or appointed by the court in order to settle the disputes between a couple on one or all of the aspects. The mediation regarding settling custody issues is usually separated from the one for settling financial disputes.

Same-Sex Divorce in New Jersey

Before 2013 same-sex couples in New Jersey were allowed to enter civil unions which were not legally recognized and so that there was no opportunity for this type of relationship to be dissolved with the federal government. Yet after October 21, 2013, same sex marriages in New Jersey became an eligible option for couples who were eager to notarize their relationship as a family.

In substance same-sex divorce in New Jersey doesn’t differ from opposite-sex divorces. It also includes property distribution, post-divorce child custody aspects and parenting responsibilities, spousal support for a dependent spouse and that could be performed either with self-representation or via hiring a divorce attorney who would protect your interests.

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