New Jersey Divorce FAQs:
Steps To File Your Own Divorce:
Step 1: Download our free online divorce forms kit.
Step 2: The person who is deciding to file for divorce must complete all of the required divorce forms. The finished divorce papers must then be filed with the family court in the state where you reside. You can get divorced in a state other than the state you were married in as long as you meet the residency requirements for the state where you are going to file your divorce. You will also be required to pay a filing fee for your complete divorce forms. The fee to file for divorce varies from state to state. Check with your local family court to get the exact cost to file for divorce in your state.
Step 3: The spouce that files for divorce must notify the other spouse that you have filed for divorce by using the divorce forms included in our download.
Step 4: You and your spouse should outline in your divorce settlement agreement the terms you have agreed upon and set forth for one another such as child custody and support, property and asset division, spousal support, etc.
Step 5: After you have completed all of the required divorce forms and have filed them in divorce court, the court will review your divorce documents and issue you a final decree of divorce.
New Jersey law allows for no fault divorces based upon the parties having lived separate and apart without cohabitation for an uninterrupted period of eighteen (18) months. The general grounds upon which a divorce may be obtained are:
1. Adultery 2. Willful and continued desertion for one year 3. Extreme cruelty 4. Drug/alcohol addiction 5. Institutionalization for mental illness for 2 or more years 6. Imprisonment for 18 months or more 7. Deviant sexual behavior NJSA 2A:34.2
Residency Requirements In order to file a no-fault divorce in the State of New Jersey, at least one of the parties to the divorce must have been a bona fide resident of the State of New Jersey for a period of at least one year prior to the filing of the action. NJSA 2A:34-10
name of court and title of action/parties Divorce actions are heard in the Superior Court, Chancery Division, Family Part. The title of the action initiating the divorce is a Complaint for Divorce, while the title of the action granting the divorce is referred to as a Judgment of Divorce. The party filing the action is referred to as the Plaintiff, while the other party is referred to as the Defendant. NJSA 2A:34-8 Where to File- Venue The proper place to file an action for divorce shall be the county in which the plaintiff resides at the time the cause of action arose, or, if the plaintiff does not reside in New Jersey, then the county in which the defendant resides at the time the cause of action arose.
If neither party was domiciled in New Jersey at the time the cause of action arose, then the proper venue is the county where the plaintiff is domiciled when the action is commence, or, if the plaintiff is not domiciled in new Jersey, then the county where the defendant is domiciled when service of process is made. NJSA 2A:34-10
Property Division New Jersey is an equitable distribution state in which the court, if the parties have not entered into a settlement agreement, will divide the marital property equitably between the parties, taking into consideration many factors such as; the duration of the marriage, the standard of living established in the marriage, etc. NJSA 2A:34-23 Alimony Alimony comes in several different forms in the State of New Jersey. Either party may be awarded one or more of the following types: Permanent alimony, rehabilitative alimony, limited duration alimony or reimbursement alimony. In making an award of alimony, the court will consider the following factors:
1. The actual need and ability of the parties to pay; 2. The duration of the parties; 3. The age, physical and emotional health of the parties; 4. The standard of living established during the marriage and the likelihood of the parties maintaining a comparable standard of living after the divorce is final; 5. The length of absence from the job market of the party seeking alimony; 6. The earning capacities, educational levels, vocational skills, and employability of the parties; 7. The parental responsibilities for the children; 8. The time and expense necessary to acquire sufficient education or training to enable the party seeking alimony to find appropriate employment; 9. The contributions to the marriage of both parties; 10. The ordered equitable distribution of the marital property; 11. The income available to either party through investments; 12. The tax consequences to the parties; 13. Any other factors the court deems relevant. NJSA 2A:34-23
Child custody The courts in New Jersey may make any such orders as to custody of any children of the marriage as the court deems reasonable and just after consideration of the circumstances of the parties and the nature of the case. NJSA 2A:34-23 Child support In determining the amount and term of any child support order, the court will consider the following factors:
1. The needs of the child; 2. The standard of living and economic circumstances of each parent; 3. All sources of income and assets of each parent; 4. The earning ability of each parent; 5. The need and capacity of the child for education; 6. The age and health of each parent and child; 7. The income, assets and earning ability of the child; 8. The responsibility of the parent for court-ordered support of others; 9. The reasonable debts and liabilities of each parent and child, and; 10. Any other factors the court deems relevant and just. NJSA 2A:34-23
name change The court, upon or after granting a divorce, may allow either party to the marriage to resume any name used by the party prior to the marriage. NJSA 2A:34-2.