An experienced New Jersey divorce dissolution attorney can help you file for divorce.
It’s tough to admit you or your spouse want a divorce. But now, you might be ready to move forward separately rather than together. When it’s time to file, or at least get informed, it’s best to call a New Jersey divorce dissolution attorney.
There’s a lot of information online, and you’ll hear this and that from friends and relatives. You need accurate information, and, better yet, experienced insight into the divorce process. Men’s & Fathers’ Rights Divorce Lawyers by Schultz & Associates, LLC can give you that.
Attorney Carrie S. Schultz is certified by the Supreme Court of New Jersey as a Matrimonial Law Attorney. She and her entire team have the knowledge and experience you need to navigate the court process and come out of a divorce with a better situation for you and your family.
Can You File for Divorce in NJ?
To end or dissolve a marriage in the State of New Jersey, you have to file a divorce complaint in a court with jurisdiction over the matter. New Jersey’s residency requirement at the current time means either you or your spouse must have lived here for at least one year if you’re filing a no-fault divorce. However, there may be exceptions to this rule depending on your specific situation. You can file a formal Complaint for Divorce in the county of either where you or your spouse lives.
Typically, you’ll file a no-fault divorce under irreconcilable differences. Meaning, you don’t have to blame the other person or provide a reason for the divorce. There may be other reasons incident to your case that you may want to file under a different reason, so that is something to discuss with an attorney.
How to File for Divorce in NJ
Filing for divorce requires filing a complaint and several other required court forms with the clerk either online, in person, or through the mail. There is also a court-mandated filing fee to file the documents. In Bergen County, you’ll file with the Central Filing Fee Office, who will give a copy to the family division of the courthouse.
Is Your Divorce Contested or Uncontested?
Your lawyer will help you figure out whether your divorce is contested or uncontested and how to move forward in either situation. In an uncontested divorce, you and your spouse agree on all of the terms and don’t need a judge to decide things like property division, child custody, visitation, or alimony/spousal support. Things can move along much faster because you may just need to put your agreement down on paper and then you can request the Court to divorce you officially. Don’t be fooled, however, writing down the terms of your agreement may sound easy and straightforward, but it is not. This is where an attorney can be very valuable to make sure all of the appropriate language is inserted into the agreement to protect you long term.
In a contested divorce, you and your spouse disagree on one or more of the issues. It’s best to have a divorce attorney to help you through the process of resolving these issues.
How a Divorce/Dissolution Lawyer Can Help
Preparing you for court
There’s a lot you need to consider before filing for divorce, including child custody, parenting time (visitation), child support, alimony (spousal support), taxes, dividing up assets, and more. Before you jump to file, it’s best to talk with a divorce dissolution attorney about all of these issues. You should know about New Jersey law and how the court addresses these issues when you and your spouse can’t agree.
Setting your expectations
You aren’t going to get everything you want in a divorce. However, by working with a divorce dissolution lawyer in NJ, you can better manage your expectations. An attorney will help you clarify your needs and wants, as well as what is best for you and your children long term.
Advising you on how to behave
You might need to adjust your usual behavior during a divorce, especially if it’s contentious. Your lawyer might advise you to refrain from posting on social media about your activities—or to stop using social media altogether. Your lawyer also might give you tips on how to better and more effectively communicate with the other spouse—or limit your communications to strategically protect you.
Explaining the necessary divorce forms and filing fees
There are several divorce forms you must include with your complaint, along with a filing fee and an additional nominal fee you have to pay if you have children. Your divorce dissolution attorney will do the paperwork for you, explain why we are doing it, and have you review it for accuracy. While there are self-help and guides available online, the best way to make sure you fill out all the necessary forms correctly is to work with a lawyer. If you end up filling out the paperwork wrong, the Court will not accept it and will return it to you as being deficient. You would have wasted your time and your money to just have to do it over. An attorney can help make sure it is done correctly the first time.
Filing the complaint and forms
You have the option of filing your divorce complaint and forms online, through the mail, or in person. However, there are court requirements beyond the filing fee, such as a certain number of copies that must be included, and then you have to “serve” the other spouse in accordance with the Court rules. Email is not sufficient. To really understand the rules you have to follow, talk to an attorney, or have your attorney handle this for you.
Obtaining proof of service
After you file for divorce, you’ll get copies of the complaint, summons, and other forms with the docket number on them. You must serve your spouse with these documents in a specified time frame and in a way that is approved by the Court Rules, then provide proof of that service to the court within a specified time frame. New Jersey law dictates service of process, which your lawyer can also explain to you.
A Bergen County, NJ Dissolution Attorney Can Help
Whether you’re ready to file right away or are interested in learning more about divorce, call Men’s & Fathers’ Rights Divorce Lawyers by Schultz & Associates, LLC at (201) 340-9036. You also can reach out through our online form. We fiercely advocate for our client’s best interests during divorce. We’ll work to get you the best outcomes for custody, visitation, the division of property, and alimony/spousal support.