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NEW JERESY DIVORCE BASICS AND OVERVIEW
This is a divorce reference guide to understanding divorce in New Jersey. Each state has its own requirements, laws, and documentation, so we decided to gather it all in one location to make it easy and quick for you to find the information you need before, during and after your divorce.
Divorce in New Jersey Made Easy (See New Jersey Divorce Help Center)
- Time Frame: New Jersey does not have a required waiting period after filing for divorce. The state permits a no-fault divorce when the parties have been living separate for 18 months or when a marital breakdown has occurred for at least 6 consecutive months.
- Where to File: Superior Court. "Superior Court of New Jersey, Chancery Division, Family Part, _____________ County." (See New Jersey Court Addresses)
- Statute Statutes: New Jersey Statutes Annotated, Title 2A, Chapter 34.
- Name of Action: Judgment of Divorce.
- Name of Parties: Plaintiff, the filing party, and defendant, the other party.
- No-Fault or Fault and No-Fault Only: Both No-fault and Fault.
- Primary Documents Filed: Complaint for Divorce and Judgment of Divorce. (See NJ Forms List With Explanations)
- Physical Separation Required: Yes, for a no-fault.
- Separation Time to File: 18 months, unless filing on grounds of Irreconcilable Differences.
- Legal Separation Permitted: Yes, a legal separation (a divorce from bed and board is permitted on the same grounds as a divorce)(.
- Grounds: No-fault: Irreconcilable Differences (marital breakdown for at least 6 consecutive months), or separation, which means living separate and apart for 18 months and no reasonable prospect of reconciliation; and tradition grounds that include willful desertion for one year. (See New Jersey Laws for Divorce)
- Residency Requirement: Either party must be a bona fide resident of this New Jersey for at least a year before the filing.
- Mediation Required: No legal provisions exist in New Jersey for divorce mediation.
- Counseling Required: No legal provisions exist in New Jersey for divorce counseling.
- Parenting Classes Required: The New Jersey Parent Education Program is mandatory for divorcing parents.
- Filing Fee: $300. (See NJ Filing Fee Waiver Form)
- Where to File for Child Support: The New Jersey Child Support Program (CSP) pursues deadbeat parents, and uses wage garnishment, interception of tax refunds, confiscation of lottery winnings and liens against real estate, banks and property to collect all support due.
- Child Support Guidelines Model: New Jersey uses the Income Shares Model to determine the child support the noncustodial parent must pay.
- Property Division: Equitable distribution, with dual property classification.
- Appreciation of Separate Property: The appreciation of separate property is separate.
- Attendance at Hearing: Always up to the judge. Eight counties -- Atlantic, Cape May, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Somerset, and Warren - do not require either spouse to appear at a hearing. Camden County requires attendance when the spouses have minor children. All other counties require a hearing regardless of minor children together. Additionally, if the defendant is in the military, the plaintiff must attend a hearing, regardless of the whether there are minor children together.
- Fault Considered in Property Division: No.
- Waiting period after Divorce for Remarriage: None.
- Ways to Serve Spouse: In most divorce actions either a process server or the county sheriff serve the defendant personally. If personal service fails, the defendant may be served by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested.
- Learn More About New Jersey Divorce.
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