Divorce

The process of divorce is painful, even when you’re sure it’s necessary. It can be even more painful if you’re not the party who believes it is necessary. We are sensitive to this, and bring our 40+ combined years of experience to the many different situations every case brings. Our philosophy is to make the process as pain-free as possible, whenever possible, so we use every effort to achieve a comprehensive settlement before filing anything with the Court, unless there are circumstances requiring that we seek legal intervention or we reach an impasse in negotiations.

 

What are the legal grounds for divorce in New Jersey?

Although there are several different legal grounds for divorce in New Jersey,  we are a no-fault state, meaning that no matter who is at fault for the marriage ending, with rare exceptions, everyone will get their fair share of equitable distribution of assets, and reasonable amounts of alimony and child support, where appropriate. Because New Jersey is a no-fault state, and there is no legal advantage to filing for divorce on “fault grounds” such as adultery or desertion, by far the most common grounds for divorce are “irreconcilable differences.”

 

How do you file for divorce in New Jersey?

When it is time to go to Court, one party files a Complaint for Divorce as the Plaintiff, and the other party has an opportunity to respond as the Defendant. If we are successful in achieving settlement before filing anything with the Court, it is an uncontested case, meaning that the only thing the Judge has to do is finalize the divorce. This also happens frequently even after a Complaint for Divorce has been filed, by negotiation while the case is pending. In fact, the statistics show that only four percent of cases actually go to trial, and half of those cases settle at some point prior to the end of a full trial.

Although we prefer to settle our cases, that isn’t always possible. We know how to get to the Courthouse and what to do when we get there.

 

How does a complaint for divorce get served in New Jersey?

The classic, “You’ve been served!!”, is something some folks dread doing to their future former spouse. However, it’s not always necessary or even advisable to have service made by the County Sheriff. If the Defendant has an attorney, paperwork can be sent to them for what is called ackowledgment of service. If not, paperwork can be sent directly to the Defendant for acknowledgment. If neither of these options is available for whatever reason, the paperwork goes to the County Sheriff for service.