How Can I Initiate a Divorce in New Jersey?

Divorce Overview

Obtaining a marriage license is simple, but is the divorce process equally as painless? 

Incredibly, the state of New Jersey has the third lowest divorce rate in the entire country. Despite this fact, hundreds of couples make the decision to seek a divorce each year. Once you’ve made the difficult choice to divorce, how do you move forward with the process? We’ll get into the details of this process below. 

How Do I Initiate a Divorce in New Jersey?

Once you’ve made the decision to get a divorce, you’ll need to figure out whether you’ll be pursuing a fault or no-fault divorce. The differences are significant. A no-fault divorce maintains that neither spouse caused the marriage to dissolve. These types of divorces must be based on a separation between the spouses or irreconcilable differences. If your basis is separation, then you and your spouse must have been living apart for at least 18 months. Fault divorces, on the other hand, are based on fault. The most common reasons for a fault divorce are desertion and extreme cruelty. 

Once you’ve determined the grounds for seeking a divorce, you’ll need to begin the paperwork. Here are some of the documents you’ll need with your initial divorce complaint: 

  • A Complaint Form (says why you’re filing for divorce and includes a filing fee) 
  • Certification of Insurance 
  • Certification of Notification of Complementary Dispute Resolution 
  • A Family Part Case Information Statement 
  • Confidential Litigant Information Sheet 

Compile this paperwork and make at least two extra copies. You’ll need to submit this information to the courtroom in the county where you were originally married. 

You’ve Been Served! How to Serve your Divorce Papers

After filing your papers, you can enjoy a sigh of relief. Next, you’ll need to wait until the court mails you a copy of your complaint with the stamp “filed” on it. Then, you need to serve these papers to your former spouse. It isn’t as simple as handing the papers over. Here are the acceptable methods of serving these important divorce papers: 

  • Asking the County Sheriff to serve the papers 
  • Sending the paperwork through certified U.S. mail 
  • Sending the paperwork to your former spouse’s attorney 

These methods ensure that you’ll receive proof that the defendant received the paperwork. You need to mail this proof to the court. This will officially begin the divorce process. 

Contact a Middletown Family Law Attorney for a Consultation About Divorce in New Jersey Today

If you are thinking about filing for divorce, or if you have already started the divorce process and are dealing with another matter such as child custody, child support, or property division, you need to speak with a qualified attorney. The New Jersey family law attorneys at Rudnick, Addonizio, Pappa & Casazza PC represent clients throughout the state, including East Brunswick, Hazlet, Middletown, Monroe, Keyport, Union Beach, Holmdel, and Atlantic Highlands. We understand how challenging this time can be for you, which is why we will fight hard to protect your interests, and the interests of your loved ones, throughout the legal process. Call us at 732-264-4400 or fill out our confidential contact form to schedule a consultation. We have an office conveniently located at East Brunswick, 197 State Route 18, South Suite 3000 East Brunswick, NJ 08816 as well as offices located in Hazlet.

The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.