How Long Does it Take to Get a Divorce in New Jersey?
Amongst those entering into the divorce process in New Jersey, many people have the same question: how long is this going to take? While there is no concrete answer, there are a litany of factors and considerations which can have a huge impact on the duration and nature of your divorce proceedings. These factors may include whether you have elected for fault or no-fault divorce, if you and your spouse are filing contested or uncontested divorce, and how many legal disputes exist between spouses.
The divorce attorneys of Jacobs Berger understand that no one wants to suffer through long and drawn out divorce proceedings. That is why we work with clients to understand their unique circumstances and offer a wide array of dynamic and personalized legal solutions. Our flexible legal service has helped find expedient and equitable resolutions to divorce proceedings for clients.
Call our office today to discuss your individual needs and concerns when it comes to your divorce in a comprehensive and confidential consultation with a member of our qualified legal team.
Divorce Procedure Attorneys Discuss Divorce Agreements
Beyond the nuts and bolts differences of filing for fault divorce, no-fault divorce, contested divorce, or uncontested divorce, our Florham Park divorce attorneys believe that the biggest impact on the length of your divorce proceedings will be how and when your divorce agreements is made. Divorce agreements are the legal contracts between divorcing couples which lay out the terms of your separation. Common topics that may be included can be child custody, equitable division of marital assets, child support, alimony, and much more.
There are a handful of different methods which are frequently used by spouses to come to a tenable divorce agreement, including:
Traditional litigation – the lengthiest and costliest form of coming to a divorce agreement is going the path of litigation. This may include the long list of steps presented in the following section, and may end in a formal trial before a New Jersey judge.
Mediation – the mediation process involves an impartial mediator making an unbiased settlement recommendation after listening to all the facts of your case. It is important to understand that the results of divorce mediation are non-binding, and may be rejected by either party.
Arbitration – much like mediation, arbitration involves an unbiased go-between, know as an arbitrator. However, arbitration results are legally binding, and both parties must agree to accept the results before the process begins.
None of the above – In some circumstances, couples may be able to come to the terms of their own divorce agreement. While it is still highly recommended to work with our Florham Park divorce attorneys to actually draft the document, agreeing to the terms does not necessarily require any legal process.
What are the Steps of a Typical Divorce Process?
A typical divorce filing process might look something like this:
- Filing for divorce with New Jersey courts. This entails making three (3) or more copies, one original and two copies and mailing all three to begin the process
- A copy of your paperwork will be sent back to you marked as “filed”. At this point, you will have to fill out a summons form which will be sent to the defendant in your divorce. This may be sent directly to your spouse or to his or her attorney if both parties agree. It is also important to send a copy of this paperwork to your local sheriff’s office
- The defendant (your spouse) will have 35 days to file a response to this summons. He or she may file an appearance, answer, or counterclaim
- At this point the discovery process will begin, where each party will be asked to present relevant documentation, paperwork, and other evidence
- Your divorce case will then be brought before the New Jersey Early Settlement Panel in an attempt to settle any existing disputes
- If settlement does not occur, your case may be brought to formal trial and heard by a family court judge
Divorce Lawyers Help Clients File for Divorce and Identify Typical Timelines
Pursuant to New Jersey regulations, divorces must be filed in the county where the marital dispute took place. In other words, if you cited irreconcilable differences leading to a no-fault divorce, the divorce would need to be filed in the county where you and your spouse lived during the time you still lived together and were experiencing those differences.
As mentioned previously, the length of divorce proceeding are heavily dependent on fault vs. no fault filing, and whether or not you and your spouse are able to sign a divorce agreement outside of court. For those who make their own amicable agreement, divorce proceedings can last as little as one (1) or two (2) months. For cases which go through the full process described above, proceedings can easily last a year or more.
Contact our Divorce Process Attorneys Today
At Jacobs Berger, our divorce and family law attorneys understand that no two divorces are alike. For some couples, coming to a quick, inexpensive, and amicable agreement outside of court is the best way to go. For others, the longer process of litigation may be the best solution to find an equitable and final decision for their divorce disputes. We take pride in offering individualized solutions to fit all our clients’ needs and concerns in Morris County communities and across Northern New Jersey.