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What is the Process of Divorce in New Jersey?

It is no secret that the process of going through a divorce can be very complex and time-consuming. When facing this time in your life, there are many things for you and your spouse to consider before your marriage is officially dissolved. In order to move forward, many decisions need to be made and agreements must be met. In New Jersey, there are several types of divorces that a couple may go through in order to separate their lives. The type of method you may benefit from can depend on your personal situation.

Contested

A contested divorce occurs when neither spouse signs an agreement. This leaves certain issues within the divorce unsolved. This can include matters such as child support, child custody, alimony, the division of assets, and more. When this happens, these decisions can be left in the hands of a judge. 

In a contested divorce, spouses can cite “fault” or “no-fault” grounds. Fault grounds may be cited in the event of circumstances such as adultery, habits of intoxication, abuse, desertion, or prison sentences of 5+ years. No-fault grounds is when neither party is holding the other responsible for their divorce.

Uncontested

When spouses cite no-fault grounds and they can agree to the terms of their divorce, this is known as an uncontested divorce. This occurs when both spouses believe their marriage cannot be mended. These situations are also referred to as an “Irretrievable Breakdown of Marriage.” 

Mediation

Sometimes, couples seek alternative methods of divorce that exist outside of a courtroom. One option that allows them to do this is mediation. This option allows couples to negotiate their marital issues with the assistance of an unbiased third party. This party is an individual who exists to listen to both spouses and help them come to an agreement regarding the terms of their divorce. Conversations that may be had during mediation can cover assets, child custody, child support, and alimony. When the spouses reach an agreement, their mediator can present a signed document to the court for approval.

Collaborative

Similar to mediation, the process of a collaborative divorce exists outside of litigation and involves the assistance of others. However, unlike mediation, the spouses’ attorneys guide the two in reaching amicable agreements. This is done through a series of four-way meetings. 

Arbitration

Another alternative method of divorce is arbitration. This process takes place with a third party as well. However, the third-party during arbitration acts as a judge instead of a mediator. This individual is able to make the final decisions regarding marital issues such as child custody/support, spousal support, and distribution of assets. 

Contact our Firm

If you need an experienced legal team to guide you through your divorce, contact Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark L.L.C today.