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What is New Jersey’s Divorce Process?

Nowadays, many couples face the prospect of divorce. While a divorce can be a difficult process to go through, it can be the most beneficial option for you, your spouse, and your families. Every couple is different, and every divorce is different. Some divorces are more complicated than others, whereas some are quickly and amicably resolved. Regardless, a divorce can be a challenging process, and it is important to be knowledgeable about the road ahead. Read on to better understand the divorce process in New Jersey and how Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark, L.L.C. can provide you with the legal support you need.

New Jersey’s State Requirements

If you wish to file for divorce in the state of New Jersey, you or your spouse must have been a New Jersey resident for at least one year before filing a complaint for divorce. This requirement does not apply when filing for divorce on the grounds of adultery.

New Jersey’s Grounds for Divorce

New Jersey is a no-fault state. This is a good thing for many couples. It means you can file for divorce by simply citing irreconcilable differences, or separation for 18 months of more. If you wish, you may file for divorce citing the following legal fault grounds:

  • Desertion
  • Addiction
  • Adultery
  • Extreme cruelty
  • Deviant sexual conduct
  • Incarceration
  • Institutionalization for mental illness

What are the Steps of the Process?

Everyone will experience a different divorce process, and there are different types of divorce. Below, you will find some common steps of the process:

  • Case Management Conference
  • Early Settlement Panel
  • Mediation or litigation
  • Final Judgement of Divorce

Case Management Conference

At the Case Management Conference, a judge will examine the various matters regarding your divorce. Some of the concerns that may be addressed at a Case Management Conference include:

  • Contested matters of the divorce
  • Pre-trial discovery process
  • An Early Settlement Panel date
  • Selection of expert witnesses
  • Assessing whether there is a custody or parenting time dispute

Early Settlement Panel

At the Early Settlement Panel, a team of skilled attorneys will provide you with advice regarding outstanding matters of your divorce. You and your spouse can choose whether you want to take this advice or not. If you choose not to take the advice of the attorneys, and there are still matters left to resolve, you may have to turn to mediation or litigation.

Mediation or Litigation

There are a few ways to resolve your divorce. Mediation involves a neutral third party helping you navigate your divorce. Litigation involves taking your divorce to court and having a judge make equitable decisions on your behalf. These decisions can be appealed by you or your spouse.

Final Judgement of Divorce

In order to finalize a divorce, all outstanding matters must be resolved. After, the court must execute the Final Judgment of Divorce, finalizing your divorce.


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