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Basic requirements and steps for starting a divorce

On Behalf of | Mar 3, 2020 | Divorce

People who are married in New Jersey know that marriage is not always easy and there are ups and downs throughout it. Married couples have disagreements and arguments along the way. Also, in some marriages there is infidelity. In others there may be physical abuse or substance abuse issues. For many couples these issues are too difficult to overcome and the couple may decide that divorce is the only option. In order to actually end the marriage though people need to go through the divorce process.

Basic Requirements to Start a Divorce

New Jersey is a no-fault state for divorces, which means that the couple only needs to state that there are irreconcilable differences between the two spouses. There is no need to prove any wrongdoing on the part of either spouse. There are other grounds people can claim such as extreme cruelty but filing on one of those grounds is not necessary.

If the divorce is being started based on irreconcilable differences, there are still a few requirements that must be met though before the couple can divorce though. One is that the couple must have lived in New Jersey for the preceding 12 months, the irreconcilable differences must have been present for at least six months, which is the basis for the divorce, and there is no way that couple will be able to save the marriage. You do not need to state a specific example of the irreconcilable differences, simply that those differences are present.

Required Steps to Start Divorce in Court

The first step is that people must complete the following documents: the Complaint for Divorce, Certification Verification and Non-collusion, Certification of No Pending Proceedings, Certification of Insurance Coverage, Divorce Summons, Certification of Redaction of Personal Identifiers and others depending on if the person is represented by an attorney or not.

After all those documents are completed and signed by the person, the documents must be filed with the court where the person resides. People can mail these to the court or bring them to the court in person. Whichever method they choose though, people need to pay the required filing fee to start the divorce.

Once the documents are received by the court and the filing fee is paid, the court will either mail or give people the complaint back with a docket number, which is the identifier the courts use for the divorce. One people receive the complaint with a docket number, the last step in the process is to serve the other spouse. This needs to be done within 30 days of receiving the complaint back from the court and needs to be done in person or by certified mail.

After service is complete, the divorce process has been started with the court and the couple will need to start working through all the issues needed to finalize the divorce. That is where things can become real complicated as separating people’s lives is not as easy task. Divorces can also be very emotional proceedings as well and seeking the advice of experienced attorneys could be helpful.