If you are a New Jersey resident whose marriage is ending, you will need to understand how the divorce process works. From how long a divorce takes to your options for negotiating a settlement, the more knowledgeable you are, the better you can prepare.
The basics of divorce
The process of divorce can be lengthy and expensive. The average length of a divorce from the filing date to the final settlement is 12 months. However, if the spouses go to trial, it can take, on average, 18 months. The costs can also be significant, and they can increase if the divorce ends up in a trial. However, couples can also choose other methods to resolve their issues, such as mediation, with the goal of reaching a settlement and avoiding court.
The steps of divorce
There are certain steps that spouses must follow when they decide to dissolve the marriage. These include:
- One spouse filing the petition to end the marriage with the court, which includes proof that one of the spouses meets the state’s residency requirement and the reason for the petition, whether it is a no-fault or at-fault divorce
- Filing a request for temporary child support, child custody and spousal support orders that will be in effect until a final settlement is reached
- Serving the other spouse with copies of the divorce petition and temporary order requests
- Negotiating a divorce settlement or going to trial to resolve divorce issues
- Reaching a final divorce settlement and having the judge sign the order of dissolution
Each divorce case is different so the time it takes, the negotiation process it follows and how much it costs will depend on the couple’s situation. It is important to be prepared and plan properly.