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UNDERSTANDING DIVORCE IN NEW JERSEY

Considering filing for divorce in New Jersey? Familiarize yourself with the requirements and process with 3 Step Divorce. Here are the key elements of a divorce in New Jersey:

Grounds for Divorce in New Jersey

The appropriate lawful ground is one the spouses agree to and can substantiate or one the filing spouse proves in court.

New Jersey permits no-fault divorces, but also fault-based divorces.

The no-fault causes are separation and irreconcilable differences. For a divorce on the grounds of separation, a party proves that the spouses have lived separate and apart for at least 18 consecutive months and that there is no reasonable prospect of reconciliation; for a divorce based on irreconcilable differences, a party proves that the marriage is irreconcilably broken down for at least six months and without reasonable prospect of reconciliation. These no-fault grounds provide an avenue to end your marriage without placing the blame on your spouse.

Divorcing couples may seek a fault-based divorce on grounds including adultery, desertion, addiction, institutionalization, imprisonment, and deviant sexual conduct.

Divorce Residency Requirements for New Jersey

Either spouse must have been a resident for at least one year before filing of the action, with the exception of an action for adultery. In cases of adultery the requirement is that at least one spouse must be a New Jersey resident.

New Jersey Divorce Process

The plaintiff or petitioner makes at least three copies of the complaint and other divorce papers. The New Jersey County Court reviews one copy and needs two self-addressed stamped envelopes, so the papers maybe returned. After the court returns the complaint stamped filed, the plaintiff completes a summons and serves the paperwork by county sheriff where the defendant lives, or mails it certified mail.

New Jersey online divorce process After 35 days, the defendant must file an appearance, which means that he or she does not object to the divorce but may object to issues such as child support or custody; an answer, where he or she agrees or disagrees with the complaint; or a counterclaim, in which he or she asserts new claims for the divorce. Here is more information regarding the process of filing uncontested divorce papers in New Jersey.

Within 45 days, each spouse must provide detailed financial information, including three years of federal and state income tax returns, bank and investment account statements, four recent pay stubs and documentation for health insurance, loan application and financial statements. This shows the court that full financial disclosure from one party to the other took place.

The no-fault and uncontested divorce in NJ routines are the "quickest, easiest and most cost-effective" options to end a marriage.

New Jersey does not have a required waiting period after filing for divorce. Learn the best ways to save money when doing your own divorce in New Jersey.

Do It Yourself Online Divorce in New Jersey

Our online divorce makes it easy to file your own divorce in the state of New Jersey. In as little as 20 minutes you can have all your completed divorce forms and filing instructions ready for signing and filing. Instantly access your completed divorce forms after a short online interview. It is that easy, no lengthy completion or delivery times. See if you qualify below:

New Jersey Property Division

New Jersey is an equitable distribution, dual-classification state. The appreciation of separate property is separate. The court accepts any fair and reasonable property division that the spouses reach.

In dividing property, the court generally does not consider marital misconduct, but economic misconduct - hiding sets in support of a girlfriend, for example - may result in off setting compensation to the victim spouse.

When couples cannot agree on a fair and equitable solution, courts consider 16 factors, including "the economic circumstances of each party at the time division of property becomes effective"; "the contribution of each party in the acquisition, preservation or appreciation in the value or amount of marital or nonmarital property as well as the contribution of a party as homemaker"; and "any other factors which the court may deem relevant."

All marital property is divided equitably unless the spouses agree otherwise. Normally, the court values assets and liabilities at the time they are divided but the court may select any valuation date that it feels is best suited to make the distribution of property fair.

In dividing property, the court classifies assets and liabilities as marital or separate, places a value on assets and debts, and then makes an assignment. In dividing property, the court considers the parties age and health, contributions to the marriage and economic circumstances and tax consequences.

As in other jurisdictions, divorcing couples normally sell the marital home and divide the profits, or sell the home to one party and refinance, or the custodial parent occupies the house until the last child leaves school and then sell it.

Retirement benefits are marital property when the worker meets all the requirements for payout. This is called vested. They are either Defined Contribution Plans (DC), such as a 401(k), or Defined Benefit Plans (DB), which is the company pension. That part of a pension accumulated during a marriage is community property and subject to distribution. When spouses share in each other's pension plan, a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) must be prepared. The QDRO spells out the terms and conditions of the pension distribution.

Once handed down, a New Jersey property division order cannot be modified unless there are "exceptional and compelling" circumstances for the sake of "fairness and justice."

New Jersey Alimony

In New Jersey the court may grant four types of alimony: limited duration, which is based on personal need; permanent, which goes to a party who gave up a career in order to care for a family; rehabilitative, which goes to a party who must be rehabilitated to enter the workforce; and reimbursement, which goes to a spouse who expected to enjoy the fruits of the other spouse's labor.

New Jersey considers several factors in awarding alimony, including "any factors which the court may deem relevant."

Child Custody

In New Jersey, the best interest of the child is the primary concern in child custody and that can mean joint or sole custody.

Courts permit a variety of custody regimes, but evaluate 10 considerations to determine whether joint custody is workable.

Divorcing parents with minor children may be required to complete a parenting class unless the court waives this requirement.

Sometimes a third party, such as grandparents, may be awarded custody when the court determines that both parents are detrimental to the best interests of the child. If the court determines that the biological parents are detrimental (for example, the parents are sex offenders), they may be granted supervised visitation.

New Jersey expresses a preference for both parents to share as equally as practically as possible in the custody of a child. Joint custody gives both parents equal right and responsibilities.

Courts enjoy wide latitude in determining visitation. The court may order supervised visitation when the court has reservations about the child's safety with one parent alone.

New Jersey Child Support

New Jersey uses the Income Shares model to determine child support. In this routine, a child receives the same proportion of parental income that he or she would have been receiving if the parents had not divorced because in an intact household, both parents pool their income and spent it for the benefit of all household members, including any children. Income Shares, which is based on a principal in the Uniform Marriage and Divorce Act, considers the gross income of both parents and then establishes the proportion each contributes and divides it among their minor children.

If the noncustodial parent earns more than the custodial parent, the noncustodial parent assumes a higher share of the child's support, but if the noncustodial parent earns less than the custodial parent, he or she pays a smaller share of the support.

Sometimes, after calculating support, courts permit adjustments up or down that are called deviation factors. Courts may consider extraordinary expenses, independent income, seasonal fluctuation in parents' income, special needs as well "any other reason that should be considered to make child support more equitable." Likewise, extraordinary expenses can be either add-ons, where the expense is added to the support payment paid by the noncustodial parent, or a deduction, where it is subtracted.

A parent may be ordered to include a child on medical insurance, particularly when the visiting parent receives health insurance.

Courts order temporary child support during custody and support actions, and either parent may be order to pay.

New Jersey Child Support Guidelines and Worksheets:

Service of Process for Divorce in New Jersey

In New Jersey, process is a summons and a copy of the complaint.

A county sheriff, a private investigator, or any citizen over 18 appointed by the court may serve process.

A party is considered personally served when he or she receives the summons personally.

In a divorce, the server delivers the summons and complaint to the defendant, and completes an Affidavit of Service that identified the recipient, time, address and manner of service.

When a spouse is missing, service by publication permits constructive notice, which, after a diligent search, permits publication of the action for three successive weeks in a newspaper.

A Simple Divorce Process
Step 1 See if you qualify & create account!
Step 2 Answer the questions at your own pace.
Step 3 Print, sign and file your divorce forms with your local court (instantly review & print your forms online or have them sent US Priority Mail at no additional charge).

START HERE

Only $299 (flat-fee)

or 2 monthly payments of $157
or 3 monthly payments of $109
or 4 monthly payments of $84
Payment Options Do Not Delay Divorce
Instant Delivery - Instant Changes
100% Guarantee of Court Approval
or Your Money Back
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Disclaimer: This is a quality non-lawyer self-help online divorce solution. The 3StepDivorceTM Documentation software and service is not a substitute for the advice of a lawyer. 3StepDivorce does not practice law and does not give out legal advice. This online divorce software and service allows you to represent yourself in doing your own divorce. If you need or desire legal representation, we recommend that you hire a lawyer. Click here to learn more. There may also be other pro se divorce options available by contacting your court.

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