Divorce

Every divorce is different, and our lawyers help our clients contemplate the considerations as it applies to their divorce. We work with our clients in contested and uncontested divorces to navigate custody, parenting time, alimony, palimony, and which route to divorce is best for their situation – alternative dispute resolution, mediation, arbitration – or trial.

As litigators, it is our philosophy to prepare every case as if it is going to trial. A clear message must be sent that if one side is unreasonable, unrealistic or defiant, you will be ready to present and prove your case to a judge. Since most cases, ultimately, do not go to trial, it is our goal to be most prepared to settle with terms most advantageous to our client.

When the gap between respective settlement positions justify the time and expense of a trial, I am fully prepared for direct and cross-examination of all witnesses as well as have a full understanding of expert reports, their methodology and conclusions.

Frequently Asked New Jersey Divorce Questions

Do you need a lawyer to get divorced in New Jersey?

You are not legally required to have a lawyer to get divorced in New Jersey. However, we strongly recommend that you retain an attorney if you currently are, or are considering, divorce proceedings. Attorneys specializing in family law are able to navigate these proceedings efficiently and with the requisite knowledge of the applicable statutes and case-law precedent while advocating to obtain the client’s goals and objectives.

How do you file for divorce in New Jersey?

To obtain a divorce in New Jersey, you must file a Complaint for Divorce. A Complaint for Divorce must incorporate all issues you wish to be addressed, including but not limited to custody, parenting time, support, and equitable distribution of property, among other relief. Often times, a Complaint for Divorce is not filed until the parties have a signed agreement resolving all of their issues.

Where do you file for divorce in New Jersey?

A Complaint for Divorce must be filed at the courthouse in the county in which one or both parties reside.

What are the grounds for divorce in New Jersey?

New Jersey is a no-fault divorce state. Thus, the most common ground for divorce is irreconcilable differences. Other grounds for divorce include extreme cruelty, adultery, desertion, separation, voluntary addiction to illicit substances/habitual drunkenness, institutionalization for mental illness, deviant sexual conduct, and/or imprisonment.

How long does it take to get divorced in New Jersey?

There is no set time frame for divorce proceedings in New Jersey, and same depends largely upon whether or not the parties are able to resolve their differences amicably or whether they will require the assistance of the court to do so. Should parties engage in litigation, the process becomes significantly longer and becomes dependent upon the court’s calendar and availability. Conversely, parties who resolve there matter absent need for judicial intervention can complete such proceedings on an expedited basis. As a rule of thumb, parties can get divorced between six and eight months if they have a signed agreement. If they require a trial, it can be several months to years.

What is an uncontested divorce in New Jersey?

Parties may proceed with an uncontested divorce under circumstances where all issues incident to the divorce proceedings have been resolved amicably amongst them. Generally, parties enter into a Marital Settlement Agreement, Property Settlement Agreement, and/or Term Sheet setting forth all terms and provisions agreed upon between them. This document is then incorporated by consent into any final judgment of divorce entered by the court and has the same force and effect as any Order of the court.

Is it better to settle my divorce case or go to trial?

It is always better to settle your case because you are able to control and dictate the terms of your agreement instead of placing those decisions in the hands of a “stranger in a black robe.” Approximately 98% of all divorce matters settle in lieu of proceeding to trial. This is because divorce litigation is extremely costly and time consuming, and parties are typically unhappy with the decision of the judge.

How much does a divorce cost?

It depends. Two people control the cost of the divorce – the married couple. If they are amenable and willing to compromise, their divorce will cost less. Conversely, if litigation is pursued on every issue, it is expensive. Divorce proceedings can be exceptionally costly. For these reasons, we encourage parties to consider alternative dispute resolution, such as mediation, arbitration, or the collaborative law process, in lieu of litigation. However, we are stand ready to litigate when necessary.

News
Jeralyn Lawrence Quoted on NJ.com About COVID-19

On March 28, 2020, Jeralyn Lawrence was quoted on NJ.com in an article What divorced people need to know about the coronavirus stimulus package. Lawrence, of Lawrence Law, comments on financial issues related to parties who are already divorced and those who are currently in the process of divorcing. She also comments on custody and…

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Family Law Carries on During the Coronavirus Crisis

I have been getting many questions from clients and prospective clients about what is going on during these times. Without question, family law carries on during the coronavirus crisis. When Lawrence Law opened its doors, we made sure to have the best technology available so we can always serve our clients. Lessons were learned from…

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COVID-19 Pandemic has an Impact on Family Law

I am receiving an increasing number of calls from concerned clients about the impact of COVID-19 on their family law matters. Concern #1 is their parenting time. We are near a time when self-quarantining is a reality. This is an incredibly important measure to keep our families healthy and safe. Emerging are instances where one…

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Jeralyn Lawrence Recognized in New Jersey Super Lawyers in Several Categories

Jeralyn Lawrence, founder and Managing Partner of Lawrence Law, has been selected as a 2020 New Jersey Super Lawyer in the Family Law section. She has been included in New Jersey Super Lawyers since 2007. Lawrence was also named to Top 100: 2020 New Jersey Super Lawyers List and the Top 50: 2020 Women New…

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Jeralyn Lawrence to speak at the 2020 Family Law Retreat

On Saturday, March 28, 2020, Jeralyn Lawrence will participate in a presentation Whiskey, Kentucky Bourbon, and New Jersey Marriages in Nashville, Tennessee. This presentation is part of the New Jersey State Bar Association 2020 Family Law Retreat. Lawrence, Founder and Managing Member of Lawrence Law, will discuss the equitable distribution of intellectual property in a…

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