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.

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.

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Ashley Edwards Becomes a Member of the Monmouth and Ocean County Bar Associations

Ashley E. Edwards, a matrimonial and family law attorney with Lawrence Law, has become a member of both the Monmouth County Bar Association and the Ocean County Bar Association. “With Lawrence Law’s recent expansion to the Jersey Shore area, and as a resident of Ocean County, I look forward to getting to know other lawyers…

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