When one makes the decision to divorce in New Jersey, the first inclination is often to get everything done as quickly as possible. This approach can work and it’s always a good idea to try to work things out in a timely manner, but recent changes in the state’s court systems are leaving some divorcing couples waiting longer than normal. With many judicial positions being vacant, the judges who are available are assigned cases with higher priority than divorce and other civil matters.
The ramifications of judicial vacancies
There are six counties in New Jersey with judge shortages so severe that divorce cases and other civil matters are being put on hold. This can complicate things for couples who had hoped for a quick end to their marriage. The counties include Hunterdon, Salem, Gloucester, Warren, Somerset, and Cumberland. Couples who live in these counties and are considering divorce can benefit from attempting to resolve divorce matters through mediation.
With mediation, the couple can save much time and not require lengthy court proceedings with a judge. Divorcing couples can work together, with a mediator and their respective lawyers, to work out child custody arrangements, child support, division of assets, and spousal support. If both parties cannot agree to these terms based on the divorce laws in the state, mediation is not a viable option to dissolve the marriage.
Seek legal advice
Any time one is considering divorce, one should consult an experienced family law attorney. An attorney can provide valuable information on the steps that need to be taken to proceed forward. New Jersey residents who wish to divorce may have to deal with some delays due to the shortages of available judges, but their attorneys can help them do everything possible to get the process started.