Divorce laws vary from state to state so it’s important for New Jersey residents to understand the laws before filing for divorce. Knowing more about the process and about what to expect can help one prepare for the inevitable changes that come during and after a divorce. Dissolving a marriage can mean changes to one’s financial situation, adjusting to a new parenting plan, and moving to a new home. Understanding one’s rights and responsibilities can provide a sense of confidence while navigating a divorce.
Filing for divorce
In New Jersey, divorce is legally referred to as dissolution. Either party may file for divorce as long as one party lives in the state for the requisite period of time. When filing for divorce, one must state a reason or grounds, which may include separation, extreme cruelty, or another legally recognized reason. It’s also possible to cite irreconcilable differences as the ground for divorce. The person filing for the divorce is called the plaintiff while the other party is referred to as the defendant.
Once the fees are paid and the complaint is on record, the plaintiff is responsible for serving the defendant. This can be done in several ways, but it must be done within 30 days of filing and proof that the defendant has been served must be provided to the court. Couples may choose to use mediation to resolve issues or go through the court system to have divorce matters settled.
Legal assistance is important
It’s not uncommon to feel many different emotions when deciding to file for divorce. Many people feel relief but are uncertain about the upcoming changes. It’s advisable to seek legal advice once one decides that divorce is the right path. A family law attorney can provide guidance on how to proceed forward with the divorce process.