Filing for a divorce differs by state in the US. The divorce filing procedure in New Jersey has some distinct requirements from other states.
This article is part of our series on how to file for divorce in different states. It’s a question that a lot of people seeking a divorce want to know. And, when it comes to filing for a divorce in the U.S. the process differs on a state by state basis.
If you reside in New Jersey and want to know about how to file for a divorce, the information provided in this article will be very helpful.
How To File For Divorce In NJ
The standard procedure to file for divorce in New Jersey includes these four steps:
- Meet the residency requirements
- Prepare your forms
- File for a divorce
- Serve your forms
We will explore these steps in further detail below.
Meet The Residency Requirements
To begin, ensure that you meet New Jersey’s residency requirements. To file for divorce in this state, at least one spouse must have been a resident of the county in which they file for at least twelve months.
Prepare Your Forms
Second, prepare the forms that the state requires. The forms that you need to complete in New Jersey are the summons, complaint for divorce, and potentially others.
The first form to complete is often the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage form.
Depending on the county requirements where you or your spouse live, you may need to provide additional forms.
File For A Divorce
Third, file for the divorce in a courthouse in the county where you or your spouse resides. After filing for your forms, you are asked to pay a court fee.
The average filing fee in New Jersey is $300. If you cannot afford the filing fee, we suggest that you ask for a fee waiver.
If you are the supposed defendant and your spouse filed a divorce against you, you need to respond as quickly as you can. Otherwise, your spouse can get a default/uncontested divorce.
Serve Your Forms
Next, you serve your divorce filing to your spouse. There are multiple ways in which you can do so, but these three are most common:
- Through your sheriff deputy
- Through a private process service
- You might deliver directly to your spouse if they sign an Acceptance of Service
Once this delivery is completed, the spouse served has 35 days to respond.
However, if your spouse is in jail, deployed in the military, or you cannot locate them, you may have to try another way of serving your forms. Check in the court clerk for support if you are dealing with one of these situations.
Types of Divorce in NJ
In New Jersey, there are two types of divorces: absolute and limited.
Absolute divorce legally ends a marriage, meaning all your issues are settled. On the other hand, a limited divorce is not legally binding, and may settle a smaller scope of issues.
There must be a legal ground for a divorce. You can file for a divorce for the following fault grounds:
- Insanity with at least 24 consecutive months confinement in a mental institution, hospital, or other institution because of insanity
- Intentional Desertion of at least 1 year
- Abuse and cruel treatment for at least 3 months before filing
- Felony conviction of at least 18 months sentenced
- Drug or alcohol abuse
- Deviant sexual conduct
New Jersey is also a no-fault divorce state. A no-fault divorce can be filed by stating that the marriage is irretrievably broken.
In New Jersey, there are 2 types of no-fault divorce. The first is a no-fault divorce based on separation if you and your spouse are living apart for at least 18 months.
The second type of no-fault divorce is when you and your spouse have experienced irreconcilable differences for at least 6 months prior to filing.
We hope that the information provided above clarifies the process of filing for divorce in the state of New Jersey.