Choosing to move on with your life without the person you took your wedding vows with can be difficult. The legal proceeding and form filling can be tricky for someone who has no knowledge of the system. That is why seeking support from a lawyer or attorney is important. However, is it mandatory?
The divorce process is also referred to as Dissolution in New Jersey. This is because the legal procedure of getting a divorce is quite similar to getting a domestic partnership or civil union dissolution. NJ’s divorce laws apply to the couple if either one of the partners lives inside the state.
Partners in marriage, domestic partnership, or civil union can start filing for divorce on behalf of the couple. If you began your domestic partnership in New Jersey and have moved to a new state, you will have to return to complete the process.
New Jersey offers an offline divorce filing service to couples seeking help. Furthermore, there are two ways to get legally divorced in NJ: via Contested or Uncontested Divorce. The former is followed when both the spouses fail to agree on their division of assets, child custody, and more.
However, this is not the best choice for couples getting a divorce without a legal advisor’s support as the process requires making major decisions on the court’s orders. This makes Uncontested Divorce a better option.
Uncontested Divorce Process for DIY Divorces
Are you wondering whether you can apply for a divorce without a lawyer? The answer is Yes. In NJ, couples can file for an uncontested divorce if they agree to the details of division, custody, and maintenance and want to avoid getting stuck in a lengthy court proceeding.
In the uncontested process, the couple creates a settlement agreement in which they reach a compromise on all issues related to their divorce. It can include alimony distribution, property division, and parenting responsibilities. Since this is based on the support of both spouses, a lawyer is not necessarily needed. It can be achieved after analyzing the post-divorce situation of each spouse.
The couple signs the agreement before they apply for divorce to show compliance. This will save time and hassle for the couple while the case moves through the court.
You and your partner can take your time reaching a mutually beneficial compromise without having to worry about approaching deadlines or lack of support from an attorney. Moreover, it will also help save money since hiring a legal advisor is quite expensive. However, there are a few steps in this process that you have to consider.
The first is that you will have to file an uncontested No-Fault divorce petition in New Jersey. This will require you to gather all the proper paperwork to support your financial claims, draft a marital settlement, and complete all the court documents to start the divorce process. The uncontested No-Fault divorce is available for couples facing:
Separation after Marriage
Irreparable Marital Breakdown
As mentioned earlier, the couple has to evaluate and negotiate on property division, division of assets and debts, child visitation and custody, and more. Once settled, they can submit their case as an uncontested divorce to the court. The petitioner (the partner filing the divorce papers) is responsible for sharing all court filings with the respondent (the other spouse).
Applying for Online Divorce
Digitization has improved the functionality of various industries and organizations. This includes all governmental and legal institutions. Furthermore, it has also made it possible for couples to apply for divorce over the internet. This way, partners with busy work lives can avoid getting caught up in court visits and meetings.
Additionally, there are numerous online tools available that can assist you in making this process easier. Online Divorce is the best option for couples looking for a DIY Divorce. Couples with mutual consent from New Jersey can start the process of filing for divorce online.
This is also a cost-effective budget-friendly option. It gets you a quick resolution without having to spend a lot on legal advisors. The process will be completed once the submitted documents are reviewed and approved by the appointed judge.
Generally, an uncontested online divorce does not require attending prolonged court hearings, so it is easier for the couple to keep going with their regular routines without disruptions. However, there are a few requirements for filing for divorce in New Jersey. They include:
The Petitioner or Respondent must have lived in NJ for at least 12 months before filing the divorce.
However, if the grounds for divorce are related to adultery, the residency period is not needed. However, you will have to add an affidavit stating that one of the partners is still living in New Jersey while applying.
Couples must file a Complaint about Divorce Form at the County Clerk’s Office. It should be done in the State Court of the residing region.
You will also have to attach 3 copies of each of the following documents:
Divorce Filing Letter or Complaint Form
Notification of Complementary Dispute Resolution
Family Part Case Information Statement
Confidential Litigant Information Sheet
Lastly, you will have to pay a filing fee when submitting the documentation.
Grounds for Divorce in New Jersey
In New Jersey, couples can file for a no-fault divorce without an attorney. However, the court only accepts this type of case in the following situations:
The couple has been living separately for around 18 months before applying.
The couple is experiencing irreconcilable differences. Here, the parties may be living together and file for divorce if they can show irreconcilable differences existed for 6 months or more.
Fault-based grounds for divorce approved by New Jersey law include:
Deviant sexual behavior
Extreme Physical or Mental Cruelty
History with Mental Illness
Deliberate Desertion for a minimum of one year
Please note that fault-based grounds for divorce will require proof in the court, making them more challenging. As such, legal representation is recommended.
How to file and complete a DIY Divorce?
If you and your partner have decided to move on with having a ‘Do It Yourself’ Divorce, you will have to follow these guidelines:
Check whether you and your spouse qualify to apply for an uncontested divorce. This includes evaluating whether the couple is eligible according to the state requirements.
Negotiate a settlement agreement with your spouse that covers all terms of the divorce.
Double-check that you and your partner have filled and signed all the forms required. Make sure there are no mistakes in any of the documents or forms, as it could lead to the court rejecting the application.
If you need further support and want to avoid paying for a lawyer, you can search for answers on the official state court website.
Furthermore, you can use the website to get access to the required forms for filing for divorce. It will provide you with a list of documents that you might have to submit.
The website also offers guidance and documents for child-related matters, including child custody, visitation, and additional support. And you can find information about parenting classes.
Couples that need assistance completing the forms for their uncontested divorce can receive affordable assistance using online divorce services like https://newjerseyonlinedivorce.com/. Many reliable online platforms offer divorce document preparation at low prices. It is easy, convenient, and fast. You provide the basic details of your case in an online questionnaire, and the platform does the rest. The company will select and complete all of the required documents for your case, usually in just a couple of days.
Many couples think that without an advisor or lawyer’s professional assistance, the divorce process can be challenging. However, with the right support, a DIY Divorce can be an easy, affordable, and efficient process. But, there are a few reasons why paying a legal professional is a good choice.
Why have a Lawyer when filing for divorce in NJ?
Here is why a couple needs a strong lawyer to help them out in the process of getting a divorce:
Expensive but Effective: While using an attorney can be a costly investment, it does deliver a fruitful result. You will not have to worry about getting the paperwork ready or getting the short end of the property division stick. The appointed official will get it done for you and fight for your best interests.
Avoiding Mistakes: Any small mistake in the forms could lead to the judge rejecting the document. This means that even if you and your spouse have agreed on getting an uncontested divorce, you will have to start over again. Having a professional on-board can help reduce the odds of making a mistake.
Rational Thinking: Divorce, as everyone knows, is a big emotional step in anyone’s life. Therefore, having the objective support of a lawyer can help you avoid making hasty decisions.
Getting a Divorce can be an overwhelming, tiresome, expensive, and time-consuming journey. Whether dividing assets or deciding on child custody, getting an advisor’s support is not required. If appropriately planned, couples can get over this obstacle together. They can apply for an uncontested No-Fault divorce or send their application online with the required documents.
Chrissy Ryland - I'm a freelance writer and blogger from Northern California. I grew up loving all things entertainment and travel and now I am blessed with a career that lets me write about both of those topics along with many others. For inquiries about a story you think I might want to cover, please contact me at email@example.com