E351 1. Divorce in NJ
2. If not Enough Breath Supplied on Alcotest, Officer Must Read Additional Warnings.
3. Next Charity Races
4. Community Events1. Divorce in NJ
When individuals have family problems, family and service groups can often offer advice and help resolve problems. If separation or divorce is unavoidable, you should see an attorney for advice on how to protect your rights.
Areas to Discuss at Initial Interview
When you first meet with your attorney, you should discuss and ask questions regarding the following:
-Resolving marital problems
-Financial concerns involving child support, alimony, spousal support, pendente lite support and equitable distribution of property acquired during the marriage
-Determining child custody and visitation
-Grounds for divorce
-Domestic Violence Act and Restraining Order
-Legal Rights and procedures in court
-Retaining the attorney and payment for legal services and costs
Emergency Decision By The Court
If necessary the Superior Court can make temporary decisions regarding:
-Restraints to keep a violent spouse from harassing and interfering with your life
-Occupancy of your house, apartment or condominium
-Temporary custody and visitation of minor child
-Temporary financial support for children and spouse
-Injunction against disposal of personal property, real estate and other assets
-Other temporary orders in the discretion of the Judge
Grounds For Divorce
Under NJ laws a divorce may be granted for any of the following causes:
-Willful and continued desertion for 12 or more months, either physical desertion or refusal to have sexual relations with the other spouse may establish this cause.
-Extreme cruelty, including any physical or mental cruelty that endangers your safety or health, or which makes continued living together improper or unreasonable.
-Separation, if separate and different places of living have been maintained for a least 18 consecutive months or more and there is no reasonable prospect of reconciliation.
-"No-Fault" is the familiar term for a divorce based on the separation for at least 18 months. Neither side needs to set forth allegations of fault or abuse. Court appearances are still required.
-Voluntarily-induced addiction or habituation to a narcotic drug or habitual drunkenness for 12 or more consecutive months.
-Mental illness which resulted in the spouse being kept in an institution for 24 or more
consecutive months after the marriage was begun.
-Imprisonment of the spouse for 18 or more consecutive months after the marriage was begun. ( This cause for divorce can be charged after the defendant's release from prison only if the husband and wife have not resumed living together after imprisonment of the spouse ended.)
What The Defendant Spouse Must Do
If served with a Complaint or demand letter from an attorney, you should immediately consult an attorney for advice. If you contest any of the statements in the complaint, you must have a formal pleading called an "answer" filed on your behalf. You can contest alimony, custody, child support and/or equitable distribution of property. You can also file your own complaint called a "Counter-Claim." Even if you do not object to the divorce, you should speak with your attorney because other issues could effect you for many years in the future. If an answer is not filed, a default will be entered against you and a judge will make a decision without your opinion. Thereafter, you will bound by the decision of the judge. Failure to obey all portions of the court order can result in financial penalties and arrest.
Case Information Statement
If child support, alimony and equitable distribution are in issue, both spouses must fill out a Case Information Statement (CIS). This demands comprehensive information regarding your weekly, prior year and current assets, and liabilities. The court will use financial information contained in the CIS to make a determination as to the amount of child support.
In addition to the CIS, in a contested matter, Court rules permit the attorneys to require the parties to supply written answers to interrogatories (questions), depositions, (verbal answers), produce documents or admit details.
Property Settlement Agreement
The parties may agree on signing a written agreement dividing marital property and setting forth support payments. A written agreement can be made prior to the complaint or pending trial. The agreement can provide for custody, visitation, alimony, medical expenses and insurance coverage.
After a husband and wife separate, and especially if they intend to divorce, it is desirable for them to enter into a written contract to provide for:
-division of real estate and personal property;
-support, if any, payable to the dependent spouse and children; responsibility for debts and legal fees;
-health and life insurance arrangements;
-custody and visitation of children.