Information About Traditional Divorce Litigation

Going through a divorce is a difficult journey, often putting physical, psychological, financial and emotional strain. Perhaps this describes you.

Added to those stresses is the legal process itself; for most of my clients, it is foreign territory. I understand, because I have been successfully guiding people like you through divorce for more than 10 years.

If you are seeking a divorce and would like to talk to an experienced divorce attorney, call me, attorney Sarina Gianna, at the Law Office of Sarina Gianna, LLC, in Ocean County at 732-451-6849. You can also contact my office online to schedule a consultation today.

Divorce In New Jersey

The divorce law in New Jersey is divided into two basic areas:

  1. The process of obtaining the divorce
  2. The laws that apply to the divorce issues, such as custody, support and property distribution

Obtaining A Divorce

The divorce process begins by the filing of a divorce complaint alleging one of the causes of an action for a divorce recognized in New Jersey.

The divorce process ends when a judgment is secured through family court. This judgment usually contains an agreement that is worked out between the parties, whether through negotiations, litigation, mediation, collaborative practice or arbitration.

This is a very simple outline and it is not intended to give you legal instructions. Because divorce is so unique and personal, it is wise to talk with a New Jersey divorce lawyer about your particular situation before you file.

Laws That Apply To Divorce Issues

The New Jersey Legislature has passed statutes that provide many of the general principles for addressing the issues in a divorce. Here are some of them:

  • There are child support guidelines that apply to families who make less than $187,200 net (after taxes) per year.
  • There are no guidelines for alimony, but there are general factors that are to be considered by the court.
  • As an equitable distribution state, New Jersey has no automatic exclusion or equal division of assets and liabilities acquired during the marriage.
  • In determining marital property distribution, the court considers a number of factors to arrive at a fair division.

The Traditional Divorce Litigation Process

Knowing what is going to happen next can help alleviate your stress. That is why I take care to make certain you are informed and involved at every step of the divorce process, including:

  • Initial pleadings: Filing the complaint with the superior court, this document includes grounds for divorce. The other party can either file an answer or counterclaim, or seek a default judgment, depending on the situation.
  • Temporary orders: While the divorce is pending, pendente lite orders may be requested to address issues like child custody and child support.
  • Discovery: The process of obtaining important information about the case from the other side or third parties. Information can include bank records and other financial documents, as well as the identities of witnesses.
  • Parent educational seminar and custody mediation: These resources are designed to keep parents focused on the rights of the children and minimize the effect of conflict on the children. If child custody is not resolved by agreement, mediation is required prior to any trial.
  • Early settlement panel: Prior to setting a trial date, the parties must appear in a matrimonial early settlement panel in an attempt to address disputed economic issues.
  • Trial: If the parties cannot reach agreements on the issues, the disputed issues will be decided by a judge at trial. The judge's decision could be further subject to an appeal.
  • Post-divorce steps: I frequently assist with modification of orders when the need arises to change child custody, child support and other issues.

This list is a very basic outline of the divorce litigation process in New Jersey. In my experience, I have found that there are many twists and turns along the way, so throughout the divorce litigation process, I remain at my client's side, guiding and giving counsel.

Uncertain about the divorce litigation process? Talk to me now. Call 732-451-6849 or use my online form to get in touch.