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Starting The Divorce Process In New Jersey

woman crying

The prospect of divorce can be frightening. Such important issues as finding a new home, dividing up assets, coming to agreement on who the children will live with, visitation rights and how much alimony and child support will be paid, all need to be carefully addressed. These life altering issues can make the process seem intimidating. When a couple makes the difficult decision to file for divorce in New Jersey, there are many steps that must be taken to start the divorce process. It will make the divorce much easier if all the steps are properly followed and potential mistakes are avoided.

Documents Necessary In A Divorce

When filing for a divorce, there are certain documents that have to be filed with the State Of New Jersey. Those documents are a Complaint for Divorce, a Confidential Litigant Information Sheet, a Certificate of Insurance Coverage, and a CDR Certification.

The Complaint for Divorce is the document that provides the names and addresses of all parties in the proceeding. Also included in the complaint for divorce are the date and location of the marriage, whether there was a civil or religious ceremony performed, the dates of birth of the children of the marriage, whether they were born as part of the marriage or adopted, as well as a complete listing of any prior legal proceedings that may have taken place during the marriage. One of the most important aspects of the complaint for divorce is that it states with specificity the items that you are asking the court to award such as alimony, child custody and child support.

The Confidential Litigant Information Sheet provides the dates of birth and social security numbers of the parties, the children's social security numbers, driver's license numbers and other vital information.

The Certificate of Insurance Coverage provides the information for home, life, medical, auto insurance and any other insurance either party might have. It also has the date of expiration for the policies and date of renewal. In addition, this document will state whether the policies have been changed within 90 days of the divorce filing. It is required that all insurances that are in effect at the time of the filing of the complaint for divorce remain in effect until such time as the divorce proceeding is concluded.

The CDR Certification is a document signed by the attorney and the client. It verifies that the client has been advised as to certain resolution options that can help to mitigate the costs of a full-blown divorce.

Serving Of Divorce Documents

On television, the serving of divorce documents is portrayed as a dramatic moment rife with tension. In reality, it's a clerical act in which a process server, on behalf of the petitioner for divorce, brings the documents to the other spouse who will be known as the defendant. This is done at the person's home or place of employment and is not executed in a manner that is designed to embarrass the defendant in the divorce action. In many instances, this is not even a necessary part of the process as the defendant has the option of simply signing a statement acknowledging that the divorce documents have been received.

Following the receipt of the divorce documents, the defendant will file a response with the court. If the defendant chooses to respond via appearance, this is an acknowledgment that the complaint was received and that the defendant will participate in the proceeding.

The defendant can reply with an answer. An answer is when the defendant either admits or denies the claims that are made by the claimant in the divorce proceeding.

The defendant also has the option of filing a counterclaim. A counterclaim is a complaint on the part of the defendant. Much as the defendant was required to reply to the complainant's allegations as grounds for divorce, so to will the complainant have to respond to the defendant's allegations in the counterclaim. It is not required that the plaintiff and the defendant have separate reasons for wanting the divorce. After the filings are completed, the discovery phase of the divorce proceeding will start.

Contact An Experienced New Jersey Divorce Lawyer

If you or a loved one are considering a divorce or have already begun the process of obtaining a divorce in Monmouth County, Ocean County or anywhere else in New Jersey, it's important to have qualified legal advice. Contact the Law Firm of Villani & DeLuca, P.C. in Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey to receive a FREE evaluation of your case.

Starting the Divorce Process is never an easy thing and there are many factors that must be considered. The last thing any person who is going through both the emotional upheaval as well as the life-changing aspects of a divorce needs to worry about is whether they have filed the proper legal papers or made a mistake somewhere during the process. This is why it's imperative to have an attorney to assist you. Villani & DeLuca, P.C. are experienced family law attorneys who know the ins-and-outs of the divorce process. All of the divorce attorneys at Villani & DeLuca, P.C. have previously worked in the Family Court System, and they are intimately familiar with how to advise you through this process.

Other Resources In Your New Jersey Divorce

No Fault Divorce In New Jersey 

Asset Protection During Divorce In NJ 

Child Support In New Jersey

Is Do-It-Yourself Divorce In NJ For You?

Are you ready to start your divorce? Call 732-751-4991 today for a FREE consultation with one of the divorce attorneys of Villani & DeLuca, P.C. Our firm has represented clients in Toms River, Brick, Asbury Park, Long Branch and across New Jersey. 

Vincent DeLuca, Esq.

As a founding partner at Villani & DeLuca, Vincent DeLuca is one of only a few Certified Matrimonial Law Attorney in Ocean County, New Jersey. Mr. DeLuca has helped many clients navigate the delicate details of their own divorce. Mr. DeLuca is also a trained divorce mediator and collaborative divorce attorney. Call today at (732) 751-4991 to speak to Mr. DeLuca or one of our experienced NJ Divorce Lawyers.