Legal Guide

How long does it take to get divorced in NJ?

In many cases, a divorce is not the happiest thing to have to do. Even in amicable divorces, the people involved are still having to end something that, presumably, started out happier than it ended. Not only that, but the children in the most amicable of divorces are going to struggle to some degree as a result. One of the worst parts of the actual divorce process, however, is just how long it may take. The longer the divorce, the more you have to interact with someone you may want to get away from, the more you have to spend, both financially and in your emotional energy. For those in New Jersey, we will look at how things are handled in the state and how long the process ultimately takes to become completed.

How long does the divorce process take in New Jersey?

The divorce process has a number of things that all parties involved have to take into account when it comes to finalizing the process. In a divorce case where both parties agree with each other on what they want out of it, the process should not be too terribly long. However, it is not going to be particularly short, either. No matter how amicable it is, there is going to be a process that you have to follow, and there is a minimum amount of time that will be involved to get the process finished. In that kind of situation, you can expect the process to take anywhere from three to four months, although an amicable divorce may take longer than that depending on if there are certain variables that come up. Now, this is the kind of divorce that a couple is ultimately going to want, one where the parties are in agreement and there is no contest as to the terms of the divorce. Unfortunately, that is not always going to be the case, and is indeed often not going to be the case. Divorces can be downright ugly, with one or more parties having a degree of animosity for one another. In fact, they may very well dispute the conditions their would-be ex-partner proposes purely out of spite for them.

In the event that a divorce case is fault-based, the case is going to be much longer. Whether it is an adultery case, cruelty towards the other partner, desertion, or any number of other behaviors that one may classify as malicious, apathetic, or otherwise negligent. The major complication in this is that, in almost every case, any accusations made against one party is going to be rebuffed by that party. As a result, you are going to have to provide evidence of what you are claiming about the other party, and they will in turn provide their own evidence. And on top of these pieces of evidence and the arguments made around them, you are going to have to leave the interpretation of those things up to a judge, and hope that what you have provided proves compelling to the judge. On the opposite end of a fault-based divorce case, a "no-fault" divorce case requires that you have irreconcilable differences that have persisted for a minimum of six months. Once this has been established, a no-fault divorce case can be handled. The waiting period, however, does not apply in the event that the marriage has been going on for less than six months, or both parties have been living away from each other for a minimum of 18 months.

One of the major causes for a divorce case to be elongated, regardless of whether it is fault or no fault, is the presence of kids between the two of you. Basically, if there are kids involved, no matter what, you are expected to figure out custody. A judge will likely have to rule on the ultimate custody decision, based on a number of different factors. For example, the judge will factor in who wants custody, how much care each of the parties involved is capable of providing to their children, and other important factors. This applies to other related issues, such as visitation and child support, which can be rather tense subjects. Not everyone is going to want their former partner to be able to have access to their children, and most people, particularly those in a non-amicable situation, are not exactly excited to pay things like alimony or child support.

A contentious divorce will also ensure that you are going to be spending more time in court due to the fact that you are likely going to have more trial days. And inevitably, you are going to have to "compete" with others on the docket for the time of the judge presiding over your case. In order to deal with divorce trials that are entirely too dragged out, New Jersey has taken efforts to keep them from getting out of hand, which has helped to ensure that even the worst divorce case takes only around 12 months, give or take. Divorce proceedings are a difficult and stressful process even when they go as smoothly as possible, so a good lawyer who can keep things staying smooth is vital.

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