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Hackensack Divorce Process

Hackensack Divorce Process

When you are facing potential dissolution of your marriage, civil union, or domestic partnership, a lawyer from Moskowitz Law Group can help guide you through the Hackensack divorce process.

There are several important factors to consider when making the decision to end a marriage or civil union. A seasoned divorce attorney can also help an individual avoid the risks of self-representation, including lack of familiarity with Court protocols and procedures.

How to Initiate the Divorce Process

Either partner in a Hackensack marriage or civil union can initiate the divorce process. To begin the process, an individual must file a complaint for divorce. The party that initially files the complaint is considered the plaintiff in the dissolution proceedings.

According to N.J. Court Rule 5:7-1, the partner commencing the action must file the complaint in the county in they lived. If one spouse or the couple no longer live in the state, the process may vary depending on where they currently reside and how long they have resided there.

The state also has a residency requirement for divorce proceedings under N.J.S.A. 2A:34-10. The rule requires that either party in a divorce proceeding be a bona fide New Jersey resident for at least one year immediately before filing the complaint for divorce. There is an exception to the one-year residency requirement in cases where a spouse seeks a fault-based divorce based on adultery.

In addition to the complaint, a person must file a certification of insurance coverage, confidential litigant information sheet, and certain other certifications. A party filing a complaint for divorce must also pay related filing fees.

No-Fault or Fault-Based Grounds for Divorce

A party filing the complaint for divorce in Hackensack must give a reason for seeking a divorce, also known as grounds for divorce. The State allows both fault-based divorces and no-fault divorces. A no-fault divorce is when a person seeks a divorce based on irreconcilable differences rather than their spouse being at fault for the divorce. A fault-based divorce is when a person seeks a divorce for a specific reason.

To pursue a no-fault divorce due to irreconcilable differences, the couple must have experienced irreconcilable differences causing a breakdown of the marriage for at least six months, according to N.J.S.A. 2A:34-2(i). Additionally, the parties can pursue a no-fault divorce if they have lived separately for 18 months with no reasonable chance of reconciliation, under N.J.S.A. 2A:34-2(d).

While it is not necessary to have a reason to seek divorce beyond irreconcilable differences, the state outlines a number of reasons for a fault-based divorce in N.J.S.A. 2A:34-2, including:

  • Adultery
  • Willful desertion exceeding 12 months
  • Physical or mental cruelty
  • Drug or alcohol addiction for 12 straight months
  • Mental illness requiring over 24 straight months of institutionalization
  • Imprisonment for 18 consecutive months
  • Deviant sexual behavior

If a party is seeking a divorce due to fault, they must provide evidence to the Court to justify their claims. An attorney can consult with a client about the best evidence to support a claim. Due to the need to provide such evidence to prove a claim for divorce often increasing legal fees and prolonging the divorce process, most people file on no-fault grounds even if they have the evidence to prove that their spouse is at fault for the divorce.

Contested vs. Uncontested Divorces

Hackensack divorce proceedings are either contested or uncontested. In uncontested divorces, the parties agree on the major issues that can arise during divorce proceedings and resolve them in a signed, written agreement before filing a complaint for divorce.

Contested divorces occur when the parties disagree on major issues such as the alleged grounds for divorce, custody and visitation rights, child support, alimony, and the distribution of marital assets.

To prevent a prolonged contested divorce, parties are encouraged to submit to mediation or settlement conferences before starting divorce proceedings to attempt to reach a settlement agreement. Each partner can have their lawyer present during negotiations. A judge will still have to enter a judgment of divorce incorporating the agreement after formal divorce proceedings have commenced.

Spouses are required to prepare a case information statement in the contested divorce process, which discloses relevant financial information including income, living expenses, assets, and debts.

During the contested divorce process, the Court will also schedule necessary discovery exchange, conferences, mediations, or other events to assist the parties with coming to an agreement. If the parties cannot reach a settlement agreement, a judge will make a final determination after a divorce trial.

Speak with a Hackensack Attorney Today About the Divorce Process

You should contact Moskowitz Law Group when preparing to navigate the Hackensack divorce process. A family law attorney can advise you on specific filing requirements, fees, and other documentation necessary for your divorce proceedings. Obtaining counsel can help protect your legal rights, ability to see your children, and finances through divorce proceedings.

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Integrity

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Diplomacy

When you choose to work with us, you will receive the one-on-one personal service that you need.

Empathy

We understand that you may be suffering greatly from this process, and we'll provide the highest level of care and attention.

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You need representation on your side that will fight to minimize any adverse effect of a verdict in your case.

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We limit our practice solely to family law so that we may provide a higher quality product to our clients.

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