The First Step: Filing for Divorce

The First Step: Filing for Divorce

Making the difficult decision to divorce marks the beginning of an often emotional period in someone’s life. Some spouses decide they want a divorce only to realize they have a lot of work in front of them. In the face of such an endeavor as divorce, many don’t know where to start.

Even if you choose to work with an experienced New Jersey family law attorney on your divorce, which is highly recommended, you should familiarize yourself with the basics of the filing process as this is the first step to take.

Filing for divorce in New Jersey can be relatively straightforward. You do not need to have already made all the decisions to open a divorce case. But you will need to decide whether you want to file for a no-fault or a fault divorce. Many couples choose to file for a no-fault divorce, which lessens some of the burden of proving who was at fault for the dissolution of the marriage. You will also have to have a general idea of what type of relief you want from the court.

If you are the one filing the divorce, you are considered the plaintiff. As the plaintiff, you must draft several documents to file with the court and pay a filing fee to start your case. These include:

  • Complaint
  • Certification of Verification and Non-Collusion
  • Certification of Insurance
  • Certification of Notification of Complementary Dispute Resolution Alternatives
  • Family Part Case Information Statement
  • Confidential Litigant Information Sheet
  • Request for Waiver of Fees, Supporting Certification, and Order Waiving Fees (if you cannot afford the filing fee), and
  • A self-addressed stamped envelope (for the court to return your filed copies)

You must file these documents with the court clerk and distribute the copies of the filed documents to others involved in the case, such as your spouse and his or her attorney.

Every divorce is unique, so take these steps as a starting point. Speak with an experienced New Jersey matrimonial attorney if you have any questions about what to do next in your case. How you proceed will depend on what type of divorce you are filing for (i.e. fault or no-fault) and what kind of relief you are seeking (i.e. alimony, custody, etc.). An attorney can also help you draft and compile the above documents to ensure they are filled out properly and they will be accepted by the court.

If you have questions about filing for a New Jersey divorce, the Williams Law Group, LLC is here to help. The experienced matrimonial and family law attorneys at Williams Law Group, LLC can help you navigate the filing process and ensure you get the relief you are seeking. Located in Short Hills, New Jersey, Williams Law Group, LLC provides compassionate and dedicated legal services to Union, Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Morris, Monmouth, and Middlesex counties, and the surrounding areas. Our knowledgeable attorneys handle divorce and family law, child custody, and child abuse/neglect cases. Call our office at (908) 810-1083, email us at, or contact us through our confidential online form to schedule a consultation and ultimately get you connected with an experienced New Jersey divorce and child custody attorney.


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