West Caldwell Divorce Lawyer
The legal end of a marriage is never a simple thing, even if both parties agree that separation is the best option for everyone. A divorce can become more complicated and emotional if your spouse does not agree with your desire for a divorce, or if there are any disputes about issues like division of marital property, support obligations, and custody of children.
Resolving issues like these in an amicable and productive manner could be easier with support from one of our West Caldwell divorce lawyers. No matter your specific situation, an experienced family attorney could be the ally you need to ensure ending your marriage has the best and an a mutually agreeable resolution possible.
How State Law Governs Divorce Proceedings
According to New Jersey Revised Statutes §2A:34-10, courts only have jurisdiction to issue divorce decrees for couples in which at least one party has been a New Jersey resident for one year or more before the filing of the Complaint for Divorce. An exception to this rule is for fault divorces based on adultery, in which case the requirement is for at least one spouse to be a current resident of New Jersey without any consideration of how long they have lived here.
On that note, there are numerous fault-based grounds for divorce established under N.J.R.S. §2A:34-2 besides adultery, including:
- Abandonment for one year or more
- Extreme physical or mental cruelty
- Continuous physical separation for one and a half years or more with no hope of reconciliation
- Severe drug or alcohol addiction for one year or more
- Institutionalization for two years or more due to mental illness
- Imprisonment for one and a half years or more
- Non-consensual “deviant sexual conduct” committed by the non-filing spouse against the filing spouse
- “Irreconcilable differences” for six months or more
The last of these grounds is commonly referred to as “no-fault” divorce, as it does not require either spouse to specifically hold the other at fault for causing the breakdown of their marriage. A West Caldwell attorney could explain options for fault or no-fault divorce in greater detail during a confidential consultation.
Basic Procedures for Ending a Marriage in West Caldwell
Individuals who meet the applicable residency requirement and have valid fault or no-fault grounds for a divorce may formally begin the legal process. This begins by filling out the appropriate documentation, which may include a Complaint for Divorce, Summons, and various certifications regarding matters like dispute resolution alternatives and insurance coverage. The filing party must then submit copies of these documents to the Family Division court clerk’s office within their county of residence, which for West Caldwell would be Essex County, and pay necessary filing fees.
Once the court files and processes the aforementioned documents, the filing party must ensure copies of the documents are personally served upon their spouse.. The recipient spouse has 35 days to answer the complaint, which they can do in a few ways depending on whether they want to dispute any aspect of the marriage dissolution. An attorney in West Caldwell could explain all these steps in further detail and offer clarification about what may happen if the non-filing person objects to their spouse filing for divorce or fails to respond.
Contact a West Caldwell Divorce Attorney Today
Ending a marriage can be a tricky and an emotionally fraught process no matter how amicable the separating parties are with each other. The longer two people have been married, the more complex their divorce is likely to be. In virtually any situation, support and guidance from our seasoned attorneys can be crucial to ensuring your divorce is fair and equitable.
Working with our West Caldwell divorce lawyers could make a huge difference in how the process goes for you, your spouse, and your entire family. Call our office today to learn more.