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7 Steps of the Divorce Process in NJ

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May 22, 2023

7 Steps of the Divorce Process in NJ

A Divorce Guide to the 7 Steps

Your relationship with your spouse is not working out. You have tried everything, but nothing seems to fix the problems you are experiencing. So now, what can you do? Is divorce an option, and if so, what can you expect?

Divorce can be extremely overwhelming as you must divide marital assets and debts. In addition, it will be more complex if you have children, as you must establish alimony and child support in addition to determining custody arrangements.

For some couples, divorce can happen quickly without discord. However, divorce can be long, challenging and quite frustrating for others.

If you understand beforehand what to expect, it can ease the stress and make the transition easier. To achieve this, we discuss the seven standard steps of the divorce process in New Jersey.

Before following these steps, note that New Jersey residency is required by either you or your spouse, who must be a New Jersey resident for at least six months before filing a complaint for divorce. However, other requirements may apply if one of you is in the military and stationed in New Jersey.

7 Steps

Step 1: File a Divorce Complaint

You begin with filing a divorce complaint with the court. This will include the grounds for divorce, the names and addresses of the spouses, children, the date and location of the marriage, and other pertinent information. Knowing your grounds for divorce options and determining them can help pave the way for a more cooperative divorce negotiation process.

To do this most efficiently, scheduling a consultation with a highly skilled divorce attorney is essential and will have significant advantages. The divorce attorney will do all the necessary paperwork and filing. In addition, they will put a solid legal strategy in place to help you get the best results possible.

Step 2: The Spouse Will Be Served with the Divorce Complaint

The spouse will be served divorce complaint papers by the sheriff, via certified mail if you are on relatively good terms or by their attorney. They have thirty-five days to respond in one of the three ways listed below.

  • File a general appearance where they may object to the divorce terms regarding support, custody, and other related issues.
  • File an answer stating their agreement or disagreement with the statements in the complaint.
  • Fila a counterclaim stating different additional grounds for the divorce.

Step 3: File a CIS

Both parties must file a Case Information Statement (CIS). This statement will include their financial information. Again, your attorney can help you with this vital filing.

Step 4: Early Settlement Panel

With the assistance of each party’s attorneys trying to settle early undoubtedly has its benefits. Participation by both parties in discussing all the legal issues and how to resolve them is critical; then, if both parties agree, the court will grant the divorce. If the parties cannot agree, then the divorce process continues.

Step 5: Mediation

Suppose the parties do not accept the recommendations during the early settlement process. The next step is mediation. During mediation, the parties will meet in an informal setting, remotely or in person, with a neutral professional to guide them, negotiate and find solutions to agree.

Step 6: The Courthouse

If the parties cannot agree during mediation, the next step will be to go to the courthouse to settle before going to trial.

Step 7: Trial

When all the above steps have failed, the last and final step is going to trial. Now the court will decide. When the trial is over, a “Final Judgement of Divorce” will be issued to both parties.

Ready To Start the Divorce Process and Get the Best Results?

The Dalena & Bosh family law divorce attorneys are here to help you from the beginning to the end and throughout the 7 steps of the divorce process if necessary.

Divorce can be challenging, especially when the parties cannot agree. Let us help you streamline your divorce and get the best results. We are here for you. Contact Dalena & Bosch for expert legal representation.


Elizabeth Dalena helped me through a very difficult divorce and I felt working with her was like working with a friend you can trust! Beth, thank you for your professionalism and helping me through this difficult time.
Michael Mastrogiacomo - March 2020
If you’ve been searching for an honest and empathetic attorney...someone you can trust while you navigate the difficult and emotional world of family law, then do yourself a favor and contact Beth Dalena & Jessica Bosch. You’ll be so glad you did.
Par 5 Consulting - March 2020
When you are in the painful and often frightening process of divorce, the women of this law firm bring you confidence and security with their knowledge and professionalism. They exhibit that rare combination of the willingness to hold your hand like a compassionate friend and defend you like a piranha in the courtroom when necessary. They exhibit dedication, and the grace and wisdom of their long term experience. They look…
Cindy Morhouse - February 2020
These ladies have helped me several times in my experience with them. Jessica was my divorce attorney and I can say without hesitation, she was professionally and personally a gift to me. She handled my case (adversarial at best) with grace and knowledge. A fighter when necessary. She handled me in my personal state as a friend. Compassionate and kind. Beth assisted me with rewriting my deed after my divorce…
Scarlett O - January 2020
I chose Jessica A. Bosch to represent me because she was compassionate and knowledgeable. My divorce was a long and difficult journey. During this time, I lost sight of what was really important. Jessica kept me grounded and focused on what would be best for me after the divorce. I am grateful for her help in protecting two very important financial things that I might have given up. I didn't…
Cynthia R - December 2019