How Long Does a Divorce Take in NJ?
The length of a divorce proceeding varies from case to case and is dependent on many factors, including (but certainly not limited to) the following:
– Whether there are any minor children involved
– Whether temporary support has been awarded or approved by the judge
– The complexity of the issues between the parties
– Whether there exist assets/debts between the parties that require equitable distribution instead of simple division.
If you and your spouse cannot agree on how to proceed with your divorce, then it will be necessary for you and your attorney to prepare pleadings to submit to the court. These pleadings include an initial pleading that tells the court who you are, who your spouse is, why you are getting divorced, and whether any children are involved.
So the question remains, “how long does a divorce take in NJ?”
The Divorce Process
The initial pleading also asks the court to make temporary orders dealing with custody, visitation, support, counsel fees, or any other matter which may affect the parties’ rights pending the final disposition of their case.
After service by the sheriff upon your spouse (delivery by a law enforcement officer), your spouse has thirty days within which to file an answer/response to your initial complaint. After that discovery commences, depositions are taken from witnesses on relevant matters to establish what each party should receive as equitable distribution. This includes items such as income tax returns for up to the last six years, appraisals of where other assets exist beyond the marital home, mortgages and other matters deemed relevant in deciding equitable distribution.
At Dalena & Bosch, we frequently encounter one spouse (or both) self-employed with tax returns that reflect no income or minimal income. The court is given broad discretion to consider all of the evidence submitted to determine what is fair and equitable between the parties, regarding the factors enumerated at N.J.S.A. 2A:34-23(c).
If your matter proceeds through trial, then an even greater amount of time will be consumed before a final judgment on equitable distribution is reached.
If you need help with an issue concerning your divorce or a related matter, don’t hesitate to contact a knowledgeable and highly experienced family law attorney to assist you. Doing so will enable you to focus on what is going well in your life rather than being stressed by litigation.
Wrapping It Up
So how long does a divorce take in NJ?
When there are no minor children involved, it can be over in six months from start to finish if all of the necessary parties are willing to settle their disputes without court intervention. This is usually the case in “no-fault” divorces where both parties are seeking an uncontested divorce, and all that exists between them is a property settlement.
Where children are involved, custody and visitation disputes must be resolved before equitable distribution can commence. This can prolong the process by months or years depending upon how long it takes to resolve those issues relative to equitable distribution of assets which may require appraisal reports, third-party financial affidavits, and other documentation as part of the discovery process.
Going through a divorce can be extremely overwhelming; however, finding the right divorce attorney who is an expert in the field and caring and compassionate will help make the process much easier and less stressful. Contact the divorce lawyers at Dalena & Bosch for a free consultation. We look forward to speaking with you and guiding you through the divorce process.
We hope we have provided you with some valuable information in the article, “How Long Does a Divorce Take in NJ?” If you are looking for additional information on divorce, take a look at our blog. We provide information on a wide array of divorce topics such as visitation rights, child custody, alimony and more.