If you are headed for a divorce, you should know the basics of the legal process in the State of New Jersey.
Court Papers: The Court process starts by filing a request for a divorce, which usually has a request for other things as well. This written request is called a “Complaint” and you file it with the Court and pay a filing fee.
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The Complaint usually has a request for the Court to decide custody of the children.
Usually, there is a request for payment of money intended to pay for things for the children. This is called ‘Child Support’.
Usually, there is a request to divide the property that the parties have acquired while they were married. This is called ‘Equitable Distribution’.
There may be a request for support payments from one party to the other. These support payments are called “Alimony”.
After the divorce Complaint is filed, the other spouse should file a written response telling the Court what he or she would like to have happen. This response is called an Answer and Counterclaim. Usually this also includes a request that the Court grant a divorce, and that the Court make other decisions in the case, concerning the same topics, custody of the children, child support, division of assets, support and other things.
In order to get divorced, you must get a decision from a Judge terminating your marriage. You cannot get a divorce simply by an agreement between yourself and your spouse.
You must go to Court.
Both you and your spouse should understand fully all of the financials, the value of your assets and income, and your debts, before making an agreement. If your spouse will not give the information that you need, then you can use the Court process to get that information.