The family life of a man and a woman has its ups and downs, and sometimes, no matter how hard the spouses try, things just don’t work out, and the only option left is filing for divorce. It can be a scary time with lots of questions. You may be worried about the length of the divorce process, how property division works, and the cost of divorce.
This article will teach you how to divorce online without an attorney, what documents are needed for a divorce over the Internet, and how to resolve child custody and alimony issues.
Getting a Divorce in New Jersey
If you live in New Jersey and are looking for inexpensive divorce companies, online divorce is an easy and quick solution. Internet divorce is perfect for couples who have an uncontested divorce. Companies that provide online divorce services guide you through a simple online process, making divorce forms preparation quick and affordable.
How to Apply for Divorce in New Jersey
The first thing you should do is get to know New Jersey Divorce Law. Learn about residency requirements, grounds for divorce, alimony, and custody. In any case, a divorce will lead to the severance of marital relations and property division. If there are minor children, the couple will also need to deal with child custody, support, and visitation issues.
Step 1. Residency
The law allows filing for divorce in New Jersey under one of the following conditions:
- One of the parties has lived in New Jersey for at least one year.
- Adultery occurred in New Jersey, and one party resides in the state.
If one of these conditions has been met, you can apply to the New Jersey Supreme Court Office or apply for a web divorce. The second option will help you shorten the waiting period, save you from unnecessary paperwork. Also, you will not need to spend money on the services of an expensive lawyer.
Step 2. Procedures and Divorce Papers
The fastest way is an uncontested divorce. For this, you and your spouse should agree on your property’s division and what measures will be taken for the children. The terms of your agreement should be put in writing in the form of a marriage settlement agreement. After that, you can immediately start preparing a Complaint for Divorce along with other supporting documents.
There are three main options for completing the paperwork. You can hire an attorney, do it yourself, or use an online divorce company. Attorneys are reliable but quite expensive. Doing it yourself is the cheapest option, but most people find the paperwork too complicated to prepare on their own. Online divorce companies are a good option for couples wanting to save money and hassle.
After your documents are completed, you can file the divorce forms at your local court. It may be the district court in which you or your spouse currently resides. The filing spouse is known as the petitioner. The other spouse is called the respondent.
If you used an online divorce service to prepare the paperwork, they would provide you with detailed filing instructions. Another advantage of an application for divorce online is that after the initial submission of documents, you will be able to make minor changes to your forms at the request of the court at no additional charge.
Step 3. Grounds for Divorce
Dissolution of marriage also requires spouses to provide a reason for the divorce. New Jersey has both no-fault grounds for divorce and several traditional grounds for divorce.
To obtain a no-fault divorce in New Jersey, you could state one of the following in your divorce complaint:
- there are irreconcilable differences that led to the breakup of the marriage, and the spouses have not lived together for more than six months;
- the parties have been living separately for 18 months, and there is no reasonable prospect of reconciliation.
The fault-based grounds for divorce are:
- extreme cruelty;
- alcoholism or drug addiction;
- mental illness within two years after marriage;
- imprisonment for 18 months (provided that the couple does not live together after the release of the prisoner);
- deviant sexual behavior committed without the consent of the other party.
But it is worth clarifying that the fault-based grounds for divorce complicate the proceeding and require strong evidence.
Step 4. Filing fees
When filing for divorce, the court will charge a filing fee, which varies by county. When using online divorce services, the filing fees are not included in the site’s service costs.
Step 5. Spousal Support in New Jersey
Often, the higher-earning spouse pays spousal support to the other spouse to allow them to continue to live at a similar level to that established during the marriage.
The spouses can make the support decision together before applying for a divorce or at any time before the final hearing. The court can order short-term or permanent alimony for either spouse. And either spouse can pay assistance regardless of the fault of the divorce.
Factors that could determine the type and amount of spousal support payments include:
- duration of the marriage;
- living standards during marriage and after divorce;
- the time and costs that would allow the spouse to find a job;
- The current age of spouses;
- professional skills and job opportunities;
- the spouse’s childcare responsibilities;
- distribution of property;
- investment income;
- tax consequences of alimony.
Step 6. Custody of the child in New Jersey
There are two types of child custody — legal (who makes major decisions in the child’s life) and physical (where the child stays). Both can be either sole or joint. Custody is awarded based on the following factors:
- physical, mental, social, emotional, religious, and other needs of the child;
- child’s preferences.
The refusal or award of custody of a child does not depend on the gender of the parent. But it is worth noting that a father cannot forcibly take a minor child out of the mother’s care.
Also, child custody can be set as short-term. In this case, the decision is reviewed again later based on any new information about the living conditions and parents’ income.
How long will it take to complete divorce online
Using an online service usually takes between 25 minutes and two hours, depending on your case’s complexity. It also depends on whether you start filling out the entire questionnaire right away or filling it out in parts over time.
After you receive the documents (which typically takes around two days), you will need to submit them to the court. You also have to get your spouse’s signature. You will receive all subsequent information about the completion of the divorce case, including scheduling a final hearing, after you submit the documents to the court clerk.
Divorce is always a troublesome process. After all, it affects not only your life but also your spouse, children, perhaps even your parents. That is why it is so essential to make the divorce process less painful and more affordable. And in this case, DIY divorce with the help of online services is the best way through the situation.
Interesting related article: “What is a Lawyer?“