The process of deciding to end a marriage might take months or years. However, when someone decides to divorce their partner, they typically want to move quickly. The circumstances of your case and New Jersey divorce laws impact the timeline for getting a divorce in Monmouth County.
How Quickly Can I Get Divorced in Monmouth County, NJ?
There is a residency requirement to obtain a divorce in New Jersey. At least one of the spouses must be a resident of New Jersey for at least one year before a spouse can file for divorce in New Jersey.
Therefore, the residency requirement could slow down the divorce timeline if you just moved to New Jersey. If this is the case, a Monmouth County divorce lawyer can discuss legal options to protect your best interests right now.
New Jersey No-Fault Grounds Have a Minimum Six-Month Requirement
A no-fault divorce is typically the quickest way to get a divorce decree. Like most other states, New Jersey has a no-fault divorce for irreconcilable differences.
All that must be shown for a no-fault divorce on irreconcilable differences is that the marital relationship has been “broken” for at least six months. Only one spouse needs to claim the relationship is broken to obtain a divorce.
The six-month period does not apply if the couple has been married for less than six months. In addition, the six months does not apply if the parties separated at least 18 months before filing the divorce petition.
Divorcing on Fault Grounds Can Take Longer Than a No-Fault Divorce
There is no set timeline for a divorce in New Jersey. Unlike other states, a couple does not need to wait a mandatory period before obtaining a divorce after they separate if they claim a divorce on “fault” grounds. A fault divorce can be obtained on the grounds of the following:
- Desertion for at least 12 months
- Extreme cruelty
- Voluntary addiction or habitual drunkenness for 12 or more months
- Institutionalized for mental illness for 24 or more months
- 18 or more months being imprisoned
- Deviant sexual conduct by one spouse without the other spouse’s consent
As you can see, some fault grounds have mandatory periods that must be met before you can obtain a divorce. Furthermore, you must prove that your spouse is guilty of the grounds you claim. Therefore, obtaining a divorce on fault grounds could be more complicated and take longer than a no-fault divorce.
How Long Will My Divorce Take in Monmouth County, NJ?
The courts try to move divorces through the system within 12 months from the filing date. Most no-fault, uncontested divorces can be finalized within a few months after filing, depending on the court’s schedule. However, if the parties disagree about divorce terms, it could take a year or longer to obtain a divorce.
Factors that can cause a divorce to take longer include, but are not limited to:
- Disagreements over child custody and visitation
- Disputes related to property division and equitable distribution, especially in high-net-worth divorce cases
- Allegations of child abuse or neglect
- Disputes related to pre-nuptial or marital agreements
- Disagreements related to alimony or spousal support
- Proving fault grounds for a divorce
The more contentious the divorce, the longer it could take to finalize. Courts typically require parties to go through divorce mediation before they argue the case in court. Mediators can help couples resolve issues such as:
- Dividing marital assets and debts
- Spousal support
- Child custody
- Visitation with the non-custodial parent
- Payment of child support
Mediation can help shorten the time it takes to resolve a contested divorce. However, it does add more time to the divorce timeline in New Jersey. Before entering divorce mediation, you should have experienced legal counsel to protect your best interests throughout the divorce process.
How Can I Speed Up the Divorce Process in Monmouth County, New Jersey?
You cannot control filing deadlines or mandatory periods for claiming specific fault grounds. Likewise, you cannot control the court’s schedule for hearings.
However, you can avoid unnecessary delays by hiring an experienced Monmouth County divorce lawyer. A divorce attorney understands divorce laws, court procedures, and mediation requirements.
Having an attorney prepare and file your divorce papers avoid errors that could result in delays. Your lawyer moves your case through the court system as quickly as possible. Furthermore, an attorney can help you negotiate a divorce settlement that is in your best interest without going through a lengthy and costly court battle.
Contact an Experienced Divorce Attorney at The Law Office of Jennifer J. McCaskill, LLC for Legal Advice
To learn more and get the help you deserve, call our divorce & family law firm in Red Bank. NJ at (732) 747-1882 or contact us online today.
You can also visit our law firm at 157 Broad St #111, Red Bank, NJ 07701.