Are you contemplating divorce in New Jersey? Read this article to learn what you should know about the divorce process, then call our lawyers.
First Step in the Divorce Process
The most important step – and the first step in your divorce process – is to do the appropriate research and select an attorney to represent you. It’s important to realize that this involves more than just knowing whether an attorney is knowledgeable in the area, although that is certainly very important. You must make sure that you and the attorney with whom you decide to work have a rapport where you can easily and confidently talk to the attorney. Not only that, but you must be sure that you understand what the attorney is telling you. In other words, choose someone who can speak plain English to you, so that you fully understand and know how to proceed.
Serving Divorce Papers
A few factors must be considered when serving your spouse with a divorce summons and complaint. If yours is a friendly divorce and it’s simply a matter of having the spouse who will be the defendant acknowledge receipt, they can sign an acknowledgment of service of the complaint upon them, and that acknowledgement could then be filed with the court to show that they were, in fact, served.
If the spouse will not sign an acknowledgment of service, or if you simply don’t know where the spouse is – or if the spouse adamantly refuses to accept service – you’ll have to enlist the services of a process server. The process server can serve the spouse either at their home or where they work. If you know that your spouse will be at a gym or other specific place at certain times, you can arrange for the process server to wait for them there and actually serve them with the complaint.
Responding to Divorce Papers
These are time sensitive matters and you only have a certain amount of time to file an answer and counterclaim. The typical time-frame is about 35 days from the time you’ve been served. DO NOT DELAY!
If there are children involved, in order to protect your rights in regards to custody, child support, assets, and other issues, it’s imperative that you not sit on your rights. It is very important to take prompt action to retain an attorney to represent you.
Divorces in New Jersey are a creature of the particular factual circumstances relating to the parties, and the time-frames can vary. Over the years, I’ve had divorce cases where clients have been divorced in as little as 30 days. I’ve also seen cases where the divorce isn’t finalized for a year and a half, or longer. Every divorce is different, and every factual situation determines how quickly a divorce can be finalized. If there are a lot of assets involved and the parties can’t come to an agreement, that divorce is typically going to take much longer. However, if there are no assets, or if there are large assets but the parties are in complete agreement, that divorce is going to be much faster, and much less expensive.
Are you contemplating or going through the divorce process in New Jersey? After reading this article about what you should know about the divorce process, contact our experienced New Jersey Divorce Lawyer Brian Freeman for dedicated representation.
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