Getting divorced in an amicable way without ever having to step foot in a courtroom is an ideal scenario, but unfortunately it is not typically the reality for many people. Whether it is because you both cannot come up with a mutual agreement on how to handle your divorce on your own even in mediation, if you are able to come up with an agreement yet certain circumstances change and the agreement no longer holds, or even if a former spouse does not want to pay their child support or becomes physically or emotionally abusive in some way you may have no other choice but to go to court. This may have not been your first or even your second choice to do so, but there are definitely situations when going to divorce court is your only option.
Divorce Court in New Jersey
The first thing to be aware of is there only two factors that guarantee that your divorce will have to go to court, and those are motions and trials. Trials are the most important aspect of any case and could last a few hours or even several months depending on how intricate your particular case is. At the trial the judge will listen to the evidence given by both parties and make their decision on how to settle the divorce based on what is presented to them.
Motions are something that can either be made before or after a trial. They are made before the trial to obtain the security of a court order for one of the parties to resolve certain issues before the divorce is heard in court, as the judge will listen to the evidence at a hearing to find out why one has been requested. Examples of some of those issues are:
- Money – The monetary amount one spouse has to pay the other for alimony or child support pending a trial.
- Custody – The amount of time the child or children will spend with each one of the former spouses as well as deciding where they will go to school and spend certain holidays or events.
- Protection orders – These are in place if there was any physical or emotional harm between the spouses including limited communication and/or restraining orders.
- Possessions – This decides who gets to stay in the house or apartment unless they both can stay in separate sections as agreed upon, who gets use of the family car and if any property or possessions needs to be sold for money this decides who is the one to sell them and how they are able to do so.
- Enforcement – When two people make a mutual agreement before a divorce goes to trial and one of them breaks it the court may need to step in and enforce some sort of punishment.
There are two types of trials when it comes to divorce, uncontested and contested. A court appearance is still required but the process can be done fairly quickly. A contested divorce is when both parties cannot agree on certain if not all of the aspects of their divorce. You may be required to meet with a mediator first to see if an agreement can be made, but if not the case will go to trial and a much more complex series of actions will begin.
Schedule a Consultation With a New Jersey Divorce Attorney
Getting a divorce can be an extremely stressful, getting one without a qualified lawyer who is familiar with all of the laws as well as the knowledge on the best way to navigate them will only make the situation more difficult.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.