Divorce in NJ Laws
This section gives a general description of the legal process and the laws that apply to NJ divorce issues. The divorce law in New Jersey is divided into two basic areas:
The procedural rules applicable to obtaining the divorce; and
- The statutes, case law and Rules of court that apply to the issues, such as custody, support and property distribution.
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The Process of Obtaining a Divorce
A divorce is obtained by securing a divorce judgment through the Family Court. This judgment often incorporates an agreement (referred to as a Matrimonial Settlement Agreement) that is worked out between the parties, whether through negotiations between counsel, mediation, collaborative practice or a combination of the above.
If the matter cannot be resolved the matter can be concluded by a decision from an arbitrator or Trial Judge. The divorce itself is commenced through the filing of a divorce Complaint alleging one of the causes of action for a divorce that is recognized in New Jersey.
The Law That Applies to NJ Divorce Issues
The New Jersey Legislature has passed statutes that provide many of the general principles for addressing the issues in a divorce.
- There are Child Support Guidelines that have been promulgated that presumptively apply for families who make less than $187,200.00 net (after taxes) per year.
- There is no automatic calculator for alimony, but there are general factors that are to be considered by the Court.
- For property distribution, New Jersey is an Equitable Distribution State. There is no automatic equal division of assets and liabilities acquired during the marriage, but rather there are a number of factors the Court is to consider to arrive at a fair division. It is important to note, that equitable does not necessarily mean equal.
In addition to the statutes, the New Jersey Courts have made decisions that may apply to your case. As comprehensive as the law may be in this area, issues in a divorce are very fact-specific and often there is no simple answer.
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