A common question we often receive is “can we really get divorced without a lawyer?” The answer, is 100% yes. In fact, thousands of people get divorced every year in the state of New Jersey without an attorney.
Before we begin, it is important to note that this option may not be for everyone. If spouses cannot communicate or come to an understanding in regards to any outstanding matters of the marriage - then seeking the assistance of a qualified attorney is always recommended. Furthermore, if you have legal questions in regards to your specific case - consulting with an attorney is essential. If spouses seeking a divorce can communicate, agree to move ahead with a divorce, and come to an agreement in regards to the outstanding matters of the marriage, then a lawyer-free divorce may be an option to consider. Outstanding matters of the marriage may often include property, assets, and debt. If there are children of the marriage under the ages of 21, custody, parenting, and child support will need to be discussed as well.
Once matters have been discussed and worked out between spouses, it is a matter of getting the divorce documents properly prepared to include the specifics of the case. For the lawyer-free filing route, there are a few options to consider. Many courts offer divorce packets for parties to take home and complete. However, keep in mind that the courts do not assist in divorce document preparation so it is important to consult with an attorney with any questions in regards to language in documents and possible implications pertaining to your situation. Another option, is to have documents prepared by a divorce document preparation service. With a reputable service, documents are generally prepared using information provided by the parties.
The general outline of an uncontested divorce with cooperating spouses in the state of New Jersey is as follows: A divorce begins with an initial filing of documents by the Plaintiff. The court will then process the paperwork and assign a docket number to the case (note that there is a fee associated with this initial filing). Once the court issues the docket number, the Defendant must then be properly served (if the Defendant is cooperating and willing to sign the documents, the Defendant may also sign a waiver of service document). Once the Defendant signs the documents, the Plaintiff then submits final filing documents to the court and the court will then process the paperwork and assign a judge to the case. Before the judge grants the divorce, there will generally be a hearing for the Plaintiff. Depending on the court, the hearing can be in-person, via phone, via video, or waived entirely in select cases.
Keep in mind that while this is just a general outline, every situation is unique and as such, there are important nuances in a divorce which require diligence when it comes to document preparation, execution of documents, timelines, and court filing requirements.
Finally, whether using a qualified attorney or matrimonial document preparation service to have your divorce documents drafted, always inquire upfront as to the costs of the divorce and inquire if they offer a flat fee.
At ezDivorce, our team prepares your New Jersey divorce documents at an affordable, flat-rate, saving you thousands of dollars in legal fees. You and your spouse simply print, sign, and file with our easy-to-follow instructions, and our friendly staff is here to assist and help get you to the finish line quickly and affordably.
Visit us at www.ezdivorce.com to find out more and start your divorce online today!
*The information contained in this article is for informational purposes only, and the content is not legal advice. Always consult with a qualified attorney in regards to your specific situation.