• Philip S. Burnham, Esq.

Why Does New Jersey Divorce Take so Long?

Updated: Feb 10

The process of divorce can be long and grueling, depending on the circumstances. In New Jersey, it can be especially long for certain cases. Most divorces in New Jersey should be complete in less than 12 months, with a few exceptions. The shortest amount of time is a little less than two months. If you or someone you know is filing for divorce, there are a few things you should consider.

Factors that Affect the Time of a Divorce

If a couple has decided to file a no-fault divorce, the process can take approximately a month and a half to be finalized. A no-fault divorce means that the couple is citing irreconcilable differences as grounds for divorce. This kind of divorce requires both parties to state that their marriage has been suffering for at least six months without the likelihood of repair. If there are children or assets involved and if both parties blame each other for the divorce, the process can take significantly longer.

Contested Divorces and Child Custody

A contested divorce involves equitable distribution. This does not always mean that assets and properties are equally split between parties. In most cases, it means that properties are divided based on what the court decides as fair. If a marriage is contested and a couple cannot come to a child custody agreement, it is up to the court to decide which parent is better suited to care for their children. The court decides this by focusing on what they feel is best for the child, as well as the child’s relationship to each parent.

New Jersey requires both parents to financially support the child, regardless whether or not the parent has custody. The court will decide on how much each parent will need to pay based on their financial situation.

Uncontested Divorces

An uncontested divorce occurs when both parties agree to a divorce and there are no disagreements on factors such as alimony, child support and custody, and the division of marital property. Uncontested divorces can lead to an expedited divorce process, which can seem appealing but can also be risky. Divorces that are based on the couple’s settlement agreement can have long-term negative effects on finances and parental rights. Therefore, it is important to hire a divorce lawyer to help you through the process.

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