Initial Stages of Divorce in New Jersey
Many divorces are settled before court papers are ever filed. They can be resolved by both parties working together or with the help of a single neutral mediator (preferably a qualified attorney). Alternatively, the parties’ attorneys negotiate a settlement and reduce it to writing in a comprehensive “property settlement agreement”.
Assuming that pre-filing settlement isn’t possible, the first step in your divorce is to prepare the initial papers. If you are the spouse filing for divorce, that will include a Complaint for Divorce and several other related, obligatory documents.
After being served with a complaint, the defendant spouse in any divorce action has a limited number of days to respond. The response can be by an Answer or an Answer with Counterclaims.
After all initial pleadings have been served and filed, the next step requires automatic financial disclosure. The parties, either separately or working in conjunction with one another, must produce all of their financial documents. You will receive a document checklist outlining each and every item covered by this rule. All of the assets and liabilities should be determined at the time you are filling out your financial disclosures, and copies of the actual statements, accounts and records should be secured in advance.