Your marriage has ended, so why is the divorce process taking so long to complete? Unfortunately, that is the case for some couples. They have not acted like spouses for a long time, but they are still legally married.

New Jersey allows no-fault divorces. However, oftentimes you cannot get a divorce in a couple of months. Even if you and your spouse agree on all terms of the divorce, the minimum waiting period for a no-fault divorce is six months. 

The circumstances of your situation determine the timeline for your divorce. Some factors that impact how long it takes to get a divorce in New Jersey include:

Residency Requirements 

New Jersey divorce laws include residency requirements. One spouse must live in the state for at least one year before filing for divorce. However, if you file on the grounds of adultery, the residency requirement is waived. 

Mandatory Waiting Periods

There are two types of no-fault divorce in New Jersey. The first is voluntary separation. However, a couple must be separated continuously for 18 months to file for divorce on the grounds of separation.

Therefore, many couples use the no-fault grounds of irreconcilable differences to file for divorce. The waiting period is much shorter. You only need to state you and your spouse have had irreconcilable differences for six months to file for divorce.

Other grounds for divorce have mandatory waiting periods in New Jersey. For example, desertion requires you to prove that your spouse left you at least one year before filing for divorce. 

If your spouse is incarcerated, you must wait at least 18 months into the prison term to file for divorce. Your spouse must be permanently insane and have been a resident in a hospital or institution for at least two years to file on the grounds that your spouse is certifiably insane.

Contested Divorces Take Longer

The divorce is contested if you and your spouse disagree on any issue. Contested divorces could take a year or more to resolve. The phases of a contested divorce typically include:

  • Filing pleadings and responsive pleadings
  • Discovery process
  • Negotiation and/or mediation
  • Motion hearings
  • Final hearing

The issues in a divorce can include child custody, child support, spousal support, property division, and division of debts. Other issues can arise depending on the couple’s circumstances.

Some issues can complicate a contested divorce. As a result, it could take longer to resolve those issues. Examples include high-net-worth property division, allegations of domestic violence, dividing business interests, allegations of child abuse, and dividing international assets. 

Many contested divorces are resolved through mediation and negotiations. However, the settlement process could take months and might come after several hearings and extensive discovery. 

Disputes regarding child custody often extend the divorce timeline. Bitter custody disputes might involve hiring expert witnesses to assist with the case. It takes time to hire professionals, investigate the issues related to custody, and hold hearings with the court. 

Court Schedules Can Impact the Divorce Timeline 

Divorces must work within the court’s schedule. If a court has a backlog of cases, it could take longer to schedule hearings. Hearings must be coordinated between the court and the attorneys involved in the case. 

Is There a Way To Get a Quick Divorce in New Jersey?

Adultery does not have a residency or waiting period. However, you must prove your spouse is guilty of adultery, which can be challenging. Filing a divorce on fault grounds can work against you.

Typically, the quickest divorce is an uncontested divorce on the grounds of irreconcilable differences. Before meeting with a Bergen County divorce lawyer, take some time to consider your priorities. Then, discuss those priorities with your attorney, including realistic expectations.

It might be tempting to fight your spouse on issues, especially if you are angry. However, if you are willing to be flexible and put emotions aside, your attorney can help you negotiate a fair settlement to avoid a lengthy litigation process. But, of course, your spouse must also be willing to be flexible and negotiate a fair settlement.

A litigated divorce might be unavoidable if your spouse refuses to be reasonable. In that situation, you want a skilled Bergen County divorce lawyer representing you. Experienced divorce attorneys protect your rights and best interests while keeping your divorce case moving as quickly as possible.

Contacting an attorney early in the process benefits you in many ways. You learn about your rights and how to protect yourself and your children. Also, the attorney might be able to begin working on your case to avoid delays when you are ready to file for divorce. 

Contact the Bergen County Family and Divorce Law Firm of Arons & Solomon Divorce Lawyers for more help

Contact the experienced family attorneys at Arons & Solomon Divorce Lawyers today for legal assistance. Visit our law office in Bergen County or give us a call at (201) 487-1199 to schedule a free consultation with our team.

Bergen County Law Office
1 University Plaza Dr #400, Hackensack, NJ 07601, United States