If you are considering divorcing your spouse in New Jersey, you may have questions about your legal rights and the divorce process. The best way to obtain answers to your questions is to seek legal advice from a qualified Bergen County divorce lawyer

Our divorce lawyers at Arons & Solomon answer some of the most frequently asked questions about Summary Dissolution and divorce in this blog.

What is a Dissolution?

Some states have what they refer to as a dissolution of marriage. In those states, a dissolution of marriage is a quicker, less expensive way to obtain a divorce. However, in New Jersey, dissolution and divorce are the same things. 

What is a Summary Dissolution?

An uncontested divorce is the closest option to a Summary Dissolution in New Jersey. In an uncontested divorce action, the parties agree to all terms of the divorce. 

Before filing the divorce action, they work out an agreement for issues such as:

The agreements are incorporated into a proposed divorce order presented to the court. If the parties disagree on even the slightest issue, they cannot proceed with an uncontested divorce.

What Are the Grounds for Divorce or Dissolution of Marriage in New Jersey?

New Jersey divorce laws provide for several “fault” grounds for divorce. These grounds require that a spouse prove the other spouse is guilty of “fault” for the breakup of the marriage. Fault divorce grounds are:

  • Adultery
  • Separation 
  • Desertion
  • Extreme cruelty
  • Habitual drunkenness or addiction to narcotics
  • Deviant sexual acts
  • Incarceration

In addition to grounds based on “fault,” New Jersey allows couples to divorce based on irreconcilable differences. 

This no-fault ground for divorce only requires that a spouse claim that the marriage cannot be repaired because of irreconcilable differences. Using this ground avoids the necessity of providing evidence that the other spouse caused the breakup of the marriage.

What Are the Other Requirements for Obtaining a Divorce in New Jersey Under Irreconcilable Differences?

Either spouse may file for divorce using irreconcilable differences as the grounds for dissolution of the marriage. The following criteria must be met:

  • The differences must have existed for a minimum of six months
  • The couple believes there is no way to reconcile the marriage
  • One or both parties have lived in New Jersey for 12 consecutive months before filing for divorce

A spouse may contest a dissolution based on irreconcilable differences. However, it is unlikely the court would not grant the divorce because the filing spouse swears under oath that there is no way that the marriage can be repaired to allow the parties to reconcile.

How Long Must I Pay Alimony After My Divorce?

The duration of alimony depends on several factors. The law states that if the marriage is less than 20 years, the duration of alimony cannot be longer than the length of the marriage except in rare cases. 

However, many factors can affect the duration and amount of alimony. Factors the court may consider include:

  • Income for each spouse
  • Each spouse’s earning capacity
  • Assets, debts, and resources
  • Education, skills, and work experience 
  • General financial wellness
  • Contributions to the marriage and the other spouse’s career
  • Health and age of each spouse

Generally, if your marriage lasted less than 20 years but more than ten years, the judge may grant alimony for half the length of the marriage.

How Much Will My Child Support Payments Cost?

If you have minor children, you are responsible for their financial support even if your marriage to their other parent ends. Child support is a way to ensure each parent contributes to the financial needs of their children.

Factors that affect the amount of child support you must pay include:

  • The net income of both parents
  • Number of children shared by the parents
  • Age of the children
  • Child support or alimony paid for a prior marriage
  • How many overnights the child spends with each parent
  • Earning potential for each parent
  • Any special needs, health insurance, medical requirements, educational needs, and daycare costs for the child

New Jersey uses standard Child Support Guidelines to calculate each parent’s amount of support each month. However, judges may deviate from the child support guidelines for good cause. Also, parents can negotiate a child support agreement, provided the judge finds the agreement does not harm the child’s best interest. 

How Much Does a Dissolution of Marriage Cost in New Jersey?

The court sets the filing fee for divorces, so they are standard in each case. The amount of your attorneys’ fees depends on the attorney you hire and the type of divorce action. Litigated divorces cost more because the case goes to trial and requires much more work than an uncontested divorce.

The best way to keep divorce costs low is to be flexible and willing to settle your differences without going to court. However, regardless of whether you anticipate an uncontested or contested divorce, it is always in your best interest to talk with a divorce lawyer in Bergen County to protect your best interests. 

To learn more, call Arons & Solomon, P.A. at (201) 487-1199 or visit our contact us page to send us an email.