A difficult aspect of the divorce process in New Jersey is waiting for the divorce to be final. Technically, a divorce is final when the judge signs the divorce judgment. However, a final divorce decree is not the final step you need to take to end all aspects of your relationship with your ex-spouse. 

What Is a New Jersey Divorce Judgment?

A judgment is a final decision made by a court. A divorce judgment grants the divorce and legally ends the marriage. A divorce judgment also includes the court’s final decisions in other matters related to the divorce, including:

The steps to finalize a divorce differ for each person. If you and your spouse agree to the divorce terms, the judge can incorporate the agreement into the divorce judgment for a simple uncontested divorce

However, if you or your spouse disagree on any portion of the divorce terms, the divorce is contested. There could be numerous hearings in the divorce case, depending on the circumstances of the case. The judge decides the disputed terms at a final hearing and issues a final divorce judgment. 

Steps To Finalize Your Divorce in New Jersey

The divorce judgment ends your marriage. However, that is not the last step you need to take to finalize your divorce in New Jersey. After the court issues a divorce judgment to finalize a divorce in New Jersey, there are several issues to address. 

Check for Mistakes

Read the divorce decree as soon as you receive it from your Bergen County divorce lawyer or the court. If you notice any mistakes, contact your attorney immediately. 

Mistakes could cause portions of the order to be unenforceable. Likewise, errors in the divorce decree could change the terms the court ordered or that you agreed upon with your ex-spouse. Your attorney can petition to modify the divorce decree. It is easier to correct mistakes now than it will be years later.

Appealing a Divorce Judgment 

If you believe an error by the court resulted in an unfair decision in your divorce case, talk to your Bergen County divorce attorney immediately. Your attorney can explain the process of appealing the divorce decision to a higher court. 

Another court reviews the case to determine if the hearing judge made an error. If so, the case is returned to the original court to correct the mistake. If not, the appellate court affirms the judgment of the lower court with no changes. 

Make a List of Things To Do

As you read the divorce judgment, make a list of the things that you need to do. There could be numerous steps you need to take to finalize your divorce in New Jersey. 

For example, the divorce decree might require you to transfer title to a vehicle or real estate to your ex-spouse. If so, you need to note the deadline for taking this action to ensure you comply with the order.

Failing to comply with the terms of the divorce order could result in a rule to show cause and order to contempt. Therefore, taking care of all requirements in the divorce decree as soon as possible is best to avoid going back to court after your divorce is final.

In addition to matters in the divorce decree that you must address because of a judge’s order, there are other matters you need to address after your divorce in New Jersey.

For example, if a woman wants to revert to using her maiden name, she must obtain a new Social Security card, driver’s license, and passport. You might need several certified copies of the final divorce decree in this situation.

Another step to finalize the divorce is to close or transfer joint accounts, retirement funds, credit cards, and other financial accounts. However, you must follow the terms of the divorce decree when transferring and closing accounts.

Also, meeting with an estate planning attorney to update your estate documents is wise. You may need to change your Will, power of attorney, trust agreements, health care directives, and beneficiaries. If you do not promptly take care of these matters after a divorce, your ex-spouse could have control over your health care decisions and receive your estate if you die.

Get Help From Your Bergen County Divorce Lawyer

Depending on your situation and the divorce decree, there could be other steps you must take to finalize a divorce in New Jersey. If you are unsure what steps to take, ask your attorney. Failing to take the required steps could significantly impact your future. 

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