Thursday, October 24, 2019

New Jersey divorce lawyers

January 14, 2009  

nj divorce lawyers When is really the right time to hire a lawyer?

For affluent people, they do not care about the value that they have to pay a nj divorce lawyer. The important thing is that they will be able to attain all the rights and claims that they believe are ought to them.

One of the very evident cases in NJ at present is the continuous raise of child custody claims. The cases are due to divorce, irresponsibility of the parents, adoption and more. Hovered, only few are granted justice. This is due to the scarcity of funds especially for parents who cannot afford to hire child custody lawyer.

First, be able to have a clear understanding on the case of child custody. Know the reasons for its prevalence in the society as well and determine if there is still a hope to trim the root of this case.

Child custody is referring to the bundle of rights and responsibilities of parents over their children. It is comprised of several aspects and some of them overlap but others are distinct. It must be understandable that the rights are granted to both parents and if problem occurs there enters the claim for child custody.

In most of the states that are legalizing divorce, cases relating to child custody are prevailing. The sad thing is that it is considered to be the major drawback of divorce that needs an immediate attention from the concerned governments.

This boosts the interest of the lawyers in New Jersey to focus their fields in taking care for the rights of the children who have become victims of divorce cases of their parents. They saw the necessity of putting up programs that will cater to the wellbeing of the children.

Most of the children who are being held on the custody of either of the parents undergo common problems psychologically. They develop a level of confusion regarding the love and concern of their parents towards them.

This serves as the reason for the child custody lawyers to lend their help particularly for parents that cannot afford to pay the high charges of the lawyers found on certain firms. Instead of letting the children sacrifice from the unwanted effect of the divorce, the lawyers will make sure that the child will be under the custody of a more responsible parent or guardian.

There are two possible ways for you to search your most preferred child custody lawyers depending on your access to said place. Be able to find the nearest as possible.

In order to successfully resolve family and legal complications, it becomes all the important to choose the right lawyer. While consulting and hiring a family lawyer, you should check and verify certain essential things, like the track record of the lawyer you are planning to hire. Then you should try to ascertain his specialty in handling the required case. Additionally, you should try to check with people to determine if they have heard about that particular lawyer and verify his status by contacting the state bar association. And, it is always in your best advantage to hire a lawyer from the local office, who can be easily reachable to spend some time and discuss the case with you on an ongoing basis.

Hiring a family lawyer in New Jersey, a state with some of the toughest and strictest family laws and with more than 35,000 family dispute cases handled every year, is no easy job. To look for a family lawyer to represent you, talk to an attorney who might have represented you in the past in other matters—he might be able to recommend an expert and experienced family lawyer who would be able to contribute his or her detailed knowledge of your problem. Talk to friends who have been to a lawyer. People who are happy with their attorneys are often good references



The Superior Court of New Jersey has jurisdiction over all causes of divorce, when either person is a resident of New Jersey at the time the action is started. There is a twelve-month residency requirement. Furthermore, the jurisdiction of the court over the defendant is fully established when the defendant files an acknowledgment of service of process, enters an appearance, or files an answer to the complaint.

The Complaint

The filing of a divorce complaint starts the divorce case. A complaint for divorce is filed in the county in which the plaintiff lived when the cause of action arose, or if the plaintiff was not then living in New Jersey, the county in which the defendant was living when the cause of action arose. If neither party was living in New Jersey when the cause of action arose, then the complaint shall be filed in the county where the plaintiff presently resides, or in the county where the defendant is living if the plaintiff no longer lives in the State. The requirements regarding the content of the complaint are described in the New Jersey Court Rules, Rule. 5:4-2, and require a statement as to the essential facts which form the basis for the petition for divorce (see above listed causes of action), the addresses of the parties, and in cases involving a child, the address, date of birth, and information as to where and with whom the child resides.

In a divorce action where adultery or deviant sexual conduct is alleged, the pleading must also name the adulterer, or the correspondent. The complaint shall state the name of the person as the correspondent with whom such conduct was committed, if known, and if not known, shall state available information tending to describe the said person, including details of the time, place and circumstances under which acts or series of acts were committed.

Filing Fee

A filing fee is required at the time of filing of the complaint for divorce with the court. If there are children, then the parties also have to pay a fee to attend a parenting education seminar.

Answer, Answer and Counterclaim or Appearance

An answer is the defendant’s written response to the plaintiff’s complaint in the divorce case. In conjunction with the defendant’s answer, the defendant may file counterclaims against the plaintiff. A defendant is required to file the answer and/or counterclaim(s) within thirty-five days of receiving the divorce Complaint. Alternatively, the defendant may file an appearance governed by R. 5:4-3(a) with the court, where the defendant is not disputing the claims in the complaint.

Answer to Counterclaim

If the defendant files a counterclaim, the plaintiff is permitted 20 days in which to file any responsive pleading.

Case Information Statement (CIS)

The Case Information Statements also known as a CIS is the most critical document in a divorce case. Rule 5:5-2 requires both parties to file and serve CIS’s in all contested family actions where there is any issue as to custody, support, alimony or equitable distribution. The primary purpose of the CIS is to identify all assets and liabilities (whether subject to division or not) of the party, like the income picture, shelter, transportation and personal expenses of that party. Each party must file their respective CIS within 20 days after the filing of the answer or appearance.

The parties’ tax returns, their last three pay stubs, their pension statements, and their mutual fund and stock statements should also be attached as exhibits to the CIS. The more comprehensively the CIS is prepared, the easier it will for the ESP Panel and the court to assist the parties to settle the case.

Court Management of a Divorce Case

Once each party has filed his or her CIS, cases are separated into one of four categories for purposes of case management: priority, complex, expedited, or standard. Alternatively, the parties may agree upon a designated track.

Case Management Conferences

Within thirty days after the filing of the last pleading, the court will schedule a case management conference that may be held via a telephone conference. The purpose of the case management conferences is to address discovery timeliness and ultimately determine a trial date if necessary to be determined based upon the case’s assigned track.

In Middlesex County, the parties and the lawyers are required to appear in person at the case management conference. If the case is not that complicated, many times the case can be settled at the case management conference, with the assistance of the judge. This can save the family thousands of dollars in legal fees. However, most other counties besides Middlesex County, handle the case management conferences via a telephone conference.


The discovery part of a divorce case is in many cases the most important part of the divorce. The purpose of discovery is to enable the parties to ascertain what assets each party has, and what constitutes the marital estate.

New Jersey Court Rule 5:5-1 allows for discovery including interrogatories, depositions, production of documents, requests for admissions, and copies of documents. The time lines for conducting discovery are held at the Case Management Conference. Discovery can make a divorce very expensive. It is time consuming, and it can really create a lot of billable hours. If at all possible, the parties should try to reach a reasonable agreement, to avoid all of the expense of conducting discovery. However, this is easier said than done.

Request to Enter a Divorce by Default

If the defendant fails to file an answer or an appearance in a divorce case, then the divorce is defaulted. This means that the person has “blown” his chance to respond or contest the divorce. A request for a default against such a party is governed by R. 4:43. This rule requires the party requesting entry by default to make a formal written request for the entry of the default, supported by the attorney’s affidavit. The affidavit shall explain the manner of service of the complaint upon the defendant, the date of service, and that all time periods in which the defendant may file a pleading have expired. The request to enter a default must be filed together within six months of the actual default. The notice to request a default must also be served on the defaulting spouse.

Please keep in mind, that if there is a default, this does not mean that the case is over. If a spouse is seeking equitable distribution, alimony, child support or any other relief, then a process known as “filing a request for equitable distribution” must be filed.

When equitable distribution, alimony, child support or any other relief is sought by the plaintiff, a notice of application for equitable distribution pursuant to R. 5:5-2 is required to be filed before the entry of default. This notice must be filed and served upon defendant twenty days prior to the hearing date and must include the following:

Notice of the trial date,

Statement of the value of each asset,The amount of each debt sought to be distributed,

A proposal for distribution,

A statement whether plaintiff is seeking alimony and/or child support and, if so, the amount, and

A statement of any other relief sought.

As a result, the moving party must still attend court in order to obtain a divorce by entry of a default. The spouse must also bring a certificate of nonmilitary service verifying that her soon to be ex-spouse is not in the military. The courts do not want spouses to be divorcing their ex spouse while they are in the military overseas, and possibly in combat somewhere.

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