Divorce matters are initiated by the filing of a Complaint in the Superior Court of New Jersey, Family Part. The complaint is generally filed in the county in which the Plaintiff resides and if the Plaintiff does not reside in New Jersey, the county in which the Defendant lives. New Jersey has various grounds for divorce, but also allows for divorce based on “irreconcilable differences”, commonly referred to as a no fault divorce. Issues decided by the court as part of the divorce proceeding most commonly include a. the payment of alimony, b. custody and parenting time schedules, c. payment of child support, including responsibility for college education expenses, d. equitable distribution of assets and liabilities, e. the retention of medical and life insurance for the benefit of the parties and their children and f. the apportionment of legal fees associated with the divorce.
Very few divorce matters are resolved with a trial decided by a Judge. The legal process in New Jersey favors resolution through settlement. Many opportunities are presented both before and after the filing of a Complaint for Divorce to settle issues amicably, including mediation and the collaborative law process. Custody and parenting time mediation is offered through our court system at the initiation of a divorce at no cost to the parties. Economic mediation is also mandatory as part of the divorce process. The parties are also free to participate in private mediation at any point of their matter. Schwartz Hunter, PC not only represents clients during mediation but also acts as experienced mediators.
The collaborative law process is another avenue available to settle all issues without litigation that are normally addressed in the divorce process. The collaborative process involves the parties’ refrain from active litigation with their current attorneys and encourages use of experts from various fields, such as financial experts and psychologists, to address the issues and achieve consensus.
At any point in the divorce proceeding, the parties may also decide to resolve issues pending before the court by arbitration. Arbitration involves the retention of a private individual to decide the issues. While most issues in the divorce matter may be decided by an arbitrator, the entry of the final judgment of divorce must be granted by the court.
Schwartz Hunter, PC provides representation in all phases of the Divorce whether in court, mediation, through the collaborative law process or by arbitration. Our attorneys are also available to act as mediators.
Contact Schwartz Hunter, PC to arrange a consultation with a lawyer at a reduced rate by calling 973-895-1175 or by contacting us online. For those clients who may have a difficult time coming to our Randolph, New Jersey, office for an appointment, we can make arrangements to meet with you.