How Quickly Can I Get a Divorce?
The time it takes to get a divorce depends on several factors. If you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse are both reasonable and cooperative regarding the main issues that must be resolved, you can be divorced in as little as six to eight weeks. However, if your divorce is contested and there are issues you cannot agree upon, the process can stretch into several months to upwards of a year or more.
In New Jersey, the divorce timeframe is not subject to any rule or law. Instead, it varies depending on the specific circumstances of each couple and the complexity of the issues that must be resolved. For example, high-asset couples may need time to split extensive marital assets. Partners with children have to determine how child custody and support will be handled.
It is not easy for two people who do not see eye-to-eye to work together during divorce mediation. However, when both spouses are open to compromise and willing to negotiate, the process is more likely to move at a rapid pace.
Can I Get Divorced Without Going to Court?
Productive negotiations help keep your divorce out of the court and speed up the process. If you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse can reach an agreement out of court, that agreement is put into writing and signed and notarized by each party.
If a divorce action has already been filed with the court, a date for an uncontested divorce will be established. If the courts find both parties entered into the agreement freely and willingly and the agreement is fair and reasonable, it will be incorporated into a Final Judgement of Divorce.
Is There a Waiting Period for Divorce in New Jersey?
Some states require a minimum amount of time to pass before a couple can file for divorce and move forward with other proceedings, including a court hearing. In New Jersey, there is no universally-applied required waiting period for every divorce, however, certain grounds for divorce do come with specific waiting periods.
In New Jersey, there is a specific ground for divorce that requires a married couple to be voluntarily separated without interruption for 18 months before filing for a no-fault divorce. However, this is rarely applied and has been largely replaced by the grounds of irreconcilable differences, which has a much shorter waiting period of six months.
If you file on the grounds of desertion, you must show your spouse has been out of your life for at least a year. To file on the grounds that your spouse was convicted of a crime, they must have been incarcerated for at least 18 months. Your lawyer will determine if you have to wait based on the specific grounds for your divorce.
State law requires every couple seeking divorce cite the grounds on which they are bringing their case. Irreconcilable differences is one of these grounds. It simply means the couple can no longer get along, and there is no possibility of reconciliation.
Irreconcilable differences are considered a no-fault ground for divorce, meaning no spouse in particular is to blame for the dissolution of the marriage. When a spouse files for divorce on fault grounds, they are alleging their partner’s behavior caused the marriage to break.
New Jersey Requirements to File for Irreconcilable Differences
Requirements to file for irreconcilable differences:
- Both spouses must have resided in New Jersey for at least 12 consecutive months prior to filing.
- Spouses must have experienced irreconcilable differences for at least six months before filing.
- The irreconcilable differences suggest the marriage should be dissolved.
- There is no possibility of reconciliation.
Filing for divorce on the grounds of irreconcilable differences can help the process go smoother and quicker. It is ideal for couples who have good communication and agree on all the major issues.
What Issues Can Slow Down a Divorce in New Jersey?
There are some issues that can add some time to the divorce process:
- Mediation: Mediation is required in New Jersey. It typically takes place after the divorce complaint is filed prior to the early settlement panel. This step can add time depending on when all parties are available.
- Parent education class: This is another state requirement which is used to help parents understand how divorce impacts children. In some cases, it is waived if both parties agree on a parenting plan or have resolved all divorce matters in writing before the scheduled class date.
In addition to these required steps, the court’s case backlog, the time it takes to serve your spouse with divorce papers, and the extent your divorce is contested all play a role in how long it takes to divorce.
What Is a Contested Divorce?
A divorce is considered contested when the spouses cannot come to an agreement about one or more issues in their case. If they are unable to resolve their disputes through mediation, their only option is to go to court. There, the judge makes those decisions for them.
A contested divorce requires much more time and money than one resolved out of court. They also typically require the services of appraisers, forensic accountants, and other experts. Enlisting additional witnesses adds time to divorce proceedings.
Can a Divorce Lawyer Help Speed Up the Process?
If your goal is to get divorced as quickly as possible so you can move forward and begin your new chapter, the services of an experienced divorce lawyer will be invaluable. After consulting with you and carefully reviewing the details of your case, your lawyer can advise you on the ideal steps to take to achieve a good outcome.
A lawyer can advise you on when it may be best to concede to certain terms and when it makes sense to hold your ground. To find a qualified lawyer, check online reviews, and you can ask friends and family for recommendations.
Marlton Divorce Lawyers at Goldstein & Mignogna, P.A. Help Clients Resolve Complex Divorce Matters in a Timely Manner
Our Marlton divorce lawyers at Goldstein & Mignogna, P.A. understand their clients are eager to reach the final stage of divorce. However, we also know how important it is to approach your case with care and attention. Call us at 856-890-9400 or contact us online to schedule an initial consultation and to learn more about how we can help you. Located in Marlton, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout South Jersey, including Burlington County, Camden County, and Gloucester County.