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New Jersey - Divorce Kits

New Jersey Requirements

The following laws and guidelines are explained very briefly to provide a basic understanding. If further knowledge is wished to be gained please make use of your local library, and seek the assistance of a professional. This section is reviewed regularly, but due to the changing of laws some material may be incorrect or outdated.

Required Residency to File: 1 year

Where to File: The divorce may be filed in any county.

Grounds for Fault Divorce: (provided by Gruber & Colabella, P.A.)


The process of divorce is initiated by the filing of a Complaint for Divorce in the Superior Court of New Jersey, Chancery Division, Family Part on either fault or no fault grounds. No fault grounds are more accurately classified as eighteen months separation in separate residences where the parties have not engaged in sexual relations with one another during that period of time. The complaint cannot be filed until after the eighteen month period. This is because the State of New jersey has an interest in preserving marriages and family life and have created an eighteen monthly "cooling off" period when the parties do not have fault grounds. In reality, most people chose not to wait the eighteen months due to the desire to terminate the relationship and move on quickly. More often, the economics prohibit the parties from living separate and apart. Many people are surprised to learn that they may live together after commencing divorce on one of the fault grounds. Fault grounds are as follows:

(A). Extreme Mental or Physical Cruelty - is commonly defined as behavior considered extremely mentally cruel so that it becomes unreasonable to live together as husband and wife. Other States label this cause "irreconcilable differences". Most Superior Court Judges hold the Modern view that if marriage is dead, a divorce should be granted. It is usually not difficult to establish a basis of extreme mental cruelty when one considers the subjective nature of the criteria. There is technically a three month waiting period between the last act complained of and the filing of the Complaint for Divorce.

(B). Adultery- people are obsessed with attempting to establish adultery. It need not to be corroborated and may be proven by circumstantial evidence. However, most Judges still require corroboration. Circumstantial evidence can be shown by establishing: 1) the inclination to commit adultery, such as a close intimate relationship with another person, and 2) the opportunity for adultery. Proof that the co-respondent ( the person committing adultery with one of the parties) is known to be a co-worker and confident and the co-respondent was observed entering the defendant's residence in the evening and exiting later the following morning is usually sufficient. Ordinarily, a private investigator or unbiased witness is necessary to prove a circumstantial case. The co-respondent must receive notice that they have been named in the Complaint for Divorce and the co-respondent has the right to intervene, although few ever enter the case.

(C). Desertion- This is established when one party willfully deserts the other for a period of twelve or more continuos months preceding the filing of the Complaint for Divorce. A voluntary separation does not constitute desertion.

(D). Constructive Desertion- This is a willful refusal to have sexual relations with your spouse for a period of twelve or more months prior to the filing of the Complaint for Divorce.

(E). Habitual Drunkenness- This is established when a pattern of drinking habitually is demonstrated. Ordinarily, extreme mental and physical cruelty accompany habitual drunkenness.

(F). Drug Habituation- This requires a proof of a drug dependency.

(G). Imprisonment- Incarceration must be for twelve continuos months prior to the filing of the Complaint for Divorce.

(H). Institutionalization- This requires twelve continuous months prior to the filing of the Complaint for Divorce.

(I). Deviant Sexual Behavior- Use your Imagination.

Grounds for "No-Fault" Divorce:

Living Separate and Apart

New Jersey Annulment(provided by Gruber & Colabella, P.A.)

Annulment is not divorce in terms of terminating a marriage. Annulment voids a marriage from the beginning as though it never existed. Annulment may be established if one of the parties lacked a legal capacity to marry either by age or mental capacity. Most often annulments are established when it can be shown that the party against whom annulment is sought entered into the marriage committing a fraud which goes to the essentials of marriage. Annulments are typically granted when a spouse fails to disclose impotency, enters the marriage to gain citizenship only, or enters the marriage promising a family and later refuses. The textbook example is that of an interfaith marriage where the non-Jewish spouse is later discovered to be a Nazi sympathizer. Most people mistake annulment in the State's Courts for a religious annulment. Annulments are difficult to prove and are rare.

Time before ex-spouses may remarry: Plaintiff ( none ) Defendant ( none )

Voluntary or required Mediation: ( no )

Voluntary or recommended Counseling: ( yes )

The Distribution of Property:

New Jersey is an "equitable distribution" state. The court has full discretion to divide the real estate and all marital property, which includes pension benefits. Separate property is kept by the owner. Any inheritance or gifts received prior or during the marriage is not considered for distribution. The following factors are generally considered: age and health, length of marriage, vocational skills, occupations, contributions in acquisitions, employability of spouses, and custody.

Spousal Support:

Support can be awarded to either spouse. Past marital actions are not considered. Employment possibilities of the spouse tends to cause the greatest influence on the decision. Living conditions similar to those when marriage existed is attempted to be restored, but a lot of factors play a significant role.

The New Jersey Child Support Guidelines were devised to be in the best interests of a child. Only if the parents can not agree to an amount will the court use the following Guidelines to determine support.

One Child= 21% of annual income
Two children= 33% of annual income
Three Children= 42% of annual income
Four Children= 47% of annual income
Five Children= 51% of annual income

Child Custody:

Custody is awarded with the best interests of the child or children in mind. The following factors are generally considered: the age and capacity of the child. A father may not forcibly take custody of a minor child.

Uniform Child Custody Act: 1979
Is Joint Custody awarded? YES
Do Grandparents Have the Right to Visitation? YES
Are Child's Wishes Considered? YES

Child Support:

Either or both parents may be required to provide the support of maintenance, insurance, and education of the child. There are specific guidelines to be followed, unless when proven to be unjust. The following factors are generally considered: a child's need for contact with both parents, the joint responsibilities for the welfare of the child, the financial resources, cost of day care, and the standard of living the child would have otherwise enjoyed had not the divorce taken place.
Document Example

To prepare your documents, you would simply edit the information as it applies to you.

IN RE THE MARRIAGE OF:   Case No. ____________________




COMES NOW the Petitioner, JANE DOE, and respectfully petitions and shows this Court as follows:
I.           The vital statistics concerning the parties are as follows:
          A. PETITIONER:

  1. Age: 28
  2. Occupation: Clerk
  3. Petitioner now resides at 123 Main Street, Douglas, New Jersey 54321, County of Essex. Petitioner has been a resident of the State of New Jersey since April 8, 1968.
          B. RESPONDENT:
  1. Age: 32
  2. Occupation: Vice President, 7-11 Convenience Stores
  3. Respondent now resides at 456 Corner Drive, Douglas, New Jersey 54321, County of Essex. Respondent has been a resident of the State of New Jersey since December 2, 1978.
II.           The Social Security Numbers of the parties are as follows:

          Petitioner: 555-23-9178
          Respondent: 875-12-3354.

          A. At least one of the parties has had actual residence in this state with a bona fide intention of making this state his or her permanent home for at least one year prior to the filing of this petition.
          B. The Petitioner is serving in the United States Armed Forces and has been continuously stationed at a military base or installation in this state for one year.

Document Kit Contents

Your document kit will include:
  1. Instructions for completion of your documents
  2. Petition for Dissolution of Marriage
  3. Sample Marital Settlement Agreement
  4. Financial Affidavit of Petitioner
  5. Financial Affidavit of Respondent
  6. Answer and Waiver of Hearing
  7. Verification
  8. Affidavit of Non Military Service
  9. Affidavit of Corroborating Witness
  10. Decree of Divorce
  11. Sample Proposed Property Settlement
  12. Summons
  13. Notice of Hearing
  14. Affidavit of Service
  15. Affidavit of Diligent Search for Service by Publication

    If children are involved:

  16. Affidavit of Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act
  17. Sample Parenting Plan

Important Disclaimer:
Legal-Online.Org Self-Help Products are designed to provide authoritative and accurate information in regard to the subject matter covered. However, neither this nor any other publication can take the place of an attorney on important legal matters.

Information in this kit has been carefully compiled from sources believed to be reliable, but the accuracy of the information is not guaranteed, as laws and regulations may change or be subject to differing interpretations.

This is a self-help legal product and is intended to be used by the consumer for his or her own benefit. Use of this kit to benefit a second party may be considered in many states as the unauthorized practice of law.

As with any legal matter, you should consult with an attorney if you are unsure about proceeding, your case is of a complicated nature or to obtain legal advice.

It is understood that by using this kit, you are acting as your own attorney. Accordingly, the publisher, author, distributor and retailer shall have neither liability nor responsibility to any party for any loss or damage caused or alleged to be caused by use of the kits. These kits are sold with the understanding that the publisher, author, distributor and retailer are not engaged in offering legal services. Should legal services or other assistance be required, the services of a competent legal professional should be contacted in your area.

In addition, some counties or states may require use of additional documents not found in this kit. If this is the case, please contact us

We will attempt to locate the additional forms for you at no cost.

Purchase of this kit constitutes acceptance of these terms.

These documents are available in the following formats:

Microsoft Word