Steps in the Divorce Process
Are you seeking legal separation from your spouse in the state of New Jersey but are unsure of the steps in the divorce process? Contact our experienced Jersey City divorce lawyers today to arrange a free consultation.
Steps in the Divorce Process | Conference
The first step in the divorce process is a case management conference – it sets a schedule for the process. This could be done in person, with the two attorneys and the judge, or it could be done by consent, meaning the two attorneys would work on a written schedule, get it signed by both parties, and send it to the judge for approval.
Steps in the Divorce Process | Discovery
Next is the discovery phase, which is an exchange of financial information. Often clients are surprised by “hidden” bank accounts and assets. New Jersey law requires couples pursuing a divorce to attend an early settlement panel, where both sides present a reasonable settlement for review by the other party. You can negotiate here. Your attorney will also advise you about the pros and cons of the settlement offered and advise you about the likelihood of winning your case with your particular judge, in the event that you do go to trial.
Steps in the Divorce Process | Mediation and Trial
If you are unsuccessful in settling, you will be required to attend economic mediation. Part of this process will be free of charge, but part will cost you additional money. If you do not reach an agreement in economic mediation, your case will go to trial.
It’s totally understandable that you might want to keep your divorce out of the court. A trial means more time, money, and energy spent. In New Jersey, 98% of divorces settle out of court. This doesn’t mean that you should be afraid to go to court, but you should understand the benefits of settling – beyond the time, money, and energy saved. If you come to an agreement outside of the court, you have a greater say in the outcome: you and your spouse decide together how to divide your assets and how to provide for your children.