How to Divorce in New Jersey

Each state has its own laws and requirements regarding divorce. To file for a divorce in New Jersey, the person submitting the complaint for divorce must have lived in the state for at least a year. You do not need to hire an attorney. However, an attorney may be beneficial in a complex divorce case.

Step 1

Go to your local New Jersey court clerk's office to obtain the complaint for divorce. In New Jersey, the document initiating the divorce is referred to as a "complaint." You will need to state the grounds for divorce.

Step 2

Pay the filing fee for the complaint. When the complaint is filed, you must pay a filing fee of $160 as of 2010. If you have children, you will need to pay an extra fee for the required parenting education course. Additional motions such as custody and child support are an extra $15 per motion.

Step 3

Wait for your spouse to answer the complaint. The responding spouse has 35 days to file a written response to dispute your complaint for divorce. If the spouse agrees to the divorce complaint, he will need to file an appearance governed by Rule 5:4-3(a) with the clerk of court.

Step 4

Complete your Case Information Statements. Both parties will need to file a CIS. The statement is used to identify all income, assets and liabilities. You may need to supply bank statements, pay stubs and tax returns. Once completed, file with the court.

Step 5

Take the parent education course if children are involved. The state of New Jersey requires the course be completed by parents before a divorce can be granted. Some counties allow the course to be taken online. The course is 4 hours long. After completion, your case file will be updated.

Step 6

Contact the judge assigned to your case. You can call the county clerk to obtain the contact information. Request the final divorce hearing date be scheduled.

Step 7

Go to the hearing. If the divorce is uncontested, the responding party does not need to appear in court. After the divorce is granted, you will receive the signed divorce decree.


If the grounds for the divorce is adultery, you do not have to live in the state for a year before filing in New Jersey.

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