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Divorce waiting periods and failure to respond to a complaint

New Jersey spouses may benefit from learning more about how state courts govern issues related to matrimony and divorce. There are specific rules that describe the qualifications for divorce and the appropriate time spouses are required to wait. People who are already living apart from one another may already be considered as being separated.

Spouses must wait one year before a court will grant a divorce due to desertion. When extreme cruelty is a factor, courts may require spouses to wait three months from the date of the most recent act of cruelty before granting a divorce. In order to file a no fault divorce, spouses are required to have lived apart for at least 18 months. Divorces attributed to adultery may be executed immediately.

People who fail respond to a divorce complaint may be at the mercy of the court's discretion. This typically results in a default judgment, otherwise described as the court granting a divorce that was not contested. Once a spouse establishes grounds for divorce, the other spouse may not prevent them from completing the process. Some spouses may prefer to attempt to reach a settlement before undergoing a lengthy hearing.

Spouses who are interested in learning more about divorce laws and proceedings may benefit from confiding in legal counsel. Lawyers may be effective in expediting the legal process by acting as an intermediary during the negotiation process. Legal counsel may also provide assistance with finding remedies for issues relating to property division, spousal maintenance, child custody, child support and other points of contention that arise from a divorce.

Source: New Jersey Courts, "Divorce/Matrimony", November 17, 2014

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