The process of divorce in NJ requires quite a bit of paperwork. The spouse who initiates the court process for divorce is called the plaintiff; the other spouse is called the defendant. The plaintiff will file the first set of documents, and the defendant will respond to those documents in the second set of documents filed.
The documents that are prepared for the divorce process are explained in detail below.Initial Documents Filed in NJ Divorce - Plaintiff Complaint for Divorce
The New Jersey divorce process formally begins with the drafting and filing of a complaint for divorce. The Complaint for Divorce is filed with the county clerk’s office. This document includes basic information about the spouses, including their names and addresses. It also includes information about the marriage, including the date it took place, the type of ceremony, and the names of any children the couple had. Any history of court proceedings needs to be listed as well.Grounds for Divorce
In addition to that basic information, the complaint for divorce must include the grounds for divorce. The following are grounds for filing for divorce in NJ:
- Extreme Cruelty
- Voluntary Addiction to Narcotic Drugs
- Habitual Drunkenness
- Institutionalization for Mental Illness
- Deviant Sexual Conduct
- Irreconcilable Differences
The Confidential Litigation Information Sheet contains important identifying information about the divorcing spouses. That information includes date and place of birth, mother’s maiden name, driver’s license number, social security number, history of name changes, and medical information.
The Confidential Litigation Information Sheet is filed along with the Complaint for Divorce with the county clerk’s office.Certificate of Insurance Coverage (or Affidavit of Insurance Coverage)
The Certificate of Insurance Coverage identifies any and all insurance coverage that the spouses have in effect at the time the Complaint for Divorce is filed. All types of insurance need to be included, including: medical, life, homeowner’s or renter’s, automobile, disability, etc. The document lists the insurance company name and contact information, policy numbers, the name of the insured and beneficiaries, and the dates of the coverage. The parties must also state whether the coverage had been modified within 90 days of filing for divorce. If any insurance coverage has been changed, the parties must explain what change was made and the purpose of the change.
The purpose of the Certificate of Insurance Coverage document is to protect both spouses from having their insurance modified or terminated while the divorce proceeds.Consensual Dispute Resolution Certification (CDR)
The Consensual Dispute Resolution Certification states that the plaintiff-spouse and the spouse’s attorney are aware of alternative options to settle the divorce that can keep the cost of the divorce down. Both the attorney and the spouse must sign this document.Response Documents Filed in NJ Divorce - Defendant Appearance
Filing an Appearance tells the court that you have received the divorce papers from your spouse and that you intend to go forward with the divorce process.Answer
In the Defendant’s Answer, the defendant-spouse will either confirm or deny all of the allegations set forth in the plaintiff-spouse's divorce documents.Counterclaim
If the defendant wishes to raise his or her own claims against the plaintiff, he or she will do that in a separate document called a Counterclaim. Note that a counterclaim is not required in a defendant’s response.
It is important for all of the documents listed above to be accurate and complete when you file a divorce in NJ. Call The Law Offices of Peter Van Aulen today for a consultation.