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Five Facts You Need to Know About a New Jersey Divorce Trial

If you are considering filing for divorce in New Jersey, you undoubtedly have a good many questions. In the final analysis, an experienced lawyer is in the best position to answer any questions you may have and provide you the legal guidance and representation you really do need to effectively maneuver through your marriage dissolution case. With that said, there are five facts that you need to know about a New Jersey divorce trial. These are:

  • Legal titles of parties in a New Jersey divorce trial
  • Court uses the equitable division standard to divide property
  • You can settle some issues and go to trial on others
  • You can appeal the decision of the court
  • Most New Jersey divorces do not end up in a trial
Legal Titles of Parties in a New Jersey Divorce Trial

At the beginning of a New Jersey marriage dissolution case, the spouses in the case are assigned what might be called “legal names” in the proceedings. The person who files a divorce case in New Jersey is called the plaintiff. The person against whom a divorce case has been filed is known as the defendant. This is how you and the other party in your case will likely be referred to by the judge and others during your divorce trial.

Not all states use the same titles in divorce proceedings. For example, in some states the person who files a divorce case is called the petitioner while the individual who the case is filed against is known as the respondent.

Court Uses the Equitable Division Standard to Divide Property

During a trial, a primary issue in your case very well may involve the division of assets and debts. In making a decision regarding who will get what property in your divorce, a judge uses what is known as a legal standard. The legal standard in New Jersey used by a court in a divorce trial for property division is the equitable division standard. According to the equitable division of property, the court divides assets and debts in your divorce case in a manner that is fair, just, and equitable considering the facts and circumstances of the parties.

You Can Settle Some Issues and Go to Trial on Others

In many trials in New Jersey divorces, some of the issues between the parties are settled before trial. If that is the case, a trial can be conducted by the court on those issues that you and your spouse were not able to agree upon.

You can Appeal the Decision of the Court

When the court issues a judgment after your divorce trial, you do have the right to appeal that determination if you believe the judge has not made the proper decision. According to New Jersey law, you have 45 days to appeal the verdict, judgment, or decision in a divorce case.

An appeal in a New Jersey marriage dissolution case is heard by the Appellate Court. If there was some sort of legal or constitutional error in your case, the Appellate Court has the power to vacate or overturn that decision. If that occurs, the case might be sent back to the lower court for a new trial. On the other hand, the Appellate Court may change a specific element of the lower court’s decision in your case that did not comply with New Jersey law.

If you do not file an appeal in your divorce case within 45 days, the judgment of the court becomes final. When that occurs, you are no longer able to pursue an appeal of the judgment of the court in your marriage dissolution case.

Appeals are very complicated legal matters. In fact, there are lawyers in New Jersey who focus their practices on representing people on appeals to the Appellate Court.

Most New Jersey Divorces Do Not End Up in a Trial

Finally, when it comes to the five facts you need to know about a New Jersey divorce trial, the reality is most cases never reach this point. In other words, most marriage dissolution cases in the Garden State do not end up in a trial. They are settled between the parties before a full-blown trial commences. Indeed, some settlements are finally reached on the day a trial is scheduled to start. Phone our office at (201) 845-7400 for a free consultation.

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