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Deciding to file for divorce is no small decision. People typically spend months or years trying to avoid divorce or looking for ways to repair a broken relationship. When this is not possible, divorce can be the best and only way to pursue a better future.

As such, many people hope that once they do file for divorce, the process will go very quickly. Unfortunately, that may not be the case. Below we explain briefly what happens after a person files for divorce in New Jersey. 

The divorce process, at a glance

After someone files for divorce, he or she must serve the other party with the divorce papers. The other party then has the opportunity to respond. This can take days, or it might take weeks, depending on how long it takes to deliver paperwork and how long the receiving party takes to respond.

At this point, parties will discuss divorce-related matters in detail. This includes child custody, child support, property division and spousal support. This aspect typically takes the longest amount of time, depending on how agreeable parties are, how many issues there are to resolve and the complexity of the parties’ marital assets.

The amount of time this takes will also vary based on the method of dispute resolution. If you pursue mediation or a collaborative divorce, reaching resolutions can go much faster than if the case goes to trial.

Most divorces can be final in a matter of months, though others can take years. This can happen when there are very complex issues involved or when parties take that long to reach agreements. 

Avoiding costly delays and mistakes

No matter how long it might take to divorce in New Jersey, it can be important to avoid costly and unnecessary missteps that drag the process out. One way to do this is to work with an experienced family law attorney who can help you understand your options and navigate the system more efficiently.