In New Jersey, divorce actions are heard by the Superior courts. Generally, the court that will preside over a particular divorce is the one in the county where one or both of the spouses live at the time of the divorce filing. Once the divorce complaint been filed, the other party has 30 days to respond if he or she lives in the state of New Jersey. If the other party lives in the U.S. but in a different state, he or she has 60 days to respond. If the other party lives outside the U.S., the period for response is extended to 90 days.

In order for a New Jersey court to have jurisdiction over a divorce, one of the spouses must have been a New Jersey resident for at least a year before the complaint can be filed. The spouses do not have to be living at the same address. The statements made in the sworn complaint are generally sufficient to establish proof of residency.

New Jersey has both fault and no-fault divorces. There are many fault grounds for divorce, including adultery, addiction, extreme cruelty, institutionalization, desertion, imprisonment and deviant sexual conduct. To have a no-fault divorce approved, the parties must establish that they have irreconcilable differences for at least six months or that they have been separated and living apart for at least 18 months.

People in New Jersey who are considering or going through a divorce might want to consult a lawyer. A lawyer who practices family law may help by drafting and filing the complaint for divorce or by examining the couple’s assets and liabilities to prepare for property division, which is often one of the most contentious parts of a New Jersey divorce. A lawyer may be able to negotiate the terms of property division or represent the client during official proceedings.