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New Jersey Divorce Definitions

This collection of definitions will help clarify some unique characteristics to the New Jersey Divorce laws, process and paperwork which is filed with the court.

Filing Party Title:
Plaintiff

The spouse who will initiate the Divorce by filing the required paperwork with the court.

Non-Filing Party Title:
Defendant

The spouse who does not initiate the Divorce with the court.

Court Name:
Superior Court of New Jersey, Chancery Division, Family Part, __________ County

The proper name of the court in which a Divorce is filed in the state of New Jersey. Each jurisdictional court typically has a domestic relations or a family law department or division.

Child Support Enforcement Website:
http://www.njchildsupport.org

The state run office devoted to enforcing existing child support orders and collecting any past due child support.

Document Introduction:
In Re the Marriage of:

The lead-in verbiage used in the legal caption or header of the documents filed with the court. The introduction typically prefaces both spouse’s names.

Initial Divorce Document:
Verified Complaint for Divorce

The title and name of the legal document that will initiate the New Jersey Divorce process. The filing spouse is also required to provide the non-filing spouse a copy of this document.

Final Divorce Document:
Judgment of Divorce

The title and name of the legal document that will finalize the New Jersey Divorce process. This document will be signed by the judge, master, or referee of the court to declare your marriage officially terminated.

Clerk’s Office Name:
INSERT

The office of the clerk that will facilitate the Divorce process. This is the title you would address letters to or ask for when contacting the courthouse.

Legal Separation:

The grounds for legal separation (or a divorce from bed and board) are the same as for divorce. One of the spouses must be a resident of New Jersey for at least 1 year prior to filing for legal separation or when the cause for legal separation is adultery and took place in New Jersey, 1 of the spouses must have been a resident (no time limit). [New Jersey Statutes Annotated; Title 2A, Chapter 34-2].

Property Distribution:
Equitable Distribution

The applicable New Jersey law that will dictate how property and debt is to be divided upon Divorce.