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New Jersey Intensive Settlement Conference
My spouse and I are getting divorced in New Jersey. We are scheduled to go to an Intensive Settlement Conference. What is it and why do we have to go?

An Intensive Settlement Conference is a meeting held at the courthouse. You, your attorney and your spouse and attorney will meet to discuss settlement of any disagreements or issues in the case. The attorneys will also meet with the judge assigned to your case at least once during the day to get guidance on the issues. The judge will not hear testimony from you or your spouse or make any formal decisions. The judge will merely offer his/her initial impressions of the case to the attorneys while they are meeting in chambers (the judge's office). Most intensive settlement conferences require the attorneys and clients to stay at the courthouse negotiating for most, if not all, of the day. The New Jersey courts require at least one Intensive Settlement Conference before a trial can be held.


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In New Jersey, a separation agreement is any legal document signed by both spouses outlining the terms of the separation. Subjects resolved in a separation agreement can include child support, child custody, debt allocation and asset distribution. Notarizing the document ensures its validity, since there is no such case-type in New Jersey that provides for a "legal separation." Spouses wanting child support during the separation period, however, must file a claim with the New Jersey probation department.
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