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New Jersey Divorce Forms
This is a list of the most commonly filed divorce forms for the state of New Jersey. Following the list is a brief summary of each form and its purpose. This list of forms is not exhaustive and not all forms listed are required for every divorce. Due to unique case situations and special divorce filing procedures in New Jersey, certain forms may or may not be required by the New Jersey courts.
Matrimonial Case Information Statement
A Matrimonial Case Information Statement (CIS), which is also called the Family Part Information Statement, must be filed within 20 days after the Defendant has answered the Complaint. Both spouses must file the CIS, and failure to do so may result in a default against the Defendant. The CIS states each party's assets and liabilities, property owned by the spouses, spousal income and important financial issues. It may be updated and amended up to 20 days before the final hearing on the divorce.
Verified Complaint for Divorce
The Plaintiff files the Verified Complaint for Divorce, which starts the divorce. The Complaint, which must be certified, states the grounds for the action and the relief desired.
Certification of Insurance Coverage
Filed by the Plaintiff, the Certification of Insurance Coverage states the insurance policies covering the parties of the marriage at the time of the divorce.
Civil Case Information Statement
This two-side form describes the type of case before the court, and stipulates one of five possible tracks (courses and estimated duration) for the action.
A Summons, which is normally served by a Sheriff's officer in the county in which the Defendant resides, gives the Defendant 35 days to file an Answer, or he or she faces a default judgment against him or her, wherein the Plaintiff is given the relief sought.
The Defendant who wishes to contest the allegations made in a Complaint files an Answer, wherein he stipulates his agreement or disagreement, point by point, with the Plaintiff's contentions. Filing an Answer is often a preliminary to a contested divorce.
When he or she agrees, a Defendant, who does not wish to contest a case, files an Appearance in the court.
Property Settlement Agreement
When a couple reach an agreement about all the terms and conditions of their divorce -- the division of the marital estate, child custody and visitation, child and spousal support -- the consensus is memorized in the Property Settlement Agreement, and is incorporated by reference into the Final Judgment of Divorce, which is also prepared by the Plaintiff.
Certification of Service
This form is used to certify that the Plaintiff forwarded all appropriate paperwork to the Defendent.
New Jersey is an equitable distribution state, meaning that the division of property in a divorce is to be done fairly, not necessarily equally. The court can take into consideration any factor it deems relevant when dividing property, but it must consider certain factors, such as how long the couple was married and the age and health of both spouses, the income or property brought to the marriage by each spouse, the standard of living that was achieved during the marriage, and the extent to which one spouse may have deferred career goals, among others.
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