Frequently Asked Questions

Divorce Eligility and Grounds
Process and Procedures
Division of Property
Child Support
Spousal Support and Maintenance
  • What is an "Uncontested Divorce"?

    An "uncontested divorce," as opposed to a "contested divorce," is where (a) you and your spouse agree on all divorce-related issues (i.e., child custody and support, division of marital property and spousal support); and (b) your spouse cooperates with the execution of the divorce documents or is served with the "Summons and Complaint" and fails to appear in the proceedings or otherwise challenge the divorce. If your spouse will cooperate, an uncontested divorce is the quickest, friendliest, and most affordable way to dissolve your marriage without any required court appearances.

  • Is an uncontested divorce right for us?

    An Uncontested Divorce is always the best option when you and your spouse are able to work through your differences and reach an agreement regarding key issues such as division of assets, child custody, and support. Aside from avoiding a very costly legal battle, by pursuing an amicable uncontested divorce you will have saved yourself a great deal of stress and, if you have children, you and your spouse will have paved the way for a healthy working relationship.

  • Do I qualify for an uncontested divorce?

    If you and your spouse are in agreement regarding the terms of your divorce, including child custody and support (if applicable), division of marital property or spousal support or if your spouse will not seek to contest the divorce once served, then your divorce will remain uncontested.

  • What are the State of New Jersey Residency Requirements?

    In order to begin the process of a divorce in NJ, you or your spouse must have been a resident of the state for more than one (1) year before starting the process.

  • What are the Grounds for divorce in the State of New Jersey?

    • Adultery
    • Desertion
    • Extreme Cruelty
    • Separation
    • Voluntary Addiction to Narcotic Drugs
    • Habitual Drunkenness
    • Institutionalization for Mental Illness
    • Imprisonment
    • Deviant Sexual Conduct
    • Irreconcilable Differences (No Fault)
  • Which is the most commonly used Grounds for Divorce?

    Irreconcilable Differences (No Fault) is the most commonly used grounds for divorce due to the fact that the parties need not specify in open court as to their private marital problems. Further, they only need to certify that they have been unable to get along, and will probably not reconcile, for a period of at least six (6) months.

  • I live out of state, but my spouse resides in New Jersey. Am I eligible for a New Jersey Divorce?

    If you are not a New Jersey resident but your spouse resides in New Jersey and meets the "Residency Requirements," you may file an action for divorce in New Jersey State.

  • We are a same sex couple, are we eligible for a divorce in the State of New Jersey?

    Yes. New Jersey recognises same sex marriage.

  • Do I need a copy of my marriage certificate?

    No. You do not need to provide us with a copy of your marriage certificate, but we will need some information that is contained in the marriage certificate such as:

    • The legal names of the parties as they appear on the certificate
    • The date of the marriage
    • The type of marriage ceremony (civil/religious)
    • The location of the Marriage (City/State/Country)
  • My spouse is reluctant to sign the divorce agreement/documents, what can I do?

    In the event that your spouse refuses to cooperate with the divorce process or is unwilling to sign the proposed settlement agreement or divorce affidavits, we will need to have him or her served by a process server. This, in effect, will give the defendant (your spouse) notice of the proceeding and action for divorce. Once properly served, if the defendant (or their attorney) does not respond by filing a "Notice of Appearance" or an "Answer" with the Court, we may request that the Court enter a default Judgment of Divorce against the defendant.

  • What if my divorce becomes "contested"?

    Our flat-fee legal services are limited to "uncontested" divorce. In the event that your spouse contests the divorce by filing a Notice of Appearance or Answer with the Court, your case will be transferred to our litigation branch where you will have the option of continuing with our "of-counsel" legal representation (a new retainer will be required at that time) or you may always opt to proceed as a pro se litigant (self-represented). In any event, our staff and attorneys will be available to discuss these options and assist you with the transition.

  • My spouse is not willing to agree to the terms of the divorce or custody/support of the children?

    If your spouse is simply not willing to cooperate or you are in disagreement regarding the substantive issues of the marriage as they concern your children or property/assets, you may need to seek the representation of a litigation attorney. These issues must be agreed upon in a written stipulation or decided by a Judge before a divorce will be granted. Please contact us directly should you require assistance in locating a litigation divorce attorney in your area.

  • I do not know where my spouse is, can I still file an uncontested divorce?

    Yes. However, before we can proceed with a divorce, we will need to have your spouse served. In order to accomplish process of service, which in essence means providing your spouse with written notice of your intention to seek a divorce in the State of New Jersey, we must engage in a process of due diligence. An example is hiring an investigator to find the most recent address for your spouse. Another alternative, more commonly used in the State of New Jersey, is to file what is known as a motion (i.e. a request for relief from the court) asking for the spouse to be served via publication. If the Judge grants the motion, the entire Complaint for Divorce will be published and that will serve as proper service of process.

  • What is the difference between a Divorce and an Annulment?

    The State of New Jersey treats Divorce and Annulment very differently. An annulment, which is not granted very often due to the difficulty of meeting the requirements for same, means that the marriage between spouses is cancelled. As such, there is no need to decide issues of alimony, child support, or division of assets. The end result is that the marriage never took place. In the alternative, in a divorce, the parties have the ability to settle their issues and distribute their assets.

  • Will my divorce be prepared and filed by an attorney?

    Absolutely. When you retain Yaniv & Associates, you will have the benefit of a professional, full-service law firm. Your case will be assigned to a dedicated attorney who will review your case information, offer guidance, and prepare all required legal documents. You will also have access to our support staff and paralegals who are always ready to assist. We are a team of super-friendly, knowledgable, and experienced Attorneys, Paralegals, and Legal Assistants. Don't be fooled by our affordable rates. We employ cutting edge technologies and systems to keep our administrative costs low and, in turn, offer you an exceptional client experience for a very reasonable fee.

  • How much will I need to pay in Court Filing Fees?

    Currently, the cost of a Complaint for Divorce in the State of New Jersey is $300.00. There is an added cost of $25.00 for a Parent Education Registration class which MUST be paid by parties seeking a divorce who have unemancipated children. In addition, if the matter becomes contested and there is a need to respond to further pleadings, the cost of an Answer & Counterclaim or Answer to Counterclaim is $175.

  • I am experiencing financial difficulties, but I would like to file for divorce. Can the court fees be waived?

    Yes. If you meet the financial requirements, you can file a Certification/ Petition/ Application in Support of a Fee Waiver requesting the court waive the filing fees. In order for it to be approved, you must also submit proof of your financial circumstances.

  • Will I get a "divorce certificate" once my divorce is finalized?

    The goal in the State of New Jersey is to finalize the divorce proceedings within a year of filing the complaint for divorce. While some matters are settled expeditiously, others are not. Usually, when a divorce is uncontested, the matter usually settles in less than three (3) months, depending on the court calendar and the judge’s availability.

  • What does the process look like once the complaint for divorce is filed in an uncontested divorce?

    • After the complaint for divorce is filed, the spouse filing the complaint, also known as the plaintiff, must serve the other spouse, the defendant, with the complaint for divorce.
    • Once the defendant has been served with the complaint, he or she must file an Answer to the Complaint within thirty-five (35) days.
    • If the defendant does not file an Answer to the Complaint, the attorney can file a request to enter Default.
    • If there is an agreement signed by the parties, the request to enter default will lead to an uncontested hearing to finalize the divorce.
    • If there is no agreement signed by the parties, the plaintiff must serve the defendant with a proposed final judgment 20 days before the default hearing. Afterwards, a default hearing to obtain a judgment of divorce takes place.
  • What guarantees do you offer?

    We stand by our commitment to our clients. At Yaniv & Associates, client satisfaction is our highest priority, and this is evidenced by the thousands of happy customers who have used our services over the years. Our promise to you: we will do our very best to ensure that your divorce is completed professionally and in a timely manner and with minimal stress or legwork on your end. Our staff and attorneys are available for questions or to resolve any issues during normal business hours. When you contact our offices, you will be treated with the professionalism, compassion, and courtesy that New Yorkers have come to expect from our firm.

  • Will my spouse or I need to appear in Court at any time?

    Due to the world pandemic of COVID-19, courts in the State of New Jersey are closed to the general public and will not reopen at this time. However, judges are handling all matters virtually. If any appearance is necessary, same will take place on Zoom, Webex, or another digital platform.

  • What documents will be necessary for the filing of the complaint for divorce?

    Usually, attorneys in the State of New Jersey will only need information such as current address of each party, names and dates of birth of any children, and general identification information (like license numbers and social security numbers) before a complaint can be filed.

  • Will I need to file any documents with the Court?

    No. Our flat-fee legal services include all filing requirements and non-litigation submissions to the Courts. Neither you nor your spouse will need to file or submit any documents to the Court.

  • How will our divorce documents be sent to us for review and signature?

    You (and your spouse) will have the option of receiving your documents by one of four methods:

    • Secure Email Download
    • USPS Mail
    • FedEx (additional fees apply)
    • online notary platform

    Legal documents sent via email will arrive electronically in PDF format and may be downloaded and printed using a secure link provided by our offices. The PDF download will include instructions on how to properly sign and notarize your documents. All documents will arrive complete and signature-ready.

  • Do I need to have my documents notarized?

    In the State of New Jersey, your divorce attorney can notarize your divorce documents.

  • Do you require original signed documents or may we email or fax copies?

    • Yes. At this time, the State of New Jersey requires original documents as part of the filing process for the complaint for divorce.
    • Due to the world pandemic of COVID-19, the courts are accepting e-signed original documents.
  • If my spouse and I reconcile, can we stop the divorce?

    Yes. We can stop the proceedings by consent of both parties before the court enters the Judgment of Divorce. Usually, the courts will require the parties to enter into a Stipulation of Dismissal.

  • If our reconciliation does not work, will I need to refile for divorce?

    If your attempt at reconciliation did not work, and you would like to refile for divorce, you may do so by asking your attorney to file another complaint for divorce. If a short period of time has elapsed, then the original complaint for divorce can be reinstated by motion.

  • When is a divorce final?

    A divorce is considered to be finalized once the court has signed and entered the Judgment of Divorce, which at times incorporates a Marital Settlement Agreement.

  • Am I able to resume my maiden name after a divorce?

    Yes. The court will enter a Name Change Order at the same time it signs and enters a Judgment of Divorce.

  • Will my divorce be recognized in another country?

    Yes. However, if you will be entering your Judgment of Divorce in a foreign jurisdiction please be aware that, in many instances, you may need to have the Judgment of Divorce authenticated by the U.S. Department of State that issues both Authentication Certificates and Apostilles. If you intend to present your Judgment of Divorce to a foreign jurisdiction, please be sure to discuss this with our legal team.

  • Can social media affect my divorce?

    We live in the Age of Information and as such should be mindful of our online presence and posts on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. It is important to keep in mind that anything you post online regarding your divorce our children can later be used against you. As such, it is encouraged that you refrain from mentioning the litigation or the matter online.

  • I am unemployed and do not have any income, can the Court Filing Fees be waived?

    If you do not have enough money to pay the court costs and fees for your uncontested divorce, you may ask the court to permit you to proceed without having to pay the court costs. An application for "poor person's relief" is made by motion and must be supported by an affidavit which must set forth the amount and sources of your income, and list your property with its value; state that you are unable to pay the costs, fees, and expenses necessary to proceed with an action for divorce. You will be required to document your income. If the judge approves your application, the judge will sign an order listing which fees and costs you do not have to pay.

  • What am I entitled to as part of a divorce?

    In New Jersey, the general rule is that any property or assets acquired by either party during the marriage are subject to "Equitable Distribution" in a divorce proceeding. That means that all marital property and assets, including homes, businesses, vehicles, savings accounts, stock accounts and retirement accounts (to name a few) will be divided between the parties. This rule will apply to debts incurred during the marriage. Finally, where there are minor children of the marriage, child support will be also be awarded to the party who has custody of the children. In all cases, however, parties to a divorce are free to work out any alternate terms as they see fit regardless of the "fairness" or "equitability" of the agreement.

  • My spouse and I are in agreement regarding the terms of the divorce, how do I ensure that I will be able to enforce our verbal agreement in Court?

    The best way to memorialize the terms of your divorce, including your agreement regarding the division of assets, debt, child custody or any financial support is to have these provisions drafted into a written "Settlement Agreement" or "Stipulation of Settlement." Our experienced attorneys will discuss all relevant issues with you during your divorce consultation and draft a customized Settlement Agreement, addressing all marital issues between you and your spouse, as part of your divorce.

  • What is a Marital Settlement Agreement or a Property Settlement Agreement?

    A property settlement agreement or marital settlement agreement is a binding contract between you and your spouse that outlines the terms of your divorce. In most cases, the agreement will cover the division of assets and retirement accounts, disposal of debts, custody of the minor children, spousal and child support as well as any issues related to the marriage.

  • We have no property, assets or children, do we need a written agreement?

    It is always advisable to have your attorney draft a written agreement that states that each party had no property, assets or children at the time of the divorce. The goal being to avoid litigation down the road if a former spouse has a financial change in circumstances and seeks alimony or other kinds of support from their former spouse.

  • We already have a Prenuptial Agreement, can its terms be incorporated into the Judgment of Divorce and Marital Settlement Agreement?

    Yes, certainly. If you have previously entered into a prenuptial agreement (or a postnuptial agreement) with your spouse, we can incorporate the terms of your previously executed agreement into a marital settlement agreement and judgment of divorce.

  • We share a home (or other real estate), what are our options?

    All property acquired during the marriage, real property or otherwise, is subject to equitable distribution. That is, regardless of whose name is on the title to the marital home (or the mortgage), both parties are entitled to an equal share of the home's equity. You and your spouse may opt to sell the home and split the proceeds or alternatively, one party may purchase the other's interest in the home. During your divorce consultation, our legal team will discuss your options and assist you in resolving divorce-related issues affecting your home or other real property.

  • Our home was purchased during the marriage, but it is titled in my spouse’s name only. What are my rights as to the marital residence?

    Both parties are entitled to an equal share of the home's equity regardless of whose name is on the title to the marital home (or the mortgage).

  • All of our bank accounts and savings are under my spouse's name, what are my rights?

    Regardless of whose name is on the title to the accounts, provided that these funds were accumulated during the marriage, both parties are entitled to an equal share.

  • My spouse has a pension/retirement accounts, am I entitled to a portion of these accounts?

    Yes. You and your spouse are each entitled to share in the marital portion of the other's pensions and retirement accounts. However, you may seek to waive your rights to these types of retirement accounts. Either way, please be sure to discuss this with our legal team as the division of retirement accounts require the preparation of a special Court Order called a "Qualified Domestic Relations Order."

  • What is a Qualified Domestic Relations Order?

    A Qualified Domestic Relations Order or "QDRO" is a Court Order prepared by an attorney or pension analyst in connection with a divorce proceeding which will allow for the division and distribution of a pension plan or other retirement account without incurring any tax liabilities typically associated with distributions from retirement accounts. QDROs are intricate documents, which require the pre-approval of the plan administrators and signature of the Judge presiding over your divorce. QDROs need not be submitted simultaneously with a divorce proceeding and, in fact, may submitted after the divorce has been finalized. If you intend to divide any pensions or retirement accounts as part of your divorce, be sure to discuss this with our legal team.

  • Does your firm handle division of pensions/ retirement accounts?

    Yes, we can address any types of assets including real estate, 401(k)s, pensions, and other financial accounts. Please note that while we do provide for the division of retirement accounts in your Settlement Agreement, our services do not include the preparation of Qualified Domestic Relations Orders (QDROs). A QDRO is typically required in order to affect a penalty-free transfer of funds from one spouse's pension or retirement account to an account belonging to the other spouse. However, we do work closely with several pension preparation services to which we will refer you, if needed, upon review of your file.

  • Am I responsible for debts that are under my spouse's name?

    Much as equitable distribution applied to assets acquired during the marriage, credit card debts, bank loans and the like, which were accumulated during the marriage are generally subject to division. That means that even if your spouse incurred the marital debt under his or her name, you may both be responsible for any outstanding accounts. In most cases, however, the division of debt will be prorated based on the relative incomes or earning capacities of the parties. As always, in an uncontested divorce proceeding, you and your spouse have the luxury of dividing the debt in any way you see fair.

  • Who receives Child Support in a divorce?

    Generally speaking, Child Support is paid to the custodial parent (the parent who has physical custody of the children) by the non-custodial parent.

  • What is the maximum age for Child Support eligibility?

    A law enacted in 2017 states that all children are automatically emancipated at the age of 19. However, if the child is still in high school, college, or graduate school, child support can be extended until the age of 23.

  • I am the custodial parent, how much Child Support am I entitled to?

    In the State of New Jersey, Child Support is calculated using the Child Support Guidelines which take into consideration each parties’ gross income, amongst other factors.

  • We have an existing Family Court order awarding child support, can this be incorporated into our divorce?

    Yes. If you have an existing Family Court Order concerning Child Support or Custody, we will incorporate the terms Ordered by the Family Court into your Judgment of Divorce. This will serve to continue any existing Order of Custody or Support that had been previously issued by the Court. We will, of course, need to include a copy of any such Order(s) in your divorce filings.

  • My children are over 19, am I still entitled to Child Support?

    Yes, the child(ren) will be eligible for support so long as they are enrolled in high school, college, or graduate school until the age of 23.

  • My child is under 19 but is financially independent and no longer resides at home, is Child Support required?

    If your child is legally emancipated, that is, your child is financially independent, lives on his or her own and you do not claim this child on your tax return, you will not be able to seek support for this child even if he or she is under the age of 21.

  • How is Child Support paid?

    Child support may be paid weekly, bi-weekly (every two weeks) or monthly depending on the parties' preferences. Child support may be paid directly to the custodial parent by check or money order or through the Child Support Services of the Probation Department of New Jersey in your specific County. If you opt for child support to be paid through Child Support Services, the payor spouse may have his or her Child Support obligation deducted (if employed) from his or her paycheck on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. Child Support funds are then forwarded to the Probation Department of New Jersey by the payor's employer and the payee spouse will receive regular child support payments through the Probation Department of New Jersey.

  • I am self-employed, how will my income be calculated for purposes of Child Support?

    In the case of self-employed parties, establishing child support income can be tricky because of how self-employed individuals receive income distributions or how they calculate their actual earnings. The income stated on self-employed individual's tax return is not always an accurate representation of their actual earnings. Unless you and your spouse are willing to impute (agree on a reasonable amount as and for income), you will need to consult with our legal team in order to arrive at an accurate figure for purposes of calculating Child Support.

  • I pay Child Support for children from another relationship. Will that reduce my current Child Support obligation?

    Yes, the New Jersey Child Support Guidelines includes the support paid for another child into the formula to help determine the appropriate amount of support that needs to be paid.

  • I pay Spousal Support, will that reduce my current Child Support obligation?

    Yes. Spousal support paid to your spouse will reduce your Child Support income dollar for dollar such that your income will be reduced by the amount actually paid for spousal support prior to calculating a Child Support obligation.

  • How are “add-on” expenses such as tuition, extracurricular activities and out of pocket medical expenses shared by the parties?

    Each of these expenses can be negotiated between the parties with the exception of the first $250 out of pocket medical expenses. Usually the custodial parent is solely responsible for the first $250 of out of pocket medical expenses.

  • I am unemployed and do not have any income, do I have to pay any Child Support?

    Usually, the courts will impute income to the unemployed party. Every year, the State will decide what the minimum amount to be imputed is based on what minimum wage comes out to be for a person working full time.

  • Neither party is seeking Child Support, can Child Support be waived entirely?

    No. Child Support is a right and entitlement that belongs to the minor Child or Children and, therefore, cannot be waived entirely by the parties even if they agree to waive their rights.

  • Support is already collected through the Probation Department of New Jersey, do I still need to address Child Support as part of my divorce?

    Yes. Order of the Court establishing support for children needs to be addressed as part of the divorce.

  • Am I automatically entitled to Spousal Support?

    No. The statute in New Jersey which related to alimony/ spousal support is very specific as to whom would be allowed to seek same from their spouse. Our attorneys are more than capable of running through the statute and addressing each element with you in order to determine your eligibility.

  • How much support am I entitled to?

    The amount of support that will be awarded to a "non-monied" (or the spouse with less income) spouse will depend on numerous factors including the relative earning power of the parties, the difference in incomes, the lifestyle enjoyed by the parties during the marriage and the length of the marriage. During your divorce consultation, our attorneys will explain your rights and options.

  • I am unemployed, am I entitled to support from my spouse?

    Typically, if you are unemployed for good-cause and your spouse is receiving income from various sources, you will be entitled to support. The amount of support you will receive depends on factors such as the relative earning power of the parties, the difference in incomes, the lifestyle enjoyed by the parties during the marriage and the length of the marriage. Our attorneys will be sure to explain your rights and options.

  • Can I get support from my spouse while my divorce is pending?

    Yes. A motion (i.e. request for relief from the court) can be filed after the complaint for divorce is filed seeking unallocated pendete lite support (temporary support) from your spouse. This means that the court can temporarily set a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly amount for support to be paid from one spouse to the other while the matter is pending.

  • We were married for less than a year, will I have to pay any support to my spouse?

    While it depends on the specific facts of your case, the likelihood is that due to the short term of the marriage, if spousal support is necessary it will be for a short duration. The party seeking support will have to prove extraordinary circumstances that warrant the allocation of spousal support.

  • How do I ensure that my spouse does not seek support from me in the future?

    The best way to ensure that neither party revisits the issue of spousal support in the future is to execute a written Settlement Agreement or Stipulation of Settlement whereby both parties waive rights to support. While in some counties it is against public policy to waive rights to support in extraordinary circumstances, a well-drafted stipulation will ensure that under ordinary circumstances neither party will be able to revisit the issue of support.

  • How is Spousal Support paid?

    Spousal support can be paid in a variety of ways, just like child support. For example, some parties agree to pay directly via check or money order. Other parties request the assistance of the Probation Department and even seek support to be garnished from their spouses paycheck.

  • When does Spousal Support end?

    It depends. New Jersey has a new law in place for spousal support in the event the parties have been married more than twenty (20) years. Our attorneys will review the facts of your case and advise as to how long alimony receipt would be fair and equitable.

  • What happens if I am paying Spousal Support but my former spouse is cohabitating and/ or has remarried?

    In your Marital Settlement Agreement or Property Settlement Agreement there will be a section that specifically addresses this issue. Usually, once a party receiving support engages in cohabitation or declares their desire to remarry, support from the payor spouse ends.

  • How is alimony taxed?

    Under the new presidential administration, extreme changes were made to the treatment of alimony for tax purposes. As such, if you are concerned about the tax implications, we encourage you to speak to a Certified Public Accountant.

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