Filing for Divorce During COVID in NJ New Jersey Divorce Lawyer By Santo Artusa on September 23, 2020

Filing for Divorce During COVID in NJ

Are you interested in filing for a divorce during this time? Are you unsure of how to properly file a divorce for you and your spouse during the pandemic? If so, then you need to understand the process of filing for divorce during COVID in NJ. Experienced New Jersey Divorce Lawyer Santo Artusa and his team are well versed in divorce litigation and the divorce process now in the COVID era or at anytime.

While the process remains largely the same, there are some steps that have been tweaked to keep everyone safe. It's important to know what those changes are so that you can follow the process correctly.

Be sure to see below for several details and an in-depth guide on how to file for divorce in New Jersey during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Can I Obtain a Divorce During COVID In NJ?

This pandemic has certainly turned the world on its head. Things and processes that were once commonplace have become a bit more difficult with COVID-19.

The simple fact that you and your ex-spouse are now living in different places complicates the process with COVID around. You both have come into contact with different people, and thus make the process twice as risky for everyone involved.

Fortunately, the New Jersey courts have adjusted. Counties such as Somerset, Middlesex, Bergen, Union, Essex, and Hudson each have made tremendous strides to accommodate the divorce filing process during these difficult times.

Be sure to hire a trusted family divorce lawyer. They have the experience and know-how to oversee your process from beginning to end.

How Do I File for Divorce Now In COVID In NJ?

Now that you know that you can still obtain a divorce during COVID-19 in NJ, you still need to make sure you're going about it the right way.

New Jersey courts have created strict guidelines for you to follow during this time, which are in compliance with CDC regulations.

First, start out by filing for either a no-fault divorce or fault divorce (NJ is a no-fault state but you can still file fault-adultery, etc but it does not help or hurt in the financial decisions of the court) in the New Jersey Superior Court and fill out the proper documents along with it. This includes the Filing Letter to the Court, divorce complaint, certification of insurance form, the confidential litigant sheet, the verification of non-collusion, certification of alternative dispute resolution and other divorce related documents.

You'll need to file for your divorce in the county where the actions of the divorce originally occurred or where you live now for 6 months or more (after living in NJ for one year or more). There's a lot of grey area there, so be sure to consult with your family divorce lawyer and see where they'd suggest you file the divorce.

For example, if you're filing a fault divorce, then you'd file it in the county where the action of fault took place. But if you've been separated for 18 months, you'd file where you lived during the tail end of those 18 months.

To file the divorce, you'll need to set a court date. If you or your ex-spouse have symptoms of COVID-19 or were at risk of an exposure, you'll need to reschedule by contacting the court by phone.

All counties are offering the chance to file for divorce electronically to reduce the risk. You can find that information by asking your knowledgeable divorce lawyer for specifics. They'll be happy to guide you through it.

You and your lawyer will make plans to meet with each other via a Zoom call, Skype session, or using another web video outlet. This will lower the risk of exposure and help you get everything for the hearing.

Once the hearing rolls around, there might be two options available: attend in person or hold a virtual hearing. All New Jersey Family and Divorce courts are choosing to do the latter by using electronic filings known as JEDS.

If, for some reason, a virtual hearing isn't possible in your New Jersey county, be sure to bring hand sanitizer and maintain a distance of at least 3 feet from everyone else.

To get the latest information on your county's process for handling COVID-19, visit their website for specifics. They might have a detailed outline of how to handle your divorce filing.

Are the Divorce Courts Open in NJ?

Yes, the divorce courts are open during this time. They've been adjusting their process to comply with CDC regulations as more information becomes available.

While you go through this process, it's important to prioritize the safety of yourself and everyone else involved. That means safety for your lawyers, your ex-spouse, the judge, the plaintiff, the court custodians, and so on.

Even though you are practicing safety precautions doesn't mean the other people in the courtroom have been. That's why it's important that every step that can be virtual, will be virtual.

How Has COVID Impacted Divorce?

Don't let a pandemic drag out a bad situation. Even though COVID-19 has caused a stir-up, it's no reason to delay your divorce if you and your spouse are both seeking it.

Many New Jersey residents are deciding to wait to file. However, doing so is only pushing back the process further. Many courts are having to push back trials as is, so be sure to schedule a date for your trial as soon as possible.

If you have any questions on the process and how COVID has altered it, your family divorce lawyer can give you specifics.

Filing for Divorce During COVID in NJ: Follow the Proper Protocol

The most important thing to remember for filing for divorce during COVID in NJ is remembering to reach out to your local divorce attorney in New Jersey to help you navigate the divorce process during this time.

Be sure to read this article for more information on how to change your NJ divorce lawyer during a divorce case and whether it's possible or not.

For more inquiries, please begin by reaching out via our contact us page and we will be happy to assist you further!

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Santo V. Artusa, Jr.

Santo V. Artusa, Jr.

Since 2009, Mr. Artusa has dedicated his career to representing clients in and near Jersey City in family law and criminal cases. He is a skilled negotiator and litigator who has received a range of prestigious recognitions, including:

  • The National Trial Lawyers Top 100
  • Avvo 10.0 Superb Rating
  • Client Distinction Award 2015

For more information about our legal services, contact our office online or call (973) 337-9643 today.

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