A Divorce on the Papers

During the COVID-19 crisis, the New Jersey Judiciary recently implemented statewide, the option of obtaining a Judgment of Divorce through the submission of papers only. In other words, a divorce can be obtained without ever appearing in court. This is not possible in every divorce case but if a case is a default case or uncontested case then a divorce can be obtained on the papers. A default divorce occurs when one spouse has filed for a divorce, properly notified the other spouse, and that other spouse has not filed any response with the court. An uncontested divorce occurs when both spouses agree on all the issues, subsequently sign and submit to the Court a signed Property Settlement Agreement, Affidavit stating he or she would like the court to grant the parties a divorce. Under New Jersey Judiciary Directive #18-20, when either of these two situations occur, spouses are entitled to receive a Judgment of Divorce without having to make a personal appearance in front of a Judge. The spouse who filed for the divorce can also resume using any name used before the marriage or change their name, consistent with New Jersey Law (N.J.S.A. 2A: 34-21).

It is important to note, if a judge deems it necessary, he or she does have discretion as to whether or not a divorce on the papers will be granted, or if an appearance by the parties is required. However, if an appearance is required, the parties will be notified by the court in advance.

Lyons & Associates, P.C. is here to assist you. We offer support during the COVID-19 pandemic and are here to help you navigate our changing court system. If you have any concerns pertaining to your divorce and for a private consultation please contact us by e-mail, visit our website, or call our office at (908) 271-8998.

Posted by Lyons & Associates, P.C.