The faster way to divorce when there is not arguments between the parties.
5 attorney answers
I agree with Risa that mediation can be a quick and less stressful way for you to both resolve your matter. Mediation cases can go very quickly if both you and your husband are motivated to resolve the matter in a timely fashion. It is not the only way to proceed. You should consult with an experienced attorney to discuss all your options and see what fits best for you and your husband's situation.
This answer is being made for informational purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice. By responding to a question, no attorney-client relationship has been established.
Although I agree with Ms. Kleiner that mediation is one way to get the divorce in less time, it is not the only way and MAY not be the best way--depending on your circumstances.
I do not agree with Mr. Boyer that filing a Complaint with the court right away is the best way under any circumstances.
The facts that you have given in your question are that you have been married for almost 15 years, that you have a 12 year old son, and that have a good relationship with your husband.
The big issues which have to be covered in your divorce are: child custody and parenting time, child support, alimony (if any), and division/distribution of all marital assets and debts (called equitable distribution).
If your husband and you have talked between yourselves (or can now do that) and agree on all of your issues, you don't need a mediator because the role of a mediator is to help the two of you try to resolve any issues that you can't agree on. However, the mediator can't give either of you legal advice (because he/she is not acting as a lawyer).
For the same reason, the mediator cannot prepare a binding Settlement Agreement containing the agreements that the two of you have made.
If your husband and you can reach an agreement between yourselves (without a mediator), the quickest way to get the divorce would be for one of you to retain a lawyer to go over the agreement with that person (his/her client). As long as the agreement covers everything that needs to be covered (which the lawyer will tell his/her client), the lawyer can prepare the Settlement Agreement and give it to his/her client to give to the other party, who should (but is not legally required to) review it with his/her separate lawyer.
Once the Settlement Agreement is signed by both parties, the lawyer can prepare the Divorce Complaint--which will let the court know that there is already a signed Settlement Agreement and that it should be incorporated into the Judgment of Divorce.
If you do it that way, there is no reason why the divorce cannot take place in 30-60 days after the filing of the Divorce Complaint.
Before you do anything else, I believe that you should meet with a very experienced lawyer who devotes his/her entire practice to New Jersey Divorce and Family Law matters.
Go over your situation in detail with the attorney, get educated answers to your questions, and obtain expert guidance as to the best course of action.
I do not believe that you should necessarily choose a lawyer, just because he or she offers a "free consultation" in his or her office. You want to go to the best lawyer that you can--hopefully one that will take the time to talk to you personally on the phone before coming into the office, so you can be sure that you are completely comfortable with that lawyer before you meet in person.
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Here is the fastest way to accomplish the divorce. You file a complaint for divorce based on irreconcilably differences. Once you have the filed complaint back from the Court, a Summons needs to be drafted, and the other party is provided with the Summons & Complaint for Divorce, together with an Acknowledgement of Service which is signed and then filed with the Court. If you have retained an experienced divorce attorney, then a property settlement agreement can be signed by both parties. The attorney notifies the Court that the case is settled and then the Court will schedule a hearing date. Good luck.
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In New Jersey, there is a mandatory 6 month waiting period for divorce, even when the divorce is consensual. To minimize the wait, you can have any equitable distribution issues resolved and the post nuptial agreement signed and filed with the court. You should also consult with a family law attorney to assist you with filing the divorce complaint as well as the postnuptial agreement.
This answer is for informational purposes only. It does not establish an attorney client relationship.
If you agree on the issues, you can move through the divorce process quickly since you will not have to wait for the court to schedule conferences, etc. Mediation is an excellent and less expensive way to reach agreement on custody, support and distribution of property, especially since you are amicable. You can then use a lawyer to file the Complaint for Divorce or you can file the papers yourself.
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