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Paterson Divorce Lawyer

Are you considering filing for divorce in Paterson? We can help you! Our team of divorce lawyers have handled hundreds of divorce cases over the years, ranging from uncontested to complex. Call (201) 798-8000 today, use our contact form below, or chat with us live 24/7 for a free consultation.

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Paterson Divorce Lawyer

We proudly represent divorce clients throughout New Jersey, including Paterson

No two divorces are ever the same, but there is one common factor that unites them: the divorce process is normally frustrating for both spouses, quickly becoming confusing and time consuming as spouses struggle with settlements, paperwork, and legal proceedings.

During this difficult time, it’s advisable to have support from the beginning. A Paterson divorce lawyer from Bhatt Law Group can offer the legal and emotional assistance you need to successfully make it through your divorce. For more information on how we can help, contact us online or call (201) 798-8000 to schedule a free consultation. 

How to File for Divorce in New Jersey

Filing for a divorce in Paterson, New Jersey involves many steps. In the initial stages, you first must ensure that you meet all residency requirements before then determining the appropriate grounds and filling out necessary paperwork. Below is a general overview for filing for divorce in New Jersey:

  • Requirements for filing

    To file for divorce in New Jersey, at least one spouse must have lived in the state for at least 12 consecutive months. However, this residency requirement is waived in the case of adultery if one spouse is a resident of the state. If you are filing for divorce because of “irreconcilable differences,” you and your spouse must have experienced problems for at least six months. 

  • Determine grounds for divorce

    You must identify the grounds or why your marriage needs to come to an end (e.g. adultery). Different grounds are detailed later on, but it’s important to choose the right ones for your situation as the grounds you select will dictate future legal proceedings. Strong legal counsel from an experienced Paterson divorce lawyer is advisable to help you feel confident in your selection. 

  • Complete “Complaint for Divorce” & related paperwork

    Filing a complaint requires certain information such as the names and addresses of both you and your spouse and the date and place of the marriage. You also have to list the grounds that you’ve chosen for divorce. To obtain an official “Complaint for Divorce” document, you can visit the clerk’s office of your local county courthouse. 

    In addition to the official complaint, you also have to compile other paperwork such as a Certificate of Insurance Coverage and Confidential Litigant Information Sheet. You then have to file all divorce papers at your clerk’s office. 

  • Serve papers to your spouse

    After you’ve filed a “Complaint for Divorce” with the local court, you’ll eventually be able to “serve” your spouse with official divorce papers. Your spouse must respond to the complaint within a specific period of time. This begins a long process of paperwork, settlements, and a possible trial. A Paterson divorce lawyer can help you through this difficult (and time-consuming) process. 

What is Legal Separation vs Divorce in NJ?

Legal separation simply means that you and your spouse are still legally married but living separately. Most states require couples to petition to the court to receive a legal separation. However, New Jersey is one of six states that does not offer a formal legal separation process – legally, the state only recognizes marriage and divorce.

However, even though there is no title in the New Jersey Code for “legal separation,” you do have separation options in NJ. You can draw up an official separation agreement which is a contract for your marriage separation. New Jersey law also offers “divorce from bed and board” where you are still legally married, but separated in terms of your property and other things. 

If you are concerned about receiving a divorce such as due to religious convictions, a legal separation might be the best option. Just be aware that acquiring legal separation is still managed best with the help of an experienced family attorney so you can confidently navigate through the process and separate from your spouse. A Paterson divorce lawyer can help you with the legal process and avoid complicated court proceedings. 

Types of Divorce in New Jersey

Under New Jersey law, you can file for a no-fault or fault divorce. Depending on your relationship with your spouse, the divorce may also be contested or uncontested. We’ll look at all four types below. 

  • No-Fault Divorce

    Filing for a no-fault divorce means that you and your spouse are not assigning blame for the end of your marriage. Instead, you cite “irreconcilable differences” or not being able to get along as the reason for the divorce.

    To file for a no-fault divorce, you or your spouse must have lived in New Jersey for 12 consecutive months. You and your spouse must also have experienced irreconcilable differences that have no chance of reconciliation for at least 6 months.

    You can also file for no-fault divorce on the grounds of separation. If you and your spouse have been living apart for at least 18 months, this might be an option. 

  • Fault Divorce

    New Jersey also recognizes “fault divorce,” allowing you to make fault-based (misconduct) allegations against your spouse. This means that one spouse was at fault for the marriage’s collapse. However, you must be able to prove your spouse’s misconduct as the court will use this information to make certain decisions such as about alimony. A Paterson divorce lawyer can expertly guide you through the process of filing for a fault divorce. 

  • Contested Divorce

    Not every divorce is settled peaceably. In a contested divorce, spouses can’t come to an agreement on issues like asset division, child support, and child custody so they need the assistance of the court to settle the dispute.  A contested divorce can last six months to a year. 

  • Uncontested Divorce

    An uncontested divorce is much simpler than a contested divorce as it doesn’t require a trial. Spouses agree on all issues to effectively terminate the marriage. It also doesn’t take as long as a contested divorce as issues are resolved fairly quickly.

    Whether you are going through a contested or uncontested divorce, an experienced Paterson divorce lawyer can help you through all proceedings and formalities. 

Grounds for Divorce in New Jersey

Selecting the right grounds for divorce is a crucial part in obtaining your divorce, no matter what type of divorce you file. Available grounds for divorce in New Jersey include:

  • Adultery
  • Willful abandonment that lasts at least 21 months
  • Physical or mental abuse
  • Drug or alcohol addiction
  • Consensual deviant sexual conduct
  • Mental illness resulting in 24 consecutive months or more of institutionalization
  • Incarceration for 18 months or more 
  • Living separately and apart for at least 18 consecutive months

Talk with a Paterson divorce lawyer to help choose the right grounds for you, as well as navigate through the paperwork and legal proceedings. 

Common Settlements for Divorce in NJ

To file for divorce in New Jersey, you and your spouse will be forced to settle on a number of issues: 

  • Property division

    Since New Jersey is an equitable division state, the property of you and your spouse (e.g. investments, personal property, monetary savings) won’t necessarily be split equally, but fairly in the eyes of the court. A Paterson divorce lawyer can help ensure that your property is divided as equally as possible.

  • Division of debt

    For division of debt (e.g. mortgage, auto loans, credit card debt), the court reviews different “equitable distribution factors” such as the length of the marriage, your standard of living, and your age and health. 

  • Retirement

    Especially if a majority of your retirement savings is part of your spouse’s account through work, it’s essential that you protect what’s rightfully yours from unfair division. A Paterson divorce lawyer can help ensure that you don’t lose a significant portion of your retirement account. 

  • Alimony

    Determining whether or not one spouse should pay the other spousal support (alimony) can quickly turn into a bitter battle during a divorce. Speak with a Paterson divorce lawyer if you want to seek alimony or you believe your spouse will fight for it. 

  • Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements. 

    A valid prenuptial and postnuptial agreement can control or influence a number of issues within your divorce. Any concerns about your agreement should be discussed with an experienced divorce attorney right away. 

  • Child Custody

    A parenting agreement must be determined if you and your spouse have children. If you are unable to come to a parenting agreement on your own, the court will decide the custody arrangement based on the best interests of the child. 

  • Child Support. 

    New Jersey state guidelines will always apply to child support, whether the divorce is contested or not. But a number of factors can impact the outcome which is why a Bhatt Group lawyer can help you understand how child support will be calculated in your case and guide you through the arrangement. 

A Paterson Divorce Lawyer is Here For You

A divorce is often a complicated, drawn out process. A Paterson divorce lawyer can help speed up the proceedings and ensure that a fair settlement is reached. The right lawyer can also provide the necessary support and legal counsel, relieving the pressure of divorce formalities and keeping your life as normal as possible. 

At Bhatt Law Group, we are committed to successfully guiding you through divorce legal proceedings and ensure that your rights are protected. Contact us online or call (201) 798-8000 to schedule a free consultation and learn more how we can help you during your divorce.
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Domestic matters can be incredibly complicated and emotional. Our team of New Jersey family lawyers at Bhatt Law Group are dedicated to protecting your best interests in family law matters, from divorce to custody disputes to DYFS investigations. Let us help you through this challenging time in your life.


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Basil Kuriakose
August 18, 2022.
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Linda Passaro
June 24, 2022.
I want to thank Mr Devin Baer my attorney for all of his help w my case.....his devotion and expertise was so appreciated....I would highly recommend this law firm...this is the 2nd time I am using them and things worked out terrific both times
Emily Wetmore
June 22, 2022.
Thanks to Christopher DeSocio for the great work on my case, I’m very happy with my outcome! I’m so happy my fines were reduced, thanks so much.
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June 20, 2022.
Amazing group of lawyers. Helped me with my personal injury case from an accident. They kept me in the loop at all times and were very quick to answer any questions or concerns I had. Chris DeSocio worked very hard to make sure I got the best possible outcome for the injuries I sustained. Daniel was also great in answering any questions I had. I would recommend them to anyone I know.
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June 17, 2022.
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June 8, 2022.
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June 6, 2022.

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When someone’s negligence causes you or a loved one serious injury, you deserve justice. Our team of personal injury lawyers at Bhatt Law Group is here to help you obtain the maximum available compensation for your medical costs, lost income, and other losses. We’re dedicated to fighting for the rights of injured people throughout New Jersey.