In certain New Jersey counties, parties in an uncontested divorce action have the option of finalizing their divorce without appearing in court. This process of getting divorced by simply sending paperwork in to the court is known as a “divorce on the papers”.
The length of time it takes to settle your case notwithstanding, once a complaint for divorce has been filed and properly served, and the parties have resolved all outstanding issues in their case and signed a Marital Settlement Agreement, they may proceed with divorcing on the papers.
Generally, the plaintiff’s attorney will take the lead on preparing the necessary documents needed to file the divorce on the papers. The following documents are required for submission:
- A proposed Final Judgment of Divorce which states the judgment will be granted on the papers;
- The fully executed Marital Settlement Agreement, including, if applicable, child support guidelines and a custody and parenting time agreement;
- Certifications from both parties stating their wish to have the divorce entered on the papers and incorporating the Marital Settlement Agreement. Additionally, these certifications state that each party entered into the Marital Settlement Agreement voluntarily, attesting to the cause of action, and that the residency requirements have been met;
- Certification of the wife requesting to resume her maiden name, if applicable; and
- Uniform Summary Support Order detailing child and spousal support obligations, if applicable.
Once the judge has signed the Final Judgment of Divorce, each party will receive a filed copy with the judge’s signature and a gold seal, as well as a filed copy of the Marital Settlement Agreement.