How To Speed Up Your Divorce in New Jersey in 2024

speed up divorce new jersey 2024

Are you getting divorced in 2024? Are you looking to speed up your divorce but are trapped in the New Jersey Court system? Here’s how you can take control over your divorce and move forward with your life…

With over 5,100 divorce cases currently stuck in the New Jersey Courts backlog – and an end to the logjam expected to take years – too many divorcing couples are trapped in legal limbo. If you’re one of these individuals, feeling frustrated and unsure about your future, you’re not alone. In a recently published article in the New Jersey Law Journal, our firm’s managing partner Bari Weinberger shed light on this pressing issue and offered practical solutions to help couples navigate their divorce out of court, including child custody issues.

7 Ways to Speed Up A Divorce: 2024 New Jersey Divorce Edition

What you need to know right now: Despite the frustration of long court wait times, there is a silver lining. As Bari pointed out, many effective ways exist to sidestep the court’s quagmire and accelerate the divorce process:

  • Mediation and Collaborative Methods: These approaches can dramatically reduce the time and cost of divorce. By opting for mediation, you can avoid getting mired down in the backlog by streamlining the process and using the out-of-court setting to maximize efficiency. Mediation in divorce can take place over one or more sessions, at a time that is mutually convenient for you and your spouse. A mediator is NOT a judge. The role of this neutral third party is to help you and your spouse reach the final terms of your divorce by informing you of the law and range of options. Mediation is also non-binding (meaning you don’t have to accept it if you don’t like the outcome). Mediation can be used to settle the entire divorce or only be used for a single issue, like child custody.
  • Jumpstart Divorce by Settling Issues Before Filing: If you and your spouse have split, but neither of you has officially filed yet, there is no need to delay working out the terms of the divorce. Negotiation talks can begin immediately, typically with the direct help or review of an attorney. Depending on the ease and speed with which you and your spouse can reach agreements, you may be able to complete all the terms of your Marital Settlement Agreement (MSA) on your own. Filing for divorce with the MSA already in hand keeps needed contact with the courts to the bare minimum. In 2024, this may be the speediest method of divorce available.
  • Utilize Retired Judges and Experienced Attorneys for High Conflict Cases: Divorcing spouses with contested areas of disagreement in their divorce may feel like court is their only option. This may not necessarily be the case. In situations where conflict runs high, retired judges or highly experienced family law attorneys can be hired as mediators or arbitrators to provide the necessary structure and creative problem-solving to break legal deadlocks — saving you precious time and resources.
  • Get Emotional Support: Unchecked emotional conflict between divorcing spouses is often fuel for court battles. However, even in entrenched situations, knowing that it may take years for the courts to fully address their matter could be the incentive you need to compartmentalize emotions so out-of-court settlement alternatives become a possibility. You may need help to do this — and so might your ex. Depending on the severity of the conflict, it may be beneficial to seek individual counseling with a divorce therapist to help process emotions and reframe their perspectives. Ask your attorney for a therapist referral.
  • Child Custody Experts for Amicable Arrangements: Involving a child custody expert can facilitate mutually acceptable arrangements that prioritize your child’s best interests. Understanding that shared custody is now the default in most situations can defuse lengthy custody battles. Innovative solutions like “nesting” — where parents rotate in and out of the family home while the children stay put — can be explored.
  • Domestic Violence Economic Mediation (DVEM): For those with a final restraining order, New Jersey’s new Domestic Violence Economic Mediation (DVEM) program offers support from mediators trained in domestic violence awareness, providing an additional layer of expertise and understanding. This is a new program for New Jersey divorce in 2024. Ask your attorney for information about how to get connected.
  • Take Advantage of Technology: If you and your spouse can’t stand to be in the same room together, it might appear at first that out-of-court methods are off the table. However, what if that room was on Zoom instead? We all became accustomed to using video conferencing and email and texting and other online communication apps over the past few years. In a 2024 divorce in New Jersey, technololy can be readily employed in most out-of-court settings. For some divorcing spouses, embracing remote conferencing could be the difference between entering the backlog or still being able to mediate or negotiate their issues. Tip: Look for mediators that offer Zoom conferencing or ask your attorney for a recommendation.  

Schedule An Initial Consultation

Remember, you’re not alone in this journey. Our team is dedicated to guiding you through the challenges of divorce with compassion and expertise. With offices throughout New Jersey, we are ready to guide you to reach your goals in 2024. Together, we can find the best path forward for you and your family. Call us today at 888-888-0919.