When filing for divorce in New Jersey, certain documents must be filed. First, a “complaint for divorce” is filed, which gives basic information about the marriage, including where it was held, if there are any children to be considered, and the grounds for divorce. Along with the complaint for divorce, a “confidential litigation information sheet” must also be filed. This sheet contains detailed information about each spouse, including their social security number, overall health, place and date of birth, and the names and ages of all the children. Each spouse, after submitting all necessary information and documents must sign a “CDR” certification, which just notes for the court that each party has been made aware of the lower-cost, alternative dispute resolution.
Response documents are also among the first filed by the defendant. An “appearance” is filed once the defendant receives the complaint, an “answer,” either confirms or denies the grounds for divorce, and the optional “counterclaim,” allows the defendant to file based on other grounds not originally mentioned by the plaintiff (this isn’t always necessary, but your attorney will be able to answer any questions you may have about the process).
All documents filed will become a matter of public record after the divorce process begins…many parents keep this in mind when describing how they feel about their spouse, and the reasons for the divorce. Children will be able to access the information years from now.