When you’re served with divorce papers in New Jersey, it’s important to respond as soon as possible. If you don’t, you’ll lose your opportunity to contest the divorce. This might not matter if you agree with all the stipulations that your former spouse has laid out, but if you disagree with even one point in the divorce papers, you’ll need to fill out the required forms so that your side of the story can be heard.
How do you respond to divorce papers?
When you receive the divorce papers, you need to read everything and figure out how you’re going to respond. The papers will contain a list of stipulations written by your former spouse. You can agree or disagree with each stipulation as you choose. You can also write your own counterclaim if you want the judge to rule differently.
You’ll also need to file a financial disclosure form that gives the judge information about your finances. This can help the judge determine a fair ruling. The form will ask for information about your current job, financial assets, expenses and any debts that you might have. You’ll also have to attach your three most recent pay stubs to the form.
Once you’ve completed your response, you need to file your papers within 21 days. If you don’t, you’ll lose most of your rights to contest the divorce, even if you hire a family law attorney. You may have to pay a fee to file your documents.
When should you hire an attorney?
You can hire an attorney at any time in the process, and consulting a legal professional sooner rather than later may be beneficial. An attorney may help you review your documents and decide the best possible way to proceed. They may also educate you about any other forms that you need to file before the deadline is up.