Law office of Peter Bronzino



Copyright 2017 The Law Office of Peter J. Bronzino, LLC.
All Rights Reserved.


Call Us For Free Consultation





What is the Divorce Process in NJ?

Brick NJ Divorce Lawyer protecting you and your Family


Every divorce is different in New Jersey; however, the process and the law remains the same whether you are in Ocean or Monmouth County. The judicial process in divorce cases established by the New Jersey Court system is a constant. It is imperative that an individual has guidance when navigating through the divorce process, as the decisions made today can have repercussions for a lifetime. At The Bronzino Law Firm, we explain each step of the New Jersey divorce process to our clients.

Divorce Process across Ocean and Monmouth Counties

Initiating Divorce – The Complaint

If you want to file for divorce in New Jersey and initiate the process, you must file what is known as a Complaint. The Complaint for Divorce establishes the relief you want the court to award you, such as a divorce from your spouse, equitable distribution of your property, alimony and child support. After filing, you must personally serve your spouse with the Complaint by way of a process server. Your spouse must then file what is known as an Answer, which is a response to your Complaint.

If you do file for divorce first, you are known as the Plaintiff and your spouse is known as the Defendant. However, there is no legal advantage to filing for divorce first.

Response – The Answer and Counterclaim

When you are served with a Complaint for Divorce from your spouse, you must file an Answer. At The Bronzino Law Firm, we encourage our clients to file a Counterclaim for Divorce along with their Answer. The Counterclaim essentially mirrors the Complaint, stating that you also want to get divorced and establishing the relief you want the court to award you, such as equitable distribution, alimony, and child support. Once again, your spouse does not have a legal advantage if they file for divorce first, especially if you file a Counterclaim.

Case Management Conference

After the Divorce Complaint and Answer and Counterclaim has been filed, the court will schedule a Case Management Conference. The Case Management Conference, or CMC, is designed to make sure that your divorce is going smoothly. A Case Management Order will be completed setting up certain deadlines that have to be met by the parties. If the parties cannot agree on a specific term, the Judge will decide how the issue is handled. Therefore, this provides you with the first opportunity for the Judge to opine about your divorce case. , if you are represented by a Monmouth or Ocean County divorce attorney, you do not have to appear at the Case Management Conference.


Discovery is the time where you learn information about your spouse. This information will help you determine the proper divorce settlement and also prepare you for a divorce trial. Case Information Statements as well as other financial documents are exchanged. If there are experts, their reports are provided. Interrogatories, or questions, are answered. If necessary, sworn depositions of either party or witnesses are also taken. Depending on the length of your marriage and also the complexity of your divorce case, discovery can be quick or drawn out for numerous months. High Asset Divorces can require a significant amount of time and expertise to compile a comprehensive financial audit and achieve a fair and equal settlement. At The Bronzino Law Firm, we will work with you during the discovery phase to learn as much about your spouse as possible so that we can broker a divorce settlement that is favorable to your interests.

Early Settlement Panel (ESP)

After discovery has been completed, your divorce case will be set for an Early Settlement Panel at the courthouse. During the Early Settlement Panel, or ESP, you will work to try and settle your divorce case. The ESP will be attended by you and your Brick, New Jersey divorce attorney. The ESP is run by an impartial mediator, who is an experienced divorce attorney in the area. This is an excellent opportunity settle your case, as the ESP mediator is there voluntarily and you do not have to pay them for their time.

Economic Mediation

If your divorce case does not settle at ESP, you will be referred to economic mediation to once again attempt to settle your divorce. Economic mediation is held with an economic mediator who is paid for their time. For that reason, economic mediation is more comprehensive than ESP. The mediator will work with you, your divorce attorney and your spouse in an attempt to broker a fair divorce settelment.

Pre-Trial Conference

If your divorce case still does not settle, it will be set for a Pre-Trial Conference. At the Pre-Trial Conference, the judge will try to settle any outstanding issues. Additionally, the judge will start scheduling your divorce trial and discuss trial concerns.

Divorce Trial

In Ocean County divorce cases, roughly 98% settle before trial. However, while most divorce cases settle, some New Jersey divorce cases do go to trial. At your divorce trial, you will be provided the opportunity to testify before the judge who is determining the outcome of your divorce case. You and your divorce lawyer will also be able to submit evidence, present witnesses and experts to testify on your behalf. Eventually, after hearing both sides, the judge will make a final determination on your divorce for all outstanding issues, such as equitable distribution, alimony, child custody, visitation and child support.

Contact an Ocean County Divorce Lawyer Today

At The Bronzino Law Firm our experience and tenacious representation is on your side. Contact an Ocean County Lawyer that will take your divorce case to trial if necessary. Call (732) 812-3102 or contact us to schedule a free consultation with a Brick, NJ divorce lawyer.

Request a Free Legal Case Evaluation
from a Lawyer in Ocean County, NJ

While this website provides general information, it does not constitute legal advice. The best way to get guidance on your specific legal issue is to contact a lawyer. To schedule a meeting with an attorney, please call (732) 812-3102 or complete the intake form below.


The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

Read our expertly written blog or share us on social media

We provide our clients with informative and detailed articles on all of the latest news regarding New Jersey legal matters and how it affects your case in family law, divorce law, real estate, municipal court, DUI, traffic offenses, and personal injury. Coming from an in-depth understanding of the law and the industry, capitalizing on extensive experience, we provide hands-on advice that addresses all of our clients’ legal needs.

Contact us
lawyer reviews in ocean county
ocean county lawyer reviews on facebook
family lawyers reviewed on avvo
ocean county lawyer reviews on google
super lawyers in ocean county
national academy of family lawyers