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What It Means To Serve Divorce Papers in NJ

Posted by Steven J. Kaplan, Esq. on July 28, 2017

 

A new client recently hired me and asked me to "serve" divorce papers on his wife that same day.

I explained to him that his request would be very difficult, and probably impossible, to do.

His request made me realize that there is confusion about what it means to serve divorce papers in New Jersey.

Let me explain.

Before divorce papers can be "served," they must first be created and then filed with the Court.

Divorce proceedings in NJ begin with your lawyer preparing your divorce complaint.  

The complaint states your NJ Grounds for Divorce. It gives the judge the reasons that you are asking for a divorce (most of the time the reasons given are "irreconciliable differences," but not always.)

Once the divorce complaint has been prepared by your lawyer, it is sent to the county courthouse to be filed (that is, received by a courthouse employee and stamped with the word "filed," and assigned a case number known as a docket number.)

By having a docket number assigned to it, there is now a place to file your papers at the county courthouse. It's kind of like having a locker at the local beach club... you know, a place to store your stuff... well, maybe not exactly the same, but you get the idea.

The divorce complaint, now bearing that all important court-assigned case number, (i.e. the docket number) is then returned to your lawyer so that he can arrange for proper "service" upon your spouse, who is now known as the defendant.

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Topics: Divorce, Monmouth County divorce attorney

"Why Won't The Other Monmouth County Divorce Attorney Negotiate?"

Posted by Steven J. Kaplan, Esq. on May 11, 2017

"Why won't the other divorce attorney negotiate?"

That's what Barbara asked me.

"Steve," she said, "we've been trying to get them to respond to our settlement proposal that I asked you to draft 2 months ago and that you mailed to them 2 months ago. No response.

We've been trying to get them to attend a four way conference to begin a dialogue. No response.

You call and leave messages for his attorney to call you back. You do not get the courtesy of a return call.

Why can't you get the other attorney to negotiate?"

Barbara is a really nice lady.

She didn't deserve the treatment that her husband gave her.

She knew that he had affairs but she did not want the divorce.

Ultimately her husband left her for another woman.

When I'm representing the person who doesn't want the divorce or who doesn't care about it or just wants to be left alone, I don't get the phone calls like the one that I got from Barbara.

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Topics: Divorce, Monmouth County divorce attorney

Perhaps Your Monmouth County Divorce Attorney Should Take Depositions

Posted by Steven J. Kaplan, Esq. on April 23, 2017

Are there unanswered questions in your divorce case?  

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Topics: Monmouth County divorce attorney

10 Good First Questions To Ask A Monmouth County Divorce Attorney

Posted by Steven J. Kaplan, Esq. on April 21, 2017

Often people who are considering getting a divorce are not sure where to begin or what questions to ask me.

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Topics: Monmouth County divorce attorney

How the Worst Nuclear Accident in History Helped Me To Become the Best Divorce Lawyer I Can Be

Posted by Steven J. Kaplan, Esq. on March 19, 2017

It was April of 1986.

I was interviewing with a highly respected Judge of the Superior Court, in the family part in northern New Jersey. I was applying to be His Honor's law clerk for the 1986–1987 court year.

I was extremely proud to have been selected to interview with this particular judge, who I had heard was one of the best Divorce Court judges in the state.

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Topics: Monmouth County divorce attorney

Family Court Motions

Posted by Steven J. Kaplan, Esq. on March 22, 2014

What is a motion? A motion is simply a request of a judge for something.

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Topics: Divorce, family court, Monmouth County divorce attorney

Sometimes Divorce Lawyers in NJ "Dump" a Case on an Associate

Posted by Steven J. Kaplan, Esq. on March 8, 2014

There is a bad practice in many law firms where the "rainmaker" lawyer (usually the oldest lawyer in the group) brings in most of the business but has young associates, fresh out of law school, do most of the work on the client files.

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Topics: Divorce, Monmouth County divorce attorney

5 Qualities You Should Seek In Your Monmouth County Divorce Lawyer

Posted by Steven J. Kaplan, Esq. on December 22, 2013

It's time. You know that it's time. Everything and everyone tells you that it's time.

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Topics: Divorce, Monmouth County divorce attorney

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