Conflict is inevitable, but combat is optional.
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Conflict is inevitable, but combat is optional.
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Guiding You Through The Divorce Process

The most common grounds for divorce in New Jersey are irreconcilable differences, a separation period of 18 months or longer, and extreme cruelty. The family law attorneys at Laemers, Murphy & Neggia, LLC, can help you understand your divorce and separation alternatives.

Initial Pleadings

A divorce proceeding begins when one person files a complaint for divorce. The complaint sets forth the grounds for divorce and asks for relief such as custody, support, equitable distribution of assets and debts, payment of counsel fees or resumption of one’s prior name. The party who files the complaint is called the plaintiff.

The other party, the defendant, must then file a response to the complaint in the form of an answer (disputing the allegations of the complaint) or an appearance (not disputing the allegations of the complaint, but asking to be heard on any relief requested by the plaintiff). A defendant may also file a counterclaim seeking a divorce on his or her own grounds.

Temporary Relief Applications

A pendente lite application seeks relief from the court prior to the final hearing. The rulings in these orders are generally temporary and will be extinguished either by the terms of your final divorce decree or by the terms of your marital settlement agreement.

Temporary relief requests often include:

  • Custody and parenting time
  • Alimony and child support
  • Maintaining health, auto, home or life insurance
  • Payment of ongoing bills such as mortgage, utilities, automobile or credit card payments
  • Prohibiting the sale or depletion of marital property
  • Payment of attorney fees and expert fees


The discovery process enables each party to make requests for documents and answers to certain authorized questions. The document production and answers to certain questions are made under oath and have the effect of testimony. These documents and responses can later be used at trial.

Generally, the information requested is financial in nature; however, if custody is in dispute, personal questions (such as physical and mental health, criminal history, etc.) are permitted to determine what custody arrangement is in the best interests of the children.

Interim Proceedings

Throughout the divorce process, you will be required to attend court to participate in various proceedings. These court appearances include case management conferences, and custody and parenting time mediation. Our lawyers will help guide you through each of these proceedings one step at a time.

Contact Our Family Law Attorneys To Find Out How We Can Help You

If your marriage has come to an end, we can help you assert and protect your interests. To schedule an initial consultation, call our law office in Newton at 973-869-5658. You may also contact us online.