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Dissolution Unit

Wilentz Justice Complex
Room 1068, 10th Floor
212 Washington Street
Newark NJ 07102
Hours: Monday through Friday
8:30 am. to 4: 30 p.m.

Staff Directory

  • General Information 973-693-6710
  • Supervisor 973-693-6718
  • Assistant Manager 973-693-6668
  • Matrimonial Early Settlement Program 973-693-6708
  • Mediation 973-693-5528
  • Parent Education Program 973-693-5528

Dissolution Filing Fees

  • Complaints for Divorce - $250
  • An additional fee of $25 for the Parent Education Registration is required if child support, visitation or custody is asked for in the complaint.
  • Appearance, Answer or Answer & Counterclaim - $135
  • An additional fee of $25 for the Parent Education Registration is required if child support, visitation or custody is asked for in the answer.
  • The Parent Education Registration fee does not have to be paid if there is an active Domestic Violence Restraining Order between the parties.
  • Motions, Cross-Motions & Orders to Show Cause - $30
  • Motion kits for self-represented litigants are available in the Centralized Intake Unit on the 1st floor.
  • Copies of Orders or Final Judgments - There is an additional $5 fee (per copy) for a Certified copy with a raised seal.
  • Exemplified Copies of Orders or Final Judgments – $10 fee (per copy) applies.

To obtain a copy of an order or final judgment or any other document of divorce from 2004 to the present write to:

Dissolution Unit Records Room
Wilentz Justice Complex
Room 111
212 Washington Street
Newark, N.J. 07102

Your request must include:

  • Full names of both parties (plaintiff and defendant) including middle name or initial if known.
  • Year Divorce was filed
  • Docket Number (if available)
  • Parties’ addresses
  • Parties’ dates of birth if available
  • Check or Money order for $5.00
  • Self-Addressed stamped envelope

To obtain a copy of an order or final judgment of divorce from 2003 and anytime before write or call:

Superior Court of N.J.
Records Information Center
Jersey & Tremont Sts., P.O. Box 971
Trenton, N.J. 08625-0971

(609) 421-6100

Checks and Money Orders should be made payable to the Treasurer, State of New Jersey.


Differentiated Case Management

NJ Court Rule 5:1-4 Differentiated Case Management in Civil Family Actions

Dissolution cases are managed according to their complexity. Based upon Differentiated Case Management (DCM), a dissolution case will be assigned to one of four case management tracks. The track assignment will be made by a Family Division Judge after all parties have filed Case Information Statements or after the Case Management Conference. In making the track assignment, consideration is given to the attorney’s request for a particular track assignment. DCM tracks are not assigned to summary actions.

Priority Track: Cases involving contested custody or parenting-time issues.

Complex Track: Cases likely to require a great amount of court and litigant resources in preparation for trial. Cases shall be assigned to the complex track if it is likely that it will require a disproportionate expenditure of court and litigant resources in preparation for and at trial due to the number of parties involved, the number of claims and defenses raised, the legal difficulty of the issues presented, the factual difficulty of the subject matter, the length and complexity of discovery, or a combination of these or other factors.

Expedited Track: Cases where it appears the matter can be promptly tried with minimal pretrial proceedings, including discovery. Cases shall be assigned to the expedited track if (A) there is no dispute as to either the income of the parties or the material assets and no issue of custody or parenting time has been raised; (B) the parties have been married less than five years and have no children; (C) the parties have entered in to a property settlement agreement or (D) the action is uncontested.

Standard Track: Any case that does not qualify for the priority, complex, or expedited track assignments.


Mediation

Mediation is a confidential, diversionary process in which a Family Court Mediator or Law Clerk meets with parties to help them develop agreed upon custody and parenting time plans. Parents participating in mediation should have a willingness to negotiate, desire to make their own decisions and have an ability to work in the best interest of the child or children.

Family Mediation is located on the 10th floor in Room 1053.

Pursuant to the New Jersey Rules of Court, specifically, 1:40-5, litigants filing for divorce who have genuine issues regarding custody and parenting time are required to meet with a Family Mediator or a Law Clerk to resolve those issues prior to court. Family Mediation is designed to assist families in reaching a parenting time and custody agreement for their child or children. Instead of a hearing where the matter is decided by a judge, the parents work with a Family Mediator to resolve the issues with the expectations of reaching an agreement.


Litigant Services Specialist

A Litigant Services Specialist is available to answer questions about court forms, services and programs. This individual is situated in the Non-Dissolution Unit, 1st floor, Room 109, 212 Washington Street, Newark, NJ 07102. You can also contact the Litigant Services Specialist at (973) 693-5539.


Frequently Asked Questions

l. Do I need a lawyer to file for divorce?
You have the right to obtain legal counsel and be represented by an attorney, or you may represent yourself. The decision to obtain an attorney is a personal one as it may impact the potential outcome of your case. Most people prefer to be represented by an attorney during the divorce process; however, some parties choose to represent themselves and file “pro se”.

2. If I am representing myself where can I get assistance?
When you are representing yourself, you may need assistance or find it necessary to do research to file complaints, motions and other legal documents. As a self-represented litigant, you can obtain assistance from our list of Legal Referrals available at Family Information Desk on the 1st Floor or our Litigant Services Specialist located in the Centralized Intake Unit in Room 109.

3. If I need an attorney how can I locate one?

4. How long does it take to get a divorce?
If a case is a simple uncontested case you can get a divorce in approximately 3-6 months. If it is contested (a case where an answer is filed), the time it may take will vary.

5. What are your hours?
Our office hours are from 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

6. Can I mail in my divorce, motion or answer?
Yes, you can send mail to the following address: Dissolution Unit, Superior Court of New Jersey, 1st Floor-Room 111, 212 Washington Street, Newark, N.J. 07102.

7. I am representing myself. Where can I pick up a pro se packet?
Divorce Packets for self-represented litigants can be picked up at the first floor Information Desk in Room 101.

8. I cannot afford the filing fees - what do I do?
The Dissolution Unit will provide you with an Affidavit of Indigency and an Order of Indigence. After you fill out the affidavit, a judge will review your affidavit and either grant or deny your request to waive your filing fees based on your income.

9. How do I serve the complaint for divorce?
’s Office can serve the defendant with the divorce papers. There is a fee depending on where the defendant resides. A defendant can also sign an acknowledgment of service. This must be notarized if he or she is not represented by an attorney.


Glossary of Terms

Affidavit of Verification of Non-Collusion - A statement that verifies that the information stated in the divorce complaint is accurate and true to the best of your knowledge, information, and belief. (NJ Court Rule 5:4-2 (c))

Affidavit of Insurance Coverage - A statement listing all known insurance coverage for the parties and children such as life, health, automobile and homeowner’s insurance. If you do not have insurance write “None”. (NJ Court Rule 5:4-2 (f))

Complimentary Dispute Resolution – The New Jersey Judiciary uses the term “complementary” dispute resolution rather than the more widely known term “alternative” dispute resolution because it views dispute resolution processes as complements to the traditional trial processes rather than as alternatives. Some CDR programs include settlement proceedings, mediation, and arbitration.
Motion - An application to the court for an order. A motion can be filed before the divorce is final (pre-judgment motion) or after the divorce (post-judgment motion).

Order to show cause - An application to the court for an order in an emergency situation. An order to show cause is heard by a judge either the same day or the next day as an emergent matter

Summons- A notice to appear in court which is served by the Sheriff or other authorized officer of the court. A copy of the divorce complaint is served with the summons to the defendant.

Acknowledgment of Service - A statement signed by the defendant stating that he or she received a copy of the divorce complaint. If submitted by a client who is self-represented, does not have an attorney (pro se), the acknowledgment must be notarized

Default - If the Defendant does not answer the complaint within 35 days of service, a Request to Enter Default can be filed by the Plaintiff. After the Request to Enter Default is filed, a court date for the divorce is scheduled.

Appearance, Answer, or Answer & Counterclaim - A Defendant’s response to the complaint. Once the document is filed the case is referred to as a joined case.

Affidavit of Non-Military Service - Affidavit stating that the defendant is not in the military. (NJ Court Rule 1:5-7)

Case Information Statement (CIS) - A form containing financial information such as income, expenses, family assets and liabilities. A Case Information Statement must be filed and served in contested family actions where custody, support, alimony or equitable distribution is an issue. In other family actions, a Case Information Statement may be required by order, on motion of the court or a party. (NJ Court Rule 5:5-2)

Pro Se - A person who is self-represented and does not have an attorney.

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