New York and New Jersey Divorce Filings Increase in January

While “Sex in the City” may have had a happy ending for Carrie Bradshaw, the creator of the series, Candace Bushnell, will have to wait on her own. The author recently filed for divorce from her husband of nine years. Bushnell’s divorce now joins the company of other high profile couples to recently separate, including: Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher, Kim Kardashian and Chris Humphries, and Maria Shriver and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

In the United States, filing for divorce is unfortunately common. Finances, infidelity and communication breakdowns are not the only issues that force couples to opt out of the bonds of matrimony. In 2009, nearly 50,000 couples ended their marriages in the Empire State.

While divorces can be filed at any time, depending on grounds, experts report that January is the month that sees the most divorce filings of the year. Many couples wait until after holidays and see an early year filing as a “fresh start.”

Starting the Divorce Process

For people residing in New York, the divorce process begins at the Supreme Court. Plaintiffs seeking to end their marriage must file a summons with either a notice or a verified complaint. In the complaint, the reasons or grounds for divorce must be cited. Abandonment was the most common fault grounds, but other grounds included cruelty, separation by agreement, legal separation, imprisonment, irretrievable breakdown and adultery.

In New Jersey, the Family Division of the Superior Court of New Jersey handles divorce actions. For residents of northern Bergen County a divorce action is also commenced with a complaint. A skilled Bergen County divorce attorney can further explain the process.

Divorce actions are often about more than just a couple’s strained relationship. Parties need to resolve issues of real property, child welfare, personal property, benefits and even debts. While other courts, such as Family Court, can handle some of the ancillary issues-such as child custody, visitation and support-the Supreme Court is the only court that has jurisdiction to handle divorce proceedings.

While some people feel they can handle their divorce without legal assistance, this is simply not true. Many complex issues impact modern divorces, such as, tax issues, business ownership rights, property valuation, and even future property rights. An experienced Rockland County or Bergen County divorce attorney will ensure that your interests are protected during negotiations and at trial, if necessary.