Edward R. Weinstein, Esq.

Essex County back in the Business of Divorce But Union County Still on Hiatus

Contested Divorce in Essex County New Jersey is back in business. Since December, all contested Essex County divorce proceedings were suspended due to a serious shortfall of judges, the first time this action had been taken in nearly a decade. The suspension of contested divorces eased the docket by approximately fifteen percent over the last eight months but created a substantial backlog. The eight month hiatus will end in September after three Superior Court Judges from Mercer, Morris and Passaic counties will be temporarily transferred to Essex County Courthouse for an unspecified period of time. While the news is welcoming, it is expected to take 18-24 months before relief is seen in the docket due to the backlog created.

Contested matrimonial divorce proceedings are still suspended in Union County, NJ. This decision was made in June, 2012 due to a lack of judges to fill the bench. The shortfall here is worst than Union with thrity six percent vacancy rate. And the vacancy rate is just part of the problem, summer vacations and retirements left no choice but to suspend all trials.

The shortfall of judges is a political one, with nominations and appointments handled at the state level. But never before has the judicial system in these two counties faced such crisis.

What can you do to make your Essex and Union County New Jersey divorce move through the process as quickly as possible? No matter where you are in the divorce process, there are a few critical steps you can take now to make sure your case is heard as soon as possible and have your case heard as soon as possible.

First, have a serious conversation with your attorney about the process going forward. Make sure your attorney has expert first-hand knowledge of the divorce process for the county where your divorce trial was set to be heard. This experience and expertise will ensure your attorney knows the process to filing paperwork properly, the intricate way proceedings are handled, and can move your case through either system as expeditiously as possible. Most importantly, you do not want your attorney causing you further delays due to mistakes. Filing a New Jersey divorce is a complex process which should be handled by an expert to avoid common problems.

While the news is welcoming, trial dates are not being booked as of yet, and the backlog is extensive. If your case was set to go to trial, talk to your lawyer and your spouse about revisiting the bargaining table. Given that some time has passed it is possible that decisions which put you at an impasse before are now up for further negotiation. Revisit those decisions that are requiring court intervention and examine all possibilities. Discuss with your attorney all possibilities. It is possible that some contentious issues can be reframed and renegotiated due to a change in circumstances for you and/or your spouse. Having your “day in court” may not be as attractive if it means delaying your divorce process.

The shortage of Superior Court judges has caused a very unique time for divorce in New Jersey. To navigate this unusual circumstance in the family court systems of Essex County New Jersey, you need an experienced divorce attorney. Here at the Law Offices of Edward R. Weinstein, our team of divorce lawyers looks forward to using our legal expertise to guide you through the divorce process and protecting your future. Please contact us immediately for your free consultation at (732) 246-0909.