There are a number of ways to begin the NJ divorce process. The most traditional method is to file a Complaint for Divorce. The Complaint is comprised of various legal forms and documents that are required by the court to initiate the divorce proceedings. Upon receiving the Complaint, the court will assign a docket number to your legal matter. This docket number is the court way of recognizing your case. Upon receiving your Complaint, the court will then schedule you for what is known as a "procedural track". The procedural track establishes a series of deadlines you and your spouse are required to follow regarding certain discovery deadlines (which is basically the investigation phase of the divorce process), satisfying certain court mandated submissions and engaging in settlement discussions. There are many ways your divorce can proceed from this point and my advice is to contact a New Jersey (NJ) Certified Matrimonial Attorney to discuss the best course of action for your specific divorce matter.
Most people going through a divorce want the entire matter to be over as quickly as possible so that they can move on with their life and obtain closure. Since everyone situation is different it is nearly impossible to predict when your divorce will conclude. The rule of thumb I tell my clients is that your divorce, from start to finish, will take as long as the most unreasonable person involved in the process persists. This includes you, your attorney, your spouse and your spouse attorney at a minimum. If everyone communicates.