Let’s start at the very beginning. When a divorce action is initiated, the first paper filed at the courthouse is called a complaint. This document tells the court why the person asking for the divorce wants a divorce and what he or she would like — in the way of things like child custody, child support, property division, and alimony — after the divorce. The cost to file a divorce complaint in NJ is $300.00. In addition, if child support, child custody, or child visitation are issues in the divorce, the person who files must also pay a mandatory $25.00 fee to take a parent education class. The check must be made payable to the Treasurer, State of New Jersey.
Applying for a Waiver of Filing Fees in a NJ Divorce Action
If the person filing for divorce cannot afford these fees, he or she may apply for a waiver of the filing fees. However, before the court will grant the waiver, the person must show that he or she can truly not afford to pay them. If the court finds that to be the case, it issues in order exempting a person from paying court filing fees.
Other Costs Associated with Filing a Divorce Action in NJ
When considering the issue of how much it costs to file for divorce in NJ, it is important to consider other, more minor costs, as well. For example, the person filing for divorce must have a copy of the complaint served on his or her spouse. How much it costs to do this depends on the location of the spouse.
For instance, if the spouse lives in NJ and has a known address, the person filing for divorce typically has a copy of the complaint served on the spouse through the local NJ sheriff’s office. Each sheriff imposes a service fee, as well as a mileage fee, for doing this. These fees are usually paid by check or money order. If the person filing the complaint has obtained a fee waiver from a judge, the NJ sheriff will waive these fees.
If the spouse lives outside of NJ but inside the United States, again, the local sheriff’s office is typically used to serve the complaint. That sheriff also exacts a service fee, as well as mileage fees. In addition, out-of-state sheriffs will usually not honor fee waivers.
Other potential costs associated with filing for a divorce in NJ include fees paid to a newspaper for service by publication, which may be ordered when a defending spouse’s location is unknown, a fee to apply for child support services, motion fees, witness fees, and postage.
Where Do I Send Divorce Filing Fees in NJ?
Divorce filing fees are paid to the court in the county where the divorce is filed. This issue can actually be somewhat complicated because some counties have different filing addresses, depending on whether you are paying a fee or are filing without a fee under a fee waiver. Monmouth County is a good example. If you are ever unsure where to send your filing fees, it’s a good idea to consult with your county of filing.
If you are faced with the end of the marriage and are wondering how much it costs to file for divorce in NJ or where you should file, contact me, Elizabeth Rozin-Golinder, by filling out my Contact Form or calling (732) 810-0034. Located in East Brunswick, I have years of experience as a NJ divorce attorney, including in Middlesex County and Monmouth County, and I'll use my experience to help you through this difficult time.