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New Jersey Court Records

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How are Divorce Records Generated in New Jersey?

Divorce records are generated in the process of dissolution or legal termination of a marriage, civil union, or domestic partnership. They contain all the details of a divorce, including statements, motions, names, dates, and decisions. For every 1,000 women aged 15 and above in New Jersey, there are 5.7 divorces. The grounds for divorce in the state of New Jersey include:

  • Adultery
  • Abandonment for at least one year, with proof that the couple no longer lives together
  • Extreme cruelty, which includes acts that endanger a party to the marriage
  • Separation for at least 18 consecutive months with no prospect for reconciliation
  • Drug addiction or habitual drunkenness for 12 or more consecutive months
  • Institutionalization for mental illness for at least 24 consecutive months
  • Imprisonment for at least 18 months
  • Non-consensual deviant sexual behavior
  • Irreconcilable differences that have caused a break down in the marriage for at least six months.

There are two types of divorce in New Jersey: fault and no-fault divorces. The most commonly used type is the no-fault divorce, and they are typically filed with irreconcilable differences as ground. This means that the breakdown of the union was not through a spouse’s fault. Divorce can also either be contested or uncontested. In uncontested divorce proceedings, partners are in agreement about details such as alimony, child support, assets and liabilities, and child custody. These types of divorce typically happen quicker. However, if the parties in the marriage are unable to agree on the terms and details of the divorce, it is a contested divorce and it may take longer to finalize.

In New Jersey, parties in a divorce can split the divorce process into two stages. This is known as bifurcation. It means that when the grounds for divorce are satisfied, divorce may be granted and the marriage terminated. Terms and details of the divorce, such as child custody, spousal support, and asset division, will form the second part of the divorce and can be finalized at a later date. Bifurcation is only allowed in extraordinary circumstances and with good cause.

To be eligible to file for divorce in, at least one partner must have lived in New Jersey for no less than one year before the filing. The family court division of the superior court hears divorce cases in New Jersey. Divorce is finalized when a judge grants the divorce and issues a divorce judgment. Records are archived by and stored in the Superior Court Clerk’s office.

Depending on whether the divorce is contested or uncontested, the processes can take anywhere from six weeks to no more than one year.

Are Divorce Records Public in New Jersey?

Except they are sealed by court order or other statutory provisions, divorce records in New Jersey are designated public records according to the Open Public Records Act. Divorce records are available for public viewing through the Family Automated Case Tracking System (FACTS). They are also available on third-party websites for informational purposes. However, certified copies of divorce records can only be requested by the divorced parties or persons directly related to them. Unlike most states, New Jersey does not designate divorce records as vital records, and therefore they are not maintained in the Vital Records department. Copies available online and through third-party websites are for informational purposes only.

What are the types of Divorce Records available in New Jersey?

New Jersey offers two types of divorce records:

  • Final Judgment of Divorce, or a divorce decree
  • Certificate of divorce

A divorce decree is issued on the termination of a marriage after a divorce judgment is given by a judge. It contains all the details of a divorce, including names of the divorced parties, the date the divorce was granted, a case number assigned by the court, and the county or location where the divorce was finalized. It also contains other details such as decisions on child support, spousal support or alimony, child custody, name change requests, asset division, liabilities, and other duties and rights of the divorced parties. After a divorce is completed and the case is closed, the divorce decree is archived and maintained by the Superior Court Clerk’s office.

A divorce certificate contains a summary of the divorce details. Names of the divorced parties, case or docket number, and the date of the divorce judgment are some of the details in a divorce certificate. It is sealed with the Seal of the Superior Court.

In New Jersey, divorce decrees and divorce certificates are maintained by the Superior Court Clerk’s office. They are useful as legal proof of divorce in matters of social security administration, immigration and citizenship, proof of name change, and re-marriage.

How Do I Get Divorce Records in New Jersey?

New Jersey divorce records are archived and maintained by the Superior Court Clerk’s office. Divorce case files can be viewed online on the Family Automated Case Tracking System (FACTS) under the Electronic Access Program. A fee of $1 per minute is charged for remote access to divorce records. The Electronic Access Program allows subscribers to read data from only one screen page at a time. Screenshots of the web pages cannot be taken. To view divorce records on FACTS, subscribers must search with a case or docket number, or the names of the divorced parties. The information available online includes motion dispositions, proceedings, a list of documents filed in the case, names of the divorced couple and their attorneys, and the status of the case.

Persons interested in accessing FACTS must subscribe by sending completed enrollment forms to:

Electronic Access Program

Superior Court Clerk’s Office

P. O. Box 971

Trenton, NJ 08625

Concerns or questions about the enrollment process can be sent to the Superior Court Clerk’s office by telephone on 609–421–6100 or by email at PublicAccess.Mailbox@njcourts.gov. The subject line of the email should begin with ‘Electronic Access Program’ or EAP.

Copies of divorce records can be obtained from the local courthouse in the county where the divorce was granted or the Superior Court Clerk’s office. Records of closed divorce cases can be found at the local courthouse, while archived divorce records are maintained at the Superior Court Clerk’s office.

Types of divorce records that can be requested include:

  • A plain copy: this is a photocopy of the requested divorce record. Plain copies cost five cents for letter-size pages and seven cents for legal-size pages.
  • A certified copy: this is a plain copy of the divorce record with a court stamp affixed. It also contains the signature of the Superior Court Clerk to verify its authenticity. The seal of the court may also be affixed to a certified copy. Certified copies of divorce records cost $25.
  • Exemplified copy: an exemplified copy of a divorce record may be requested if the document is to be presented in any court within the United States. It contains the signature of the Superior Court Clerk, the seal of the court, and an attestation of a judge. Exemplified copies cost $50 in addition to plain copy fees.
  • Triple exemplified copy: on a triple exemplified copy, the judge attests to the authenticity of the record and the Superior Court Clerk certifies that the judge is authorized to make the attestation. Triple exemplified copies of divorce records cost $60.
  • Certificates of divorce can be requested for $10.

Requests for divorce records can be made in person, by email, or by mail. Checks and money orders are acceptable forms of payment for copies of divorce records. However, cash is only accepted in person. Checks must have pre-printed names. Attorneys requesting divorce records may pay with their Superior Court Collateral Account.

Together with payment or proof of payment and copies of valid identification, completed Records Request Forms can be submitted in person at the Superior Court Clerk’s office, by email to Scco.Mailbox@njcourts.gov, or by mail to:

R. J. Hughes Justice Complex

Superior Court Clerk’s Office

P. O. Box 971

Trenton, NJ 08625–0971

For messenger service, mail can be forwarded to:

R. J. Hughes Justice Complex

Superior Court Clerk’s Office

25 W. Market St.

Sixth Floor North Wing

Trenton, NJ 08611

Who Can Obtain Divorce Records in New Jersey?

Copies of divorce records can only be obtained by parties in the divorce, their attorneys, or their close relatives. Valid identification is required when requesting divorce records as proof of authorization.

Are New Jersey Divorce Records available online?

Divorce case files are available or public viewing on FACTS under New Jersey’s Electronic Access Program. The records available for public access are for informational purposes only. To access FACTS, interested persons must submit completed enrollment forms to the eCourts team at the Superior Court Clerk’s office.

How Do I seal My Divorce Records in New Jersey?

Most divorce records will not be sealed in New Jersey. However, if the court determines that private interests in sealing parts or all of a record outweigh the public good. Persons who want their divorce records sealed may file a motion in court to have the records sealed. If the court determines that good cause is shown, the records may be sealed.

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