Court System Basics
Learn More on WomensLaw.org
“We designed this section to help people who have no court experience, or very little experience with the court system, navigate what can be a very complicated process.”
“A high percentage of domestic violence survivors face the court system on their own. The court process can be very challenging, even for those who have experience in court. Some survivors choose not to seek help from the court at all because the court process intimidates them, they don’t understand the laws, or they fear the unknown. However, not going to court may mean missing out on life-changing protections and other outcomes that could improve a survivor’s situation.”
Preparing for a Domestic Violence Trial
“ONE OF THE MAJOR decisions a judge must make in a domestic violence trial is the credibility of the parties—who the judge believes more. In a case where the only available evidence is the testimony of the parties, credibility is extremely important and it can make or break your case. If you change your version of the story, avoid questions, become defensive or argumentative, the judge may not believe what you are saying.”
Restraining Order Forms
Forms to file a domestic violence restraining order are not available online. You will need to go down to the courthouse and ask the clerk for the proper forms. To figure out where to file please read In which county can I file for a restraining order? on NNEDV’s website. To find the courthouse near you please visit the court’s New Jersey Superior Family Court Locations page.
Someone in a domestic violence organization in your area may be able to help you get the forms and also help you through the process. To find a shelter or an advocate at a local program, please visit NJCEDV’s Guide to Services. You can also visit or call the New Jersey Superior Family Court Location in your area.
Child Custody and Child Support for Married Couples
Learn More on NJChildSupport.gov
“Regardless of their living situation or relationship, both parents should provide the financial, medical and emotional support a child needs to grow into a responsible adult. New Jersey’s Child Support Program can help.”
Child Custody and Child Support for Unmarried Couples
How to File a Non-Divorce Application for Custody, Child/Spousal Support or Parenting Time (Visitation) – Non-dissolution “FD” CaseLearn More
How to File a Request to Modify a Non-Dissolution “FD” Court Order Previously Issued by the CourtLearn More
Legal Services of New Jersey has a helpful Self-Help Guide: Divorce in New Jersey that includes instructions on filing for a divorce at no cost.
The full publication with all the forms required to file for divorce is free for qualified low-income people eligible for Legal Services assistance. Low-income individuals who believe they qualify for a free copy should apply online at www.lsnjlawhotline.org or call Legal Services’ toll free, statewide legal hotline at 1-888-576-5529.
All others can secure the digital edition for personal use at a cost of $25. Detailed information for ordering online is available here.