Lady Justice StatuePeople who have never been exposed to the NJ family court system have certain
expectations of how it works. We can thank shows like Law & Order
and The Good Wife for showing the average person how justice is allegedly
dispensed in our state. Those who have already been through it, and all
of the attorneys, know that the truth is quite gloomy and, in many cases, scary.

We find it difficult to explain to new clients how the court system works.
The reason for that is simple. Although we have practiced in the NJ family
court for many years, we cannot predict how a case will proceed through
the system. The counties each operate differently and, within each county,
each judge operates differently. That variation means that no attorney
can predict how your case will proceed through the system. If any attorney
tells you exactly how your case will proceed through the system, they
are not being honest with you.

The first thing you need to understand is that your case could last for
years. You will hear from the court and some attorneys about your case
being finished within one year, but that is simply a dream. If your case
is not settled, you will likely wait anywhere from eighteen to thirty
months for initial Trial dates. Then, your Trial could last for several
months, with another wait of several months to get the court’s decision.

The next thing you need to understand is that most judges will not help
you resolve your case. You may think that judges provide guidance to help
a case settle, but that is not true in the majority of cases. In an ideal
world, a judge would make decisions during the course of a case that would
help people find a way to resolve their divorce. That is, unfortunately,
not how it works.

With all this doom and gloom, what do you do? You need to learn about two
powerful words: mediation and arbitration. Alternative dispute resolution
is really your only way to bypass the NJ family court system and get to
a resolution in a timely (and inexpensive) fashion. If you want to learn
more, call us for an initial consultation at (732) 479-4711 Caution!
We will not tell you what you want to hear; we will tell you what you
need to know.

About the Author


John Nachlinger is a co-founder and managing attorney of Netsquire, a family law firm focused on streamlining divorces through effective mediation, settlement drafting, and court filing assistance. As a New Jersey Supreme Court Certified Matrimonial Law Attorney and Qualified Mediator, John guides couples toward equitable agreements without the cost and stress of litigation.

Recognized as a New Jersey Super Lawyer for over a decade, John’s client-focused approach aims to foster understanding during challenging transitions. With a background spanning top law journals, judicial clerkships, and boutique family law firms, John now applies his analytical skills to create workable solutions for all parties. His mediation services reshape the divorce journey by prioritizing compassion and compromise.

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