State-wide, NJ divorce and family court calendars are backlogged months and some, even years.
Why? Across NJ approximately 46 judicial positions are vacant. This is a huge reduction from the 76 vacancies of last year. But still: There aren’t enough judges for the job.
Last year six NJ counties formally shut down their family courts without a firm reopening date (Somerset, Hunterdon, Warren, Salem, Gloucester, and Cumberland). Luckily Cumberland, Gloucester, and Salem reopened as of July 2023.
Please read Divorce, Civil Trials To Halt In Passaic Co. Amid NJ Judge Shortage | Wayne, NJ Patch for the status as of July 2023.
What does this mean for you? Spouses who’ve filed their divorce in court in 2022 may not be saying Sayonara until June 2024 at the earliest. Filed later, you may be looking at a 2025 date.
If there’s a family emergency, think domestic violence or children in peril, a judge will most likely schedule an Emergency Order, but you hankering to end your marriage and start life over isn’t a priority to NJ courts.
Is this a blatant plug for mediating versus duking it out in court? Absolutely.
Why? Because it can really work.