Four Q&As about New Jersey's ESP program for divorce

Getting a divorce is more than just an emotional roller coaster, it is a legal process. As such, it may take longer than expected. This is particularly true when the court is backed up with other cases.

Couples in New Jersey that find they are looking to move on with their divorce without waiting for the court's calendar to open up may want to consider the Early Settlement Program (ESP).

What is the ESP? The ESP is a system that is designed to offer couples an option to divorce without waiting for a court proceeding.

How does the ESP process work? A recent piece in the National Law Review discussed New Jersey's ESP, noting that it begins with each party's attorney providing a proposed divorce settlement to a panel. The panel is generally composed of two "experienced matrimonial attorneys."

This panel will review the proposals and meet with the attorneys. At this meeting, each party will have the opportunity to make their argument and answer any questions posed by the panelists.

Based on this information, the panel will develop a proposal for the divorce settlement.

Is the result binding? The result proposed by the panelists is only a recommendation. The couple can choose whether to accept the proposal or move forward with a court proceeding.

What are the benefits of the ESP? In some situations, the ESP can result in a saving to both the amount of time and the overall expenses associated with finalizing a divorce.

This is just one of the many options available to those who are considering or have recently filed for a divorce in New Jersey.

Due to the many options and the complex legal issues that must be navigated during a divorce, it is often wise for those going through a divorce to seek the legal counsel of an experienced attorney. This legal professional will help guide you through the process, discussing the various options and helping you to determine the right path for your unique situation.