The Divorce Complaint
In New Jersey, the filing of a divorce complaint starts the divorce case. A complaint for divorce is filed in the county court otherwise known as Superior Court. You cannot just file divorce in any county. Your options are as follows:
1. File in the county in which the plaintiff lived when the cause of action arose; or
2. If the plaintiff was not then living in New Jersey, the county in which the defendant was living when the cause of action arose; or
3. If neither party was living in New Jersey when the cause of action arose, then the complaint shall be filed in the county where the plaintiff presently resides; or
4. In the county where the defendant is living if the plaintiff no longer lives in the State.
The specific requirements regarding the content of the divorce complaint are found in New Jersey Court Rule 5:4-2. Among other things, the divorce complaint requires a statement as to the essential facts which form the basis for the complaint for divorce (i.e. the cause of action), the addresses of the parties, and the address, date of birth, and information as to where and with whom the child resides (if there is a child).
As articulated in the causes of action article, where adultery or deviant sexual conduct is alleged, the pleading must also name the adulterer or the correspondent. The complaint must also state the name of the person as the correspondent with whom such conduct was committed, if known, and if not known, shall state available information tending to describe the person, including details of the time, place and circumstances under which acts or series of acts were committed.
Your attorney will draft everything for you so you do not have to worry about the exact format. The person who files the complaint is known as the Plaintiff. The person who files the answer is known as the Defendant. Unlike civil or criminal cases, either designation is mostly meaningless.