Here are some interesting facts:
These are not the most recent numbers but in 2012 to 2013 there were fewer filings in almost every county in New Jersey in the family part. That means fewer couples were entering into a litigated case. In Monmouth County NJ, there was actually a decrease of 10%.
Yet interestingly enough (and paradoxically), while there were 228 backlogged cases in the family part in 2012, in 2013 there were 286 backlogged cases. A backlog means a case lingered on the court calendar for more than twelve months.
So what do we make of this? Fewer cases but more complicated ones or ones with more volatile participants? Fewer people resorting to the court for intervention? Not enough judges? It could be all or other reasons.
I think the valuable lesson is that couples are seeking other methods before resorting to the court for a decision from someone who doesn’t know them and can’t offer them or their families the time that can be devoted to them in mediation or collaboration. Very simply, explore the possibility of crafting your plan with experienced professionals whose only interest is your successful conclusion by keeping all of your interests in mind.