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Deciding to divorce or separate is rarely easy. Concerns about how the split may affect your property and finances can increase the emotional stress. If you have children, the potential impact on them is an additional source of concern.
Our attorneys can help you through the legal process. Gaining a basic understanding of what generally happens in divorce or legal separation can alleviate some of your anxiety about the future and consulting with an attorney can help you achieve clarity and peace of mind.
If you have decided that a divorce is the appropriate path for you, understanding the legal process is important. There are different routes available in New Jersey:
If you are separating, but are still on good terms with your spouse, you may be able to obtain an uncontested divorce. The uncontested process is generally the most amicable and cost-efficient way to dissolve your marriage.
If animosity exists between you and your spouse, then litigation may be how you have to terminate your marriage. Yet even in a contested divorce, there are ways to resolve your differences and reach an amicable agreement.
Alternative Dispute Resolution
Alternative Dispute Resolution is a non-litigious way of resolving your legal differences and can include ‘conscious uncoupling’, arbitration and mediation. The beauty of the alternative dispute resolution process is that it enables you and your spouse to speed up the dissolution process in an informal environment rather than leaving it up to a judge’s discretion.
This is a method, which allows both you and your spouse to enter into civilized discussions with a mediator. This non-binding process usually occurs in a confidential setting, instead of a courtroom, and allows you and your spouse to remain fully in control of the process. Find out about divorce mediation.
This is a method that provides a binding decision by a professional (such as a retired family law judge) who is trained to determine fair and equitable results.
The distribution of assets and debts is often an area of contention between divorcing spouses. New Jersey law requires property, assets and debts that a couple accumulates during marriage to be divided fairly, or “equitably,” upon divorce. “Equitably” does not necessarily mean equally. Courts consider a long list of factors in determining a fair division. “Assets” includes all finances and all types of property, including things like pensions and retirement accounts. One of our experienced family law attorneys can help you identify and evaluate the assets and debts that may be subject to equitable distribution in your case and determine how a court might divide them. If you and your spouse are in agreement or close to reaching agreement regarding the division, we can help you draft a property settlement or marital settlement agreement. Find out about Asset and Property Division.
Out of State, International, and Military Divorces
If you or your spouse are living outside of the State of New Jersey, or are actively stationed elsewhere, then you may still qualify to obtain an out of state divorce, international divorce, or a military divorce. There are jurisdictional requirements that must be met in order to have New Jersey accept your matter; therefore, you will need an experienced family lawyer on your side to help you understand if New Jersey has jurisdiction. Contact us to find out more.
Pitfalls to Handling your Own Divorce
If you are considering a separating, your initial instinct may be to handle your own divorce. Before you move forward with this, you should consider the complications associated with getting divorced and the complexities surrounding important issues, such as child custody, child support, and asset division. Unfortunately, many people who attempt to handle their own matter often overlook significant legal details that not only lead to problems in the future, but can require lengthy and extensive legal work to correct. Find out about DIY Divorce.
If you are still uncertain about whether getting divorced is right for your situation, you may be interested in learning about New Jersey Legal Separation, and Divorce from Bed & Board. It is not necessary to file court papers to obtain a legal separation in New Jersey. A temporary separation agreement can address short-term financial and parenting arrangements. Find out about Legal Separation.
Annulment of Marriage
If you married in New Jersey, there are a few circumstances where a marriage may be eligible for annulment. Although marital property rules do not apply if a marriage is annulled, New Jersey courts are permitted to award alimony in appropriate cases, and decisions regarding child custody and support may also be affected whether a marriage ends through annulment or divorce. Find out about annulments.
If you are already divorced or you have already dissolved your civil union or domestic partnership, you may still have post-judgment legal issues to address. Perhaps your former spouse is not following the terms of a court order or marital settlement agreement, or perhaps one or both of you believe that an order or agreement requires modification. Orders and agreements that are appropriate immediately following a final judgment in divorce may no longer fit your situation after time has passed and circumstances have changed. Common post-divorce matters include enforcement of child custody, child support, or alimony orders, and modification of custody or support orders and agreements. Find out about Post-Divorce Issues.
New Jersey Divorce Lawyers
Whether you are getting divorced or seeking legal separation it is important to retain an experienced divorce lawyer to protect your rights and interests during this difficult time. Our attorneys and staff are committed to safeguarding your children, protecting your assets, and securing your future.
Contact us to schedule your initial free consultation on (888) 888-0919 or online.