New Jersey Divorce Attorney

     Divorces are one of the most emotionally difficult things most adults ever have to do.  The legal process to do so shouldn’t be.  To have the smoothest and best outcome possibile, it is important you contact an experienced NJ Divorce Attorney.

What legalities should I think about when considering a divorce?

Do I need a Divorce Lawyer?

As with any legal proceeding, you can proceed pro se (without an attorney).  In most cases however, you will be far better served by being represented by an experienced NJ Divorce Lawyer.  Filing pro se comes with many risks, including not getting a fair settlement, losing certain rights to property and alimony, not being granted custody of your children, and the divorce process can be dragged out.

How is our marital property distributed between us?

When there is no prenuptial agreement (prenup), property that has been acquired during the marriage is generally split 50/50.  There are many considerations when calculating this.  If either spouse had any significant assets before the marriage, and they were not intermingled with the other spouses assets, it probably will remain theirs.  Other items, such as inheritances are generally excluded from distribution.

The best divorces are where both parties can agree in advance who gets what. This is best accomplished when both parties have consulted divorce attorneys, and have created property settlement agreement.  Contact a NJ Family Lawyer, here, for a free consultation.

What is a no-fault divorce?

There are numerous reasons to divorce, but New Jersey also has no-fault divorces.  There are generally no differences in your rights and what you will get from a divorce, whether it be fault or no-fault.

Most divorces are based upon irreconcilable differences, which is a no fault divorce. These are generally the easiest way to obtain a divorce.  The requirements for these are merely that you live in NJ for 12 months prior to filing for divorce, and that irreconcilable differences have existed between you and your spouse for at least 6 months.  This essentially means you and your spouse no longer get along, and there is no prospect of fixing the situation.  Call one of our NJ Divorce Attorneys to see if this is an option.

What are causes of action for an at fault divorce?

The following can be used as reasons to obtain a divorce in New Jersey:

a. Adultery;

b. Willful and continued desertion for the term of 12 or more months, which may be established by satisfactory proof that the parties have ceased to cohabit as man and wife;

c. Extreme cruelty, which is defined as including any physical or mental cruelty, such as domestic violence, which endangers the safety or health of the plaintiff or makes it improper or unreasonable to expect the plaintiff to continue to cohabit with the defendant; 

d. Separation, provided that the husband and wife have lived separate and apart in different habitations for a period of at least 18 or more consecutive months and there is no reasonable prospect of reconciliation; provided, further that after the 18-month period there shall be a presumption that there is no reasonable prospect of reconciliation;

e. Drug / Alcohol addiction, for at least a 12 month period prior to filing;

f. Institutionalization for mental illness for a period of 24 or more consecutive months subsequent to marriage and next preceding the filing of the complaint;

g. Imprisonment of the defendant for 18 or more consecutive months after marriage, provided that where the action is not commenced until after the defendant's release, the partie have not resumed cohabitation following such imprisonment;

h. Deviant sexual conduct voluntarily performed by the defendant without the consent of the plaintiff;

Frequently Asked Questions:

How does divorce work for LGBT partners?

The divorce process for LGBT is essentially the same as that for all other couples.  Custody and adoption matters can be slightly stickier situations, as the law is still evolving in this area.  If both partners have adopted a child, then the court will simply make the decision of custody depending upon the best interests of the child.  If this is your situation, contact a same sex divorce lawyer who is familiar with these matters and civil union dissolutions. 

We had a prenuptual agreement, how does that affect my divorce?

For a full discussion on NJ prenups, please see here. Prenuptial agreements can drastically alter your property rights at divorce.  If you signed a prenup and are worried how it will affect your divorce, call today for a free consultation with a NJ Family Lawyer.

Should I file for divorce with fault or no fault?

Generally, unless there are prenuptial agreements which might affect the terms of divorce, there are no differences between the two.  No fault divorces are generally the way to go as they are not contested to the same degree, and so may be easier / faster to obtain.  

How does the court determine who will have custody of our children?

The court will determine this based solely on the best interests of the children.  Custody disputes are among the nastiest and most contested aspects of any divorce.  Your odds of obtaining custody are tremendously increased by being represented by an experienced Family Lawyer.  See here for a further discussion of child custody issues in a divorce.

I think my spouse is hiding assets, or is in a cash business, how do I prove their income?

Often times a spouse has much higher income than they are reporting, and it can be difficult to find accurate numbers so as to make fair alimony and child support calculations.  In these situations, it is best to start gathering and documenting as much financial information as possible.  Your spouse will be responsible to report to the court all sources of income, but often lie about and hide them.  Your NJ Divorce Lawyer will help sort these issues out in the discovery phase of your case. 

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