A Divorce Roadmap
Ending a marriage is challenging under the best of circumstances. Many people devote significant attention and resources to their marriages and families, and it is difficult to make the decision to part ways and begin separate lives. The process may be relatively straightforward if you can reach an agreement on every related issue with your partner. In many cases, however, spouses divorce in part because they no longer agree on certain matters, and they find themselves unable to reach agreement on one or more major issues during the proceedings. Therefore, it is wise to obtain legal advice from an experienced family law attorney at Goldstein Law Group if you are contemplating dissolving a marriage in Monmouth County or the surrounding area.Roadmap for Dissolving a Marriage in New Jersey
You can only file for a divorce in New Jersey if either you or your spouse is a bona fide resident of the state and continues to be a resident at the time you commence the proceedings. You also must have been a bona fide resident of New Jersey for one year immediately before you file for divorce. The proceedings start when a Complaint for Divorce is filed and served upon the other spouse as required under the law. The Complaint must state a recognized ground for divorce under New Jersey law. The filing spouse must prove the reason stated in the paperwork to the court.
Many marriages are dissolved on a no-fault basis, which means that the spouses state that they have irreconcilable differences or have been living separate and apart for a period of at least 18 months with no possibility of reconciliation, rather than trying to cast blame for the end of the relationship. Alternative, fault-based grounds for divorce in New Jersey include adultery, willful desertion, extreme cruelty, addiction or alcohol abuse for a period of 12 consecutive months after marrying but before filing for divorce, institutionalization for mental illness for 24 or more consecutive months, imprisonment for 18 or more consecutive months after marriage, or deviant sexual conduct.
Assuming both you and your spouse have legal representation, your attorneys will try to help you settle any disputed issues before appearing in court for a trial to obtain the divorce. If you are able to settle these issues, the lawyers will prepare a settlement agreement that becomes a part of the Judgment of Divorce. If agreement cannot be reached, however, you may also be required to attend an Early Settlement Panel. If an agreement is not reached at the Early Settlement Panel, the judge will require the two parties, with their counsel, to then attend another layer of mediation sponsored thru the court system known as Mandatory Economic Mediation. If both parents want custody of their children, the court will, in most cases, refer contested custody issues to a Family Court mediator.
Trials can be lengthy, expensive, and emotionally difficult. They cover issues such as property division, alimony, business valuation, and child custody. New Jersey is an equitable distribution state, which means that marital property owned by you and your spouse will be divided according to what is fair in your particular case. Fairness is based on a variety of factors, including the parties' economic circumstances, and unlike in some states (i.e.-community property states), marital property is not automatically divided on an equal (50-50) basis.Discuss Your Needs During Divorce with a Middlesex County Attorney
At Goldstein Law Group, our divorce lawyers have strong community ties to Middlesex County and the surrounding area, coupled with high-quality legal training. We use our experience and skills to pursue favorable outcomes for individuals from Old Bridge and Freehold to Manalapan and Red Bank. If you need a diligent lawyer to guide you through divorce proceedings, contact us at 732-967-6777 or via our online form.