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New Jersey Early Settlement Conference
I am getting divorced in New Jersey and my attorney said we have to go to an Early Settlement Conference at the courthouse. What is it and why do we have to go?
An Early Settlement Conference is a process in New Jersey where one or two attorneys (called panelists) volunteer their time to help to settle your divorce. These panelists are attorneys who are not otherwise involved in your case. The panelists meet with you, your lawyer, your spouse and their lawyer. They volunteer their time and do not get paid by you or the court system. The panelists will allow both lawyers to summarize the case and they will give a recommendation to settle the case. The panelists are not deciding your case, but are only giving their opinions. What they say is not binding and you are not required to accept this opinion. However, it is usually very close to what a judge would ultimately decide so it is important that you consider their recommendation and discuss it with your attorney. The Early Settlement Conference process is confidential and the panelists' recommendations are not presented to the judge. You must participate in the Early Settlement Conference process unless you settle before then.
New Jersey has five types of spousal support. Rehabilitative alimony is a short-term monetary award that allows a spouse to go back to school or obtain training to re-enter the workforce. Limited duration alimony is awarded in cases of a short marriage when rehabilitative alimony doesn't apply. Reimbursement alimony is awarded when one spouse makes a personal sacrifice so that the other spouse could receive professional or career training. Alimony pendente lite is awarded when a divorce is pending so that both parties can maintain their current standard of living until a final judgment is made. Finally, there is permanent alimony which is usually appropriate in long term marriages and typically terminates upon the death of either party or remarriage.
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"A Plain English Guide to Protecting Your Children"
Author: Mary L. Boland, Attorney at Law
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