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What Every Woman Needs to Know About Divorce
Are you considering divorce? I'm talking about quiet, sober consideration of a question, not the thoughts that flare up from the heated emotions that come right after an argument. Have you thought through the effects of a divorce, and come to the conclusion that you may want to act? If you have, there are things you should do right away If your husband has already filed before you, then you must act immediately. If not, you should take certain actions quickly, but not carelessly. The things you do now will affect every decision throughout the process, right down to the final decree.
If you have reached the point where divorce is a clear option, and particularly if you are considering an action that shows you mean to separate from your husband (if you are thinking of leaving, or asking him to move out), you should do the following before approaching your spouse.
Seven things you must do before approaching your husband about divorce:
This may seem like an overwhelming task, but doing it will ensure that you have all the information ready when you need it most. Once you leave, or if your husband leaves and takes these records, then you may have to ask your attorney to file a motion to force your husband to produce them. That would become just another costly hassle down the line. Avoid it. Make copies.
Why do you need all these documents? If divorce proceedings get into a courtroom it means you and your husband are in a battle. What are at stake are almost certainly income, lifestyle, and assets. You and your husband are sorting out all of these things in a courtroom, so you need to establish the cost of living and the lifestyle you and your family enjoyed while married. This becomes the baseline the court will use for a settlement. The judge will base decisions about child support and alimony on this information. You must show what your family spends on maintaining a home, food, clothing, transportation, health, education, and any other necessities. In addition you need to clearly establish what your spouse earns or is capable of earning.
If you exit your home empty-handed, or if your husband walks off with these records, you have no proof. In theory, the Court can force your husband to produce these records, but only if he is honest in producing the necessary documents, and only at the cost of one more bill from your attorney. That bill will probably come when you can least afford it. And if your husband swears that the records produced are the only records in existence, you may be stuck with that answer. Once again: Make copies. Give them to a trusted friend or relative before informing your husband you want a divorce.
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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