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Divorce - General, Laws and Process
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While I understand the emotional desire for justice, the law remains neutral and does not allow for revenge tactics in divorce proceedings.
The first step should be to obtain a consultation with a matrimonial attorney in order to educate oneself on the parameters of an appropriate agreement and analysis of the family circumstances.
Do I really need a lawyer? I often get asked this question by my clients in divorce mediation. The short answer is that legally you do not need a lawyer to get divorced. You can fill out the paperwork yourself and be considered pro se and represent yourself in court.
Divorce mediation is a valuable alternative to litigation for everyone - both opposite-sex divorcing couples and same-sex divorcing couples. While the United States Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage nationwide last week, in New Jersey, same-sex marriage has been the law of the land since 2013.
In many cases, the emotional costs of staying in an unhappy marriage outweigh the financial costs of divorce. We tell our clients that the best way to deal with the divorce expenses - both the costs of the divorce process and the expenses of creating two households from one - is to prepare for them.
Sometimes couples in New Jersey think that the only issue may be child custody if there are children involved in the divorce. But many other issues become important in the course of a divorce, either in a formal mediation process or eventually in court.
So now that you’re certain that you want to end your marriage, you’re probably wondering how to plan for a divorce and what steps you can take to keep the proceedings peaceful, fair, cost-effective and child-focused so that you and your soon-to-be ex can (hopefully) remain friends and effectively co-parent your children...
Is it a good idea to announce your divorce on Facebook? Despite the fact that everyone knows someone who has gotten divorced, many couples are reluctant to tell their family and friends that they are splitting up. Moreover, they wonder what is the best way to let others know of this big change in their lives?
In the last few weeks, the media has been full of new interpretations of the divorce rate, many of which are showing that the commonly-held belief that 50% of marriages end in divorce is a myth. It seems that the truth is, that rate is much lower.
Whether you are a person of faith, describe yourself as a spiritual person or an agnostic, your marriage was contemplated before you entered it, even if you and your spouse eloped. The same thought process you used to think about entering your marriage is what you should use to determine the end of your marriage in divorce.
Professional mediators (at least the good ones) spend their lives dedicated to studying, training, learning and growing in their chosen area of expertise: divorce. As far as I know, the way to fix a leaky pipe hasn’t changed much in the past 50 years. But unlike a leaky pipe, divorce is an ever changing landscape.
Before taking a closer look, you’ll first need to understand the things that impact how much does the average divorce cost. As it can vary greatly from case to case.
The Court’s rejection of the definition of marriage in DOMA had wide range implications under Federal Law. With the ruling, married same sex couples will be treated the same as traditional couples. This also means that married same sex couples will have the same rights as traditional married couples in such areas as income tax, estate tax, health privacy and other federally regulated areas, including immigration.
Have you broken your New Year’s Resolution yet? The new year is a time when you think about change and what you want to do differently for your future. I read that people contemplate divorce for an average of 5 years before taking action and actually getting divorced.
Maybe this year will be different, but that doesn’t mean it has to be less fun. Instead of getting stuck in the past, this holiday season may be a perfect time to create new traditions and memories for you and your family.
A lot of people, myself included, get their information about various subjects (what is this “new math” on my kid’s homework sheet or how to treat a sprained calf muscle) from the internet. But not all information you glean applies to all situations. For example, as divorce mediators, we often get calls asking about how to get a legal separation, because the client read about it online.
Perhaps one of the most difficult and life-changing questions one can ask themselves – and certainly not one that has any simple answers – is “how do you know if you’re ready for divorce?”
The answer to this question is a very “grey” maybe. Technically, a legal argument can be made after reviewing current case law that you can legally place a GPS on your spouse’s vehicle and spy on her. Nonetheless, please keep in mind that your ex-wife can always find the GPS device, and then file a harassment charge against you. Thereafter, she can also file for a restraining order, and base her DV case on the underlying harassment case.
The dissolution of marriage (also known as divorce) represents the legal termination of the contractual bond of matrimony between two parties by a court of law in their respective state of residency. Here in the United States, divorce laws vary greatly from state to state but overall, the considerations for the dissolution of marriage are relatively the same.
Dealing with conflict is never easy especially when it comes to dealing with conflict related to your divorce. Below you will find a few strategies for dealing with conflict during your divorce.
Fifty percent of all marriages fail, and that statistic rises to a staggering sixty-five percent for second marriages. The good news is that while your marriage may have failed, you can succeed at your divorce. This means that you can keep your costs down and reduce emotional trauma by properly selecting your divorce process.
I may not recommend that you file for divorce to change your name, but it is one of the benefits you may receive as part of your divorce case.
Over the last five years or so, evidence from Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, blogs and other social media has been used in all types of family law cases. Social media evidence is now routinely used in divorce cases, alimony reduction/Lepis hearings, child support hearings, and child custody visitation disputes.
How does filing for bankruptcy affect a divorce case? Family law and bankruptcy seem to go together like Batman and Robin. For those surfers getting divorced, the bankruptcy issues generally fall into three categories.
What is the discovery process in a divorce? Basically it is the exchange of all of the financial information between the spouses.
I am foreign national from India but have lived in New Jersey for the past four years on a work VISA. Can I still file for divorce in New Jersey even though I am not a U.S. citizen?
How long do I have to live in New Jersey before I can file for divorce here? It is important to be educated that with one exception, a complaint for divorce cannot be filed in New Jersey, unless one of the spouses has been a resident of New Jersey for at least one year prior to filing.
All divorce cases are different. Every divorce has different legal issues and twists. Some divorces are routine. However, more often than not your divorce case can be your own unique and individual nightmare.
At the time of the final uncontested hearing you will have the opportunity to resume your maiden name. If you ask the court to resume the use your maiden name, then you will be asked a few questions at your court date.
By far the best reason to obtain a divorce from bed and board is to try to keep the price of affordable health insurance affordable for both spouses. There are three options for a dependent spouse to obtain health insurance after a divorce.
The world of New Jersey divorce law is very complicated. Don’t be fooled into believing that you can handle your own divorce case. If you are considering filing for a divorce case, then you should always retain an experienced and affordable divorce lawyer.
There is no formal case called a legal separation in New Jersey. There is no docket number for a legal separation case. However, there are some scenarios wherein a legal separation may be advisable instead of filing for a standard divorce case.
The filing party must state that they have lived in New Jersey for 12 consecutive months before the filing of the divorce complaint and there has been a breakdown of the marriage for a period of six months.
This is the most commonly used ground for divorce. More than one-half of the divorces in New Jersey are based on extreme cruelty. This ground includes all acts of physical violence and acts of mental cruelty which endanger your safety or health or which make continued living together unreasonable or improper. There is no waiting period.
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.
An Intensive Settlement Conference is a meeting held at the courthouse. You, your attorney and your spouse and attorney will meet to discuss settlement of any disagreements or issues in the case.
In these hard times, many PSA agreements, final judgments, or court orders may need to be modified to accommodate the family’s needs of the parties and their children. Child support or alimony payments can always be reduced by filing a post-judgment motion.
A motion is simply an application to the family court. Motions can ask for an endless array of different types of relief.
The early settlement panel is an alternative dispute resolution program. The goal of the early settlement program is as the name implies to try to have the parties reach a settlement of the issues in dispute between you and your spouse as soon as possible and in the most efficient manner.
If you’re like most of us here in New Jersey, the high cost of living is already pushing you to the limit. Between property taxes, food, transportation and housing costs, living here can be a real drain on anyone’s budget. Now you’re getting a divorce and suddenly your expenses have shot up.
Most people appeal their case because they simply are unhappy with the judge’s decision and they want a ’do over.’ However, it is important to emphasize that just because you are unhappy with the judge’s decision this is not enough to justify filing an appeal.
Technically, there is no such ’animal’ in New Jersey called a ’legal separation.’ A separation simply means that you and your spouse have been living separate and apart from each other. It is important to that you can still be considered separated even if you live under the same roof or otherwise.
I am repeatedly surprised by the number of people who mistakenly believe your spouse’s consent is required to get a divorce. This myth comes in many varying forms.
Marital fault means that at least one spouse is guilty of marital misconduct that may be, but is not limited to, adultery, deviant sexual conduct, surfing too much porn, extreme cruelty or inhumane treatment, habitual drunkenness, mental illness, imprisonment, sexual desertion, drug addiction, non-support.
On January 20, 2007, Governor Corzine signed into law a change to the divorce statute. The new law created the ground for divorce for irreconcilable differences. Before the law change, most divorce complaints were based on either separation or extreme cruelty.
In most cases the records of your divorce case will not be sealed. Pursuant to Rule 1:2-1 all trials, hearings of motions and other applications, pretrial conferences, arraignments, sentencing conferences and appeals shall be conducted in open court, unless otherwise provided by rule or statute.
A very common question that I receive is whether one spouse can request that the court bar the other spouse from the marital home. In most cases a spouse can only be barred from the marital home if there is a restraining order entered against him or her. However, there are many family law scenarios wherein there are no acts of domestic committed by either spouse, and it may be dangerous for the spouses to continue to live with each other.
It is important to note that a motion for a reconsideration is not an opportunity to try to reargue the entire motion again. It simply allows for a correction to be made without the necessity of the aggrieved party filing a costly appeal.
I have been married for one year at the end of this month and it seems that the marriage is mutually over. We have no joint assets and no children. What is the difference between an annulment and a divorce?
There really is no formal proceeding to have a legal separation in New Jersey. The closest legal proceeding for a ’legal separation’ provides under New Jersey divorce laws is a divorce from bed and board.
Many people these days use all kinds of spying methods on their cheating spouses. But most of them are not aware that using spying equipment or surveillance services could be illegal. They could find themselves in a thorny legal mess unless they know the facts and the strict federal and New Jersey laws.
Cyber-flirtations seem harmless to some and dangerous to others. Cyber affairs is a growing phenomenon in the techno age that we now live in. The majority of cyber-flirtations never lead to a physical relationship, and many people believe that they are harmless or constitute safe infidelity.
What does it mean to get a final judgment of divorce. It means that you have a legal document that says that you are no longer married. Moreover, it means that there is a bunch of details to attend to make sure that the terms of the judgment of divorce are carried out.
In amending the divorce statute to include Irreconcilable Differences, New Jersey was playing catch-up to most other states that have provided this option for at least a decade. The experience from these states has shown that divorce is not any more common where irreconcilable differences are available as a cause of action for divorce - it is just less contentious and less acrimonious.
Probably one of life’s most difficult decisions is whether to end a marriage. Many people are uncertain as to whether they ultimately will pursue a divorce, but nonetheless, want to understand the process for obtaining one. Knowledge is empowering and often helps you think more clearly as to how you wish to address the issues within your marriage. This article gives a general overview of the stages of a divorce case.
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?
The rule to remember is: Anticipate and prepare. Think about what your opponent (your spouse) wants, and what he or she will do to get it. Consider their possible defenses and offenses, and then do your homework.
The most intense, heart-wrenching decision comes at the start: Should you get divorced? Much has led up to this question, including the notions of separation and divorce. Up to now they have only been thoughts and words, with no immediate consequences. Now that you realize the time to decide has come, you have to contemplate action. The focus on action clarifies the situation, but also makes it seem more difficult and scary.
A divorce causes major issues with health insurance benefits. Many families have an employer provided and/or paid for health insurance benefits that cover health insurance for the entire family. After a divorce, the spouse with the family health insurance coverage can no longer cover the other dependent spouse. They are no longer family members who can take advantage of the employer-based health insurance policy. There is no way around this unfortunate reality.
There are several major changes that the new bankruptcy code hereinafter referred to as the BACPA has made on the practice of family law. All domestic support obligations are now classified first priority claims under section 507(a)(1) of the Bankruptcy Code.
The appeal is filed with the Appellate Division. The Appellate Division is an intermediate court. It is bound by the standards of review that severely restricts the court‚’s ability to intervene. Please keep in mind that most appeals are lost. The statistics that are compiled by the Administrative Office of the Court‚’s indicate that approximately 74% of divorce appeals are lost.
The state of New Jersey will allow a military member or a spouse to file for a divorce where he or she is stationed, even if neither the service member nor the spouse is a resident of New Jersey. New Jersey will often reduce or eliminate the residency requirement for military divorces.
In most instances inheritances are not subject to equitable distribution in a divorce case. The black letter answer to this question is that all property, real, personal or otherwise, that is acquired during the marriage by either party by way of an inheritance is not subject to equitable distribution.
Many disputes have arisen over whether a gift was to one or to bout spouses, or whether a gift to one spouse lost its separate and immune character by virtue of being commingled with marital property, for example by deposit in a joint savings bank account.
Collecting child support and alimony can be a tireless and daunting task. Many former wives are flooded with unending motions to reduce or terminate alimony. Forcing the sale of the marital home can take years. Forcing a former spouse to pay a credit card debt can be similar to trying to find peace in the Middle East.
One of the main considerations in any divorce case is life insurance. If a father or a mother dies then how can the child support be paid? Moreover, if a dependent ex-wife relies on alimony to survive, it can be disastrous if her former husband dies.
The marital home is in most cases the family’s most valuable asset. Upon a divorce, there are three choices that a divorcing couple can choose to equitably distribute the family home.
Once a couple starts a divorce, there are many loose ends that have to be resolved. Some of the most important of these are of a financial nature. More specifically, all joint accounts that were shared during the marriage must be distributed. All joint savings and checking accounts, credit cards, equity credit lines, safe deposit boxes, investment and similar type holdings, and property ownership are some of the issues, to name a few, will have distributed as part of the divorce process.
Pursuant to federal and state wire tapping statutes, a person is legally permitted to record and tape a conversation only if the person who is doing the recording or taping is a party to the conversation. A person can’t tape their spouse while they are talking to other people, and more specifically their paramour.
Each year, more than 400,000 citizens of the United States marry foreign-born persons and petition for them to obtain permanent residence in the U.S. Spouses of U.S. citizens is considered "immediate relatives" under the immigration laws, and are exempt form all numerical limitations. In other words, marriage to a U.S. citizen is the fast lane to a green card.
Unlike alimony and child support obligations, the terms of equitable distribution are not subject to modification of changed circumstances. Generally speaking, an equitable distribution award is not subject to modification based on changed circumstances, as an alimony award may be.
Like a divorce, an annulment is a court proceeding that ends a marriage. However, unlike a divorce, an annulment treats a marriage as though it never happened. For many people, especially young women, a divorce carries a stigma, and they would prefer that the marriage be annulled. Other people prefer an annulment for religious reasons. It may be easier for a person to remarry in their church if they go through an annulment rather than a divorce.
In order to file for a divorce in New Jersey, either spouse must have been a resident of the State for at least one year prior to the filing of the action. The only exception to the one-year residency requirement is when the grounds for divorce are for adultery.
Basically, a tort is a civil wrong, for which the court will provide a remedy in the form of an action for damages. Torts may be intentional, negligent or reckless. They may result in any number of physical or emotion injuries and they also include injuries to property.
Many people make the mistake that once their divorce is over, that their family court problems are over. This is a very big misconception. In many cases, the parties spend more time in court on post-judgment issues than they did in the divorce case.
Alimony is usually the key issue in divorces that prevent the parties from reaching a speedy settlement. To be blunt, men hate paying alimony.
In New Jersey there are eight grounds or causes to file for divorce. The three most popular grounds are extreme cruelty, no-fault separation, and adultery. Remember, the grounds of extreme cruelty are just a ’term of art’ and it does not mean that your spouse was extremely cruel.
The Superior Court of New Jersey has jurisdiction over all causes of divorce, when either person is a resident of New Jersey at the time the action is started. There is a twelve-month residency requirement.
In the law of evidence, the necessity or duty of affirmatively proving a fact or facts in dispute on an issue raised between the parties in a cause.
When one spouse accesses stored computer files or e-mails utilizing the others Password or PIN(s) without their permission, it may be a violation of the Wiretap Statute, if the information is in the transmission stage and not in post-transmission storage. In addition, there is a common-law tort of invasion of privacy or invasion of seclusion. This unauthorized access may also invoke criminal penalties for computer related theft.
The burden of proof is the evidence one party must present to be successful in proving a case in a court of law. Different types of case have different burdens of proof. Some burdens are harder than others to meet.
In this modern computer age, suspecting partners attempt to prove their spouses misconduct by means of reading the electronic mail, retrieving pager messages, eavesdropping on cell phone or cordless phones, retrieving records from internet conversations in chat rooms or private cybersex chat rooms.
Whenever possible, we strongly recommend that both spouses attempt to work together and , through a divorce financial professional, negotiate their own settlement of marital assets, debts, alimony and child support. This process is empowering to both parties and is the most cost and time effective, minimizing legal fees and waiting.
Most of the information you need regarding real estate will be obtained from these records including type of real estate owned, location, debt associated with this real estate, any co-owners and taxes outstanding.
Here are some decisions you should keep in mind that you will have to make during your divorce.
The process begins by an attorney for one party writing a letter of introduction to the other spouse advising them that they have been retained to commence divorce proceedings and suggesting and asking for the name of that spouse’s counsel.
Many persons ask their therapist or divorce attorney whether they should divorce now or separate and divorce later. From a legal perspective it is usually best to commence divorce proceedings rather than separate.
Dealing with conflict is never easy especially when it comes to dealing with conflict related to your divorce. When it comes to divorce, fighting fire with fire isn’t the best tactic for dealing with conflict.
The dissolution of marriage (also known as divorce) represents the legal termination of the contractual bond of matrimony between two parties by a court of law in their respective state of residency. Here in the United States, divorce laws vary greatly from state to state but overall, the considerations for the dissolution of marriage are relatively the same.

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In order for permanent alimony to be awarded in New Jersey, the marriage must have lasted at least 10 years and one spouse must have become economically dependent on the other. This type of alimony allows the obligee to maintain the lifestyle to which he or she has become accustomed for the duration of the obligor's lifetime (unless the obligee remarries).

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