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To Divorce or Separate - The BIG Question
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. If the marriage is irretrievably broken a separation postpones the inevitable. A separation, by its nature cannot compel an unwilling spouse to provide financial information, divide assets, allocate debts or pay support. However, if the parties are able to exchange financial information and reach an interim agreement on all important issues, a separation may be desirable until one party or the other feels a compulsion to terminate the marriage by way of divorce. When one considers the Court imposed delays (sometimes as much as three years ) it may be desirable to immediately commence divorce rather than wait.
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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