New Jersey Divorce Attorney
For many individuals, choosing to file for divorce is one of life’s most difficult decisions. When you are coping with the psychological stress that initiating a divorce so often brings, it can be all but impossible to face the prospect of paperwork, court dates, and financial and custodial negotiations. Nonetheless, in order for a divorce to be formal and finalized, there are numerous procedures which must be completed before you can move forward with your life.
Unfortunately, filing for divorce in New Jersey is typically neither a simple nor rapid process. Even in the case of an amicable parting, the state and federal regulations governing matters like child custody, alimony payments, and the division of property can make the path to finalizing a divorce very stressful, confusing, and complicated for the parties involved. If a parting is not amicable, the process of determining alimony, child support, and other matters can become even more difficult to navigate.
Filing for divorce is a challenge, but you don’t have to face it alone. The highly qualified divorce lawyers at Maselli Warren have over 25 years of experience representing the residents of New Jersey in matters of divorce and family law. Whatever the circumstances of your divorce may be, our seasoned legal team can help you:
- Establish the grounds for divorce.
- Negotiate a payment plan for spousal and child support.
- Obtain a favorable child custody arrangement.
- Complete and file all required forms and documentation.
- Manage the division of property and changes to insurance policies.
The New Jersey Divorce Process
The rules and procedures for obtaining a divorce differ depending on location, and New Jersey has its own system. Essentially, there are four basic components to the New Jersey divorce process:
1. Determining the grounds for divorce. There are two categories a divorce can fall into: no-fault, and fault-based. In a no-fault divorce there are no specific grounds for the termination of the marriage. “Irreconcilable differences” are commonly cited in no-fault divorce. In a fault-based divorce, one spouse cites a certain action or behavior as the cause for the divorce. New Jersey recognizes the following causes as grounds for a fault-based divorce:
- Addiction (Drugs, Alcohol)
- Deviant Sexual Conduct
2. Complaint and response. The spouse who wishes to initiate the divorce proceedings must file a complaint for divorce, which will be served to the other spouse. Once the complaint has been filed and served, the recipient will have the opportunity to respond with:
- Answer and Counterclaim: Used if the recipient spouse wishes to refute the original complaint’s claims and supply their own version of events.
- Notice of Appearance: Used if the recipient spouse wishes to be involved in the legal proceedings without contesting the divorce.
- Counterclaim: Used if the recipient spouse feels the information in the original complaint is inaccurate.
3. Case management conference. The case management conference is often conducted over the phone. The purpose of the case management conference is essentially to determine the timeline for the next and arguably most important stage of the divorce: discovery.
4. Discovery. Unfortunately, discovery is often the stage of the divorce process which has the greatest potential to become tense and protracted. This is because discovery addresses the fine points and technical details of the divorce, such as determining how the marital estate will be divided.
New Jersey Child Custody Lawyers
Child custody is often the most painful, difficult, and hotly-debated part of the divorce procedure. No parent wants to lose any more time with their child than they have to, which can lead to heated arguments between divorcing spouses. The more you understand about basic available forms of child custody in New Jersey, the better prepared you will be to enter custody negotiations.
- Joint Custody: The child either lives with one parent, or alternates between the parental households. In joint custody, the parents work together to make decisions about matters such as healthcare and education for the child.
- Sole Custody: The child lives with one parent, and decisions regarding the child’s welfare are made by one parent. Sole custody does, however, include parental visitation (parenting time).
Ultimately, the form of custody which will be granted is not up to the parents or the child — it is at the discretion of the courts. The judge reviews factors such as each parent’s financial stability and geographical location in order to make a decision.
New Jersey Alimony Lawyers
Because it has the potential to be permanent, alimony is a controversial issue in the state of New Jersey. While permanent, mandatory alimony is one potential alimony plan which may be ordered by the courts, there are several other alimony (or “spousal support”) plans available in New Jersey:
- Reimbursement. Intended to “reimburse” one spouse for financially supporting the other (e.g. putting a spouse through schooling).
- Rehabilitative. Intended to provide a source of income to a spouse while they learn a trade.
- Limited Duration. Temporary alimony which is classified as neither reimbursement or rehabilitative.
If you are going through a divorce in New Jersey, it can be a daunting emotional, financial, and legal challenge. At Maselli Warren, our team of New Jersey divorce lawyers has decades of experience helping clients navigate the oftentimes draining and complicated divorce procedures required by state and federal law. If you would like to arrange for a confidential consultation with an experienced New Jersey divorce attorney, call the law offices of Maselli Warren today at (800) 891-2657, or contact us online.