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Busting Five Common Divorce Myths

A New Jersey divorce can be a challenging and even confusing process. One reason why confusion can be present in a marriage dissolution case is because of divorce myths. In fact, there are common divorce myths that need to be dispelled:

  • Myth that you can deny noncustodial parent parenting time if behind on child support payments
  • Myth that children can pick which parent to reside
  • Myth that divorce mediation eliminates need for legal counsel
  • Myth that a New Jersey property division calls for a 50/50 split of assets
  • Myth that a spouse can stop the divorce process
You Can Deny the Noncustodial Parent Parenting Time if Behind on Child Support

One of the frequently circulating divorce myths is that a custodial parent has the ability to deny the noncustodial parent parenting time if the noncustodial parent is behind on child support. The law does not allow a custodial parent to suspend or interfere with a noncustodial parent’s parenting time even when the noncustodial parent is not making required child support payments.

A custodial parent does have recourse. A custodial parent can take legal action to sanction a noncustodial parent for failing to pay child support as well as to seek enforcement of an existing child support order.

Children Pick Which Parent to Live With

One of the other divorce fables is that a child has the ability to select which parent to live with during and after a divorce. Custody and parenting time decisions are made based on what is in the best interests of a child. Depending on the age and maturity level of a child, that child may have input in regard to custody and parenting. However, a minor child is not the ultimate decision maker.

Divorce Mediation Eliminates the Need for a Lawyer

Another of the five most commonplace divorce myths is that engaging in divorce mediation eliminates the need for legal representation. The fact is that while mediation can be beneficial in a New Jersey marriage dissolution case, this type of alternative dispute resolution does not mean you do not need to retain an effective, experienced New Jersey divorce lawyer.

Mediation is a process in which an independent mediator provides support and resources designed to assist a divorcing couple in resolving issues in a case. A mediator does not make decisions for the parties. Rather, a mediator serves to enhance the negotiation process in a way that makes the prospect of a settled resolution of a divorce case more likely.

The presence of a mediator does not replace the need for legal representation. Even if a mediation reaches an agreement, there remains work to be done in a case that is best accomplished by a seasoned New Jersey divorce lawyer.

New Jersey Divorce Property Settlements Result in a 50/50 Split

Yet another of the myths that crop up in divorce proceedings is that in New Jersey, marital assets are divided equally between spouses. New Jersey is what is known as an equitable division state when it comes to marital assets and debts.

The equitable division of property standard does not require marital assets and debts to be divided equally between spouses. Rather, marital property and debt is to be divided in a manner that is fair and equitable. That determination is made based on the specific, unique facts and circumstances of a specific New Jersey divorce case.

A Spouse Can Stop the Divorce Process

Finally, another marriage dissolution myth is that a spouse can stop a divorce if he or she does not want the marriage to end. While a spouse may be able to engage in tactics that delay the resolution of a divorce case, a person cannot obtain a dismissal of a marriage dissolution case because that individual does not want a divorce. Parties can jointly agree to end a divorce case, however.

Protecting Your Legal Rights with an Experienced New Jersey Divorce Attorney

The first step in protecting your important legal rights in a marriage dissolution case is to schedule an initial consultation with an experienced New Jersey divorce lawyer. You can arrange an initial consultation by calling our firm at (201) 845-7400.

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*Results may vary depending on your particular facts and legal circumstances