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Common Issues in Divorce

Getting a divorce in NJ is daunting – especially if you do not have any knowledge or experience about what the process entails. You should try to find out as much as possible about getting a divorce, from property division and child custody to changing your name or deciding who gets to keep the dog. Read on to learn more about what to expect if you decide to file for divorce.

Alimony and Divorce in NJ

Currently, there are five different kinds of alimony that are commonly awarded in New Jersey, depending on a variety of circumstances. For example, open durational alimony (once called permanent alimony) is only available to couples who have been married for at least 20 years. In addition to the various types of alimony available, the law requires courts to consider at least 14 factors when determining the amount and length of alimony to be awarded in a divorce in NJ. Some of these include more than just the duration of the marriage. Things like the age or health of the parties, the demonstrated needs of one spouse and the capability of the other to pay, and the earning capacity or education of each party as just some of the things courts have to look at when order alimony. Check out more information on the kinds of alimony awarded, and when in this article: What You Need to Know About Alimony In NJ

Division of Assets in NJ

One question many individuals get anxious about asking is how the court will divide property in a divorce in NJ. New Jersey is an equitable distribution state, meaning the property is divided in a way that is equitable and fair – which is not necessarily in equal parts. There are multiple factors that courts will use when splitting up property, but surprisingly, the fault of either spouse is not one of them. Check out this article for more information on what you can expect about dividing up property in a NJ divorce: Division of Assets

Child Custody & Visitation

For marriages with children, child custody and visitation is sometimes the most difficult issue to get settled. There are two types of custody in New Jersey: legal custody and physical custody. Legal custody means the decisions that a parent can make for the child. Physical custody refers to who the child will live with. On top of this distinction, there are two types of legal custody available to parents: joint or sole legal custody. Joint legal custody is the presumption, although the court will award sole legal custody to one parent if it is appropriate. You can learn about the things courts consider in deciding which kind of custody is appropriate for the parents and the children, including some insight as to when supervised visitation may be implemented if you check out the article here: Child Custody & Visitation

Child Support Guidelines in New Jersey

All parents have a duty to support their children. No child should not be made to suffer poverty just because their parents have decided to get a divorce. It is under the spirit of this philosophy that child support guidelines were created in NJ. Child support is expected to cover the basic fundamentals of support for the child, such as housing, food, clothing, and entertainment. There are adjustments that could be made to the calculation of child support, including whether or not the paying parent has children from another relationship that he or she needs to support. To find out more the guidelines and potential adjustments that the court can make, keep reading here: Understanding New Jersey Child Support Guidelines

Getting Your Name Changed After a NJ Divorce

Deciding to return to your former last name is a hugely personal decision. Luckily, in New Jersey, it is a fairly simple process to get this done. The easiest way to do this is to include a request within your initial claim or counterclaim. Even if your divorce is final, you can still do a post judgment motion. Unfortunately, changing your child’s last name is a bit more complex, and should be handled by a competent attorney. To learn more details about Changing Your Name in a New Jersey Divorce, click the link.

Health Insurance and Divorce in NJ

With the cost of health insurance continuing to skyrocket across the country, a lot of people are concerned about what will happen to their insurance in the event they divorce in NJ. Once a couple divorces, the other spouse will no longer be covered by insurance. There are ways to mitigate this issue, including enrolling in COBRA, purchasing your own plan, or enrolling in your employer’s plan. Luckily, a divorce will not usually affect the children’s health insurance plans, although it may go into the calculation of child support. Click the link to learn more about Health Insurance and Divorce in NJ.

Getting Temporary Support in NJ

In some cases, getting a divorce can take a long time. During this time, the parties will still need to keep paying any mortgages, utility bills, tuition, and insurance (among other things). You can get some help to pay these bills by filing a Pendente Lite Motion. If successful, the court will order the parties to either pay certain bills or provide appropriate financial support to ensure the status quo is maintained while the case is finalized. Check out more information here: Motion For Pendente Lite (Temporary Support) Relief in a New Jersey Divorce Proceeding

Torts are civil actions that offer financial relief as a remedy – and in New Jersey, spouses can sue each other for marital torts. Some of the most commonly pled marital torts include assault and battery, defamation, and wiretapping. Marital torts have certain time limitations and burdens of proof that should be further discussed with a family law attorney. What is a Marital Tort Claim in a New Jersey Divorce

Bankruptcy and Divorce in NJ

Something that can really cause problems while getting a divorce in NJ is filing for bankruptcy. This article confirms that while aspects of the divorce can proceed, generally speaking, the equitable distribution of assets cannot be done until the bankruptcy is finalized thanks to the initiation of an automatic stay. However, child support and alimony are prioritized over the interest of creditors, meaning the stay does not apply, and these obligations cannot be discharged in a bankruptcy proceeding. Bankruptcy can have significant collateral consequences on a divorce. Check out more information at the article here: Divorce and Bankruptcy in NJ

Pets in Divorce

It’s hard to admit it, but under the law (at least in NJ), pets are property, although they do receive some special treatment when their owners split up. There is no statutory authority on ‘pet custody,’ although New Jersey courts have developed a test to determine custody in the case of Houseman v. Dare. The court developed multiple factors such as who undertook the daily duties of care, who owned the pet prior to the relationship, and whether or not there are any children involved. The best interest of the pet is unfortunately not a factor that the court looks at in reaching its decision. If you’re curious about what may happen to your beloved furry family member, check out Pets in a New Jersey Divorce or Separation.

Social Media and Divorce

Perhaps the most dynamic and damaging aspects of filing for divorce will involve the interplay of social media in a case. There are basic rules that should be followed during litigation. Don’t delete anything. You might think you’re being sly, but if it comes to light that you purged all your social media, the judge or jury could make some negative inferences as to why you did so. Also, be discrete. If you are complaining that you cannot pay your bills, it really doesn’t help your case to post photos of your new Lexus or diamond necklace. Or, if you badmouth your spouse or complain about your children, you can see how this could be used against you in a family law case. In general – if you do not want it read aloud in court, then don't post it! Check out the best practices regarding Social Media and Divorce in NJ here.

If you have more questions about getting a divorce in NJ, Peter Van Aulen is ready to help. Call him today for a free initial consultation at 201-845-7400.

Client Reviews
Peter has integrity, and values his relationships with his clients beyond his financial relationship with them. For me to say this about any lawyer is really saying something. He is compassionate, straightforward and knowledgeable. I would easily recommend him to anybody. Lewie W.
Peter Van Aulen handled my case with great diligence and integrity. He is also a compassionate individual who realizes what a difficult time divorce can be emotionally. Peter works hard and doesn't take any shortcuts in preparing for a case… I highly recommend Mr. Van Aulen and his staff. Chuck Solomon
Peter is an exceptionally great attorney. He handled my child custody case and was able to ease any of my concerns with honest answers. He always took the time to explain the pros/cons and was always available to answer any questions that I had… I would highly recommend this attorney to anyone who is looking for one. Jessica Cruz
Peter Van Aulen is a very compassionate, honest and straightforward person. He was there for me at my lowest point with a genuine concern not only for my situation, but for me and my child's well being above all… He is fair and he is strong and when push comes to shove he is there for you. Cathy Dodge
Our cousin used Peter's law office to help with a sticky custody situation. He was extremely responsive, very nice and most importantly did an awesome job with the court! He is awesome. Lawrence Polsky

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