Important Things To Know Going Through A Divorce In New Jersey

By Peter Van Aulen, Esq.

Being Serveed With A Summons And Complaint

If you are served with a Summons and Complaint for Divorce you are given 35 days to answer the same. Do not allow said 35 days to lapse without filing a responsive pleading. If said 35 days lapses you will be in default and your spouse might get everything they want at your expense. Please contact the Law Offices of Peter Van Aulen immediately to speak to an experienced New Jersey divorce lawyer.

Those Who Represent Themselves Have A Fool For A Client

The above line is an old saying from law school. All kidding aside it is usually not a good idea to represent yourself while going through a divorce. Divorce is one of the greatest emotional and financial decisions a person can make. The outcome of your divorce could affect you and your children for many years. The divorce process can get complicated fast. This is why you need competent representation by an experienced lawyer. Further, you should not hire an attorney who is a jack-of-all-trades. You should hire an attorney who practices primarily in Family Law.

Consult With A New Jersey Divorce Attorney Moving Around Assets

If you are going through a Divorce or thinking about filing for a Divorce, consult with an NJ divorce attorney before you make any major financial decisions such as purchasing real estate, transferring assets, or managing inherited and premarital property. Certain properties your spouse may not be entitled to in a Divorce such as property purchase before marriage which was not purchase in contemplation of marriage and inherited property. However, if you commingle said property with marital property your spouse may gain an interest in said property. For example you inherited $50,000.00 from one of your parents and you place it a joint savings account with your spouse or use it to purchase a home with your spouse’s name on the deed. Said $50,000.00 depending on the situation may no longer be exempt from equitable distribution. In plan English your spouse may be deemed to own a substantial part of that asset.

The Case Information Statement Is One Of The Most Important Documents In Your Divorce

After a Divorce Complaint is filed, the Court requires both parties' New Jersey divorce lawyers to file a Case Information Statement. This is a nine page document in which you state your income, monthly expenses, assets and liabilities. This is one of the most important documents you will file in your divorce. A Judge uses said document to determine the division of assets and to determine temporary and final support issues. New Jersey divorce attorneys and mediators also use said document in settlement negotiations. Therefore, it is imperative that said document is filled out correctly. There is a column in said statement that asks for your expenses when the parties lived together. I seen many litigants including ones represented by counsel leave said column blank. This is a mistake.

Do Not Do Make Settlement Offers Without First Discussing Them With Your New Jersey Divorce Lawyer

If you have hired an attorney, do not make an offer to settle your case directly with your spouse without first discussing it with your attorney. You hire an attorney not only to represent you in Court, but to give you legal advice.

The Judge Is Watching You

When in the Courtroom show respect to the Judge, Court personnel and other counsel. I know this sounds remedial; however, the Judge is constantly observing the parties.

Do Not Ignore Orders

Do not ignore a Judge’s Order. If you are unhappy with the decision, file a Motion for Reconsideration or/and Appeal. Ignored Orders will come back to bite you.

Spare Your Children

Do not tell your children the details of your divorce litigation or use them in any way to get to your spouse. Do not alienate your children’s affections towards your spouse. Children need to be protected. 

Peter Van Aulen has been a divorce lawyer serving New Jersey for over 23 Years. If you have any questions about divorce in New Jersey, call us today at (201) 845-7400 for a free consultation.

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