Jersey City Divorce Lawyer
Along with the many personal ramifications of divorce, you are also forced to deal with your local court system, possibly for the first time, and an additional financial strain. You must handle the legal process every step of the way while trying to move forward as a single individual or parent. All of these various elements of a divorce make it practically and psychologically difficult.
You may think involving a divorce attorney will make things more contentious. However, the opposite is often true. A Jersey City divorce lawyer from Bhatt Law Group is here to help you through this time. Your lawyer will always explain your rights and options, guiding you through the legal process with both knowledge and compassion. For more information on how we can help, contact us online or call (201) 798-8000 to schedule a free consultation.
Types of Divorce
Divorces, like all legal issues, come in many varieties. While some divorces have similar issues, none are ever exactly the same. To begin with, New Jersey allows individuals to file for divorce based on one or more specific grounds or on a no-fault basis. You may file for divorce alleging that your spouse’s actions led to the demise of your marriage. New Jersey allows eight individual grounds for divorce. If you wish to file for a divorce and state that neither one of you is fully responsible for the end of your marriage, then you may claim there are irreconcilable differences.
Also, your divorce may be contested or uncontested. In a contested divorce, your spouse may disagree with dissolving your marriage, or more commonly, your spouse disagrees with the way in which you want to resolve one or more issues related to the divorce, like alimony or child custody. An uncontested divorce is one in which your spouse agrees with the need to end the marriage and how to resolve the related issues. An uncontested divorce can usually be finalized much faster than a contested divorce.
Whether you know what kind of divorce you are headed for or not, contact a Jersey City divorce lawyer right away. The best way to protect your rights during a divorce and obtain the best results for you is to work with an experienced and knowledgeable local divorce attorney.
Grounds for Divorce
If you are considering filing for divorce based on your spouse’s actions, consider the grounds for divorce that New Jersey allows:
- Willful abandonment that lasts at least 21 months
- Physical or mental abuse
- Drug or alcohol addiction
- Consensual deviant sexual conduct
- Mental illness resulting in 24 consecutive months or more of institutionalization
- Incarceration for 18 months or more
- Living separately and apart for at least 18 consecutive months
There are many factors that go into deciding whether to divorce based on a specific ground or filing for a no-fault divorce. You should speak with an experienced Jersey City divorce lawyer from Bhatt Law Group to learn more about these types of divorce, including how they differ and how they may impact the legal process.
New Jersey Residency for a Divorce
You cannot obtain a divorce in New Jersey unless the courts have jurisdiction over you or your spouse. The way courts obtain jurisdiction over you is through your residency in the state and a specific county. You are a New Jersey resident if that is where you live full time. It is your permanent domicile. You can also be a resident of the state if you maintained a permanent home there and spent at least 183 days in the state. For the purposes of a divorce, either you or your spouse must have been a resident of the state for at least one year before filing.
If you are unsure of whether you can file for divorce in New Jersey, or whether you need to file elsewhere or wait until you can establish residency, call Bhatt Law Group’s Jersey City divorce lawyers today.
The Process of Filing for Divorce
The court process of filing for divorce can be complicated. There are many technical aspects to beginning a divorce, including filling out the proper forms, drafting the correct paperwork, and filing the documents in the proper court. You must also properly service your spouse with the papers after you file. There is also strategy to consider. How and when you file for divorce and what you initially allege and ask for can make a great deal of difference in how your spouse responds and how quickly this process can be resolved.
Contact an experienced Jersey City divorce lawyer at Bhatt Law Group to learn more about filing for divorce. It can take weeks or months of preparation before you file. You may need to obtain the originals or copies of personal documents, individual and marital financial information, and previous court orders.
Your attorney will also discuss with you the many potential issues associated with a divorce, including the division of assets and debts, spousal support, child custody and support, retirement, and much more. You and your lawyer must be on the same page about what you want and your likelihood of obtaining it before you file.
Understanding Legal Separation
A legal separation is different from a divorce or the practical separation you and your spouse may be going through right now. Many spouses begin to live apart prior to a divorce. One person moves out of the house or into the guest bedroom and then you both start to live more independently. This may mean putting yourself out to the world as separated or single instead of living and appearing as a married person. This separation, while important legally and emotionally, is not the same as a legal separation.
A legal separation is obtained through a court process and order. You and your spouse can go to court to finalize the circumstances surrounding your legal separation, including how you two will handle the finances, co-parenting, and more.
Common Issues Within Divorce
When you get divorced, there are many more questions than whether or not the judge should dissolve your legal union. The focus of the legal process is on the practical separation of you and your spouses’ lives.
- Property Division– First the court determines what property is part of the marital estate and what is not, including monetary savings, investments, personal property and real estate. You and your spouse will retain individually owned property and the court will determine and equitable division of the shared property. This may not be a 50/50 split. You should work with a Jersey City divorce lawyer to discuss how to handle the division of property in a way that is fair to you and does not leave you at a disadvantage as you leave the marriage.
- Division of Debt- The marital estate is not only made up of property, it also consists of various debts like mortgages, auto loans, and credit card debt. These need to be properly assigned as individual or marital and then distributed.
- Retirement- Retirement savings is a significant part of the marital estate that you should specifically address during the divorce. This is absolutely essential if a majority of your retirement savings is part of your spouse’s account through work. Your lawyer will need to take steps to ensure you receive your fair share.
- Alimony– Whether or not one spouse should pay the other spousal support, also called alimony, is often an embittered battle during a divorce. There are numerous types of alimony, included temporary, limited, rehabilitative, and permanent. If you want to seek alimony, speak with a Jersey City divorce lawyer today. If you think your spouse is going to ask for it and you want to argue against some or all types of alimony, let Bhatt Law Group help.
- Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements– If you and your spouse formed a valid prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, it needs to be addressed. A valid agreement can control or influence a number of issues within your divorce. If you have concerns about a pre- or postnuptial, speak with our Jersey City divorce attorneys right away.
- Child Custody- If you and your spouse have children, you need to develop a parenting agreement during the divorce. If you are unable to do this yourselves, then the decision will be left up to a judge who will decide a custody arrangement based on what is in the best interests of the child.
- Child Support- If there are children in your family then you need to speak with our experienced child custody and support lawyers at Bhatt Law Group to learn how child support is determined in New Jersey. The state’s guidelines always apply, whether a divorce or child support is contested or not. However, a number of factors can impact the guidelines and the outcome of who owes support and how much.
A Jersey City Divorce Lawyer is Here For You
When considering filing for divorce, or after you have been served papers by your spouse, you may wonder why you should hire a divorce lawyer. There are many benefits to legal counsel during this type of family matter. An experienced divorce attorney will know the ins and outs of preparing for, filing, and responding to a divorce. They can walk you through the court process and handle the formalities, taking tasks off your plate and giving you time to focus on your and your children’s health and future.
At Bhatt Law Group, our family law attorneys are also here to protect your rights during a divorce and make sure that you are able to walk away with fair results. This is particularly important if the matter turns contentious. For more information on how we can help during a divorce, contact us online or call (201) 798-8000 to schedule a free consultation.