Hackensack Divorce Lawyer
Are you considering filing for divorce in Hackensack? We can help you! Our team of divorce lawyers have handled hundreds of divorce cases over the years, ranging from uncontested to complex. Call (201) 798-8000 today, use our contact form below, or chat with us live 24/7 for a free consultation. We proudly represent divorce clients throughout New Jersey, including Hackensack.
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Obtaining a divorce in New Jersey isn’t as simple as filing a complaint or even responding to your spouse’s desire to separate. There are many issues that must be resolved – from how you’re going to divide marital assets to child custody details.
To help you through this difficult process, a Hackensack divorce lawyer from Bhatt Law Group can provide support and assistance every step of the way. For more information on how we can help, contact us online or call (201) 798-8000 to schedule a free consultation.
The Divorce Process in New Jersey
While divorce might be common – around half of marriages end in divorce in the U.S. – it doesn’t make the process any easier. There are many steps required to successfully file and receive a divorce from your spouse.
The first step is determining what type of divorce you need to file for. New Jersey allows you to file for either a no-fault divorce or fault divorce. With a no-fault divorce, you and your spouse acknowledge that neither of you are at fault for the divorce. You have irreconcilable differences (i.e. you can’t resolve your differences to save your marriage).
A no-fault divorce is an option if you meet all of the following requirements:
- You or your spouse have lived in New Jersey for 12 consecutive months before filing for a divorce.
- You and your spouse have experienced irreconcilable differences that have no chance of reconciliation for at least 6 months.
You can also file for no-fault divorce on the grounds of separation. If you and your spouse have been living apart for at least 18 months, this might be an option.
A fault divorce means that one spouse was at fault for the divorce. This means that the other spouse must prove that the other spouse’s misdeeds caused the marriage to collapse. Grounds for a fault divorce include adultery and physical/mental abuse (more details on that below). A Hackensack divorce lawyer can expertly guide you through the process of filing for a fault divorce.
After you’ve filed a “Complaint for Divorce” with the local court, your spouse must respond to the complaint within a specific period of time. This begins a long process of paperwork, settlements, and a possible trial. A Hackensack divorce lawyer can help you through this difficult (and time-consuming) process.
What is Legal Separation vs Divorce?
Not all spouses who can’t get along want to file for a divorce. This can be due to religious reasons, for their children’s best interests, or the spouses agree that reconciliation might be possible in the future. Whatever the case, a legal separation might be the best option for your marriage.
Unlike a divorce, legal separation means that the marriage itself isn’t dissolved – spouses simply live separately. However, there are often similar issues to a divorce that must be settled such as child custody and property division. Known as “divorce from bed and board” under New Jersey law, acquiring legal separation is still managed best with the help of an experienced family attorney.
Completing the legal separation process with a Hackensack divorce lawyer also means that you likely won’t have to go to court and can come to agreements on settlements without formal legal transactions.
Requirements to File for a Divorce in New Jersey
There are several requirements to file for divorce in Hackensack, New Jersey. Concerning residency, at least one spouse must have lived in the state of NJ for at least 12 months (although this residency requirement is waived in the case of adultery if one spouse is a resident of the state).
If you’re filing for a divorce based on the grounds of “irreconcilable differences,” you must also demonstrate the breakdown of the marriage over the span of at least six months. If you’re filing for desertion, you must prove that your spouse has been absent for at least one year.
Determining whether you can file for divorce in New Jersey, the right grounds, and requirements can be confusing. To confidently move through the process, contact Bhatt Law Group’s Hackensack divorce lawyers.
Understanding Contested vs Uncontested Divorce
There are many decisions that must be made before obtaining a divorce. Asset division, child support, and child custody are just a few common divorce issues. A contested divorce means that you or your spouse cannot agree on the terms of the divorce, requiring lengthy court proceedings. A contested divorce can last six months to a year.
However, if both spouses are in agreement that the marriage should end, as well as agree on how all major issues should be settled, it’s known as an uncontested divorce.
An uncontested divorce is normally less expensive because it doesn’t require a trial or other legal proceedings. It also doesn’t take as long as a contested divorce as issues are resolved fairly quickly.
An experienced Hackensack divorce lawyer can help you work out a settlement for a contested divorce, resolving the main disagreements between you and your spouse.
Grounds for Divorce in New Jersey
Whether you choose to file for a fault or no-fault divorce, you’ll need to select the right grounds (an important step that will dictate future legal proceedings). Available grounds for divorce in New Jersey include:
- 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
A Hackensack divorce lawyer can provide the necessary guidance to help you choose the right grounds for your divorce and confidently navigate through the paperwork/legal proceedings.
Issues After Filing for a Divorce in NJ
A number of issues can arise after you or your spouse file for divorce in New Jersey. You will be forced to settle on a number of issues by the court:
- Property division. New Jersey is an equitable division state. This means that the property of you and your spouse (e.g. investments, personal property, monetary savings) won’t necessarily be split equally, but fairly in the eyes of the court. A Hackensack divorce lawyer can help ensure that you receive a fair share of your property.
- Division of debt. You and your spouse’s debt (e.g. mortgages, auto loans, credit card debt) also might not be divided 50/50 according to the court. The court reviews a number of “equitable distribution factors” such as the length of the marriage, your standard of living, and your age and health.
- Retirement. Your retirement savings (e.g. IRA or 401(k)) are also subject to division between spouses. It’s important to work with a Hackensack divorce lawyer to avoid losing a significant portion of your retirement account.
- Alimony. There are different types of alimony (i.e. spousal support) available in New Jersey – from limited duration to reimbursement alimony. Whether you are seeking alimony or your spouse is, a Hackensack divorce lawyer can assist with the proceedings.
- Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements. If you created a valid prenuptial and postnuptial agreement before entering into marriage, these agreements can control or influence a number of issues within your divorce. Any concerns about your agreement should be discussed with an experienced divorce attorney.
- Child Custody. Joint or sole custody may be decided by the judge if you and your spouse are unable to come to a parenting agreement. The best interests of your child are always the deciding factor for the court.
- Child Support. New Jersey law dictates that both parents must financially support their children. A Hackensack divorce lawyer can help you understand how child support will be calculated in your case and guide you through the arrangement.
Reaching an agreement on these issues with your spouse can quickly become time consuming. The right attorney with family law can help speed up the process and ensure that a fair settlement is reached.
A Haskensack Divorce Lawyer is Here For You
The New Jersey divorce process can be as exhausting as it is confusing. Not only do you want to ensure that you receive your fair share from the divorce, you also want to keep your life, for yourself and possibly children, as normal as possible.
At Bhatt Law Group, we are dedicated to protecting your rights during a divorce, guiding you through necessary paperwork and court proceedings. Contact us online or call (201) 798-8000 to schedule a free consultation and learn more how we can help you during your divorce.