Newark Divorce Lawyer
Going through a divorce is normally an extremely stressful experience. In addition to the paperwork and dealing with the local court system, the psychological and financial strain is difficult for both spouses, as well as their families.
No matter what type of divorce you’re filing for in the state of New Jersey or if you’re going through legal separation, a Newark divorce lawyer from Bhatt Law Group can help you through this challenging time. Our lawyers not only provide expert guidance through legal proceedings, but also emotional support and advice. For more information on how we can help, contact us online or call (201) 798-8000 to schedule a free consultation.
What Does a Divorce Involve?
A divorce can quickly become a complex maze for you to navigate. You first must determine what type of divorce you need to file. Your options in New Jersey include a no-fault divorce or fault divorce.
A no-fault divorce means that neither you or your spouse are at fault for the divorce and simply have irreconcilable differences. This type of divorce can be filed if you and your spouse have been living apart for at least 18 months or you have experienced irreconcilable differences for at least six months.
A fault divorce is often much more complicated. This type of divorce means that one spouse’s actions or behaviors such as desertion or adultery damaged the marriage. A Newark divorce lawyer can help you navigate through what qualifies as grounds for a fault divorce.
Once you’ve determined the type of divorce you want to file, you’re then required to fill out rounds of paperwork. Just the preparation for filing alone can take weeks or months. The main document you’ll have to fill out is a “Complaint for Divorce” form (although there are numerous additional forms). Filing for divorce must be done in the county where the actions leading to the divorce took place. If you’re unsure where to file in your county, visit the New Jersey Courts website to find information about your local court.
In addition to rounds of paperwork, you also have to properly “serve” your spouse with divorce papers. This step requires careful strategy and a Newark divorce lawyer can expertly guide you through the process.
Legal Separation vs. Divorce
A legal separation is not the same as a divorce or simply living separately. Legal separation means that you have obtained an official separation agreement through a court process and order.
Your marriage isn’t dissolved through a legal separation, but you will deal with similar issues to a divorce such as property division and child custody. This is also known as “divorce from bed and board” under New Jersey law.
Legal separation is sometimes selected as an alternative to a divorce when a couple does not want to get divorced due to religious reasons or a divorce wouldn’t be in the children’s best interest. Obtaining a legal separation is still complex and easier to navigate with an attorney experienced in family law.
Requirements for Filing a Divorce
To file for a divorce in Newark, New Jersey, you and your spouse must have been New Jersey residents for the past 12 consecutive months. You qualify as a resident of the state of New Jersey if you maintained a permanent home and spent at least 183 days in the state.
If you’re not sure 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 Newark divorce lawyers today.
Understanding Contested vs Uncontested Divorce
In New Jersey, no matter what type of divorce you choose to file (no-fault or fault), the divorce will either be contested or uncontested by your spouse. A contested divorce means that your spouse disagrees with ending the marriage and/or with the way certain issues are being resolved such as with alimony or child custody. An uncontested divorce means that your spouse agrees that the marriage should end and how issues should be resolved.
The biggest differences between contested and uncontested divorces are the length and costs. An uncontested divorce is typically resolved quickly and costs much less than a contested divorce. A contested divorce can last six months to a year thanks to more complicated court proceedings. A lawyer can help ensure that a contested divorce doesn’t go on any longer than necessary, alleviating both psychological and financial strain.
Grounds for Divorce in New Jersey
Choosing grounds for divorce (i.e. the reason for your divorce) should not be taken lightly as the one(s) you select will determine future legal proceedings. Here are common grounds for divorce in New Jersey:
- 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 Newark divorce lawyer can help you select the appropriate grounds for your divorce to help you go through the process with confidence.
Common Issues When Filing for a Divorce
The judge ruling in favor of your divorce or the dissolving of your legal union is dependent on many factors. These factors include:
- Property division. The court reviews the property shared by you and your spouse such as monetary savings, investments, personal property and real estate. They then determine how this property should be divided. Property won’t always be split equally and a Newark divorce lawyer helps ensure that you receive your fair share.
- Division of debt. Various debts such as mortgages, auto loans, and credit card debt are determined whether to be individual or marital debts and then distributed accordingly.
- Retirement. A key part of the marital estate is retirement savings. Especially if a majority of your retirement savings is part of your spouse’s account through work, it’s important to work with a Newark divorce lawyer to ensure that you aren’t short-changed.
- Alimony. The decision for either spouse to pay alimony (i.e. spousal support) is perhaps one of the most difficult issues when going through a divorce. No matter if you’re seeking alimony or think your spouse will, a Newark divorce lawyer can help you with the proceedings.
- Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements. A valid prenuptial and postnuptial agreement can control or influence a number of issues within your divorce. Any concerns about your agreement should be discussed with an experienced Newark divorce attorney.
- Child Custody. If you and your spouse are unable to come to a parenting agreement between yourselves, the judge will decide a custody arrangement based on the best interest of your child.
- Child Support. New Jersey’s guidelines always apply, whether a divorce or child support is contested or not, but there are many factors as to who owes support and how much. If you’re unsure how child support will be determined in your case, a Newark child custody and support lawyer can help you through the arrangement.
A Newark Divorce Lawyer is Here For You
Whether you’re considering filing for divorce or you’ve been served papers by your spouse, a divorce lawyer can provide the necessary legal counsel to guide you through this difficult process, including court proceedings, formalities, and more. You’re then able to focus on other aspects of your life such as your and your children’s health and future.
The divorce attorneys here at Bhatt Law Group are dedicated to protecting your rights during a divorce and ensuring that you receive your fair share. For more information on how we can help during a divorce, contact us online or call (201) 798-8000 to schedule a free consultation.