Hunterdon County Divorce Lawyers
New Jersey couples who have decided to end their marriage have the option of pursuing a fault-based or a no-fault divorce. Many couples choose to proceed with a no-fault divorce, as a fault-based divorce can result in prolonged litigation, thus becoming more time-consuming and costly.
Regardless the type of divorce, the Hunterdon County divorce attorneys at Lepp, Mayrides & Eaton, LLC, can assist with the process, help to protect your rights, and work towards the best possible outcome.
What Are Considered Grounds for Divorce in New Jersey?
If you are pursuing a no-fault divorce, “irreconcilable differences” could be listed as the grounds in the Complaint for Divorce. This generally means that you and your spouse are unable to resolve your issues. You are not required to provide specific details about what led to the dissolution of your marriage, but you must attest that the irreconcilable differences have lasted for a period of more than 6 consecutive months prior to the filing of the Complaint and that there is no prospect for reconciliation.
Unlike a no-fault divorce, if you are filing for a fault-based divorce, you must provide a legally recognized reason for dissolving your marriage. The following are examples of recognized grounds for fault-based divorce in New Jersey:
- History of drug or alcohol abuse
- Extreme cruelty
- Sexual deviance
- Spouse has been imprisoned or committed to a psychiatric institution
What Is Alternative Dispute Resolution?
There are several methods available to litigants that promote the resolution of issues outside of the courtroom. Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) allows you and your spouse to work through your issues with a neutral third party. The following are forms of ADR:
- Collaborative divorce: This team-based method utilizes negotiation and meetings to allow couples to work together and reach an agreement on important issues, including spousal support, custody, child support, and the equitable distribution of marital assets. The goal is to have as little conflict as possible and proceeding without litigating in Court.
- Mediation: With this type of ADR, couples will meet with a qualified mediator who will review the position of each side, negotiate possible resolution, and help the couple reach an amicable and equitable settlement. While a mediator does not make decisions for the couple, they will assist them in resolving their issues outside the courtroom.
- Arbitration: This is similar to both mediation and collaborative divorce in that it takes place outside of the courtroom. However, while a mediator does not make decisions for the couple, an arbitrator acts in similar capacity to a Judge and can determine the outcome of the case. In addition, once the decision has been made by the arbitrator, both parties are bound by that decision.
How Is Marital Property Divided in New Jersey?
New Jersey is an equitable distribution state, which means that marital property is divided in a manner that is considered to be equitable by the Court, rather than an automatic 50/50 split. In order to determine how the property will be divided, the Court will consider a range of factors, including:
- The duration of the marriage
- The age and health of both spouses
- The couple’s standard of living over the course of the marriage
- Each spouse’s economic circumstances
- Other factors that are considered relevant to the matter
What Is the Difference Between Marital Property and Separate Property?
The equitable distribution of property only applies to marital property, which is property (assets and debts) that either or both spouses acquired over the course of the marriage. This generally includes the marital home, other real estate that the couple owns, automobiles, bank accounts, retirement accounts, pensions, businesses, stock options, other investments, loans, and credit card debt.
Separate property includes anything that either spouse acquired before the marriage, after filing for divorce, or certain “exempt” assets. Separate property generally includes real estate property that either spouse owned before getting married, inheritances, third-party gifts, and other assets that were acquired before the marriage and were not commingled with marital assets. If separate property is commingled with marital assets, it could be subject to equitable distribution depending on the facts of the case.
How Expensive Is a Divorce in New Jersey?
In New Jersey, the cost of a divorce can vary significantly and is based on the nature of the divorce and whether the case is resolved using ADR or traditional litigation. The more contentious the divorce, the more costly it is likely to be, particularly if the couple is unable to reach an agreement on key issues, like child support, spousal support, and the distribution of marital property.
The Hunterdon County divorce attorneys at Lepp, Mayrides & Eaton, LLC, have extensive experience negotiating successful settlements for clients, whether a divorce is uncontested or is a complex case that must be litigated in court. In addition to being skilled litigators, our attorneys also employ a range of ADR methods, including mediation, arbitration, and collaborative approaches. We can handle every aspect of your divorce and negotiate the best possible settlement.
Hunterdon County Divorce Attorneys at Lepp, Mayrides & Eaton, LLC, Assist Clients With Every Step of the Divorce Process
The experienced Hunterdon County divorce attorneys at Lepp, Mayrides & Eaton, LLC ensure their clients’ rights are protected, whether settlement is reached, or litigation is necessary. Call us at 908-800-7676 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.
Located in Somerville, New Jersey, our attorneys serve clients throughout Central New Jersey, including those in Somerset County, Hunterdon County, Warren County, Morris County, Mercer County, Monmouth County, Union County, and Middlesex County.