Somerville Divorce Lawyers
If you and your spouse have made the decision to end your marriage, there are options when it comes to the type of divorce you can pursue. In New Jersey, fault-based and no-fault divorces are both recognized. Many couples choose to proceed with a no-fault divorce, as a fault-based divorce can be more time-consuming and expensive. Regardless the type of divorce, there are a range of important issues that will need to be resolved, including custody and parenting time, child support, spousal support, and the equitable distribution of marital assets. The Somerville divorce lawyers at Lepp, Mayrides & Eaton, LLC can guide you through every step of the divorce process, protect your legal rights, and pursue the best possible settlement outcome.
What Are Considered Grounds for Divorce in New Jersey?
If you are seeking a fault-based divorce, you must provide a legally recognized reason for the dissolution of your marriage. While it is unlikely that fault would be considered when dividing marital property, it may impact the terms of spousal support, child support, and custody issues. 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
If you and your spouse are pursuing a no-fault divorce, “irreconcilable differences” would be cited, which generally means that there has been an irreversible breakdown of the marriage. You are not required to provide details about the differences that have led to the divorce, but you must be able to show that the irreconcilable differences have lasted for a period of more than 6 consecutive months prior to the filing of the Complaint for Divorce.
What Is Alternative Dispute Resolution?
Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) refers to several forms of methods of resolution that allow divorcing couples to avoid the time-consuming, costly, and often contentious litigation process. ADR allows you and your spouse to work through your issues with a neutral third party and settle your disputes or to have that neutral third party determine the resolution outside of the courtroom. The following are forms of ADR:
- Collaborative divorce: This form of ADR allows couples to negotiate the terms of their divorce using a team-based approach which focuses on direct negotiation to reach an agreement on key issues including spousal support, child support, custody, and the division of marital assets. The goal of a collaborative divorce is to resolve disputes outside the courtroom, and with as little conflict as possible.
- Mediation: Divorce mediation is another form of ADR wherein the goal is to reach a peaceful and mutually agreeable resolution to divorce conflicts. This process involves the use of a qualified neutral mediator who uses skillful negotiating methods to facilitate an amicable settlement with the couple.
- Arbitration: This is similar to mediation in that it is an ADR that takes place outside of the courtroom. However, where a mediator assists a divorcing couple in seeking a mutually agreeable resolution to their issues, an arbitrator makes the final decision, much like a Judge. Once the final decision has been made, the parties are bound by the decision.
How Is Marital Property Divided in New Jersey?
New Jersey is an equitable distribution state, which means that the Court will divide assets equitably, as opposed to an automatic 50/50 split. When determining how the marital property will be divided, the Court will consider a range of factors, including the following:
- The duration of the marriage
- The age and health of both spouses
- The standard of living over the course of the marriage
- Each spouse’s economic circumstances
- Other factors that are considered relevant
What Is the Difference Between Marital Property and Separate Property?
The equitable distribution of property only applies to marital property, which is the property that both or either spouse acquired over the course of the marriage. Common examples of marital property include the marital home and other real estate that the couple may own, businesses, vehicles, pensions, bank accounts, and stock options. Separate property includes anything that either spouse acquired before the marriage, after filing for divorce or certain “exempt” assets. Examples of separate property include third-party gifts, inheritances, or property that a spouse acquired before getting married, and did not commingle with marital assets. If separate property is commingled with another asset, it could belong to both spouses, and may be subject to equitable distribution depending on the facts of the case.
How Expensive Is a Divorce in New Jersey?
The cost of a divorce in New Jersey can vary greatly depending on the circumstances of your divorce and whether your case is resolved using alternative dispute resolution or traditional litigation. If your divorce is uncontested, and you and your spouse are able to reach an agreement on all of the issues that need to be resolved, the cost of your divorce is likely to be much less than a contested divorce, which requires a longer and more complicated legal process.
If you and your spouse are unable to resolve your disputes and you need to hire an attorney, costs can accumulate very quickly, particularly if you need to hire outside professionals to assist in the process such as a real estate appraiser, a forensic accountant, a child psychologist, or other specialists. Whether your divorce is a straightforward, uncontested case, or a complex case that requires traditional litigation, the Somerville divorce lawyers at Lepp, Mayrides & Eaton, LLC have considerable experience protecting clients’ legal rights and negotiating successful settlements.
Somerville Divorce Lawyers at Lepp, Mayrides & Eaton, LLC Guide Clients Through Every Step of the Divorce Process
The experienced Somerville divorce lawyers 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.