There is a common misconception that the sheer number of years a couple is married has an impact on the divorce. Recently, a New Jersey father met with me in our Virtual Law Office because he was planning to split up with his wife, and their 10th wedding anniversary was coming up in a couple of months.
“Should I file for divorce now, even during Covid-19?” he wanted to know. “Or, should I wait until the restrictions ease and it will be easier for me to move out?”
In fact, the 10-year mark – or any other anniversary – has no real or significant bearing on a divorce; it will not make the process better or worse, faster or slower. Only the client can decide if he should file now or weather the domestic and Covid-19 storm raging around him and wait for courts to fully reopen.
Although time is not a factor, the length of a marriage can have a bearing on other issues that must be resolved during the divorce process: Dividing assets and liabilities, determining spousal and child support, splitting up everything from the pots and dishes to linens and furniture. It becomes even more complicated if one or both partners own a business or professional practice.
Income, Assets, and Liabilities Are Key Factors When A New Jersey Man or Father Wants a Divorce
The longer a couple is married, the greater the likelihood there will be more financial issues to sort through and resolve.
For example, the length of the marriage may well affect how much spousal support must be paid and for how long a New Jersey husband will be required to pay alimony. But duration of the union is not as important as the earnings of each individual. For example, if the wife has been working but earns less than the husband, a court will view spousal support as providing a bridge for the wife to adjust to her new, single life. If she has not been working at all, a different calculation will be used.
How property is equitably divided between the husband and wife could also be affected based on the length of a marriage.
What won’t be affected at all is child support. New Jersey has guidelines based on the income of the non-custodial parent that roughly determine how much child support must be paid. The state provides a free online calculator that will provide you with a general idea of what a judge will require.
The longer the marriage, the more assets and debts a couple is likely to have acquired. This can include a home with an accompanying mortgage, a revolving line of credit, credit cards and auto loans or leases, retirement and investment accounts, and other items. If the divorce is amicable, dividing the assets and liabilities can go smoothly. If not, then the process becomes more complicated.
Help for New Jersey Men and Fathers in Deciding To Divorce
Divorce can be a complex process, but the family law attorneys at the Micklin Law Group can help.
If you’re unsure whether to proceed with beginning the divorce process, our Divorce Consulting Service might be the best first step. It will take you through what is likely to be involved, explain the information you’ll need to gather, and help you decide on the outcome you want at the end of the road.
If you are sure that you want to divorce your wife and can resolve all of the issues that will be involved, our unique online E-Divorce in New Jersey could be an option that will work for you. You won’t have to appear in court, and it is likely to be simpler, faster and less expensive than a traditional divorce.
If you are a man or father in New Jersey who is considering a divorce or has decided to move forward with one, feel free to contact me.
We are working remotely every day, so we are in touch with each other and the court through our digital infrastructure. If you want to talk about your situation and the options open to you, we can meet with you in our Virtual Law Office. Or, if you’d prefer, we can discuss your situation by phone at either 973.562.0100 in Nutley or at 862.245.4620 in Montclair.