Even if you’re just considering ending your marriage, you should know the basics of the divorce process. And, if you’ve decided that a divorce is necessary, it’s crucial to seek advice and help from experienced divorce attorneys in New Jersey.
This is a simple guide to the various types of divorce. Obviously, every man’s situation is unique so the specifics might vary in your case but this is a simple starter that explains:
Two Types of Divorce
A divorce can be considered “complete” in which case the marital contract is dissolved, or it can be “limited,” which ends the marital contract, but provides for alimony and an equitable distribution of the former couple’s assets and liabilities.
Along with distributing assets and liabilities, the divorce process will determine the future upbringing, care, education, and custody of your children as well as visitation rights of the non-custodial parent.
Common Divorce Issues
Regardless of whether your divorce is heading for an amicable resolution or is filled with conflict, there are almost always issues that need to be resolved.
Any divorce involving complex property division, and support for children and a former spouse, requires the guidance, help and support of an experience New Jersey divorce and family law attorney.
What Our Clients Say
“Mr. Micklin worked very hard for my divorce. My ex failed to show many times and Mr. Micklin got it done in spite of her attempts to drag it out. He explained everything step by step, laid out what my options were and handled the court system very professionally. I do not know what else you could ask for. I knew what to expect in plain terms anyone could understand. I never felt out of place or uninformed during the entire process which was complicated in my case.” – Mike M.
Dealing with Your Divorce
For some, a divorce is a liberating new beginning. But for many of us, it’s not that simple or easy.
Marriage is an important relationship and a complex set of emotional, often difficult, emotions result when choosing to end it.
Studies show that when we’re recovering from a divorce, it is similar to the grief and grieving process we encounter when mourning the death of a loved one. Typically, this involves five stages:
- Shock and denial
Not everybody will experience these in the same way or even in the same order. In fact, many of us move in and out of these phases more than once; we might even experience more than one phase at a time. We can refer you to an appropriate therapist if you need some help and support.
It can be a difficult and time-consuming process, especially for men who were taught to hide their emotions. Family counselors who specialize in divorce tell us it can take up to two years to fully recover. To also help you, we offer a divorce and child custody support group for men that many people find to be invaluable in getting them get through their divorce.
An Amicable Divorce
For most men, going through the end of their marriage is tough. If you want to keep your divorce as amicable as possible, we’ll help you from keeping any negative emotions – including anger – from showing down the legal process and increasing your emotional and financial costs as a result.
We can help you keep from letting your emotions get in the way of reaching your overall objective and affecting the outcome of the legal process. No matter how upset, betrayed or angry you might feel, the best outcome for you and your children is to achieve as amicable a divorce as possible.
Being able to stay calm and collected will spare you a lot of aggravation, heartache, and money. As your family law attorneys, you can rely on us to help you deal with your situation clearly, objectively, and professionally.
Frequently Asked Questions
Grounds for annulment include, but are not limited to, the following: If there was no informed consent at the time of the marriage, the couple can seek a New Jersey annulment. If a person lacks the mental capacity to understand that they are getting married, the marriage can be annulled. This often occurs when someone who is intoxicated goes to a chapel on a whim and participates in a quick marriage ceremony. Any misrepresentation that affects the marriage can be considered fraud. The most common types of fraud cases occur when: One spouse lies about their desire or (lack of desire) to have children One spouse lies about their addiction to drugs or alcohol One spouse is an immigrant and uses the other spouse to stay in the country One spouse misrepresents their religious beliefs and that factor was an essential part of the spouse’s decision to get married A woman fails to advise her spouse at the time of their marriage that she is pregnant by another man In most circumstances, New Jersey annulments apply when there is a very short marriage and when few (if any) assets and debts have been accumulated. Since an NJ annulment treats the marriage as though it never existed, no marital property division takes place; however, property division may still occur through general contract law. In New Jersey marriage annulment proceedings, the courts have the power to award custody of children born of that relationship and may also award alimony payments. Annulments are difficult to obtain, however, so you should consider filing for divorce as an alternative.
A New Jersey court technically does not have jurisdiction over real property outside of the state and any order equitably distributing such property will only be as effective as a court in another state or country determines it to be in the event that it is met with a challenge. Within the U.S., this is usually not a problem, as a court of one state typically honors and defers to divorce agreements from other states. However, there is a likelihood that you would have difficulties trying to enforce an American divorce decree purporting to distribute real property in India in an Indian court of law in the event that your spouse challenges it. You should consult with an experienced matrimonial attorney in both New Jersey and India to find out what your rights are. Additionally, in order to be eligible to file for a divorce in New Jersey, you need to have resided here for at least one year prior to filing. You should consider meeting with an attorney well-versed in these areas. I recommend you seek a law firm that concentrates in family law. This concentration allows the attorneys to better understand the issues and complexities of you matter.
Mediation is an option for you. If successful, mediation can be far less expensive than a conventional divorce; however, mediation can be difficult if one or both of the parties refuse to act and negotiate reasonably.
In your situation, filing for divorce and support would likely be in your best interest. As your house may be in foreclosure, it may be necessary to file an application seeking support, payment of the mortgage, and for other relief. You should consult an experienced family law attorney to ensure your interests are protected.
In order for your spouse/ex-spouse to terminate alimony, he must show that there has been a substantial change of circumstances warranting the termination. The act of having a baby with a third party, in and of itself, would unlikely be seen as a substantial change of circumstances. However, if you are cohabitating with this third party, he may have grounds to terminate alimony.
Pursuant to New Jersey Statute, alimony may be suspended or terminated if the payee cohabits with another person. Cohabitation involves a mutually supportive, intimate personal relationship in which a couple has undertaken duties and privileges that are commonly associated with marriage or civil union but does not necessarily maintain a single common household.
When assessing whether cohabitation is occurring, the court shall consider the following:
(1) Intertwined finances such as joint bank accounts and other joint holdings or liabilities;
(2) Sharing or joint responsibility for living expenses;
(3) Recognition of the relationship in the couple’s social and family circle;
(4) Living together, the frequency of contact, the duration of the relationship, and other indicia of a mutually
supportive intimate personal relationship;
(5) Sharing household chores;
(6) Whether the recipient of alimony has received an enforceable promise of support from another person; and
(7) All other relevant evidence.
In evaluating whether cohabitation is occurring and whether alimony should be suspended or terminated, the court shall also consider the length of the relationship. A court may not find an absence of cohabitation solely on grounds that the couple does not live together on a full-time basis. The analysis regarding cohabitation is very fact sensitive, so it would be necessary to discuss your case in greater detail. You should consult with an experienced family law attorney to ensure that your interests are protected.
You should file for divorce sooner rather than later if your goal is to minimize her potential claim to your recovery. While generally the proceeds of a personal injury lawsuit are exempt from equitable distribution, there are portions of the recovery that may not be, particularly if you were the primary earner in the marriage as she may have a partial claim towards your lost wages. Additionally, she may be entitled to a separate loss of consortium component. Again, the degree of his entitlement, if any, is highly dependent upon the particular circumstances of your case as well as the date of the accident in relation to the date of the recovery. It is crucial that you consult with an experienced matrimonial attorney to learn what your rights are and how to protect your interests in your divorce litigation.
Contact The Micklin Law Group, LLC for Experienced Guidance
Whether you have general questions about divorce in New Jersey or specific questions about your own potential divorce, contact our legal team. The Micklin Law Group, LLC, with offices in Nutley and Montclair, New Jersey, has extensive experience helping clients through the many stages of divorce.