Edison Divorce Lawyers

Deciding to divorce is not an easy decision. If you are considering divorce and unsure where to turn for legal help, you need a knowledgeable, experienced, and compassionate team to support you through all stages of the process. Enlisting a skilled Edison divorce lawyer at Wiley Lavender Maknoor, PC will help you navigate the difficult process. Our team understands your challenges and can provide the legal guidance needed to help you make informed decisions regarding your future.

What Divorce Matters Does Wiley Lavender Maknoor, PC Handle?

Numerous legal matters fall under the umbrella of divorce law. At Wiley Lavender Maknoor, PC, our divorce lawyers serve Edison residents in all facets of divorce, including but not limited to the following:

  • Divorce
  • High-Asset Divorce
  • Alimony
  • Post-Decree Modification
  • Child Custody
  • Child Support
  • Mediation
  • Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements
  • Domestic Violence

What Are the Legal Grounds for Divorce in New Jersey?

In New Jersey, you are required to state a reason for divorce, legally known as “grounds,” which determines whether you will file a “no-fault” or “fault-based” divorce. Most divorces in New Jersey are filed as no-fault or uncontested on the grounds of “irreconcilable differences,” which does not require disclosing those differences. Many couples opt for a no-fault divorce because it is typically less costly and time-consuming than fault-based divorces.

To file for divorce in New Jersey, the following requirements must be met:

  • One or both spouses must have resided in New Jersey for 12 consecutive months prior to filing.
  • One or both spouses must have experienced irreconcilable differences for at least 6 months before filing. Irreconcilable differences are why the marriage, civil union, or domestic partnership should be dissolved.
  • The spouses are certain there is no way to reconcile.

To file a fault-based divorce, you must cite one or more of New Jersey’s legally recognized grounds, which include:

  • Adultery
  • Desertion or abandonment
  • Deviant sexual behavior
  • Extreme mental or physical cruelty
  • Habitual drunkenness
  • Imprisonment
  • Institutionalization
  • Narcotic addiction

If you file a fault-based divorce, you are required to provide evidence supporting your claims, which can be quite difficult and requires significant evidence. If you are considering a fault-based divorce, you should discuss your options with an experienced Edison divorce lawyer with extensive knowledge of each ground, what evidence is required, and whether or not it is in your best interest to pursue a fault-based divorce. Additionally, your lawyer has more resources for investigating and gathering evidence than you may be able to accomplish yourself.

Does it Matter Who Files for Divorce First?

Either spouse can file for divorce, provided at least one of you lives in New Jersey. There are no requirements for which spouse files for divorce first, but filing first has advantages. Filing for divorce first allows you to choose the location to file, determine grounds, set the tone for the divorce, and have additional time to prepare the required information.

Where Do I File for Divorce?

You will file the divorce petition and required documents with the Family Division Court in the county you choose, provided you lived there for at least six months prior to filing. If you were not living in that county for the required time, you will file in the county your spouse lived in for at least six months prior. If neither apply, you can file in the county where you currently reside.

Once you file the divorce petition, you are responsible for serving your spouse with the divorce papers within 30 days, whichever manner you choose. Your spouse must formally answer, dispute, or file a counterclaim against you within 35 days of being served.

What Is the Difference Between Marital and Separate Property?

When divorcing, all assets and debts will be identified as marital or separate property. Marital property refers to assets and debts acquired by one or both spouses during the course of marriage and are subject to division, such as the following:

  • Bank accounts and other finances
  • Businesses and business interests
  • Investments
  • Loans
  • Real estate, including marital homes, vacation homes, and rental properties
  • Retirement accounts
  • Vehicles and boats

Separate property refers to assets or debts solely owned by one spouse, acquired before or during the marriage. Property identified as separate is not subject to division during divorce, provided the asset was not applied toward obtaining marital property. For instance, if a solely owned inheritance is applied to purchase a jointly owned asset, courts may consider the marital property inheritance subject to division.

How Is Marital Property Divided in New Jersey?

New Jersey is an equitable distribution state, not a community property state, meaning the courts divide marital assets fairly but not necessarily equally. Distribution is based on a number of factors the court deems relevant, including but not limited to the following:

  • Length of the marriage
  • Each spouse’s age and current health condition
  • Both spouses’ income and earning capacity
  • Marital standard of living
  • Each spouse’s economic circumstances
  • Value of each marital asset
  • Assets each spouse brought into the marriage
  • Prenuptial and postnuptial agreement requirements
  • Any other relevant factors

How Will Wiley Lavender Maknoor, PC Help Me With My Divorce?

State laws do not require you to retain a lawyer when divorcing, though it is highly recommended. Divorce is complex and emotional, even for the most amicable couples. Having an experienced Edison divorce lawyer provides you with objective advice, legal guidance, and emotional support throughout the process. Our Edison divorce lawyers will work on your behalf to do the following:

  • Determine appropriate grounds for divorce and advise you of your filing options.
  • Prepare and file all required forms and documents.
  • Respond to the divorce petition if your spouse files first.
  • Provide objective advice regarding all issues and decisions.
  • Mediate negotiations to avoid confrontations if the divorce is contentious.
  • Craft a tailored legal strategy based on the unique circumstances and objectives of your case.
  • Provide guidance regarding the legal requirements pertaining to divorce, child custody, alimony, property distribution, and your rights.
  • Compile financial records and locate and value assets.
  • Fight to ensure a fair distribution of marital assets and liabilities.
  • Help assess whether you are entitled to spousal support or required to pay.
  • Develop a child custody agreement and co-parenting plan per children’s financial, health, and educational needs.
  • Help enforce child support payments if your spouse does not pay.
  • Represent you in court if all attempts to negotiate a settlement agreement fail.
  • Ensure your best interests and legal rights are protected.

How Long Does it Take to Divorce in New Jersey?

Most divorces in New Jersey are completed within a few months to one year, depending on the circumstances, the number of assets, and how quickly couples reach an agreement on all issues. Contentious or high-asset divorces with considerable wealth and property typically require more than one year to finalize.

Our Skilled Edison Divorce Lawyers at Wiley Lavender Maknoor, PC Help Clients Navigate the Challenges of Divorce

If you have decided to divorce, our experienced Edison divorce lawyers at Wiley Lavender Maknoor, PC will provide the support and legal guidance you need. Call today at 732-494-6099 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. Located in Metuchen, New Jersey, we proudly assist clients in Middlesex County, Monmouth County, Union County, and Somerset County.