Middlesex County Divorce Lawyers
Middlesex County, New Jersey is a suburb of New York City and the third most populous. Home of the state’s flagship higher education institution, Rutgers University, much of Middlesex County is a bustling center for cultural activities and the arts and sciences.
Divorce can be complex, often rife with emotion and conflict. Working with an experienced legal team, such as our skilled Middlesex County divorce lawyers at Wiley Lavender Maknoor, PC, provides unparalleled guidance and ensures your rights are protected and your best interests met.
What Types of Divorce Matters Does Wiley Lavender Maknoor, PC Handle?
Our Middlesex County divorce lawyers are skilled, knowledgeable, and experienced in representing clients in numerous family law matters, including but not limited to the following:
- High-Asset Divorce
- Post-Decree Modification
- Child Custody
- Child Support
- Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements
- Domestic Violence
What Are the Grounds for Divorce in New Jersey?
In New Jersey, you are required to cite your grounds for divorcing when filing with the court. First, one or both spouses must have resided in New Jersey for at least 12 months. If you meet this requirement, you can file for divorce. The legal grounds for divorce in New Jersey include:
- Abandonment for one year or more
- Addiction to drugs or alcohol for one year or more
- Deviant sexual conduct
- Extreme mental or physical cruelty or abuse
- Imprisonment for 18 months or longer
- Irreconcilable differences for at least six months
- Institutionalization in a mental health facility for two years or more
- Separation for 18 or more months
If you file a fault-based divorce, you will be solely responsible for proving your allegations, which usually requires ample evidence. Proving allegations in a fault-based divorce is challenging for most people, and you should consult an experienced divorce lawyer with extensive knowledge to honestly assess whether it is in your best interests to cite grounds. Working with an attorney with an established network of investigators is crucial to help acquire evidence in a fault-based divorce.
With a no-fault divorce, you may cite “irreconcilable differences,” though you are not required to disclose those differences. No-fault divorces are usually less costly and time-consuming, which also appeals to most divorcing couples. Requirements for a no-fault divorce include:
- At least one spouse must have lived in New Jersey for 12 consecutive months.
- One or both spouses must have experienced irreconcilable differences for at least six months.
- Irreconcilable differences are the basis for dissolving the marriage, civil union, or domestic partnership.
- One or both spouses are certain reconciliation is not possible.
What Is the Divorce Process in New Jersey?
Divorcing involves far more than dissolving a marriage. Each divorce is unique and presents its unique circumstances, but the majority address issues such as:
- Child custody and child Support
- Co-parenting agreements
- Division of marital assets and debts
- Retirement or pension plan distributions
- Spousal maintenance or alimony
The legal divorce process in New Jersey typically proceeds as follows:
- Filing the complaint: One spouse files the divorce petition, providing information such as legal names, date of marriage, addresses, grounds for divorce, and preferences for serving the other spouse.
- Counterclaim: The receiving spouse has 35 days to respond to the divorce petition, either answering the claims or filing a counterclaim against the filing spouse.
- Discovery: The longest phase of the process, discovery, involves each spouse filing a Case Information Statement (CIS) detailing their financial information, including income, marital and personal property, assets, debt, and liabilities. This information is required and will be addressed in the final divorce settlement.
- Negotiation: Both spouse’s attorneys will negotiate the division of assets and debts, child custody, child support, spousal support, and other issues to reach a mutual agreement. If an agreement is reached at this point or before filing the divorce petition, it can be submitted for the court’s review and final decree at this phase.
- Mediation: If negotiations fail, mediation with a neutral third party will likely be next to reach an agreement.
- Settlement conference: If mediation fails, the court may order you to participate in an Intensive Settlement Conference as a last-ditch effort to avoid a trial.
- Trial: When all negotiation efforts fail, the case will proceed to trial, and the court will decide and impose a settlement agreement, which you must follow.
How Is Marital Property Distributed in Divorce?
As an equitable distribution state, marital assets and debts are divided between couples fairly but not necessarily equally. When determining division of property, the court weighs several different factors, such as:
- Length of marriage
- Age and health status of both spouses
- Both spouse’s income and earning ability
- Standard of living during the marriage
- Any other relevant factors
Marital property refers to assets and debts acquired during the marriage and include but are not limited to:
- Bank and other financial accounts
- Cars and other vehicles
- Credit card and other outstanding debt
- Loans and lines of credit
- Real estate
- Retirement or pensions
- Stocks or other investments
Certain assets are not included during the division of property. Assets solely acquired or owned by one spouse before or during the marriage, such as inheritance, are generally considered personal property. One exception, however, is if that spouse applies any personal assets to the jointly acquired property during the marriage, such as purchasing co-owned real estate using an inheritance, then the asset may be considered marital property and subject to division.
How Can Wiley Lavender Maknoor, PC Help Me?
A skilled and knowledgeable Middlesex County divorce lawyer in your corner can provide guidance, objective advice, and the legal support and peace of mind you need. At Wiley Lavender Maknoor, PC, our Middlesex County divorce lawyers can do the following:
- Determine the grounds and what type of divorce you should file.
- Prepare and file all legally required forms, documents, and disclosures.
- Identify and locate all legally required assets, liabilities, and comprehensive financial records.
- Calculate combined finances and determine children’s financial, health, and education needs for appropriate child support and which spouse will be responsible for paying.
- Establish an equitable distribution of marital assets.
- Develop child custody and co-parenting agreements.
- Determine which spouse receives or pays spousal support.
- Negotiate with opposing counsel on the division of assets, child custody, child support, and alimony.
- Mediate spousal negotiations, if necessary, to avoid contentious confrontations.
- Litigate the case in court, should it proceed to trial.
Our legal team can also ensure that decisions will be made in the best interests of you and your children.
Our Middlesex County Divorce Lawyers at Wiley Lavender Maknoor, PC Help Clients Considering Divorce
If you are considering divorce, contact our experienced Middlesex County divorce lawyers at Wiley Lavender Maknoor, PC to discuss your options and learn how we can help. Your family’s best interests are always our top priority. Call 732-494-6099 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. Located in Metuchen, New Jersey, we serve clients in Middlesex County, Monmouth County, Union County, and Somerset County.