Woodbridge Divorce Lawyers

Divorce can feel overwhelming. When facing divorce, you need a compassionate and experienced legal team that understands your circumstances and provides the support and guidance you need to navigate the complex legal process. At Wiley Lavender Maknoor, PC, we have seen firsthand how challenging divorce can be, and our dedicated Woodbridge divorce lawyers will support and guide you through every step of the process and fight to protect your best interests.

What Divorce Matters Does Wiley Lavender Maknoor, PC Handle?

Our Woodbridge divorce lawyers at Wiley Lavender Maknoor, PC handle all manner of family law legal matters, 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

How Long Does it Take to Divorce in New Jersey?

Depending on the circumstances, most divorces in New Jersey divorces are finalized in three months to one year. Amicable divorces with spouses who can easily reach mutual agreements are typically completed the quickest. Divorces that are contentious, high-asset, or include senior couples in long-lasting marriages take much longer and can sometimes extend beyond one year.

What Are the Legal Grounds for Divorce in New Jersey?

In New Jersey, divorces are considered “no-fault,” known as an uncontested divorce, or “fault” divorce if there are specific quantifiable reasons for divorcing. You are required to state a reason when filing the divorce petition with the court, legally referred to as “grounds.” Most divorces are filed as uncontested on the grounds of “irreconcilable differences,” though you are not required to state those differences. To qualify for divorce in New Jersey, one or both spouses must have:

  • Resided in New Jersey for at least 12 consecutive months before filing.
  • Experienced irreconcilable differences for at least six months before filing.
  • Certainty that reconciliation is not possible.

If your circumstances for divorce involve one or more of the state’s legally recognized grounds, you may consider filing a fault-based divorce. Should you choose this option, you will be responsible for providing evidence supporting your grounds, which can be quite challenging to accomplish on your own. New Jersey’s grounds for divorce including:

  • Abandonment or desertion
  • Adultery
  • Alcohol or drug addiction
  • Deviant sexual behavior
  • Domestic violence or mental abuse
  • Incarceration
  • Institutionalization

If you choose a fault-based divorce, hiring an experienced divorce lawyer is wise. Fault-based divorces are more complex and require specific information, documentation, and evidence. Your lawyer will have an established network of investigators and experts to help locate, evaluate, and prepare the required materials.

Does it Matter Who Files for Divorce First?

New Jersey has no legal requirements for which spouse files for divorce first; however, there are some advantages to being the plaintiff, such as:

  • You can set the tone of the divorce by determining grounds, controlling the narrative, and establishing your strategy.
  • Filing first provides additional time to prepare and compile records, consider grounds, develop a strategy, and hire a lawyer.
  • You will have the flexibility to file the divorce in the most convenient county.

How Can Wiley Lavender Maknoor, PC Help Me?

Handling your own divorce is far more challenging than it may seem, particularly if you are unfamiliar with state divorce laws or your divorce is contentious. Hiring an experienced Woodbridge divorce lawyer alleviates stress and provides the guidance, advice, and support you need. At Wiley Lavender Maknoor, PC, our Woodbridge divorce lawyers will do the following:

  • Determine what type of divorce and applicable grounds.
  • Prepare and file all required forms, documents, and disclosures by deadlines.
  • Respond to the divorce petition and any counterclaims if your spouse files first.
  • Provide sound, objective, and strategic advice.
  • Locate and compile required reports, including finances, assets, debts, and liabilities.
  • Develop a comprehensive legal strategy tailored to your circumstances.
  • Ensure fair distribution of assets and debts, per state law.
  • Mediate negotiations and final settlement agreement with opposing counsel if divorce is contentious.
  • Create a co-parenting plan that benefits the whole family.
  • Determine appropriate child support payment for children’s financial, medical, and educational needs.
  • Represent you should your case go to trial.
  • Ensure your rights and best interests are protected.

Is New Jersey a Community Property State?

New Jersey is an equitable distribution state, not a community property state. In equitable distribution states, marital property and debts are divided fairly, not necessarily equally. Marital property includes all assets and debts acquired and used by spouses throughout the marriage. Marital property typically includes items such as:

  • Financial accounts
  • Businesses and business interests
  • Vehicles
  • Credit card debts
  • Loans and lines of credit
  • Real estate
  • Outstanding debts
  • Retirement or pension funds
  • Stocks and other investments

Equitable distribution of property is a complex process that involves locating assets, determining their value, assessing how property is fairly divided, and the potential tax implications to each spouse. Your lawyer and the courts consider many factors in determining a fair distribution of property, including but not limited to:

  • Length of the marriage
  • Age and current health condition of both spouses
  • Each spouse’s income and future earning capacity
  • Standard of living during the marriage
  • Each spouse’s economic situation
  • Value of marital assets
  • Assets each spouse contributed to the marriage
  • Requirements of existing pre-nuptial or post-nuptial agreements
  • Any other relevant factors

Assets solely owned by one spouse before or during the marriage are typically considered personal property and generally not subject to distribution, such as inheritance. If solely owned assets are used to acquire jointly owned property, such as applying a portion of an inheritance to purchase a vacation home, it may be considered marital property and subject to division.

Our Skilled Woodbridge Divorce Lawyers at Wiley Lavender Maknoor, PC Represent Clients In All Facets of Divorce

Deciding to divorce is always a challenging decision. If you are considering divorce, our experienced Woodbridge divorce lawyers at Wiley Lavender Maknoor, PC can 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 serve clients in Middlesex County, Monmouth County, Union County, and Somerset County.