Deciding to divorce or separate is rarely easy. Concerns about how the divorce may affect your property and finances can increase the emotional stress. If you have children, the potential impact of divorce or separation on them is an additional source of concern. Branigan & Associates can help you through the legal process. Gaining a basic understanding of what generally happens in divorce or legal separation can alleviate some of your anxiety about the future. The following information will help you clarify the types of issues that may be important in your divorce or family law case:
If you have decided that a New Jersey divorce is the appropriate path for you, understanding the legal process is important. There are different routes available in proceeding with a divorce in New Jersey:
- Uncontested Divorce
- Contested Divorce
- Divorce Mediation
- Alternative Dispute Resolution
- And More
Whether you are expecting your case to be relatively simple or you anticipate highly contested issues, consulting with a knowledgeable and experienced New Jersey family law attorney early in the decision-making process of divorce can help ensure that you understand all of your available legal alternatives.
Alimony & Spousal Support in New Jersey
The terms "alimony," "spousal support," and "spousal maintenance," all refer to amounts of money one spouse pays to the other during divorce proceedings or after a divorce. New Jersey alimony may also be appropriate during or after dissolution of a civil union. New Jersey courts award alimony when it is necessary to balance the economic consequences of divorce and prevent either member of a divorcing couple from experiencing a severe drop in standard of living. There is no formula for calculating alimony in New Jersey; each case requires individualized analysis of all relevant factors. The attorneys at Branigan & Associates have extensive experience evaluating alimony cases in divorce and can help you determine whether an alimony award is likely in your case, and if so, the probable type and duration of an award.
Division of Assets & Debts
The distribution of assets and debts is often an area of contention between divorcing spouses. New Jersey law requires property and debt that a couple accumulates during marriage to be divided fairly, or "equitably," upon divorce. "Equitably" does not necessarily mean equally. Courts consider a long list of factors in determining a fair division. "Assets" includes all finances and all types of property, including things like pensions and retirement accounts. One of our experienced family law attorneys can help you identify and evaluate the assets and debts that may be subject to equitable distribution in your divorce case and determine how a court might divide them. If you and your spouse are in agreement or close to reaching agreement regarding the division, we can help you draft a property settlement or marital settlement agreement.
Post Divorce Issues
If you are already divorced or you have already dissolved your New Jersey civil union or domestic partnership, you may still have post-judgment legal issues to address. Perhaps your former spouse is not following the terms of a court order or marital settlement agreement, or perhaps one or both of you believe that an order or agreement requires modification. Orders and agreements that are appropriate immediately following a final judgment in divorce may no longer fit your situation after time has passed and circumstances have changed. Common post-divorce matters include enforcement of child custody, child support, or alimony orders, and modification of custody or support orders and agreements. If you are facing a post-judgment modification or post-divorce enforcement issue, the experienced family law attorneys at Branigan & Associates can answer your questions and address your concerns.
Additional Divorce & Support Information
- Legal Separation If you are still uncertain about whether or not to divorce, you may be interested in learning about New Jersey Legal Separation and Divorce from Bed & Board. It is not necessary to file court papers to obtain a legal separation in New Jersey. A temporary separation agreement can address short-term financial and parenting arrangements.
- Annulment of Marriage If you married in New Jersey, there are a few circumstances where a marriage may be eligible for annulment. Although marital property rules do not apply if a marriage is annulled, New Jersey courts are permitted to award alimony in appropriate cases, and decisions regarding child custody and support may also be affected whether a marriage ends through annulment or divorce.
- Estate Planning Matters Divorce is a significant life change that requires reevaluation and updating of estate plans. You may need to create trusts for minor children, or update insurance policies, beneficiary designations, or powers of attorney.
- New Jersey Divorce Statutes Branigan & Associates attorneys always remain up-to-date on NJ divorce laws.
- Mediation Services or Mediators If you are looking for an alternative to a litigated divorce, you may want to consider mediation as a viable alternative dispute resolution in New Jersey. Through mediation, you can still address all of your issues without the need to involve the courts. The mediation process puts you and your spouse firmly in control of the outcome, as opposed to allowing a judge to make the final determinations.
New Jersey Divorce Lawyers
Whether you are going through a divorce or seeking legal separation it is important to retain an experienced divorce lawyer to protect your rights and interests during this difficult time. The attorneys and staff at Branigan & Associates are committed to helping you through this legal process in the most thoughtful and economical manner.