Any legal issue can be stressful, but legal matters involving your family can be particularly concerning. Family law cases often have the potential to affect not only your finances but also your relationship with your children, spouse, or other family members. Because so much is on the line, you should always consult with a highly experienced New Jersey family law attorney if you are facing any case involving your family. At the Maduabum Law Firm, LLC, we can help you with a wide variety of family-related legal matters, so please call to learn more about how we can help today.
Divorce can often be one of the most emotionally trying times in your life. Whether or not you agree to the divorce, the process can significantly disrupt the lives of you and your family. In addition, there are many steps that you must take and procedures you must follow in order for the court to grant a divorce petition and legally dissolve your marriage.
There are several reasons for which you may file for divorce in New Jersey, some that are based on the “fault” of one party and others that are based on “no-fault.” You must determine which reason applies in your case from the following options:
– One spouse left and has been gone for 12 continuous months or more (fault-based)
– In the past three months, your spouse has acted in an abusive or violent manner toward you (fault-based)
– You and your spouse have been living separately for 18 months or more (no-fault)
– For the past six months or more, you and your spouse have been unable to get along and you see no realistic chance that you will reconcile (no-fault)
In addition to citing the right grounds for divorce, there are several issues that must be decided before a divorce can be finalized. If you and your spouse cannot agree, the court will have to make the decisions for you and divorce trials can be contentious and expensive. An experienced divorce attorney will seek to facilitate negotiation, mediation, and agreement between spouses, whenever possible, during your divorce case.
One important matter that must be settled is how you and your spouse will divide your property, assets, and debts. In New Jersey, the division must be “equitable,” which does not necessarily mean “equal” but instead means “fair.” An attorney can help you with the following property disputes and more:
- Bank, investment, and retirement accounts
- Furniture and household belongings
- Any other real estate properties
- Business interests
- The family home
- Motor vehicles
In some cases, it may be appropriate for one spouse to seek alimony (also called spousal support) following a divorce. Alimony is often awarded if one spouse has stopped working to care for children or the household or if a divorce would leave one spouse in a significantly different financial situation than the other. Alimony helps to support a spouse until they can receive the education, training, or experience they need until they can support themselves. Whether you are seeking alimony or your spouse has requested that you pay alimony, our experienced attorneys can help ensure the alimony award is fair.
Legal matters involving children can arise due to a divorce or outside of a divorce case if the parents were not married or if they have been divorced for some time. One of the most important legal issues regarding children is child support. Both legal parents have the duty to financially support their children and this often means that one parent should pay support to the other to help cover the expenses and basic needs of a child. In New Jersey, child support is calculated by a specific formula that takes into consideration each parent’s income, expenses, and custodial responsibilities. Our child support lawyers can review and evaluate any child support determinations to ensure they are fair and can request a modification of an existing order if needed.
Courts in New Jersey determine custody and visitation rights of parents based on the “best interests of the child.” Best interests can involve many factors including:
- Other practical concerns, such as job schedules, travel, and more;
- The ability of the parents to cooperate and communicate;
- Emotional needs;
- Geographical location of the homes;
- Physical safety and health;
- The child’s relationship with each parent.
Even if two parents agree on a custody and visitation arrangement, the arrangement must be reviewed by the court to ensure it is in the best interests of the child before it can be approved. In addition, if there are questions regarding the safety of the child, a case may be further complicated if child protective services gets involved.
Contact our Dedicated Family Law Attorneys for a Consultation Today
At the Maduabum Law Firm, LLC, our committed and experienced family law lawyers can assist you with the above family services and more. Please call 973-732-1490 today for a consultation if you need any type of assistance.