There are many misconceptions people have regarding divorce in New Jersey. There have been countless times clients have come to us with preconceived notions on how their case should settle, or what the law allows based on conversations had with family and friends. We understand most people do not have first-hand experience going through the divorce process and that the internet can provide misleading and incorrect information. The attorneys at Rozin | Golinder Law, LLC have focused their careers on Divorce & Family Law and are here to clarify some key points in NJ Divorce Law.
Here are some things you need to know concerning divorce in New Jersey.
There Is No “Legal Separation” or 18 Month Separation Requirement
Some states have what is called a “legal separation”. A legal separation allows couples to separate and enter into an agreement that divides assets and makes financial determinations. The agreement is a Court Order but does not terminate the marriage and is reversible. You cannot remarry if you are legally separated. There is no legal separation in New Jersey. Further, there is no requirement that a couple must be separated for 18 months before filing for a divorce. New Jersey is a “no-fault” state and the most common ground for divorce is irreconcilable differences. To file under irreconcilable differences you must state your differences occurred during the six month period prior to filing; there is no mandatory 18-month separation requirement.
Your Partner Can Ignore the Complaint, and You Will Still Get Divorced
People often think their spouse has to “grant” the divorce. We are often asked what happens if a spouse doesn’t agree to the divorce. The simple answer is they don’t have to agree. No one can keep you married to them against your will. If your partner doesn't want the divorce or ignores the divorce complaint, we can still help you obtain a divorce. We file the complaint as usual and serve your spouse. Your spouse will have 35 days to appear or file the answer. If there is no response, you can ask the Court for a default divorce based on the terms you present to the Judge.
An Uncontested Divorce Hearing Is Only Scheduled When Issues are Settled
Many people come to us asking for an Uncontested Divorce, despite having numerous issues in their matter that have not been resolved. Throughout the divorce process, you and your Middlesex County divorce lawyer will attempt to settle your matter. However, only when all issues are resolved and reduced to writing in a Marital Settlement Agreement (that both spouses sign) can an Uncontested Divorce hearing be scheduled.
A Final Divorce Judgment Terminates Medical Insurance Coverage for Your Partner
When parties finalize a divorce, the party covered under their former spouse’s medical insurance loses that privilege. Even if a spouse would like to cover their soon to be ex-spouse after the divorce, companies will usually not allow the same. The spouse losing insurance will have to obtain their own coverage, perhaps at a hefty cost. This can be taken into consideration during settlement negotiations.
Alimony is Determined According to the Court’s Discretion
Alimony is one of the most misunderstood elements of New Jersey family law. In some states, a formula is used to determine alimony, but in New Jersey, alimony is based on a specific set of factors that are analyzed by the Court. Some factors the Court will consider include the length of the marriage, the need and ability of the spouse to pay, each spouse’s age, physical, and mental health, as well as, each spouse’s earning capability.
Child Support Depends on NJ’s Child Support Guidelines
New Jersey’s Child Support Guidelines follow the principle that parents have a duty to provide continuous support to their children and children should not become an economic victim in a divorce. The principles found in New Jersey Court Rule 5:6A, as well as in Appendices IX-A to IX-H, are used to establish how much support is needed as well as which parent is required to pay. In short, unlike alimony, child support in New Jersey is based on a formula and is calculated using several factors. Some of these factors include the income of the parents, the number of overnights the child spends with each parent, insurance costs for the child, and work-related child care costs.
Need help with your New Jersey divorce? Contact Rozin | Golinder Law today at (732) 810-0034 for dedicated legal assistance.