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Dividing A Shared Life Is Never Easy, A Divorce Lawyer Can Help

Making the decision to get a divorce is never easy. But once you have done so, you are choosing to take the first step toward a brighter future for yourself and your children. It may not seem that way initially, but with the right attorney, you can navigate this process with the support and guidance you need to feel empowered and encouraged to take control of your situation.

At Bastarrika, Soto, Gonzalez & Somohano, L.L.P., serving Passaic County, Bergen County and the surrounding communities, our family law lawyers are highly qualified to help you work through your divorce, no matter how complex it may seem. We are committed to helping you obtain the outcome you deserve in a cost-effective manner. We do this by efficiently prioritizing your needs and goals so we can make the process as economically feasible as possible.

Here are a few of the questions our divorce lawyers often see:

How Long Does A Divorce Take In New Jersey?

How long your divorce will take depends on if you file for a contested or uncontested divorce. An uncontested divorce, where you and your spouse agree on the key terms such as child custody and property division, can take six to eight weeks. A contested divorce can take ten months to a year to finalize.

Is New Jersey A 50/50 State When It Comes To Divorce?

In New Jersey, courts do not automatically split marital property in equal 50-50 halves between divorcing spouses. Instead, courts follow an equitable distribution model when considering property division in a divorce. Under this model, the court divides property in a way that is fair to both parties.

Should I File For Divorce First In New Jersey?

Filing for divorce first has some benefits but will not have a significant impact on your overall case. For example, the party that files first has the first opportunity to present their version of the case. If you are considering taking the first step and filing for divorce, our attorneys can help guide you through the process.

Do You Need To Be Separated Before Divorce In New Jersey?

In New Jersey, spouses are not legally required to be separated before filing for divorce. Unlike some states that mandate a separation period, New Jersey law allows for filing for divorce on various grounds without needing a specified period of separation. New Jersey recognizes both “no-fault” and “fault-based” grounds for divorce.

No-fault grounds for divorce in New Jersey include irreconcilable differences and separation. For this, the following conditions must be met:

  • The couple has experienced irreconcilable differences for at least six months.
  • The irreconcilable differences make it appear that the marriage should be dissolved.
  • The parties must state that there is no reasonable prospect of reconciliation.

There is no mandatory separation period for divorce on the grounds of irreconcilable differences. On the other hand, divorce on the grounds of separation requires that the spouses have lived separately and apart for at least 18 consecutive months.

New Jersey also allows filing for divorce on several fault-based grounds, including:

  • Adultery
  • Extreme cruelty (mental or physical abuse)
  • Desertion (willful abandonment for at least 12 months)
  • Addiction or habitual drunkenness for 12 or more consecutive months
  • Institutionalization for mental illness for 24 or more consecutive months
  • Imprisonment for 18 or more consecutive months after the marriage
  • Deviant sexual conduct without the consent of the other spouse

There is no separation period required for divorce on fault-based grounds, meaning that a spouse can file for divorce immediately upon establishing that the fault-based criteria are met.

How Long Does It Take To Get A Divorce In New Jersey?

The typical divorce in New Jersey takes between three and 12 months to get finalized. However, this timeline can vary due to various factors, such as:

  • Level of cooperation between the spouses
  • Court’s schedule and availability of dates
  • Need for discovery of marital assets
  • Complexity of the division of assets
  • Disputes over child custody and alimony
  • Efficiency of legal professionals

With guidance from an experienced divorce attorney, these factors can be handled efficiently, potentially streamlining the process and minimizing the time needed to finalize the divorce.

Your Divorce Is As Unique As Your Marriage

Marriages are complex. Many factors will need to be addressed as you negotiate the many agreements contained in your divorce decree, including alimony and property division. This can seem overwhelming on top of the variety of emotions and financial stress you may be experiencing. It is our job to simplify this process as much as possible so that you can focus on what matters most.

Divorce is personal and we want you to understand that we have your best interests at heart. We create strong, long-lasting relationships with our clients in an effort to build a foundation that is anchored on trust. This is your case and your life, so we are dedicated to giving you the information you need to make smart choices about your situation.

Taking The First Step Toward Your New Future

To learn more about how our divorce attorneys can help you navigate your divorce, schedule a consultation at our Woodland Park office today. To get in touch with us, call 973-370-0997 or send us an email.