Frequently Asked Questions

Although it is not a requirement to hire an attorney, it is very advantageous to have an advocate on your side that understands and can explain the intricacies of New Jersey matrimonial law.

The loss of a job may result in a reduction in your alimony obligation.  However, you may need to make an application to the court, unless your former spouse agrees to the temporary change.  

After December 31, 2018, the individual responsible for paying spousal support will not be entitled to the deduction.  Likewise, the person receiving alimony payments will no longer need to report it as income.  No doubt this may become an issue when negotiating spousal support.

It is not a requirement to hire an attorney when getting a divorce in New Jersey.  However, depending on the complexity of your matter it is probably a good idea to at least consult with an attorney.  

Yes, each party must have their own separate counsel.  It is a conflict of interest for both parties to use the same attorney.  The exception is if you and your spouse hire the attorney as a joint neutral mediator.

When a child goes away to college a review of child support is most certainly warranted.  However, there is no presumption that a child’s required financial support lessens because he or she attends college.  The facts and particular circumstances will drive that decision. 

Most definitely. If you or your spouse have filed or are about to file for bankruptcy before, during or even soon after your divorce is finalized this can have significant ramifications on equitable distribution and in some instances alimony.

There are a host of factors that dictate how much alimony a party will pay or receive, including the length of the marriage, their lifestyle, the parties ability to work and earn and a few others.  Your New Jersey divorce attorney can help you understand how these rules apply to your situation. 

You can file for divorce based on Irreconcilable Differences.   This means there has been a break-down of the marriage for at least 6 months.  You must live in separate residences for at least 18 months.  By citing irreconcilable differences, you will not be required to disclose intimate details regarding the reason you are seeking a divorce.

     Other grounds for divorce include:

  • Desertion
  • Extreme Cruelty
  • Adultery
  • Separation
  • Imprisonment
  • Habitual Drunkenness
  • Addiction to narcotics
  • Incarceration
  • Deviant sexual conduct

Supporting spouse’s obligation is mainly determined by quality of economic life during the marriage, not bare survival; needs of dependent spouse and children contemplate their continued maintenance and standard of living that they had become accustomed to prior to the separation.  Lepis v. Lepis, 83 N.J. 139, 416 A.2d 45 (1980)

When the supporting party retires there is a chance their alimony obligation may be reduced or even terminated.  

When a major marital asset is a closely held corporation from which the supporting spouse drew his or her income to support the family, the value of that corporation shall be valued for the purpose of dividing that asset for the purpose of equitable distribution in addition to but separate from the alimony the supported spouse shall receive based upon the income the supporting spouse earned from that same closely help corporation. Steneken v. Steneken, 183 N.J. 290, 303, 873 A.2d 501, 509 (2005)

If one of the parties passes away after a divorce proceeding is commenced the executor of the deceased party may intervene and the surviving party will still be subject to the laws of equitable distribution.    Kay v. Kay, 200 N.J. 551, 552, 985 A.2d 1223 (2010).  

Spousal Support (alimony) and child support.

Your child can be considered emancipated anytime between the age of 18 and 24.  It all depends on how well your property settlement agreement is written.   It is important to discuss this in great detail with your attorney. 

Mediation is a good way to stream line the New Jersey divorce process. You can also potentially save money and time on litigation.  However, both parties have to be on equal negotiation footing, have a good understanding of your rights, your assets and your spouse’s income.  Also be mindful that a mediator will not give you legal advise.  Finally, you still have to file a complaint for divorce and enter a final judgment of divorce in court. So you are not totally avoiding the Court and complaint process.   Of course you can still have a New Jersey attorney working with you during the mediation process.