Getting divorced is a process. But once it is over you will be forced to live with the decisions you made during the process for years – if not the rest of your life. As a result, when going through a divorce, you need to make smart decisions with your long-term best interests in mind, and you need to avoid costly mistakes that could haunt you for decades to come.
Sadly, many men rush through the divorce process. They fail to devote the necessary time and attention to the decisions they need to make; and, as a result, they end up giving up more than necessary. To make sure you get your fair share in your divorce, here are five critical mistakes you need to avoid:
Mistake #1: Failing to Identify Your Separate Assets
When it comes to distributing divorcing spouses’ assets, New Jersey follows the principle of equitable distribution. A key aspect of New Jersey’s equitable distribution law is that spouses’ “separate” assets are not subject to distribution. As a general rule, separate assets are those which are:
- Owned prior to the date of marriage;
- Acquired during the marriage by gift or inheritance; or,
- Acquired after the initiation of divorce proceedings (depending on the circumstances).
In order to prevent your wife from claiming a portion of your separate property, you should take the time to prepare a comprehensive list of the assets that you believe should not be on the table in your divorce. If you have receipts or other documentation, that’s even better.
Mistake #2: Failing to Accurately Value Your Marital Assets
How much is your home worth today? What about your car? Do you have assets such as artwork or collections that hold significant financial value? Are you a business owner? Do you have a retirement account? These are all examples of assets that must be accurately valued in order to “equitably” distribute your marital assets during the divorce process.
Mistake #3: Assuming Your Wife is Entitled to More than You
Divorce laws have finally caught up with the realities or modern society, and in today’s world your wife is not automatically entitled to more than you in your divorce. This is true with regard to all of the major aspects of your divorce – property division, financial support, and child custody. As a husband and a father, you are entitled to your fair share of financial resources and parenting time, and assuming that you are entitled to anything less will mean selling yourself short in your divorce.
Mistake #4: Relying on Incomplete Information
Since you only have one chance to get things right (while it is true that you can seek to modify the terms of your divorce under certain circumstances, the grounds for seeking modification are limited), you need to make sure you are relying on complete information. We know it can be painful, but this means that you need to take the time to dig up all of your relevant records for your divorce. If you have any reason to suspect that your wife may be hiding information, you should utilize the available legal means to ensure that you have full access to her records as well.
Mistake #5: Going Through Your Divorce Without a Cohesive Strategy
While alimony, custody, and property division may all seem like distinct issues, they are actually all interrelated. In order to ensure that you achieve a favorable outcome from your divorce, you need to execute a cohesive strategy focused on securing the full package of rights you desire.
Speak with a New Jersey Men’s Rights Divorce Lawyer in Confidence
Are you preparing to go through a divorce in New Jersey? For legal advice tailored to your personal circumstances, we encourage you to contact us for a confidential initial case evaluation. To schedule an appointment at our law offices in Hackensack, call us at 201-880-9771 or inquire online today.