The divorce process involves a variety of legal issues with practical implications. From child support to alimony, and from protecting your retirement plan to protecting the right to spend time with your children, all major aspects of the divorce process are likely to have a significant impact on your post-divorce life. This is particularly true if you are currently working.
While the divorce rate among older Americans is on the rise, the majority of divorces involve spouses who are still of working age. According to the Pew Research Center, individuals between the ages of 25 and 39 have the highest rate of divorce (even though the rate has declined in recent years). This means that many divorcing spouses are in the process of establishing their careers, and this means that job-related considerations are key factors in the majority of divorces.
Getting Divorced in New Jersey: What Job-Related Considerations Do Working Men Need to Know?
As a working man, it may seem that the cards are stacked against you. Unfortunately, while New Jersey law does not inherently favor either spouse with respect to any aspect of the divorce process, it may seem that men often end up paying more and spending less time with their children. But, the outcome of any divorce is heavily dependent upon the specific factual circumstances involved; and, as a working man, it is imperative not to assume that you are helpless to influence the outcome of your divorce.
Here are three important job-related considerations for divorcing men in New Jersey:
1. You Can Obtain Child Custody Rights if You Work Full-Time.
Holding down a full-time job is not justification to deny you access to your children. New Jersey’s child custody laws favor keeping both parents actively involved in their children’s lives, and it is expected that one or both parents will need to work in order to earn a living. There are a variety of options when it comes to establishing custody and visitation (also known as “parenting time”); and, with a strategic plan in place, you can prevent your wife from using your job against you.
2. Your Wife is Not Automatically Entitled to Alimony.
In New Jersey, the determination of alimony involves a 12-factor analysis that takes into consideration both spouses’ earning power and financial needs. The fact that you work does not necessarily mean that your wife will be entitled to alimony, although her attorney will likely argue to the contrary (particularly if she is uneducated or unemployed). Furthermore, even if an award of alimony is justified based upon you and your wife’s respective career choices, this does not necessarily mean that you will need to financially support your wife long-term. In many cases, a time-limited alimony award will be more appropriate.
Keep in mind, if you are a father, you will need to provide financial support for your children as well, and your child support payments will reduce the amount that you have available to support your spouse.
3. Your Retirement Plan Could Be on the Table.
Under New Jersey law, the general rule is that any assets acquired during the marriage are subject to equitable distribution in the divorce. This includes your retirement plan. Similar to child custody and alimony, there are a variety of options available for distributing a divorcing couple’s marital estate – including options that may allow you to keep your retirement plan in its entirety.
Schedule an Initial Consultation at MR. Men’s Rights Divorce & Family Law of New Jersey
At MR. Men’s Rights Divorce & Family Law of New Jersey, our practice is devoted to protecting men’s rights before, during and after divorce. If you have questions and would like to speak with an attorney, please call (201) 654-4263 or request an initial consultation online today.