Legal considerations for New Jersey separations

Some Hackensack spouses may not be in a position to end a marriage or may not have the desire to take legal action at the time of separation. Some couples want a breather, physical time apart to consider the future of a marriage. Others may have hopes of reconciliation, worries about financial conditions or want a no-fault divorce, which requires an 18-month spousal separation period in our state before a divorce petition can be filed. New Jersey family laws do not include provisions for legal separations. Married spouses may live apart with or without any formal consensus about child custody and support, visitations, spousal maintenance or property division. Spouses are permitted and sometimes advised by individual attorneys to create separation agreements that can address all those legal issues, remain valid indefinitely as the documents stand or act as precursors to divorce settlements. The marriage remains intact if you are separated. Only a divorce can sever marital ties. Knowing the reason for your planned or existing separationwill help an attorney protect your legal interests. You will want to discuss how a separation affects assets and debt. If you’re just taking time apart to evaluate the relationship, it’s likely the classifications of your property, as separate or marital assets, will not change; however, property division needs to be defined if a move toward divorce is fairly certain. In some states, property status changes with the intent to divorce. When one or both spouses make that choice while separated, any new property acquired belongs to the individual spouses. Any nonexempt property acquired during marriage and prior to the intent to divorce would remain marital property, subject to New Jersey’s equitable distribution laws. Your intentions following separation may be vague or completely clear. Either way, it can be helpful for separated spouses to discuss their legal options with a family law attorney at MR. Men’s Rights Divorce & Family LawTM of New Jersey by Schultz & Associates, LLC.

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