FRANKLIN LAKES DIVORCE LAWYER ADVOCATES FOR YOUR INTERESTS
DIVORCING? GET KNOWLEDGEABLE LEGAL HELP.
Divorce is life changing and stressful, even when spouses are amicable and believe they can agree on all the terms. In contentious relationships without agreement on the issues, the process can feel overwhelming. When your marriage is ending, no matter your unique circumstances, a knowledgeable Franklin Lakes divorce lawyer can help you navigate the legal difficulties and pursue the results that you and your children need for your futures.
TURN TO OUR SKILLED DIVORCE LAWYERS SERVING FRANKLIN LAKES, NJ
When you work with Men’s & Fathers’ Rights Divorce Lawyers by Schultz & Associates, LLC, our divorce lawyers serving Franklin Lakes, NJ, will guide you throughout the entire divorce process. We will make sure you understand your rights in every area of your divorce, including when it comes to concerns about property division, child custody, alimony and other areas. We have extensive experience advocating for clients in all types of divorce—including complex, high-net-worth divorce cases. Call us today at (201) 880-9770 to arrange a time to speak with an experienced Franklin Lakes divorce lawyer.
WHY CHOOSE US?
WE WILL BE ON YOUR SIDE FROM START TO FINISH
Our Franklin Lakes divorce attorney has 20-plus years of experience working to get the most beneficial results for the firm’s clients. And as our reviews from satisfied clients show, we have been successful in this goal. Our attorney Carrie S. Schultz Is certified by the Supreme Court of New Jersey as a Matrimonial Law Attorney. She has earned her strong reputation as a top divorce lawyer in Bergen County and Northeastern New Jersey by:
- Providing straightforward and honest legal guidance so that you can make the best decisions for your situation and goals.
- Delivering responsive and communicative client service—when you have questions and concerns you need addressed, you can expect a response within 24 hours.
- Building a strong team of lawyers who are equally as dedicated to satisfactorily resolving clients’ divorce issues.
Whether you are planning to file for divorce or you have been served by your spouse with a divorce complaint, don’t wait to get legal help. The sooner you reach out, the sooner we can advise you of your legal options and get you on a path toward ending your marriage in the most effective way possible.
HOW OUR LAW FIRM CAN HELP WHEN YOU ARE DIVORCING
There are many decisions that must be made in divorce as one household becomes two. Property and debts have to be fairly divided, child custody and parenting time arrangements must be determined and other issues and terms have to be resolved. As experienced divorce lawyers serving Franklin Lakes, NJ, we will ensure your rights are protected during this stressful life change by:
- Counseling you about steps to take to prepare for your divorce
- Delivering educated legal guidance throughout the divorce process
- Making sure you clearly understand your rights and your responsibilities
- Working to negotiate satisfactory solutions to outstanding issues
- Representing your interests with the court if your divorce is contested.
We will provide strategic legal advice that is tailored to your unique circumstances and that is intended to help you get the best outcome possible for your situation. Call our law firm today at (201) 880-9770 to arrange a time to speak with an experienced Franklin Lakes divorce attorney.
GROUNDS FOR DIVORCING IN NEW JERSEY
N.J.S.A 2A:34-2 describes the grounds for ending a marriage. The ground is the reason you give for seeking a divorce. The most common ground given in New Jersey divorces is “irreconcilable differences,” which is the same as no-fault divorce, because neither party is blamed for causing the marriage breakup.
When you file on no-fault grounds you can just say that you had irreconcilable differences. Or you can file on no-fault grounds if you have lived separate and apart for at least 18 months. Most people file for divorce on no-fault grounds because you don’t have to prove that one person did something wrong, which can also make the divorce process more amicable. If the divorce process is more amicable, there may be a better opportunity for a faster and more reasonable settlement on the issues.
If filing on fault grounds, you must prove to the court that your spouse did something that caused you to seek divorce. You can file on fault grounds for the following reasons in New Jersey:
- Deviant sexual behavior
- Drug or alcohol abuse
- Extreme cruelty
- Institutionalization for mental illness.
Even though filing on fault grounds can make divorce more complex and potentially more antagonistic, there are sometimes strategic reasons for doing so if you have strong evidence of wrongdoing by your spouse. Sometimes filing on a fault ground may influence child custody and visitation decisions, and it is important to let the court know upfront about those incidents so the Court gets an immediate flavor of the dynamics of the relationship and the issues that will be the focus of the litigation. You may also want to file under the fault ground of adultery for jurisdictional strategic purposes, and you should discuss with a Franklin Lakes divorce attorney the nuances of this.
TYPES OF DIVORCE IN NEW JERSEY
There are two basic types of divorce in New Jersey: uncontested divorce and contested divorce.
If you and your spouse both want to divorce and are in agreement on all the issues involved, you can get an uncontested divorce. Obviously, if you agree, it can make the divorce process smoother and less antagonistic and usually much faster than contested divorces. Even if your divorce is uncontested, it is still helpful to engage the assistance of a Franklin Lakes divorce attorney who can help you with the paperwork and other legal steps involved, ensure your rights are safeguarded during the process and aid in alleviating potential issues that could turn your uncontested divorce into a contested one.
Also, we often come across parties who believe their matter is uncontested, but upon further review, it becomes painstakingly clear that certain issues were left out and not discussed. This is problematic because, if an agreement is left silent on any one important issue, or the language of the agreement is unclear or doesn’t have certain specific protocols in place, then you will most likely just be inviting additional litigation after your divorce, which could be just as costly, if not more, than the divorce itself. The point is, you should ensure you have a comprehensive divorce agreement now or you will likely fight over those issues later. We caution clients all the time that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of a cure. It is important to understand that price is what you pay, but value and future protection is what you receive.
By its very name, a contested divorce simply means there are outstanding divorce issues unresolved between you and your spouse. It does not necessarily mean that the process must be adversarial. It just means we must address and find compromised resolutions to the issues you and your spouse currently do not see eye to eye on. We accomplish this by involving professionals who understand these issues and can assist you in coming up with creative solutions to propose that would be acceptable to both of you; we do the negotiation for you, so you are not in the thick of things directly — you have a buffer. We understand that these issues and this process as a whole can be very emotional and unsettling for everyone involved.
Issues that spouses may disagree about in a contested divorce include whether to divorce at all, filing grounds, child custody, visitation, child support, property division, alimony and other facets of divorce such as dissipation of assets or business valuations. The time in which a contested divorce can become uncontested is directly proportionally related to the complexity of the issues involved and the level of acrimony between spouses. Couples may be ordered to attend case status/management conferences with the assigned judge and external mediation sessions to try to resolve the issues, rather than having a judge decide each issue at a lengthy and costly trial. The New Jersey Courts strongly recommend in contested divorce cases that spouses have their own attorneys to help them understand their rights and responsibilities so that they don’t make any mistakes with long-term implications that would be very hard to undo or fix later.
FRANKLIN LAKES DIVORCE LAWYERS SAFEGUARD CLIENTS’ RIGHTS
Whether your divorce is contested or uncontested, a Franklin Lakes divorce lawyer from Men’s & Fathers’ Rights Divorce Lawyers by Schultz & Associates, LLC, will make sure your rights are protected, as well as ensuring that you understand what is expected of you during divorce proceedings. We can counsel you in your uncontested divorce to assure that you have addressed every important issue and counsel you on the impact to you on each individual provision contained in any agreement you and your spouse may have agreed to in theory or conceptually. We are also not afraid to fight smartly and aggressively for you if your divorce is contested.
Call us today at (201) 880-9770 to schedule a consultation so we can learn about your situation and you can learn how we can help you.
FRANKLIN LAKES DIVORCE ATTORNEY EXPLAINS THE FILING PROCESS
To file for divorce in New Jersey, you or your spouse must have lived in the state for 12 months (1 year) prior to filing. You can file in the county where you live or the county where the other spouse lives. Once you have filed, you can either mail a complaint to your spouse or have them personally served.
Send your spouse a copy of the Complaint in the mail, along with a Summons and Acknowledgment of Service document to sign. Please be aware that your Complaint will not be considered served until and unless your spouse voluntarily acknowledges by signing that document that he/she/they received it. You must serve your spouse within 10 days of receiving the filed Complaint back from the Court.
HIRE A PROCESS SERVER
To be extra sure you are complying with the Court rules, it might be prudent to hire a process server or Sheriff’s Officer to personally serve your spouse. If you personally serve your spouse, they have 35 days to respond. (If they don’t respond, the divorce may be granted without their participation, in what we call a default divorce.)
ANSWERING THE DIVORCE COMPLAINT
When your spouse does answer the Complaint for Divorce they can either:
- File an answer contesting what is in the complaint
- File an answer that also makes a counterclaim against you for divorce
- File a Notice of Appearance that doesn’t contest the complaint but still outlines their requests on certain issues like property division, child custody, visitation, equitable distribution, alimony, and/or other issues.
Both the procedural and substantive steps to divorcing can be confusing, especially in contested divorces. Our Franklin Lakes divorce lawyer can guide you as soon as you are considering divorce or learn that your spouse is planning to file.
FRANKLIN LAKES DIVORCE LAWYERS ANSWER FAQS
How long does a divorce take in New Jersey?
An uncontested divorce realistically will still take a couple of months to be finalized. With a contested divorce, how long it takes can depend on how many issues are unresolved and how much time it takes for you and your spouse to come to agreement on those issues. If those issues involve emotional triggers for one of you, such as custody and visitation, alimony and/or business valuations, then the divorce matter may be protracted. A divorce that involves a lot of complexity and conflict can take approximately six (6) months to a year or longer. The New Jersey Courts would like to see all divorce cases conclude within 12 months, but that doesn’t always happen for a myriad of reasons which could range from the animosity between the parties to procedural backlog at the courthouse.
Do women have an advantage over men with judges?
Judges are instructed to look at all the facts involved when making decisions in divorce. From a legal standpoint, there should be no preference shown for either party based on the sex of that party. Once judges consider all the unique factors in different aspects of the marriage, they make their decisions based on those factors.
However, sometimes men who are divorcing can certainly feel that there is favoritism toward their wife or the mother of their children in divorce decisions, especially when it comes to child custody issues, visitation / parenting time, and alimony determinations. And there potentially could be unconscious cultural bias left over from a time when husbands were traditionally breadwinners and wives stayed home to care for children. As legal advocates who focus on assisting men and fathers in marital and family law issues, our Franklin Lakes divorce lawyers will stand up for your rights throughout the divorce process.
How much do Franklin Lakes divorce lawyers charge?
There is no standard answer to this question. What divorce lawyers serving Franklin Lakes, NJ, charge depends upon what their individual fees are as well as the amount of time cases take to be finalized. A divorce that is uncontested will almost certainly cost less in attorney’s fees than a complex, contested divorce with unresolved issues related to child custody, property division, alimony and other areas. When you work with a Franklin Lakes divorce lawyer from our firm, we will seek to resolve outstanding issues and get you the results you need in the most timely, efficient and effective way possible based upon your particular set of facts and your goals.
CONTACT OUR EXPERIENCED DIVORCE ATTORNEYS NEAR FRANKLIN LAKES TODAY
WE WILL PROTECT YOUR INTERESTS WHEN YOUR MARRIAGE IS BREAKING UP
Decisions made during divorce can negatively or positively affect you for the rest of your life. You can start out with an advantage by getting knowledgeable legal assistance from a family law firm that will always have your back. At Men’s & Fathers’ Rights Divorce Lawyers by Schultz & Associates, LLC, we understand the difficult issues that arise during divorce proceedings, and we will work hard to assure the process goes as smoothly as possible based on the circumstances in your unique situation and give you an education in the process. To speak with an experienced Franklin Lakes divorce lawyer, call our office at (201) 880-9770 or fill out our online form.