Hackensack, NJ, Legal Separation Attorney
New Jersey Divorce Lawyers Discuss Legal Separation
People frequently ask us questions about legal separation in New Jersey: What advantage is there in obtaining a legal separation? What are the potential disadvantages? Does separation have to end in divorce? As Men’s & Fathers’ Rights Divorce Lawyers who treat each case as a unique matter, we understand that some people are not ready for divorce or cannot divorce for various reasons.
Technically, there is no such thing as “legal separation” in the state of New Jersey. However, there are alternatives available for people who do not want to divorce. Our New Jersey divorce lawyers can help you explore them.
Confusing Issues Concerning Legal Separation and Divorce
Making important decisions about your relationship, be it a divorce, separation, or dissolving a domestic partnership, involves heavy choices. We believe it can be made manageable if you understand all of your options. Speaking to a Hackensack, NJ, legal separation attorney can help to clarify your alternatives and decide on the one that will work best for you.
There is always some confusion when it comes to the difference between a divorce and a legal separation. New Jersey courts do not formally recognize legal separations. But there are some other alternatives.
Things to Know If You Are Considering a Legal Separation
In New Jersey, unlike in other states, a legal separation is very different than a divorce. Neither party is required to file a complaint with the family court outlining their decision to separate. Both spouses are entitled to choose their own paths without the court’s permission.
There are practical issues that must be considered when a couple separates, however. Separation agreements are documents that outline these elements until the couple reconciles or divorces. Some of the issues they address are as follows:
- Child custody and visitation
- Parenting time
- Child support
- Marital support
- Division of household bills
- Management of debts and assets that are shared between partners
- Debt responsibility.
If you can agree on the above aspects, you can avoid going to court. You and your spouse can engage in negotiations to execute a mid-marriage agreement. However, for a mid marriage agreement to be valid, you and your spouse must be on the brink of a divorce. Meaning, if you do not agree to all of the terms of this agreement, you are steadfast to file a formal complaint for divorce as the only next step. Your legal separation lawyer can include the necessary details. You can have the contract signed and notarized and consider it a binding agreement.
Sometimes, when a separation happens, things can be more contentious. If this is the case, you may not be able to agree on the separation agreement’s terms. It is possible, in these cases, that then serious consideration will have to be made about whether you want to proceed with a formal divorce or not so court will establish temporary child support, custody, or other temporary directives that can address other issues you may disagree about.
Determining if Separation is Right for You
New Jersey legal separation is a way to allow couples time apart without closing the door on the relationship the way a divorce might. So, if there is a path to reconciliation, a separation allows for that. Divorce is much more final, so entering into a separation may make more sense until you determine the direction of your marriage.
An important aspect to consider is that a couple need not occupy separate residences for a separation to be considered valid. Many families in this economic climate remain in one home during their separation.
How Legal Separation Affects Your Family
Sometimes, a break to seek marriage counseling or treatment for addiction or other issues while separated could benefit both partners, but it is critical for both parties to ensure that their children, financial responsibilities, and assets are protected during that period.
Often, if a couple decides to dwell in separate homes, the joint income that once supported everyone in one place now has to be shared with two homes. This can make things difficult and expensive. If there are children, how they will be supported must be determined.
Children’s financial and emotional needs should be shared by their parents. It is of extreme importance to understand how that will function when deciding to separate.
Divorce From Bed and Board
Divorce from bed and board is another legal remedy that separated couples may want to explore, especially if their religious beliefs forbid divorce. This involves a court order outlining child support, marital support, and the distribution of assets and debts without having to pursue a formal divorce; it has the same practical effect as a formal divorce (all the same issues are discussed and negotiated) but in the eyes of the law you are not divorced (which could impact future relationships and any desire to remarry). Most people explore the option of a Bed & Board divorce if there are exceptional circumstances in the situation that one spouse needs or seriously wants to stay on the other spouse’s health insurance.
Speak to a legal separation attorney in New Jersey if a divorce from bed and board is a path that could be most beneficial to you and your family. We can present you with your options and help you to determine the best route for you to take to ensure the future security of you and your children.
Is Legal Separation Required Before Filing for Divorce?
Since there is no formal “legal separation” in New Jersey, you could be separated indefinitely but to file a complaint under legal separation (vs. irreconcilable differences), at minimum, there would be an 18-month requirement. That said, you could file under any other cause of action applicable prior to that timeframe.
Speak to your New Jersey separation attorney to understand what is right for you.
Alternatives To Divorce and Precursors To Divorce
At Men’s & Fathers’ Rights Divorce Lawyers by Schultz & Associates, LLC, our New Jersey divorce lawyers are able to help many of our clients find legal solutions to problems related to family law. Our New Jersey divorce lawyers can assist you if your case involves the following:
- The need for custody, child support, and/or spousal support arrangements that can be put in place even if you remain married
- An interest in reconciling with your spouse if you are living separately
- A desire to have a period of separation before deciding to divorce
- The need to avoid divorce because of religious or financial concerns.
Marital separation and divorce are serious matters that should be approached with proper legal counsel. The New Jersey divorce lawyers at Men’s & Fathers’ Rights Divorce Lawyers by Schultz & Associates, LLC, can provide it.
Why Choose Men’s & Fathers’ Rights Divorce Lawyers
- Our entire firm is dedicated to making complicated matters involving divorce, separation, and custody agreements more straightforward for the whole family.
- We are in constant communication with our clients so that their questions are answered. This alleviates the stress of the unknown that is such a big part of family law matters.
- Our goal is to eliminate as much conflict as we can while handling our client’s issues as quickly and inexpensively as we possibly can.
What We Can Do For You
Pouring out all of the details of your personal life to a stranger is not easy for anyone. Our team understands this and wants to create as comfortable an environment as possible so you can be open about your situation and your goals. We want to help you achieve the goals you have for the separation or divorce so that you can move on with the confidence of knowing everything was handled in your best interests.
At Men’s & Fathers’ Rights Divorce Lawyers by Schultz & Associates, LLC, your satisfaction is paramount to us. We listen to your objectives and do our best to secure favorable results for you. Call us today at (201) 880-9770.
Listed below are some of what our clients should expect from us:
- Responsiveness: Our New Jersey legal separation attorneys are in close communication with their clients. When you have questions or concerns, we are here to offer you answers and advice so that you can always make informed choices throughout the entirety of the process.
- Attentiveness: When we choose to take a case, we work closely with our clients, ensuring that there is no delay in handling issues promptly. We appreciate your choosing us as your legal separation attorney and will work hard on your behalf to ensure you have made the right choice in hiring us.
- Focus on family law: The scope of our focus is narrow. Family-related legal issues are our specialty. Because of our intensely focused firm, we have accrued the kind of experience and knowledge you want when facing family law matters.
- Personal relationships: Legal separation in New Jersey can be a stressful time. Our compassionate lawyers at Men’s & Fathers’ Rights Divorce Lawyers care about our clients and will develop a personal relationship with you, ensuring that you know your case is in good hands.
- Cost-consciousness: Our aim is to meet the needs of our clients, not just add up more billable hours. We pledge to use a cost-conscious strategy so that we keep your financial burdens to a minimum.
When you consult with one of our New Jersey legal separation attorneys, we will answer your questions and outline what you can expect in the future. We will work to solve the problems you can foresee and head off the ones that we understand may be possibilities due to our years of experience. We are here to protect our clients’ best interests.
Talk to Our New Jersey Legal Separation Attorneys Today
Contact Men’s & Fathers’ Rights Divorce Lawyers to schedule a case evaluation by calling (201) 880-9770 or through our website. Our experienced New Jersey divorce lawyers will be happy to sit down with you, answer your questions about separation and divorce, and help you develop a strategy to address your concerns.