Paramus Divorce Lawyer Will Safeguard Your Rights
Get Experienced Legal Help to End Your Marriage
Divorce is life-changing and stressful, even if you and your spouse are in agreement or think you are. However, if the relationship between you and your spouse is contentious and you don’t agree about ending the marriage or significant issues related to the divorce, the process can feel overwhelming. When your marriage is breaking up, no matter your unique circumstances, an experienced attorney can help you navigate the legal difficulties and pursue the results that you and your children need. When you have an effective Paramus divorce lawyer representing you during this sensitive time, it can help relieve your anxiety to know that your rights will be protected.
Turn to Our Divorce Lawyers servicing Paramus, NJ
When you work with Men’s & Fathers’ Rights Divorce Lawyers by Schultz & Associates, LLC, our divorce lawyers servicing Paramus, NJ, will advocate for 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, child support, and spousal support, and alimony. Call our law firm today at (201) 880-9770 to arrange a time to speak with an experienced Paramus divorce lawyer. We have extensive experience advocating for clients in all types of divorce—including very complex, high-net-worth divorce cases. Whether you are the one initiating the divorce or have been served with divorce papers, you can count on us to provide responsive and knowledgeable guidance during every step to dissolving your marriage.
Grounds for Divorcing in New Jersey
You must give a reason, called a ground, for wishing to end your marriage. N.J.S.A 2A:34-2 describes the grounds for ending a marriage. That reason, however, can be “irreconcilable difference” which is the same as a no-fault divorce. .
When you file on no-fault grounds you aren’t blaming your spouse for doing something wrong. 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.
Fault Divorce Grounds
If you file on fault grounds, you must prove to the court that your spouse did something that caused you to seek divorce. In New Jersey, you can file on fault grounds for the following reasons:
- Drug or alcohol abuse
- Extreme cruelty
- Institutionalization for mental illness
- Deviant sexual behavior.
You might wonder why you would file on fault grounds if it makes the process more complex and probably more contentious? There are sometimes strategic reasons for filing on fault grounds if you have strong evidence of wrongdoing. Sometimes filing on a fault ground may influence child custody and visitation decisions and it is important to let the court know upfront 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, which you should discuss with an attorney the nuances of same.
Paramus Divorce Attorney Will Help You Understand Your Options
Understanding which grounds to file on is not always straightforward. If you and your spouse simply do not get along and have no hope of reconciling, then filing for no-fault divorce may be right for your situation. However, if you experienced adultery, cruelty, or other issues during your marriage, it may make sense to consider a fault filing depending on what your ultimate end goal is. Our Paramus divorce attorney can review your circumstances and help you understand what the best option for you may be.
Types of Divorce in New Jersey
There are two basic types of divorce in New Jersey. Uncontested divorce and contested divorce. What type of divorce you will experience depends on your relationship and dynamics with your spouse and the facts involved in your individual situation.
You can get an uncontested divorce if you and your soon-to-be-ex-spouse agree that you both want to divorce and agree on all the issues involved in ending your marriage, such as child custody, child support, property division, and alimony. Obviously, if you agree, it can make the divorce process smoother and less antagonistic and usually much faster than contested divorces. However, if you disagree on any issue, then it becomes a contested divorce because there are outstanding issues you and your spouse will need to negotiate likely with the assistance of professionals. . Even if your divorce is uncontested, it is still helpful to engage the assistance of a Paramus 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. Not only this, but 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 being that 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 current do not see eye to eye at the current moment. We accomplish this by involving professionals into your matter 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 since we understanding 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 and 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 that will have a long term implication that would be very hard to undo or fix later.
Get Strong Legal Support from Our Paramus Divorce Lawyer
Whether your divorce is contested or uncontested, a Paramus 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 each step of the way. 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 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.
Paramus Divorce Lawyer 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 if you and your spouse are physically separated, in the county where that person lives. Once you have filed, there are two ways to serve your spouse. You can 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. If you want to be extra sure you are complying with the Court rules, then 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. There are more details on default divorces on this website.
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. Whether you are the spouse who is filing, or you have been served with a divorce complaint, you do not have to try and figure out the divorce process on your own. Our Paramus divorce attorney can guide you as soon as you are considering divorce or learn that your spouse is planning to file. We will be at your side throughout the entire process.
Divorce Lawyers in Paramus, NJ, Answer Common Questions
How long does a divorce take from start to finish 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 ultimately come to an 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 Court’s 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 back log at the courthouse.
If I don’t agree with a judge’s decision related to my divorce can I appeal?
If you have a contested divorce and were unable to agree with your spouse on one or more of the issues, then a Judge will decide those issues at a Trial. You can appeal a judge’s decision, but must do so within 45 days of the decision. However, you cannot appeal just for being unhappy with the decision. You must have a valid legal ground for appealing, such as the court didn’t apply the law correctly, ignored certain critical evidence, or abused its discretion, as examples. You can’t appeal simply because you don’t like the decision. We can help you understand whether you have an appropriate reason to appeal and, if you do, discuss what an appeal looks like and the next steps in an appeals process.
Does the court favor wives over husbands in making divorce decisions?
The courts are instructed to look at all the facts involved when making child custody, parenting time / visitation, child support, alimony, property division, and business valuation 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 wives 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 divorce lawyers in Paramus, NJ, will stand up strongly for your rights throughout the marriage dissolution process.
Contact Our Effective Divorce Attorneys in Paramus Today
We Have Your Back When Your Marriage Is Ending
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 Paramus divorce lawyer, call our office at (201) 880-9770 or fill out our online form.