Middlesex County Divorce Lawyer
There are many issues that arise during a divorce that must be addressed through legal proceedings. Many of the issues are extremely personal for the involved parties, but there are ways to limit intense and hostile litigation by engaging legal representation.
A Middlesex County divorce lawyer can help you understand your legal rights and options should you choose to end your marriage and work diligently to minimize the potential conflict by resolving any disputes amicably.
Divorce Requirements in Middlesex County
In the past, couples seeking a divorce had to state fault-based grounds for their decision to divorce. Common grounds included adultery, that the parties had lived apart for at least eighteen months, or that one of the parties treated the other with extreme cruelty. State law no longer requires that a couple have fault-based grounds to end their marriage.
Specifically, state law now permits individuals to file for divorce based upon irreconcilable differences, which is essentially the language used to indicate that they are seeking a “no-fault” divorce. No-fault divorce means that neither party has to allege that the other engaged in any wrongful conduct such as adultery or cruelty. A person’s abusive behavior toward their spouse might be relevant in a custody decision but does not need to be established in order to pursue a divorce. Put simply, all you need to get a divorce in New Jersey is being unhappy in your marriage for a period of at least six months.
Individuals seeking a divorce should speak to a Middlesex County divorce attorney as soon as possible.
Is There a Residency Requirement to File for Divorce?
In New Jersey, in order for someone to be able to file for divorce, at least one party needs to be a bona fide resident of the state of New Jersey for one year prior to the filing. This means that they need to have lived in the state for a year prior, and that address needs to be their main residence, also known as their domicile.
However, there are some exceptions to this rule. For example, if someone is in the military and is absent from their home for a period of time, but their main residence is in New Jersey, they would still be able to file in New Jersey. Also, if someone is on a work project out of the state for several weeks or months, but they haven’t actually moved out of New Jersey, they would still qualify.
If someone’s spouse moves out of the state, they still file for divorce in New Jersey, so long as one spouse has remained in the state.
How Does a Prenuptial or Postnuptial Agreement Impact Divorces?
Division of property is an important part of the divorce process and is also frequently contested. If applicable, a prenuptial agreement or postnuptial agreement could impact how the property is divided in a given case. It is crucial to note that the courts will only uphold valid marital agreements that meet the state’s legal standards for enforceability.
Sometimes, a court might find that an agreement does not meet certain legal requirements. If the parties failed to sign the document, withheld information from one another, or forced the other to sign under coercion or duress, then a Middlesex County court could invalidate such an agreement during a divorce. There are also issues that these documents cannot cover, such as issues impacting children.
A judge might also decide that the terms of the agreement are unfair and refuse to uphold it. In any situation, the existence of a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement may substantially impact one’s divorce case.
Marital Assets Versus Non-Marital Assets
The courts do not necessarily evenly split a couple’s assets, but rather endeavor to reach a fair and equitable division in a process called equitable distribution. Specifically, the court must first establish which property is marital and which property belongs to one party alone.
Inheritances, gifts from third parties specifically made to only one spouse, and premarital assets usually do not constitute marital property unless the parties commingled those assets. For instance, a home purchased before the marriage belongs to the buyer, but if the couple continues to make payments on the property using marital assets, the designation might change. Speaking to a divorce lawyer in Middlesex County should be the first step a person takes to determine their rights during the asset division process.
Engage a Middlesex County Divorce Attorney to Handle Your Case
Divorces are complicated and emotionally challenging events. There are many legal issues that the parties are required to negotiate or litigate before they can complete the process.
A Middlesex County divorce lawyer could bring compelling arguments on your behalf to obtain the case resolution you deserve. Get in touch with an experienced divorce attorney today to set up an initial consultation and learn more.