If you are facing a divorce in New Jersey, having accurate information about the state’s divorce laws is a crucial part of the process. If you have never gotten a New Jersey divorce, you may turn to friends, family members, or the internet for information. However, you must not be too quick to believe everything you are told or read online. This is because divorce law myths are quite common.
How can you know what is true and what is false? The best thing to do is to speak to a qualified New Jersey divorce lawyer. But even before you talk to a lawyer, read on to learn the truth behind five of the most common divorce law myths in New Jersey.
Myth #1: You Must Have a Specific Reason for Getting Divorced in NJ
New Jersey allows you to have a fault or no-fault divorce. When you file for divorce on “fault” grounds, you need a specific reason to file for the divorce. On the other hand, you do not need a particular reason to file for a no-fault divorce. According to N.J.S.A. 2A:34-2, if you and your spouse have been living apart for at least one and a half years, and there is no chance that the two of you will reconcile, that is enough to allow you to file for divorce in New Jersey. Also, you can file for a divorce in NJ simply because of irreconcilable differences. With a no-fault divorce, you don’t need to show which irreconcilable differences you are referring to.
Myth #2: Assets Will Be Divided in Half
When dividing assets during divorce, New Jersey follows the equitable distribution rule. While equitable distribution can mean a 50/50 split, this is not always the case. During divorce, the court must evaluate several factors when determining what is equitable, or in other words, what is fair and just. The factors courts must consider when dividing assets during divorce are outlined under N.J.S.A. 2A:34-23.1.
Myth #3: The Wife Will Be Awarded Primary Custody of the Children
In New Jersey, there is no presumption that favors mothers over fathers during divorce. Both parents are on a level playing field. The court equally considers the rights of both parents and makes child custody decisions based on what is in the child’s best interests. Judges consider several factors, such as the child’s safety, the child’s interaction with their parents and other siblings, any history of domestic violence, the child’s needs, and the stability of the home environment when making child custody decisions.
Myth #4: Wives Always Get Alimony
Just as it is with child custody, there is no presumption that favors wives over husbands when it comes to alimony matters. In New Jersey, courts consider several factors when making alimony determinations. These factors include the actual need and ability to pay, the marriage duration, the age and health of the parties, the parental responsibilities for the children, and the parties’ earning capacities, educational levels, vocational skills, and employability.
Myth #5: You Must Go to Court
You do nt have to go to court to get a divorce. There are alternatives to litigation you can consider. They include mediation, arbitration, and collaboration.
Contact Us for Legal Guidance
If you are facing a New Jersey divorce, contact our skilled New Jersey divorce lawyers at the Trabosh Law Firm to get accurate information on New Jersey divorce laws.