When it comes to how people file for, resolve, and finalize their divorce, the determining laws for these factors are largely based on the laws of the state where the divorce is being filed for.
Divorce agreements like alimony, child support, child custody, and marital asset all vary from state to state, and today’s article will discuss how New Jersey’s divorce laws compare to other states, and what that means for your Bergen County divorce process.
Filing for Divorce in New Jersey, Paramus Divorce Lawyers
One of the biggest differences between New Jersey and other states when it comes to divorce is that two different types of divorce that may be pursued in the state of New Jersey, no-fault divorce and fault-based divorce. While this does give some flexibility to individuals filing for divorce, the majority of divorces in New Jersey are no-fault divorces. For a better understanding of why most people choose no-fault divorce over fault based divorce, please view our no-fault divorce page.
Another key difference between New Jersey and other states is both the time-frame and cost of the divorce process. For example, NJ family courts make a concerted effort to process all divorce cases within one year, while a state like Arkansas for example has a 540 day processing period!
When it comes to filing costs, New Jersey’s court costs are relatively “middle of the road”, with filing fees of $250 and motion fees of $30. At the high end of the specturm, California’s divorce filing fees come in at $435, while Wyoming divorce filing fees cost a meager $70.
Marital Property Division in New Jersey, Ridgewood Equitable Distribution Attorneys
Another key differentiator between states when it comes to divorce is how the division of marital property is handled. Each state’s division of assets process is guided by one of two principles: that of equitable distribution, and that of community property.
New Jersey is an equitable distribution state, meaning all marital property must be divided on an “equitable” basis. However, equitable does not mean equal, it simply means “fair”. This is one of the primary areas in which retaining the counsel of an experienced Ridgewood equitable distribution attorney during your divorce can be of great benefit, as their knowledge and negotiation skills can help you to ensure that complex assets such as properties, businesses, investments, retirement funds, and debts are divided in a fair manner which also protects both your short-term and long-term financial needs and goals.
Alimony and Child Support Laws in New Jersey, Bergen County Family Law Firm
Finally, your alimony agreement and child support agreement will both be determined by New Jersey laws (given you file for divorce in New Jersey). Child support is closely regulated by New Jersey’s Child Support Guidelines, and for a better understanding of exactly what factors are taken into consideration by these guidelines when determining child support, please view our page on the topic here.
Additionally, alimony agreements are also based upon the laws of the state. In New Jersey for example, one of the most important principles when it comes to alimony is that alimony cannot be awarded for a length of time greater than the length of the marriage (unless the marriage lasted for 20 years or more). And while this maximum duration is a relatively new amendment to NJ spousal support laws, it is important to remember that most alimony agreements tend to be for around 50% of the duration of the marriage (for example, a ten year marriage will generally result in alimony being paid for around 5 years).
Contact Our Hackensack Divorce Attorneys Today
Of course, all of the many important aspects of a New Jersey divorce would be impossible to fit into a single article. If you are considering a divorce, have filed for divorce, or have received notice of a pending divorce, it is highly recommended that you consult with an experienced and knowledgeable divorce attorney in order to gain the best possible understanding of how New Jersey laws and you and your family’s unique situation and circumstances can impact how your divorce is decided, and what kinds of settlements are ultimately agreed upon.
At The Law Office of Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark, our attorneys have extensive experience representing clients in a variety of divorce processes such as negotiation, mediation, litigation, collaboration, and arbitration in towns across New Jersey and Bergen County, including Paramus, Ridgewood, Hackensack, Teaneck, Fort Lee, and more.
To speak with our legal team today in a free and confidential consultation regarding your unique needs, concerns, and situation when it comes to your divorce, alimony, child support, child custody, equitable distribution, or any other kind of post-divorce or family law matter, please contact us online, or through our Hackensack, NJ office at (201) 397-1750.