One of the worst feelings you can have when going through a divorce is not being in control. Of course, you cannot control everything about your divorce, but if you plan ahead for what’s coming, it will prepare you for what is really important: making good decisions that will have a lasting impact on your life. Here’s what you need to do:
Understand the types of divorce in New Jersey.
If you and your spouse can agree on alimony, property division, and child custody and support, you may qualify for an uncontested divorce. These cases proceed to a final hearing before a judge, who reviews and signs the final decree.
If you and your spouse cannot agree on one or more issues and need a judge to make decisions for you, you are headed for a contested divorce. If this is the case, you should consider mediation, where both sides try to resolve their differences outside the courtroom. This is a less expensive option than a trial and you still have an attorney to guide you through the process.
If mediation is not an option, then a trial before a judge will be required. You and your attorney will gather evidence to support your claims for division of property, alimony, and child custody and support. The judge will consider many factors as set forth in New Jersey divorce statutes; your attorney will go over these carefully with you in order to craft the best argument for your case.
Make a plan.
Before you announce you want a divorce, you should have a plan for where you will live and how you will support yourself (and any children) financially. Part of the plan should include making an inventory of all your assets and debts, including how and when they were acquired. Plan for how you want to handle co-parenting and what you will say to your children about your upcoming split.
Getting a divorce isn’t free. You need to have the financial resources to hire an attorney and pay for other legal expenses. You also want to have a fund to cover your living expenses during the divorce, especially if you are moving out of your home.
Hire a lawyer.
You need an attorney to help you navigate the NJ divorce process, so look for someone who is experienced, has good reviews from past clients, and is someone you feel comfortable with sharing the intimate details of your private life. You may get referrals from family or friends, or from legal directories. Just make sure you interview several candidates before you hire someone. Choosing the right lawyer is critical to the outcome of your case, so put some effort into finding the right lawyer for you.
With divorce comes lots of paperwork, so you need to be organized. Create a divorce file for all your important legal documents so you can access them easily.
At Cistaro Law, we are not only concerned with your divorce today, but also with your quality of life long after your case is over. Your family law issues deserve to be managed with dignity and respect. You can prepare to civilly resolve your divorce, heal, and move on with your life with a legal team that has helped individuals all over New Jersey to heal and prosper. Contact us today for your free consultation.