Some Basic Guidelines to Divorce or “Dissolution” in New Jersey.

Divorce in New Jersey, usually called “dissolution,”  is the legal process for obtaining a divorce, whether you’re a civil or domestic partnership.

Either spouse or partner can file for dissolution if at least one of the couples has lived in the state for twelve months or more.

Also, it is helpful to agree with your partner on many major (and minor) decisions (see Legal Services of N.J. Divorce Overview), even before you enter the courtroom. The more you can agree on, the more rapid and stress-free your divorce could be.

When deciding on specific issues, such as child custody, alimony, child support, etc., many times you, as the male partner, may feel as if you have a more difficult time obtaining a fair and reasonable solution to these issues; this is why working with a Morris County divorce lawyer, who will protect your rights, is always mandatory.

This is especially true if you are going through a more complex divorce or cannot agree with your spouse or partner on many of the significant decisions that must be made.

Let’s say you are a man facing a “high conflict” in New Jersey, which may include high assets, various properties, custody and more. These varied circumstances of your unique dissolution can make the entire proceeding more complex, stressful, and confusing.

In any type of complex dissolution, there will be many more legal “hoops” to jump through before agreements are made and your divorce is finalized.

As a man navigating a complex divorce process and dealing with decisions about child support, alimony, and even child custody and visitation, the New Jersey court will always do “what’s in the best interest of the child.  Sometimes the child’s mother, if she is  the primary caregiver may get precedence over your concerns and even your rights. Child custody for fathers can be, at times difficult to do fairly, and you must have a professional versed in men’s divorce rights on your side.

Must I Have “Grounds” For Divorce In New Jersey?

If you wish to divorce in New Jersey, you must have a sound reason accepted by the New Jersey divorce laws; this is known as “grounds” for your divorce.

A valid example of an accepted “grounds” for divorce is:

  • No-fault divorce, or you and your partner have “irreconcilable differences.” However, to file based on irreconcilable differences, the following specifics must be met;
    • One of you must have lived in New Jersey for at least 12 months before filing your dissolution.
    • You must have experienced these “irreconcilable differences” for six months or more.
    • Also, based on these “irreconcilable differences,” your marriage, civil union, or domestic partnership needs to be dissolved.
    • Additionally, there is no way to reconcile these differences.

In New Jersey, there is usually no reason to accuse your spouse of wrongdoing, especially when filing based on irreconcilable differences.

Your skilled and knowledgeable divorce lawyer will explain that, in some instances, accusing your spouse of wrongdoing will not make the process any easier or affect the outcome of critical items such as asset distribution, property, and more.

As a Man Divorcing My Spouse, What Are Some Things I Should Avoid Doing?

If you’re divorcing your spouse, as a man or father, there are things you may wish you could do, but from a legal standpoint, it will almost always work against your best interests.

Some examples of things you shouldn’t do are:

  • Don’t move out of your home – By moving out, you effectively give your spouse complete control of your home, and they may change the locks or not allow you to see your children. You’ll have to support two households, adding extra expense and difficulty to an already stressful situation.
  • Don’t rant about your divorce on social media – This may seem appealing, but doing it can significantly heighten the tension, and every question becomes a conflict. Venting on social media may give you an immediate release of frustration, but in the end, it could drastically work against you.
  • Don’t build yourself up on dating sites – If you’re separated and want to get back to dating, be extremely careful about what you post on any dating sites. If it looks like you are living extravagantly (even if you’re not), your spouse could use this information to prove you have “money to burn” and that you’re hiding assets that should be used for support or alimony.
  • Don’t leave it up to your spouse to file for divorce – You may be ready to file, but the sooner you do, the sooner you legally determine the cut-off date for marital assets or debts to stop accumulating.

These are only some examples, but a thorough, experienced divorce lawyer familiar with men’s rights in a divorce will guide you effectively through the process and continually work to protect your interests and rights.

I’m Getting Advice From Friends & Relatives; Could This Advice Be Harmful?

Every dissolution case differs in myriad ways, and if you need sound legal advice from a skilled, experienced divorce lawyer who is familiar with your case, you should beware.

For example, usually, when divorce lawyers represent men, the following advice will never help them in their dissolution proceedings;

  • You can reduce your child support amount by getting more custody – Alimony and child support payments are almost always a deep concern when men divorce, especially when you now have yourself to support. This is a very understandable concern; however, if friends or family tell you that getting custody of your child will lower your payments, it is not being pursued in the best interest of the child(ren). Pursuing custody is fine if that’s what you genuinely want, but it must be done for the right reasons.
  • “Put away” some money or assets for yourself – This may be tempting, but your risk is very high. If the judge finds out you are attempting to hide assets, you will be penalized harshly and probably pay much more than you would have.

These are just a few examples of things that may seem like good advice, but the wise thing to do is to first discuss all the details of your case with a Morris County divorce lawyer. Their guidance will always be in your best interests and legally valid and sound.

I’m a Father Seeking a Divorce in New Jersey; How Should I Proceed?

As stated, every dissolution case differs in its details, complexity, and conflict; therefore, you should only make moves after you obtain skilled, experienced, and empathetic professional legal advice.

Even in relatively “simple” divorce cases (which rarely exist), there are numerous serious issues to discuss and agree on thoroughly.

The Morris County-based Edens Law Firm has a long and successful history of fighting for men’s rights when divorce is the only path to follow.

Call them today at (908) 529-0353 for a full consultation on your case, and they will begin immediately to make this stressful process as efficient and productive as possible.