It is becoming more and more common for couples involved in long term relationships to remain unmarried. Many unmarried couples purchase homes together, live together, have children together, and generally enjoy the commitment of a marriage without legally marrying. For these unmarried couples, that can create a complex legal relationship in the event of a break-up or major life event.
Most divorcing couples are aware that they will have to divide their marital assets. However, many are unfamiliar with the concept of equitable distribution. In the U.S., each state has the legal authority to determine how assets will be divided during divorce. Some states have "community property" laws, which dictate that all co-owned assets are to be divided equally. New Jersey is an equitable distribution state, making the division of assets process potentially much more complicated.
Before spouses must settle disputes such as child custody, division of assets, alimony, child support, and so on, they must first begin the divorce process by filing for divorce. All divorces in New Jersey must cite reasons or grounds for divorce. These grounds for divorce are vastly different, and can have different benefits and detriments depending on your unique situation. As long as the grounds for your divorce can be proven, your divorce should be granted by the courts.
Divorce mediation is a method of alternative dispute resolution (or ADR) commonly used in New Jersey. As opposed to litigation, mediation takes a more cooperative, communicative approach to resolving issues during divorce. However, many clients have unfounded reservations about choosing mediation, fearing that they may not be able to resolve all of their critical legal disputes.