The Things to “Do” for Effective Divorce Preparation in New Jersey
Posted January 12, 2024
Embarking on the journey of divorce is a challenging process, and being well-prepared is crucial for a smoother transition. In the state of New Jersey, understanding the do’s and don’ts when preparing for divorce is key to ensuring a fair and equitable resolution. In this blog post, we explore the things that individuals should do in preparation of a divorce in the Garden State.
Do: Consult with an Experienced Divorce Attorney. You should seek legal counsel early in the divorce process. An experienced divorce attorney in New Jersey can provide personalized advice, guide you through the legal complexities, and advocate for your rights. Their expertise is invaluable in ensuring a fair outcome. Cases are often complicated when an individual attempts to proceed self-represented through a divorce, especially when the other spouse has a lawyer.
Do: Gather and Organize Financial Documentation. Beginning to collect and organize financial documents, including bank statements, tax returns, investment portfolios, and property records can assist your attorney in analyzing your case from the outset. Comprehensive financial information is vital for equitable distribution and alimony determinations. Additionally, when clients are organized and prepared to provide all relevant documents, this will often reduce legal fees.
Do: Understand New Jersey Divorce Laws. Through the assistance of your lawyer, familiarize yourself with New Jersey’s divorce laws and the range of potential outcomes in the event your case is presented before a Judge. Understanding the state’s regulations regarding property division (equitable distribution), child custody, support, and parenting time, as well as alimony can empower you to make informed decisions during negotiations.
Do: Establish a Budget. Developing a realistic budget to understand your financial needs post-divorce can allow your transition to be made more seamless during this highly emotional time. This will also help your attorney advocate for fair alimony or child support arrangements and ensure that your financial well-being is adequately addressed both now and into the future.
Do: Prioritize Communication. Maintaining open and constructive communication with your spouse, especially if you have children, is important since your relationship with your spouse doesn’t end once a divorce is finalized. Establishing a cooperative co-parenting relationship fosters a healthier environment for everyone involved. Of course, in cases involving restraining orders, communication must be strictly limited.
Do: Consider Alternative Dispute Resolution. Exploring alternative dispute resolution methods like mediation or collaborative divorce can help expedite your case and minimize animosity. These approaches can often lead to more amicable resolutions, reducing stress and minimizing the impact on children.
Do: Update Legal Documents. Reviewing and updating legal documents such as wills, trusts, and beneficiary designations are important following the entry of a divorce. After your case is concluded, you should ensure that these documents reflect your current wishes and account for changes in your marital status. However, you should not make any major changes, especially to insurance or financial obligations, without consulting your attorney as New Jersey has specific rules related to insurance during the pendency of a case.
About the Author
Brian Budic is Co-Chair of the firm’s Divorce and Family Law Practice Group He has extensive experience representing clients in all aspects of family law in New Jersey, including complex issues of divorce, equitable distribution, child custody, parenting time, child support, alimony, domestic violence, and prenuptial agreements. Brian knows the stress and emotional toll that his family law clients experience before, during, and after the divorce process. As a result, he treats every client with the empathy, responsiveness, and respect that they deserve.
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