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Clark New Jersey Family Law Blog

When financial infidelity affects a marriage

There are numerous reasons that New Jersey marriages end, but one of the most painful events that can lead to the end of a legal relationship is adultery. Adultery involves the extramarital sexual relationship of a person with a third party. When it happens, it may cause a difficult and unfixable rift between the person committing adultery and their spouse. Adultery, also called infidelity, can cause a lack of trust and support between two people who committed to spend their lives together.

Learning that one's partner has had an affair can be a life-altering experience, but couples across the country are discovering the pain of deceit in their relationships from a different form of infidelity: financial infidelity. Financial infidelity happens when a person lies to their spouse about money or finances.

How long does it take to get a divorce?

When a New Jersey resident decides that they want to do something, they may hope to accomplish their goal as fast as possible. While some tasks can start and finish in a relatively short amount of time, others may require days, months or even years to fully finish before they may be considered completed. Though few divorces take multiple years to work through, divorces can last for months after their initial filings.

This is because there are many steps that must be finished before a divorce can be finalized. A party must file for divorce in order to start the process in the courts, and the opposing party must be given time to receive notice of the initial filing and submit their own response. The parties may need time to secure their own counselors and advocates and may wish to undertake valuations of their property prior to dividing it up.

Certain matters cannot be resolved through marital agreements

A martial agreement is a powerful tool. It can help New Jersey residents work out particular financial and property-based matters that may affect their rights during their marriages. As many people know, marital agreements can also help individuals settle their divorces faster, as certain important decisions and discussions have already happened in the preparation of their contracts.

Despite the fact that martial agreements can provide clarity on certain important divorce-related topics, there are some matters that cannot be stipulated in them. Particularly, marital agreements cannot bind parties to any terms that concern their children.

How to protect your business interests in a New Jersey divorce

Like many successful New Jersey entrepreneurs, it may have taken you years to bring your business dreams to fruition. Your business is an intensely personal issue. You're passionate about it; after all, you're the one who put in all those long hours and persevered through the ups and downs of the start-up phase until the glorious day arrived when you hung the "open" sign over the threshold.

Whether that sign is figurative because your business functions on the internet or you have a brick and mortar storefront, since the day you launched, you have nurtured your company as a parent nurtures a child. It's understandable that, since your spouse filed for divorce, you want to do whatever you can to protect your business interests.

New Jersey laws impact divorce procedures and outcomes

The term "divorce" refers to the process of ending a legal relationship and returning two people to the status of single. Across the nation, individuals may seek to end their marriages in divorce and to live their lives separate and apart from their partners. Divorce is an option for New Jersey residents, and those who decide to pursue it should be aware that state law controls it.

What that means is that even though divorces happen in all 50 states of the nation, New Jersey divorces follow state-established procedures and must conform to state-specific laws. For example, in New Jersey, a person may use fault as a ground to base their petition for divorce. In some jurisdictions, fault is not a permissible basis for ending a marriage.

Who may benefit from a premarital agreement?

Premarital agreements, also called prenuptial agreements, are not romantic. In fact, they are contracts that are put into place to help resolve future conflicts between individuals who have not even formalized their relationships in marriage. However, there are many good reasons why New Jersey residents may want to enter into premarital agreements before they say "I do".

One reason relates to the amount of property or wealth that a person amasses before they get married. A person with significant financial assets or business wealth may want a premarital agreement to identify and keep their separate property under their exclusive control in the event that they go through a divorce. In some cases, separate property may be converted into marital property and be subject to division if it is not identified as separate in a valid premarital agreement.

The separation period before a no-fault divorce

Divorces in New Jersey may be based on different grounds. While some of those grounds are based on the alleged fault of one or both of the parties, divorces that result from individuals simply growing apart from their spouses are often based on the no-fault option. Before the parties to a marital couple may secure a no-fault divorce in the state, they must satisfy the statutory waiting period set forth under New Jersey law.

The waiting period is 18 month, and during that time, the parties to the marriage must be separated. They must be living separate lives and no longer affiliating themselves with each other as a married couple. If after the 18 month waiting period the parties have not re-affiliated and still wish to divorce they may do so in the courts of the state.

Providing for one's child with a modified child support agreement

Along with child custody, child support is one of the most important issues that New Jersey parents must work out to allow their kids to continue to live loved and supported after their parents' divorces. Child support is generally established through statewide guidelines, though variations to those calculations can be permissible when such actions are necessary to protect the needs of the children. However, as parents know, the needs of children can change over time and can impose greater demands on the financial resources of their caregivers.

A child who suffers an illness or an injury may require specialized care that is not accessible given the amount of child support that they are provided each month; this example is just one of the many situations that may arise and require courts to reexamine the child support orders they have promulgated for the benefit of New Jersey children. Similarly, a parent who loses their job and their means of paying child support may need to have their obligation reduced or eliminated until they can continue to support their child.

Is my spouse concealing assets from me?

We don't want to think the worst of others, even when that person is a soon-to-be-ex-spouse. However, when the time comes to determine a divorce agreement, it can sometimes bring out the worst in people. You would hope that your spouse wouldn't resort to concealing assets from you, but experts warn that it is an all-too-common event in many divorces.

Many people here in New Jersey and all over the country aren't fully aware of their exact financial situation. That can lead to disaster for anyone seeking a divorce. Fortunately, experts have tips in determining whether your spouse might be hiding assets from you in an effort to protect them from your divorce agreement.

When divorce and retirement coincide

A New Jersey resident may spend the better part of their life working so that one day they can leave their job and retire. Most people do not meet their retirement age until well after the 50th birthdays, and some work well into their 60's and 70's. When they do finally get to the point where they are financially secure enough to quit their jobs, they may find that they are no longer happy in their marriages.

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