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Your Divorce Attorney In Tough And Emotional Times

The divorce process is likely to be the most difficult time in your life. “How can we help you?” is the first of many questions our attorneys will ask you at the law firm of Carolann M. Aschoff, P.C. We are committed to getting to know our clients and understanding their needs. We will work closely with you to identify your goals related to a pending New Jersey divorce, ensuring that you are ready to move forward.

Assessing Your Readiness For Divorce

A divorce lawyer from our firm will assess the events that led up to you contacting us. Are you emotionally ready? Have you prepared yourself for what is to come in this life-changing event? Sometimes we refer clients to a counselor. Other times, we suggest that they simply take more time to think about their situation.

What To Know At The Start Of Divorce

Divorce can quickly become overwhelming. Between the emotional, financial and legal complications, you may be wondering where to begin. Based in Jersey City, Bayonne and West Caldwell, the law firm of Carolann M. Aschoff, P.C., can point you in the right direction. Turn to our attorneys for dependable guidance on your divorce questions.

The Divorce Process In New Jersey

The steps of the divorce process in New Jersey are as follows:

  1. One spouse initiates the process by filing a petition for dissolution of marriage.
  2. The other spouse files their response.
  3. Both parties submit information to the court for discovery.
  4. The parties try to reach an agreement on property division, child custody, child support and spousal support outside of court.
    1. If successful, a divorce decree is issued, and the divorce is finalized at this stage.
  5. A court trial occurs next if they don’t reach an agreement in the previous step.
  6. A judge issues a divorce decree and finalizes the divorce.

If you work with us, we’ll guide you through the divorce process every step of the way.

Establishing Your Divorce Case

When you are ready, we will get to work on the divorce process. We discuss assets, income and debts. We want to know what your goals are when it comes to spousal support and property division. We also focus on your children and the divorce’s impact on them as it relates to child custody and child support.

Choosing Settlement Vs. Litigation

The goal of our attorneys is to do everything we can to settle the divorce case. Going to trial is a viable and sometimes necessary option. However, it lengthens the process and increases the cost. Most importantly, it can have a detrimental impact on your children when you are involved in a contentious legal battle. We will help you assess the best option for your particular situation.

Annulment Vs. Divorce

While both an annulment and a divorce end a marriage, they are very different processes. The point of a marriage annulment is to prove that the marriage wasn’t legally valid in the first place. Annulments are only granted on specific fault-based grounds. A divorce dissolves a valid marriage on no-fault or fault-based grounds.

High Asset Divorces Vs. Typical Divorces

High asset divorces require specialized legal guidance from a high asset lawyer. The main difference between high asset divorces is the process of property division. While the process can be fairly simple in a typical divorce, it’s more complex in high asset divorces. It can be challenging to split up marital estates that include multiple properties, valuable possessions, family heirlooms, inheritances, businesses, offshore accounts, investments and other such assets. Attempts to conceal assets are also more likely in high asset divorces, which can further complicate the process and necessitate intervention from a forensic accountant.

How Long Does A Divorce Take?

Divorce can take anywhere from a few months to over a year. The duration depends on several factors, such as whether you are dividing complex property. Negotiation and family mediation often yield faster results than divorce litigation.

Is New Jersey A Community Property State?

No, New Jersey divorce laws make it an equitable division state. The difference is that in community property states, marital property is automatically split 50/50 in a divorce. In equitable division states, marital property is divided according to several different factors. These factors include how long the marriage lasted, each party’s financial situation, contributions to the other’s education or career, what they brought into the marriage, their earning capacity and more.

Do Divorcing Couples Split Property 50/50?

Usually, property division is much more complex than an equal split. Instead, New Jersey courts examine the resources and financial needs of both parties to decide what outcome would be fair – but not necessarily equal.

Will You Have To Pay Alimony?

Alimony or spousal support is not an automatic result in every divorce. A spousal support order is more likely when former spouses need to address a significant financial need, a major gap in income or an agreement related to property division. Whether you expect to pay or receive alimony, your lawyer can advocate for a reasonable outcome for you.

Preparing For Your First Meeting With Your Divorce Lawyer

Before you meet with a divorce attorney from our firm, it is a good idea to gather some information, including:

  • The types of investments, debt and properties that you and your spouse own
  • What issues might you and your spouse be able to agree upon
  • Which goals do you want to prioritize
  • What specific questions do you have about your situation or the divorce process

You do not need to have all the answers at the start of your divorce. This process is complex, which is why it is important to take the first step by getting professional legal insight.

Get Individualized Counsel For Your Divorce Case

The prospect of divorce can be intimidating. We can ease your stress by giving you customized advice. Contact us online for legal guidance. You can also call our Jersey City office at 201-793-7739, our West Caldwell office at 973-200-4892 or our Bayonne office at 201-793-7739.