In Need of a Divorce Lawyer in Totowa, NJ?


Divorce Attorney in Totowa, New Jersey

Of all the experiences you will have in life, a Divorce is one of the most stressful. You may feel as though you are on an emotional rollercoaster, but you will still have to make important decisions that will affect the rest of your life. You should not go through this alone. A Totowa divorce lawyer can prepare you for the process, ensure no mistakes are made, and help you navigate legal challenges for the best possible outcome. You should call The Law Office of Erin L. Thompson, LLC for the best divorce representation.

The Divorce Process in New Jersey

One of the best ways to prepare for the divorce process is to understand the different steps involved. These are as follows:

  • Filing the complaint: Divorce proceedings begin when one spouse files divorce papers with the local court. The complaint will include no-fault grounds or grounds of fault. The spouse who files the complaint is the plaintiff in the case.
  • Responding to the complaint: After papers are filed with the court, the other spouse, known as the defendant, is served with the complaint. They then have a chance to respond. A response can include answers to issues within the complaint, filing a general appearance, or making a counterclaim to address other issues.
  • Case Information Statement: Using a Case Information Statement, you and your spouse must each provide full disclosure about your financial situation.
  • The settlement agreement: Ideally, spouses reach an agreement on all terms of the divorce, and a settlement is drafted. When the two parties cannot agree, they must participate in an Early Settlement Panel.  Matrimonial attorneys, who predominately practice in the county where your case is venued, make up the panel, and they will try to help the two sides resolve their disputes. If their recommendations are not accepted by the parties, they must participate in Economic Mediation and then an Intensive Settlement Conference, which happens at the courthouse.
  • The trial: When the two spouses cannot agree, the case will have to go to trial. It can take years  before a case is actually heard after it is scheduled for trial. During a trial, a judge will hear from both sides and make the ultimate decision on all issues.

Many of the above steps are only necessary in the event that the parties are unable to resolve their case.

What is the Difference Between Uncontested and Contested Divorces?

The divorce process does not always have to be a long and contentious one. Uncontested divorces are much more straightforward, as the two parties involved reach an agreement on all terms. There are no disputes regarding child custody, child support, property division, alimony, and more. When a couple disagrees on even one element of their divorce, the case becomes contested.

A contested divorce, on the other hand, is one in which the couple cannot agree on all terms. In these cases, couples cannot simply decide to go to trial. Before a trial date is set, the couple must make all attempts to resolve their issues through settlement discussions, court appearances, Early Settlement Panel, and Intensive Settlement Conferences..

Grounds for Divorce in New Jersey

New Jersey law provides many different grounds for divorce.  The most common grounds for filing is Irreconcilable Differences which is essentially a legal term for when one party has decided they no longer want to be married. To file a Complaint for Divorce based upon Irreconcilable Differences, a person must state that there have been irreconcilable differences in the marriage for a period of at least six months. Another way to file a no-fault divorce is to live separately and apart for at least 18 consecutive months and state there is no chance of reconciling.

Filing on the grounds of fault is possible in New Jersey, but it is less common. When filing on the grounds of fault, one spouse accuses the other of being the reason for the breakdown of the marriage. Some grounds of fault include imprisonment, extreme cruelty, and adultery. People who file on the grounds of fault must also prove their accusations.

Residency Requirement for Divorce

All states have residency requirements when it comes to divorce, and New Jersey is no different. To file for divorce in Totowa, or any other city in New Jersey, you or your spouse must have lived in the state for at least 12 months. Adultery is the only cause of action which does not require 12 months residency in the State of New Jersey.

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Our Divorce Lawyer in Totowa, NJ Can Advise on Your Case

Going through a divorce is never easy. You will have many decisions to make, and it is sometimes difficult to know what is best.  At The Law Office of Erin L. Thompson, LLC, our Totowa, NJ divorce lawyer can help you navigate the process and will inform you of the law and your rights guaranteed under it so you obtain the best possible outcome. Call us now at (973) 653-9036 or fill out our online form to schedule a meeting and learn more.

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Equitable Distribution

Equitable Distribution is the legal term for the division of property, assets, and debts that were acquired during the course of your marriage. This can include the selling or division of the net equity of the marital residence, the division of retirement accounts, and the allocation of debt acquired during the marriage. Like all other issues in divorce matters, there is no cookie-cutter resolution to equitable distribution. Each individual case is unique, and if necessary, may require an expert. These experts may include real estate appraisers, forensic accountants, or employability experts. It is important to retain an attorney that understands the complex issues that arise out of the division of assets as it will have a lasting effect long after the entry of the Judgment of Divorce.


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The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.