Divorce and Separation
If you are getting a divorce or considering getting a divorce, you likely have questions. Divorce proceedings can be complex, but our attorneys are here to ensure you understand your rights and obligations moving forward.
Divorce versus Separation
There is no such thing as a “legal separation” in New Jersey or Pennsylvania. Many times, people are under the misconception that there must be a formal filing with the Court “declaring” the parties to be physically separated from one another once a husband and wife no longer live together. This is not the case.
There are key differences between a separation and divorce. The most basic and obvious distinction is that you remain married during a separation; but in a divorce, your marriage is dissolved. Other differences include how debts and assets, healthcare benefits, and property rights are handled and distributed in each circumstance.
What is the first step I should take in my divorce?
If anyone believes that he or she may want to be divorced from his or her spouse, the first thing that person should do is consult with an attorney. Any time there is possibility for a divorce, a spouse should be fully informed as to what his or her rights and/or obligations are. An individual can then determine what the next steps in the process should be.
Equitable Distribution of Marital Property
“Equitable distribution” in a divorce proceeding is nothing more than the distribution of assets and debts accumulated by the parties during their marriage.
Depending upon the facts of each case, some assets or debts acquired prior to the marriage may be subject to equitable distribution. Additionally, some assets or debt acquired during the marriage, such as gifts from third parties or inheritances, may not be subject to equitable distribution. Every circumstance is different.
Why should I hire an attorney for my divorce?
It is always advisable to have the assistance of an attorney to help you navigate the law and the procedures that apply to divorce proceedings. However, there is no legal requirement to retain the services of an attorney during a divorce.
If there are any contested or disputed issues involved in the divorce, it is usually less expensive in the long run to hire an attorney as early in the process as possible. Sometimes, if a person cannot formally retain legal assistance, he or she may be able to pay an attorney for his or her time in giving the potential client advice.
We Are Here to Help
For assistance with your divorce, contact our experienced and dedicated team. We have office locations in Phillipsburg, Bethlehem and Belvidere, and you can reach us online or by calling the local office near you.