Frequently Asked Questions

Answers from Our Hackensack Family Lawyers

When you are involved in a stressful and emotional family law matter throughout Bergen County, turn to a firm you can trust. At Laterra & Hodge, LLC, we are proud to have a Certified Matrimonial Trial Attorney and member of the prestigious American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers on our team. This means that we always stay educated and up to date with the latest trends and changes in the law.

When you have questions, our Hackensack family law attorneys can help. Read answers to some frequently asked questions below or call (201) 580-2240 to discuss your case during a free consultation.

Is mediation right in my divorce case?

If you and your spouse can agree on certain issues, such as custody and financial support, mediation may be a good way to settle your uncontested divorce quicker and with less stress, cost, and disruption to your family’s life. Mediation allows you to sit down with your spouse and come to an agreement without having to go to court or be seen before a judge. This allows you to resolve differences on your terms in a confidential and comfortable setting.

Are premarital agreements necessary?

There are many misconceptions and benefits surrounding premarital agreements. Many believe that these are a precursor to divorce, or set up a precedent of distrust in a marriage. This, however, is far from true. Premarital agreements can help set specific terms for worse case scenarios, including death, disability, or divorce. This means that the issues you decide on now, when you are not facing a stressful situation or under emotional duress, can help you face stressful situations in the future. These agreements can lay out the terms for spousal support, equitable distribution, child custody, separate property, and other issues to help save you time, stress, and money in the future.

What is the difference between divorce and separation?

Unlike divorce, separation is not a final and complete end to your marriage. Separation allows couples a period of time to work out their issues and differences without having to go through divorce proceedings in court. There are still a number of issues to be decided, including who will move out and where children will live, but separation allows you to settle these matters for a temporary period in order to give you space and time to work out your problems, if possible.

Am I entitled to alimony?

Alimony, or spousal support is given on a case by case basis. The court will determine if a spouse is eligible based on a number of factors, including the need for financial support, the length of the marriage, expenses needed for training to get back into the workforce, the mental and physical health of the spouse seeking the award, and the lifestyle that the spouses have become accustomed to, among other factors.

Can I dispute a custody arrangement?

Based on a number of factors, a court may reconsider or amend a child custody agreement for physical or legal custody. Except in proven cases of abuse, these matters can be amended in family court.

How can I protect myself against domestic violence?

Often your best option is to file a restraining order against an offending spouse. This can not only help prevent future issues of abuse, but it will legally force an offender to stay away from you, your children, or your home. It can also limit contact via phone, email, or text to protect you from the emotional components of abuse cases.

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