Hackensack Divorce Attorney
Protecting Families Throughout Bergen County
Going through a divorce is one of the most stressful life events someone can experience. In addition to the emotional impact, you also need to ensure that your interests and rights are protected throughout the divorce process. One of the best ways to do that is to hire an experienced Hackensack divorce attorney who is familiar with New Jersey laws and knows how to advocate for you in court.
An Experienced & Focused Divorce Law Firm
At Laterra & Hodge, LLC, we have more than 25 years of combined experience, and our Hackensack divorce attorneys stay current on changes in New Jersey law. What’s more, our firm exclusively practices family law so you get the focused representation your case deserves.
What Are Grounds for Divorce in New Jersey?
In New Jersey, you don't always need specific grounds for divorce. New Jersey allows for both no-fault and at-fault divorce, but what is the difference between no-fault and at-fault divorce?
No-Fault Divorce – This type of divorce is when neither spouse is at “fault” for the divorce, but rather the couple has come to a point of “irreconcilable differences”. Here are a few requirements to meet for a no-fault divorce.
- Residency - One or both of the spouses must have established residency in New Jersey for 12 consecutive months before filing for divorce
- Separation – The spouses must be living separately for 18 consecutive months before filing for divorce
- Irreconcilable Differences – The spouses must have “irreconcilable differences” for a period of 6 months before filing for divorce
- No Chance – There must be no chance for reconciliation between the spouses
Fault Divorce – This type of divorce is when there is a specific reason for the divorce. In other words, one of the spouses is at “fault” for something that justifies getting a divorce. These faults include:
- Desertion (at least 12 months long)
- Cruelty (mental or physical)
- Substance abuse
- Mental illness
- Deviant sexual conduct
If you are considering divorce in New Jersey, don’t hesitate to reach out to our Hackensack divorce lawyers. We will walk you through the divorce process.
Is NJ a 50/50 Divorce State?
New Jersey is not a 50/50 divorce state. Instead, new Jersey is an equitable distribution state, which means that the court will divide property between the parties fairly, impartially, and not necessarily equally.
In practice, this means that the court will consider many factors when dividing property, including the length of the marriage, the contributions of each spouse to the marriage, the economic circumstances of each spouse, and the needs of any children. The property may be divided 50/50, but it is also possible that one spouse will receive more or less than 50% of the property.
Suppose you are considering getting a divorce in New Jersey. In that case, it is crucial to speak with an attorney to discuss your options and estimate how the property will be divided in your particular case.
Spousal Support in NJ
Alimony, also known as spousal support, is not automatic in New Jersey. Instead, it is granted on a case-by-case basis.
The court takes a number of factors into consideration. These include:
- The need of either spouse
- The spouses’ ability to pay
- How long the marriage lasted
- The age and health of both spouses
- The standards of living of both spouses
- Any responsibilities to children
- Training and education needed to work
- All financial contributions to the marriage
- Any equitable distributions made
- Any other factors the court will deem relevant
If alimony is granted, it will be for an infinite period of time, a fixed period of time, as a means to financially rehabilitate one spouse while they’re working to become gainfully employed, or as a reimbursement for contributions one spouse made to the other’s education. At Laterra & Hodge, LLC, our Hackensack divorce attorneys always fight for your best interests.
Child Custody & Support in New Jersey
New Jersey courts seek to ensure children enjoy equal time with both parents. Our firm works to establish the physical custody guidelines, which determine who the child lives with, and legal custody guidelines, which determine who makes important decisions for the child such as medical, education, and well-being issues.
Divorcing parents are also expected to equally share in all expenses related to their children. Basic child support is broken down into six areas: food, clothing, housing, non-reimbursed medical, entertainment, and miscellaneous expenses. If expenses arise that are not covered by these areas, the paying parent will be asked to contribute to the expense based on the proportionate amount of their income.
Let Our Experienced Hackensack Divorce Lawyers Help You
Scott Adam Laterra, Esq., a partner with Laterra & Hodge, LLC, is part of the small and exclusive group of certified members of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. In addition, he is in the two percent of lawyers who are Certified Matrimonial Trial Attorney as well as being a Certified Mediator.