Trenton Divorce Lawyers
Dedicated Family Law Attorneys Help Clients Through Divorce in Mercer County and Throughout New Jersey
An experienced divorce lawyer can help you through this difficult transition so you can move forward with transforming your life. At Kalavruzos, Mumola, Hartman, Lento & Duff, LLC, our dedicated attorneys know this is a challenging time in your life. Our trusted Trenton Divorce Lawyers are here to work with you and help you reach what’s ahead: a bright and fulfilling future life.
Before that can happen, it’s necessary to deal with your status quo. If you’re like most couples, you’re probably worried about a number of things. What will happen to your kids? How will you pay your bills if your spouse was the primary income provider? How do you protect yourself?
Hiring an experienced family law attorney is the first step to getting answers to these critical questions. Our team at Kalavruzos, Mumola, Hartman, Lento & Duff, LLC will help you through the entire process and work tirelessly to protect your family and your rights. To learn more about our practice and how we can help, contact us to schedule a consultation today.
Grounds for Divorce in New Jersey
New Jersey is a state where a couple can obtain a divorce on either fault or no-fault grounds. Many couples will choose to use no-fault grounds because these divorces are often faster, cheaper, and involve less animosity.
However, sometimes it is necessary to seek a divorce based on fault grounds. These require additional courtroom proceedings and can be very emotionally draining. However, a fault divorce can protect certain divroce-related proceedings later on down the line. For instance, judges in New Jersey can consider any evidence of fault or misconduct when deciding how much alimony is reasonable and just.
In the past, you needed to prove fault in order to get a divorce. In fact, in 1970 California became the first state to offer no-fault divorce. New York, the last hold-out, has offered it since 2010. Today, that’s no longer a requirement for New Jersey divorces. In fact, since 2007 New Jersey offers two main types of no-fault divorces: irreconcilable differences and separation.
Irreconcilable differences means that a couple can’t get along anymore, and there’s no reasonable chance of reconciliation. A spouse can file for divorce due to irreconcilable differences as long as those differences have been in effect for at least six months.
Seeking a divorce based on separation means that you and your spouse have lived separate and apart for at least 18 month, and there is no reasonable chance that you’ll get back together. In order to get a divroce based on separation, you should be prepared to prove where you lived during the separation.
While fault divorces are less common than no-fault divorces in New Jersey, there can be benefits to filing a fault-based divorce. While it will be required that you prove your case, an important advantage is a spouse’s conduct can be admissible in court and may influence the outcome of child custody, asset division, and other important decisions facing the judge.
There are many grounds for a fault divorce in New Jersey, including:
- Abandonment without cause for at least one year
- Cruel treatment, such as domestic violence
- Imprisonment for more than two years following conviction for a crime
- Bigamy or polygamy
- Infliction of humiliation that makes the marriage intolerable
Our experienced divorce attorneys can help you understand the requirements for seeking a fault divorce. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with a member of our legal team to discuss your case and to learn more about your rights and options.
Equitable Distribution During a Divorce
If you’re considering divorce, it’s important to understand that your assets will be divided between you and your former spouse as part of the divorce process. Debts and other martial liabilities are also subject to division. This process is called equitable distribution of assets and liabilities.
Understandably, equitable distribution is often a hot-button issue. At Kalavruzos, Mumola, Hartman, Lento & Duff, LLC, our mission is to develop practical, creative solutions to help our clients resolve these and other complex issues. We’ll work with you and your family to help you reach an agreement without the need for costly litigation, if possible.
To get started, it’s necessary to begin identifying shared marital assets. You’ve accumulated a lifetime of memories with your spouse. One of the most important—and difficult—aspects of any divorce usually involves how to divide your assets and liabilities. Having an experienced and compassionate family law attorney by your side can help smooth out the process.
What About an Annulment?
Sometimes a couple can end a marriage by getting an annulment.
An annulment is different from a divorce because it declares the marriage null and void. While a divorce ends a marriage, an annulment acts as if there was never a marriage in the first place.
In most circumstances, annulments apply when there is a very short marriage and when few (if any) assets and debts have been accumulated.
To get an annulment, a couple must have a legally recognized reason. A few of these reasons include:
- Impotence – your spouse was impotent at the time of the marriage and this fact was unknown to you or concealed by your spouse.
- Incest – you are married to a blood relative, and seek an annulment on the grounds of incest.
- Fraud – defined as any misrepresentation that affects the marriage. This includes lying about: the desire to have children, an addiction to drugs or alcohol, immigration status, religious beliefs, or hidden pregnancies by another man
- Nonage – you or your spouse were under age 18 at the time you married and since turning 18 you and your spouse have not had sexual relations.
- Incapacity – due to a mental condition or intoxication, you or your spouse was unable to comprehend that you were marrying.
Dealing with an Uncooperative Spouse in New Jersey
Despite the fact that a spouse wants a divorce, the other spouse may refuse to accept the fact that the marriage is ending. However, a divorce doesn’t require the consent of both spouses.
One way to get around an uncooperative spouse is to get a divorce by default. But keep in mind that while your spouse’s wishes cannot affect whether the divorce is granted, their wishes will be considered for issues that come up during the divorce, such as alimony and equitable distribution.
Kalavruzos, Mumola, Hartman, Lento & Duff, LLC Can Answer Your NJ Divorce Questions
Our experienced New Jersey divorce attorneys at Kalavruzos, Mumola, Hartman, Lento & Duff, LLC are here to help. We have years of experience helping clients with complex divorce issues. When you hire us, you can expect that your attorney will work closely with you throughout the entire process—making sure you understand every available option and know how your divorce is proceeding every step of the way.
If you have questions about your rights or obligations during a divorce, contact our law firm to arrange a consultation with a lawyer who can help.
Frequently Asked Questions About New Jersey Divorces
Usually. When requesting a divorce based on no-fault grounds, then at least one spouse must be a New Jersey resident for at least one year. But if divorcing because of adultery, the one-year requirement is waived. So all that’s required in a divorce based on adultery is that at least one spouse be a New Jersey resident.
Yes. What you might think of as extreme cruelty will usually allow for a divorce based on fault grounds. But even milder forms can result in an at-fault divorce.
The key to remember is that a court will probably grant a divorce due to extreme cruelty if one of the spouses can show that behavior in the marriage is so bad that it’s unreasonable to expect the person to continue being married.