FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
1. What are the grounds for divorce in New Jersey ?
There are 9 grounds. The most recent was introduced in 2007 and is based on "irreconcilable differences." There are also "fault” grounds, such as adultery, desertion and extreme cruelty and a "no fault" ground based on 18 months of separation.
2. Will all the assets be divided 50/50 under community property ?
No. New Jersey is not a community property state (like California, for example). Instead, like New York and Connecticut, New Jersey is an “equitable distribution” jurisdiction. This means that the assets (and liabilities) are going to be divided “fairly” under the 16 criteria set forth in the statute. See N.J.S.A. 2A:34-23.1.
3. Children are emancipated at 18, right ?
Wrong. New Jersey does not have a set age when children are deemed to be on their own. Instead, the courts look to the facts of each case, and use criteria such as a child’s full-time employment or marriage or graduation from college, and other events indicating financial independence.
4. Will alimony apply in my case ?
It depends. The alimony statute lists more than a dozen criteria that courts are required to consider. Among them are the length of the marriage, the ages and educations of the parties, their respective incomes, and the assets and liabilities being distributed. See N.J.S.A. 2A:34-23(b).
5. What about adultery ?
Adultery is one of the “fault” grounds for divorce. While it can't be considered for the division of assets, it can be a factor in setting alimony in extreme cases. Also, adultery sometimes is a consideration in custody and removal (see the next question) cases.
6. I want to move out of New Jersey with my minor child. May I ?
This situation is known as a “removal” or a “relocation” case. The statute (N.J.S.A. 9:2-2) specifically provides that minor children cannot leave New Jersey, without the permission of both parents, or court order. Click on the following link
to CCA Article Child Removal
7. How much will my divorce cost me ?
Divorce lawyers charge by the hour. In Northern New Jersey, in 2007, hourly rates range from the low end of + $300 for a relatively inexperienced attorney to the high end of + $600 or more, for “blue chip” counsel. Also, your lawyer will want a “retainer”, which is a deposit against the future services to be rendered. Retainers vary, depending on the complexity and immediacy of your case.
8. I want to retain a good attorney, and one that’s best for me. What should I ask ?
Click on the following link: CCA Article When Your Client Interviews You
9. I want to retain a private investigator. What should I know ?
Click on the following link: CCA Article on Private Investigators
10. I’m divorced, but I want to go back to court for a modification. Any guidance ?
Click on the following link: CCA article on Litigating Lepis
11. I know there are many tax issues in a divorce. What are some of them ?
Click on the following link: CCA article 12 Tax Tips
12. I’m not married, but I plan to be. What should I know about a prenuptial agreement ?
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