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Spring Into New Beginnings

By Snyder & Sarno on April 11, 2014


Though it didn’t feel like it, March 20 marked the first day of spring for 2014. It’s starting to get warmer, flowers are blooming, and the spring holidays are right around the corner. Everywhere you look you can’t help but feel the new beginnings that come with spring.

If you are going through a New Jersey divorce during this time, it may feel like your world, and, your life as you know it, are ending. However, with every ending comes a new beginning, and, as your marriage comes to an end, you are starting a new life for yourself. With the advice of a good attorney, such as those at Snyder & Sarno, LLC, you will be able to emerge from a divorce ready to begin the next chapter in your life. Here are some steps you should follow to start your new beginning:

1.      Figure out what you need in order to start your new beginning

This generally means what you need financially. Two of the main financial portions of a New Jersey divorce are property division and alimony.

All of your marital property will be equitably distributed between you and your spouse in your New Jersey divorce. When deciding equitable distribution, the court will look to a variety of factors, including the duration of your marriage, the marital standard of living, any prenuptial agreements, the value of the property, the debts of each person, etc. Unless a portion of the assets are separate property because they are pre-marital or from an inheritance, etc., equitable usually means equal. However, that does not mean that every asset must be divided in half. For example, if you want to remain in your marital home, the court may allow that, but require you to “buy out” your spouse, or pay your spouse his or her equitable portion of the home. You can also offset your spouse’s share in the home, for example, with your share in another asset such as a retirement plan.

If you were the spouse that was financially dependent on the other during the marriage, you may qualify for alimony. The purpose of alimony is to allow both spouses to maintain the standard of living that existed during the marriage. Obviously, because that money will now be split between two households, it may not be exactly the same standard of living, but the court will do its best to make it close. So, think about how much money in alimony you would need to be able to live as closely as possible to the marital standard of living. Alternatively, if you will be the spouse making the alimony payments, think about how much alimony you would be able to pay to your spouse while still maintaining the marital standard of living yourself.

Figuring out what you need financially for your new beginning will allow you to better prepare for it and may help you amicably resolve the matter without the need for litigation.

2.      Come up with a custody arrangement and parenting plan for your new start

If you and your spouse have children and you cannot agree on custody and a parenting time plan, you will inevitably have to either suggest a custody arrangement and parenting plan to the court, or one will be decided for you. If you and your spouse can come to an agreement about the parenting plan, including holiday parenting time, then the court will likely enforce it as long as it is in the best interests of the child.

So, try to come up with a parenting plan that you feel is appropriate for you and your spouse to follow. If your spouse agrees, you, your spouse, and your children will all be able to more comfortably spring into your new beginnings.

3.      Obtain a final judgment of divorce so you can officially spring into your new beginning

Once you have determined all of the things you need to start your new beginning, all that is left is to obtain your final judgment of divorce which will encompass all of the terms of your New Jersey divorce. This final judgment officially ends your marriage. With this ending, comes your new beginning.

While going through a New Jersey divorce is extremely emotional because it is the end of a marriage, it is also a time of new beginning, a time where you can start over and lead a happier life. Just like the springtime, the end of a marriage marks a new beginning and a new life for you and your family.

If you have any questions about your New Jersey divorce, please contact the experienced New Jersey divorce lawyers at Snyder & Sarno at (973) 274-5200.

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