Divorce and When To Leave the House. The question comes up often, when can I leave the house if I am considering a divorce. Does that mean that I have abandoned the house. What if I have children, can I leave with the children. These are all very good questions, that are often fact dependent. Regardless, often, there is no problem with a party leaving the marital residence prior to a divorce becoming finalized, but it can be dependent on whether or not the status quo bills for the parties marital residence, spousal support and child support are being paid. If there is a an issue of domestic violence that must be taken into account as to whether or not a party must leave the marital residence. Call us if you have questions regarding these issues.
Green & Associates, LLC Blog
It is often around the holiday season that tensions among families can be exacerbated or revealed. Divorced clients generally go one of two ways as regards what to do during the holiday season, they either choose to shield children or spouses of what their intentions are regarding the future of the marriage, or they choose to reveal how they have been feeling, often for a very long time. I have often recommended that clients see a therapist to determine what is best in their situation and what is in the best interest of their children. If you are considering a divorce and just don't know what to do as regards telling your family, you may wish to obtain support from others that can help you through this difficult decision.
If you have an amicable divorce where the parties are uncontested in the terms of the divorce, you may be able to put through an uncontested divorce where you file a property settlement agreement with the course with all the terms of your divorce when you put through your uncontested divorce. A property settlement agreement with terms regarding child custody, child support, alimony, equitable distribution of property such as real estate, retirement accounts such as 401ks, IRAs, annuities, pensions, may all be dealt with in an uncontested divorce. If you have a contested divorce, which litigates in the beginning, ultimately, unless you go to trial, you will settle with an agreement that contains all the terms of your divorce. In those cases where you can put through an uncontested divorce, we can offer you flat fees and we encourage you to ask us about our flat fees for an uncontested divorce.
There are times during a divorce where the parties and their attorneys may wish to meet outside the context of the Courthouse or outside the court ordered processes such as early settlement panel, economic mediation, case management conferences, intensive settlement conferences and pre-trial conferences. With the right parties, much may be accomplished with a direct meeting between the parties and their counsel. Often in that scenario, the parties are relatively amicable, are seeking to reduce litigation costs and are close to terms but need some ironing out that is better suited to a direct meeting as opposed to the traditional back and forth negotiations between attorneys.
There are times when a best interest evaluation is necessary regarding the parties custody and parenting time and the children at issue. When the parties cannot agree on custody and parenting time, an expert, generally a psychologist is retained to interview both parties and the children to determine whether or not custody should be primarily with one parent or the other and what type of parenting time the other party should receive with the children. Generally, the expert will interview the parties and the children to render an opinion in a report that the court may rely on to determine what is in the best interests of the children.
Pensions and QDROs, Qualified Domestic Relations Orders and the Distribution of Pension Benefits to Alternate Payees and Survivorship Rights
Pensions must generally be split 50/50 for the asset that accrued during the marital period, from the date of the marriage to the date of the divorce complaint filing. They are generally split via a QDRO or Qualified Domestic Relations Order, an order executed by the Court that is then sent to the plan directing them to split the pension based on the marital period. QDROs may be drafted by a service or some plans have their own QDRO. Every plan has its own terms as well that allow for certain distributions and disallow others. For example, generally, a party that is the alternate payee or the party who is receiving a distribution from the pension from the other spouse, should seek survivorship rights.
In the State of New Jersey, generally, adultery does not create an award for the other party. They do not receive more or less in equitable distribution or alimony as a result. Public policy was generally not to judge as to why adultery occurred in a marriage, so as a result, the outcome of a divorce, based on adultery as a cause of action, is not supposed to be affected by it, regardless of whether or not the adultery itself caused the dissolution of the marriage. So, is it then necessary to plead a cause of action for adultery at all, its a good question. If you do plead adultery, you are supposed to name and serve the party that you are naming as the one who committed adultery with your spouse. An alternative way to plead adultery is to simply include it in a cause of action of extreme cruelty.
Child support in New Jersey is generally based on the New Jersey Child Support Guidelines which in turn are based on income and overnights. If both parties in a two week period of time, where there are 14 overnights, share those overnights with the children, 7 nights for each, then generally that would be a shared physical custody parenting arrangement. If both parties made comparable income as well, then in all likelihood little or no child support would be paid by either party. However, if one party had more overnights than the other, in an instance where they are the parent of primary residence and the other party is the parent of alternate residence, then that party would more likely receive child support. In addition, if the one party made more income than the other, it is more likely that the party making more in income would be paying child support.
Last Minute Changes to a Property or Matrimonial Settlement Agreement by Divorce Lawyers in Family Law Cases - The Process
It is not at all unusual for parties to make last minute changes to their Property or Matrimonial Settlement Agreement. Generally, upon the parties agreeing upon all the terms of their divorce in the form of an agreement, the parties' divorce attorneys or divorce lawyers or family lawyers will contact the court to schedule the put through of an uncontested divorce. However, between that time and arriving at court, and sometimes upon arrival at court, the parties may have decided to change the agreement. Provided they have not yet signed off on the agreement, one party or the other may wish to write into the agreement a change. At the uncontested hearing, both parties will receive a copy of the fully executed agreement and a copy of the Final Judgment of Divorce which has been entered by the Court. In New Jersey, the parties receive a gold seal on their Judgment of Divorce with the signature of the court.
Landing in Default in a Divorce, What You Need to Avoid if the Terms of a Notice of Proposed Judgment of Divorce are Against You
I have had many clients choose to play passive aggressive when it comes to a divorce, only to find that they are in default and the other party can name their own terms as to child support, child custody, alimony, equitable distribution of real estate and distribution of retirement accounts. If you are served with a complaint for divorce it is important that you answer or put in an appearance or you will be in default within 35 days of being served and the other party may go forward without you. At that point, prior to the divorce going through, it will be necessary for you to vacate default of the divorce complaint and object to any terms that may have been served upon you in a Notice of Proposed Judgment of Divorce.