Making the decision to file for divorce is often difficult; trying to navigate the divorce process by yourself is even more challenging. It’s in your best interest to consult a family attorney in Bergen County to help you through this trying time. Your divorce lawyer can handle your case with the sensitivity you need and the compassion you deserve. Be sure to bring a list of any questions you may have about divorce and child custody when you meet the divorce lawyer.
Filing for Divorce
Although New Jersey does not have an official process for legal separation, if you wish to seek a no-fault divorce you will have to remain separated from your spouse for 6 months and with no reasonable prospect for reconciliation. In some cases, a divorce lawyer may recommend filing for a fault-based divorce. There is no waiting period to file for divorce after an act of adultery is committed. Spouses must wait 12 months after a desertion occurs before filing and those who are filing on the basis of extreme cruelty must wait three months after the last act of cruelty.
Finalizing the Divorce
In some cases, the other spouse does not contest the divorce and the judge will typically issue a default judgment. However, if your spouse disagrees with a proposed divorce settlement regarding property division, child custody, and other issues, the divorce process can take a while. You and your spouse may meet with the divorce lawyers to try to reach a settlement agreement. Or you and your spouse may be referred to an Early Settlement Panel, which may help spouses reach agreements. It’s important to note that if you have grounds for divorce, your spouse cannot stop the divorce from proceeding.
Determining Child Custody
Parents may use mediation to agree to a child custody arrangement. As your child custody attorney can advise you, if you can your spouse cannot reach an agreement, the judge will consider many factors to determine which child custody arrangement is in the best interests of the child. The judge may award sole custody or joint custody, along with establishing a parenting time schedule.
If you have questions about child custody in your divorce, contact our law office today to schedule a free consultation. We work with divorce clients throughout northern NJ in Bergen County, Essex County, Passaic County and Hudson County.