Shattering Myths About Divorce in New Jersey By New Jersey Divorce Lawyer and Family Law Attorney Santo V. Artusa, Jr., Esq

More Than 10 Myths About Divorce in New Jersey

In my ten years as a New Jersey divorce lawyer, I've seen much, fought much and have explained a ton to people seeking to file for divorce that have heard many myths about filing for divorce in New Jersey. These below are true in Hudson County Family Court, Essex County Family Court, Union County Family Court and everywhere else in New Jersey. I will go over many of these myths so that you can have a better understanding about your rights. So here we go, More than 10 Myths About Divorce in Nj and NJ divorce laws.

My Case Is Not Contested Because We Both Want A Divorce. Wrong. It is common that both parties want a divorce, that is not the issue. What makes a divorce case contested in New Jersey is when there are outstanding legal issues in dispute such as: 

  1. Alimony
  2. Child Support In NJ
  3. Parenting Time
  4. Equitable Distribution/Division of Assets
  5. Legal Custody and Residential Custody of Children
  6. Lawyer/Counsel Fees

Spouse Committed Adultery. If my spouse cheated on me, he or she cannot obtain alimony from me.

Men Always Pay Alimony in New Jersey. Negative. A man or a woman can be ordered to pay alimony. The idea that men cannot get alimony is not true and is not accurate. It has more to do with who earns more or can earn more than the other. Sex has nothing to do with an alimony decision.

Must Live Apart to File for Divorce in NJ. You do not have to live apart before the divorce is filed or even after the divorce is filed. This is not a requirement.

Women Always Win Custody of the Children. Not true. It is not true that mothers always get custody of the kids or that family court favors women. Both men and women can obtain residential and legal custody of the children. I know personally because I've represented many men in obtaining custody. The old idea that a man cannot get custody of a child is simply wrong. This is not the 1950s where women only could raise a child. Men and Women Are Equal.

A Man Has to Pay a Woman's Lawyer Fees. Again, men and women are equal. If one party earns alot more than the other, a New Jersey Family Court Judge could order lawyer fees to be paid sometime during the case or at the end. It is not automatic that one party pays the other party's lawyer fees.

The Divorce Process in New Jersey takes 2 years to complete. A divorce in New Jersey can take as little as 30 days but the goal to complete a contested case is 1 year or less.

A Parenting Time Plan For a Non-Custodial Parent Must Be Every Other Weekend. A parenting plan can be what you want it to be or a Judge can order a specific schedule. It should be know that the New Jersey Family Courts want each parent to have substantial parenting time and in many cases, equal parenting time.

Sole Custody of the Children Means I Cannot See My Children. False. Legal custody has nothing to with parenting time in New Jersey.

I signed a prenuptial agreement so I am stuck with that right? Under certain circumstances you can fight a prenuptial agreement when it can be shown you were under duress to sign or maybe did not understand the terms and for other possible reasons. However, it is not easy to "undo" a prenuptial agreement in New Jersey.

You have to be married ten years to obtain alimony in New Jersey. False. You do not need to be married a certain amount of time to obtain alimony in New Jersey. Obviously the longer the marriage the longer period of time you may get alimony.

Women Do Not Have to Pay Child Support. Wrong. Just like men, if a man has custody, mom has to pay child support in New Jersey.

If I do not work, I don't have to pay the alimony or child support that was ordered. Wrong. If you have a significant change in circumstances, you may be able to change the order but that is not was automatic or even guaranteed.

If the mother does not let me see the children, I do not have to pay child support. Wrong. You still have to pay. If the mother or father refuse visits, go back to court to enforce your parental rights.

I have to get a court order to relocate with my child out of State. No you don't. If the other parent agrees you do not need an order. You should get that in email at the very least.

I am not a rich person so I do not need a prenuptial agreement. False. You may not have wealth now but you may in the future. Even if you do not obtain wealth, setting the terms of a future divorce make sense. It is like insurance for your divorce.

I cannot obtain a divorce if my spouse does not sign. False. Signing makes it faster but we do not need a signature. Your spouse can be served with the papers but not by you.

I can't find my husband/wife so I cannot get a divorce. False. We can obtain a divorce for you with other methods.

I was served divorce papers so I can get a free lawyer. False. You are not entitled to a free lawyer for divorce cases in New Jersey.

I was married in India so I can't file a divorce in New Jersey. False. If you lived in NJ for 1 year of more, you can file here.

If my spouse moves into my premarital home, he or she can get half in a divorce. That depends on facts but simply moving in and not paying anything or even if paying does not mean he or she is entitled to half of a premarital property.

So there you have it I gave you more than 10 as I promised and I keep my promises. If you have other New Jersey Divorce related questions or seek a consultation, contact my New Jersey Divorce Lawyer Team on 973-337-9643.

Santo V. Artusa, Jr.

Santo V. Artusa, Jr.

Since 2009, Mr. Artusa has dedicated his career to representing clients in and near Jersey City in family law and criminal cases. He is a skilled negotiator and litigator who has received a range of prestigious recognitions, including:

  • The National Trial Lawyers Top 100
  • Avvo 10.0 Superb Rating
  • Client Distinction Award 2015

For more information about our legal services, contact our office online or call (973) 337-9643 today.

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