Livingston Contested Divorce Lawyer
The end of your marriage may come with many considerations. You might have concerns about your children, living arrangements, financial support after the divorce, and division of property. In New Jersey, if you and your spouse disagree on any of these issues, your divorce is contested.
In a contested marital dissolution, a judge will listen to the evidence you present, apply the law, and resolve your marital issues by granting a divorce decree. If you are beginning this process, call a Livingston contested divorce lawyer to explain the New Jersey proceedings, prepare your case, and represent you in court.
Residency Requirements in Livingston and Grounds for Divorce
In New Jersey Statutes Annotated §2A:34-2, there are several grounds on which a spouse may file for divorce. These include adultery, extreme cruelty, addiction, desertion, separation, and irreconcilable differences, also known as a no-fault divorce.
Except for cases involving adultery, all these grounds require that one spouse has resided in New Jersey for at least a year before filing for divorce in the state. However, if one spouse has committed adultery, the other may file for divorce immediately. An experienced contested divorce lawyer in the area could explain each of these grounds and determine which one is most appropriate for a particular case.
Issues to Address in a Contested Divorce
If a couple cannot agree on how to resolve their marital disputes, a New Jersey court may consider a number of issues in a contested divorce. Some examples include:
- Child custody and support
- Alimony, also known as spousal support
- Health insurance
- Tax deductions and expenses
- Equitable division of marital property
- Legal fees
It is important that a judge understands the couple’s marital situation to effectively resolve these issues. A well-practiced attorney could present the relevant evidence at trial to represent a Livingston resident in their contested divorce.
Deciding Child Custody and Support
When determining a custody schedule, a judge will prioritize the children’s best interests over what either parent wants or needs. However, an attorney with experience in contested divorce cases could help ensure the judge has the information they need to properly decide custody.
Once custody is determined, the court will apply the parties’ incomes to the New Jersey child support guidelines and award one party child support. Legal counsel could play a crucial role in providing the court with the necessary financial information to make the correct calculations for the Livingston contested divorce case.
Dividing Property in Livingston
Couples often think that a court will divide their property equally in a divorce, but that is not always the case. New Jersey is an equitable division state, which means that a court must consider various factors to decide what is fair to each spouse. These factors include:
- The length of the marriage
- Each party’s debts
- The present value of the property
- Each party’s financial circumstances at the time of the property division
- The income, property, and nonmarital contributions each spouse brought to the marriage
- Each party’s contribution to acquiring marital property
A knowledgeable local attorney could further explain how these factors may apply in any contested divorce case.
Calculating Spousal Support
The purpose of spousal support in New Jersey is to enable both parties to have a similar standard of living after the divorce to what they had during the marriage. There are 14 different factors a judge must consider when deciding whether to grant support and, if so, how much. One of the essential considerations is each party’s income or earning potential after the divorce, and whether both spouses will be able to support themselves.
Reach Out to a Livingston Contested Divorce Attorney Today
If you and your spouse disagree on how to resolve your marital issues, your divorce case could proceed to trial. In court, a judge will listen to evidence about your marriage, children, and finances to decide your case. That outcome will impact your future and your family.
The skilled lawyers at the Williams Law Group have the knowledge, experience, and resources to guide you through a contested divorce. Our legal capabilities could help you avoid common divorce pitfalls and achieve the best possible resolution for you and your children. Contact a Livingston contested divorce lawyer today.