There is much more involved in getting a divorce than simply having the papers filed, approved and signed. Like it or not, ending a marriage is more than just a legality; your life is being separated from that of another person, and, in many cases, your entire identity is being torn apart. You may be responsible for helping your children cope, possibly moving from a home you have lived in for many years, changing jobs, changing financial status, and, essentially, beginning your life all over again.
Your ultimate goal will be to make your new life work for you both on an emotional and a practical level. Assuming both parties wanted the divorce, then it may be a bit easier to deal with, although still an emotional time. However, if one spouse wanted to end the marriage and the other absolutely did not, then the emotions can run even higher. You may feel angry, hurt, betrayed, taken advantage of, depressed, ambivalent, and unsure of which direction you should turn in order to get your life back on track.
The family law attorneys at the Williams Law Group have a deep understanding of the issues surrounding dissolving a marriage—both the legal issues and the emotional issues. While our first priority is to legally represent you and your best interests in the most beneficial way possible, we are also compassionate to the issues you are facing now and will face in the future. Your concerns are our concerns, and our ultimate goal is to get you through this difficult time and back on track to your future in the most expeditious manner. So, while dissolving a marriage is tough, there are things you can do to make it easier, and one of those things is choosing an experienced Short Hills divorce lawyer from the Williams Law Group.
How Our Attorneys in Short Hills Can Help You Through Your Divorce
Our professional, knowledgeable team of attorneys are dedicated to getting each and every client through their divorce in Short Hills—you are important to us, and when we consult with you, we really listen, and we keep you fully informed throughout the process. At the Williams Law Group, we offer a comprehensive range of divorce-related services, including:
Determining business valuations and divisions
Performing complex asset, debt, and equity division
Calculating and obtaining alimony and spousal support
Obtaining protective orders or other temporary orders
Filing legal pleadings, including petitions and motions
Identifying and tracing all marital assets
Obtaining and enforcing child support orders
Creating parenting plans
Putting together a workable child custody agreement
Participating in mediation, arbitration and informal settlements (Alternative Dispute Resolution)
Seeking post-judgment modification of child custody
Seeking post-judgment enforcement of child visitation orders
Seeking post-judgment modification and enforcement of spousal support and child support
What is Alternative Dispute Resolution?
More and more, divorcing couples are using some type of Alternative Dispute Resolution, whether mediation, arbitration or types of informal settlements. Appearing in court, before a judge, can produce anxiety, stress, and even fear. You may have to testify about deeply personal matters, defending yourself against questions from the opposing attorney. When you are not testifying, you must sit calmly, even when your ex and witnesses are saying things about you which simply are not true—disparaging, anger-inducing things. You may be worried about the financial impact of the trial as well. Before your case goes to trial, you may be ordered to attempt some form of Alternative Dispute Resolution. In short, Alternative Dispute Resolution is some form of conference between you, your ex and a professional mediator or arbitrator, with a goal of reaching mutually agreeable decisions, while avoiding a trial.
Arbitration is procedurally similar to a trial, however during arbitration, an objective third party (typically, an experienced family law attorney or a retired family law judge) hears the case. In a divorce arbitration, the rules of evidence must be followed, presenting evidence through exhibits and witnesses. The arbitrator will make a binding decision on the case—unless non-binding arbitration is chosen, in which case the parties can appeal the decision to the trial court. You may wonder why you would bother with arbitration, when it is so similar to a trial. Unfortunately, court dockets tend to have significant backlogs, meaning your trial could be delayed for as long as a year. Arbitration, on the other hand, usually happens quickly, saving you time and money. Our experienced attorneys in Short Hills could help you through alternative dispute resolution during your divorce.
Ending a Marriage with Mediation
Mediation is another form of Alternative Dispute Resolution, however, unlike arbitration, the process is not as formal. The parties meet at a neutral location—in separate rooms—during mediation, and a certified mediator identifies the issues to be resolved. The mediator will go back and forth between the two parties, determining which issues can be readily agreed-upon, and which will require more time. Like an arbitrator, the mediator is a trained, neutral third party, who makes no decisions about the outcome of the issues, rather listens to the arguments from both sides, guiding the parties toward compromise, when possible.
Mediation tends to be more successful in divorces which are not highly contentious—when there is at least some common ground. A mediated agreement finalizes the divorce, while avoiding the expense and trauma of a trial. Before you agree to mediation, you must discuss the issue with your attorney, determining whether there is sufficient common ground between you and your spouse to make mediation successful. To save time for all those involved, you must tell your attorney exactly what issues you will not budge on, and which issues you could compromise on.
Speak with Our Short Hills Divorce Attorneys
At the Williams Law Group, we will be with you from the start of your divorce to the very end and beyond. If you later find that modifications are necessary, we will be right there to assist you in reaching modifications everyone involved can live with. Our team of attorneys understands that there are times when you may want the end of your marriage and custody issues to remain private, and we will work with you to help you avoid public disclosure of sensitive documents. We will ensure your legal rights are consistently protected, creating the best legal strategy for your situation, while maintaining your privacy.
Whether the dissolution of your marriage is shaping up to be contentious, simple, or you are dealing with a high net-worth divorce, we have the skills and knowledge you need. If you are interested in Alternative Dispute Resolution, or a collaborative divorce, our attorneys can guide you through the process. If you are having issues with child custody, child support or alimony, our attorneys will help you reach an equitable agreement. No matter what issue you face during the end of your marriage, our Short Hills divorce lawyers can help.