Divorce Lawyer Englewood Cliffs, NJ
Divorce Lawyer Englewood Cliffs, NJ
If you and your spouse are getting a divorce, you should speak to a divorce lawyer Englewood Cliffs, NJ residents trust. Getting divorced is a difficult process, and you want someone with knowledge and experience standing by your side. Your lawyer will guide you through the process and protect your legal rights.
Five Questions to Ask Yourself When Setting Divorce-Related Goals
Now that it has become clear that your marriage is ending, it’s time to connect with a divorce lawyer Englewood Cliffs, NJ residents trust so that you can clarify your divorce-related goals. Depending upon how you’re feeling about the circumstances of your divorce, the idea of scheduling a consultation with Lesnevich, Marzano-Lesnevich, O’Cathain & O’Cathain, LLC about how to approach the process of legally dissolving your marriage can feel overwhelming, to say the least. Please understand that our decades of combined experience representing the interests of people in the community has prepared us to assist you effectively, no matter how overwhelmed you may feel at the moment.
One: What Do You Want Most from Your Property Division Settlement?
Sometimes, it can be easier to focus on property and other intangible aspects of life then it is to process your emotions. You can use this reality to your benefit in that you can make some headway on the property aspects of your divorce if you are not yet ready to deal with all of the emotional realities you are facing. Start by thinking about what you want most from your divorce settlement. Do you really want to keep your house? Do you want to start fresh with the majority of your financial assets in your back pocket but little of your physical property? Answering these questions will help us to understand how best to tailor a strategy for your divorce process.
Two: Where Are You Willing to Compromise?
To achieve your goals, you’ll need to focus. The court will likely insist upon the division of your marital property in a roughly 50% to 50% split. This means that no matter how frustrated you may be at your ex right now, you can’t “win it all” in the divorce. Therefore, you will need to think about where you were willing to compromise so that you have some leverage to work with when trying to achieve what you really want.
Three: Are You Hoping to Keep Your Process Amicable?
If you’re trying to resolve your divorce without judicial intervention, our Englewood Cliffs divorce lawyer team can help you to achieve that goal. You may benefit from mediation, attorney-led negotiation, or a supported style of direct negotiation with your spouse. Or, you could benefit from a hybrid approach. Just know that if you want to keep your fate out of the hands of a judge, we will do our utmost to help you reach a resolution before going to court becomes your only viable option.
Four: How Can You Keep Costs Low?
Generally speaking, the more hours that our team needs to invest in your case, the higher your legal fees will be. This means that if you and your spouse are able to reach an agreement outside of a traditional contentious courtroom battle, you will be in a strong position to keep your legal fees low.
Five: What if You’re Unsure of What Approach to Take?
If you’ve not sure about what your goals are or what they “should” be, connect with the experienced and compassionate legal team at Lesnevich, Marzano-Lesnevich, O’Cathain & O’Cathain, LLC for personalized guidance and assistance. Sometimes, discussing your needs, priorities, and circumstances with a knowledgeable Englewood Cliffs divorce lawyer can provide clarity and give you a strong sense of which way forward will help you to navigate a major life transition successfully. We are proud to represent the interests of ind
Common Financial Mistakes to Avoid in Divorce
Here are some common financial pitfalls that could negatively affect you after your divorce.
- Underestimating Your Expenses: Once you get divorced, you won’t be able to depend on two incomes anymore. That means you will likely have to make adjustments to your budget to make ends meet. Make a list of your expenses and see what you can realistically cut out. For example, you consider slashing your cable bills or reducing the number of times you eat out at restaurants.
- Failing to Plan for Your Future: Without a second income to rely on, you have to give serious thought to your financial future. If your spouse was the breadwinner and you stayed home, now may be the time to go back to school or learn a new skill. This way, you will be more likely to get a good-paying job and support yourself.
- Not Getting Insurance for Alimony and Child Support: If you will be the one to receive alimony or child support, you should encourage your spouse to obtain insurance for it. This way, if he or she dies unexpectedly, you will still receive those payments and not have to worry about struggling with bills.
- Keeping Your Home When You Can’t Affordable: Understandably, you may want to remain in your family home. You raised your children in it and hold an emotional attachment to it. However, you have to remember that you will be solely responsible for the mortgage, property taxes, and maintenance. If you can’t afford that on your salary, it may be a better option to sell your family home and move into a place you can afford.
- Keeping Joint Accounts Open: Another mistake a divorce lawyer in Englewood Cliffs, NJ has seen people make is keeping joint financial accounts with their exes. If your ex ends up racking up charges, you will also be responsible for paying them. To avoid this hassle, remove your ex’s name from your accounts as soon as possible.
- Purchasing Expensive Items: A divorce is an emotionally draining process, so some people make big purchases afterward to make themselves feel better. While a new outfit or manicure isn’t that big of a deal, spending thousands of dollars could put you in financial turmoil. While a new car might make you feel better initially, it could put you in debt.
What You Should Do If a Divorce is Imminent
If you believe that a divorce is inevitable, then here are some things to consider before filing for a divorce:
- Consult an Attorney: Schedule a consultation with a divorce lawyer Englewood Cliffs, NJ to better understand your legal rights and responsibilities. They will let you know what you should and shouldn’t do before filing a divorce or during a separation that won’t result in legal decisions later on when the divorce process is occurring.
- Copy Documents: You should go through your household files and make copies of everything you can find including tax returns, bank statements, check registers, investment statements, retirement account statements, employee benefits handbooks, life insurance policies, mortgage documents, financial statements, credit card statements, wills, Social Security statements, automobile titles. If it has anything to do with your household and financial information it would be best to make copies of the documents.
- Take Inventory on Household and Family Possessions: Make a list of major items in your household like furniture, artworks, jewelry, appliances, automobiles, etc. Make sure that you include items that may be in storage or safety deposit boxes.
- Understand the Household Budget and Expenses: If you are unfamiliar with expenses in your household, go through your check register for the past year and write down each utility, mortgage, and other household expense in a month. Keep track of the cash that you spend daily so you can account for your monthly cash expenditures.
- Determine How to Manage the Family Debt: Figure out the level of family debt there is. If possible, consider paying it down before divorce. Marital debt is one of the most difficult items to negotiate among divorcing spouses.
- Find Out How Much Your Spouse Earns: If your spouse earns a regular salary, then take a look at their pay stub to better understand how much that is. If your spouse is self-employed, owns a business, or receives any income in cash, then you should do your best at keeping track of the money flow that is coming in for a few months.
- Examine Your Credit History: If you don’t have any credit cards in your name then you should consider applying for them now and then using them so that you can establish your credit history. You should try to improve your credit rating before divorcing.
- Build a “Nest Egg” Of Your Own: Start saving money before divorcing just in case there is an incidence where your spouse moves out and stops paying bills. If you are the one filing the divorce then you will be the one paying the retainer for legal assistance so it would be best to start saving as soon as you can.
- If You Have Kids, Put Them First: Try and keep your children’s routines as close to normal as possible. If you are unable to be around your spouse without arguing then you should consider creating a schedule for separate times for each of you to be with the children. Do not talk badly about your spouse to your children as that can put a strain on your children’s relationship with you and your spouse.
Contact a divorce lawyer in Englewood Cliffs, NJ from Lesnevich, Marzano-Lesnevich, O’Cathain & O’Cathain, LLC today.
Five Common Divorce Questions
Once you have made the decision to proceed with divorce, likely the best thing you can do is consult with a divorce lawyer Englewood Cliffs, NJ residents trust. While you consider scheduling a consultation, here are five commonly asked questions about divorce.
- Should I file for divorce first? It usually does not matter much which spouse files for divorce first. It might give the spouse that files some ability to control the speed of divorce proceedings initially. It may matter who files first if spouses live in different states and there is a reason a certain state would be better for your case. Consulting an Englewood Cliffs divorce lawyer can help you determine if it would be beneficial for you to file first. In the end, even if you did not file first, it likely will not harm your case and your divorce lawyer will be able to advise you on the next steps.
- How much does a divorce cost? The cost of divorce is hugely different based on many factors. Obviously, uncontested divorces tend to be cheaper and may cost as little as $1,500. Contested divorces are usually more expensive, sometimes costing tens of thousands of dollars, but the range varies significantly depending on the amount of time spent on your case. No matter what kind of divorce you think you will have, it’s best to get an estimate from your Englewood Cliffs divorce lawyer before you begin the process.
- I am separated, but my spouse continues to come back to the house. Is this legal? While it is understandable you want space from your estranged spouse while you are starting to think about life post-marriage, in most cases you cannot force them to leave the shared residence (or bar them from entering). Often you will be able to separate your living situation after a Temporary Orders Hearing, where the court can decide who should continue living at the previously shared residence. Obviously, if there is a safety concern prior to the hearing, you can and should file for protection from abuse, in which case you and your spouse will not be allowed to cohabitate during the proceedings.
- How is retirement divided in divorce? Retirement savings can be a source of serious concern, especially if one spouse was not working outside the home. Not to worry, New Jersey treats retirement savings like any other shared asset and will divide it between the spouses. This can get tricky, however, because retirement earnings are divided based on the amount earned during the marriage. So, if you and your spouse were together prior to the marriage and one of you was being supported by the other, earnings during this period may not be divided.
- How long do I have to be separated before I can file for divorce? The state of New Jersey requires that both parties be separated for 18 months before filing for divorce, assuming the divorce is a no-fault divorce. If you are considering filing for a fault-based divorce, there is no waiting period, but there are certain criteria that must be met to consider the divorce at fault. To be considered “at fault” one partner must be struggling with drug or alcohol addiction, have committed adultery, been sent to prison or deserted the spouse filing for divorce.
If you are considering divorce, Contact Lesnevich, Marzano-Lesnevich, O’Cathain & O’Cathain, LLC today for a consultation and get your questions answered.