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At What Point After Considering Divorce Should I Hire a Lawyer?

Divorce lawyer

If you are contemplating divorce, you may have a growing list of questions about what is involved in the process, including how much it will cost, how long it will take to finalize, and who will have custody of your children. It is a major decision that will impact your whole family. Whether you have decided to proceed with a divorce or are still considering the pros and cons of trying to make the marriage work, it is never too early to get some sound legal advice from an experienced divorce lawyer. Taking this step does not mean that you have decided to get a divorce. However, it will give you some clarity that will help you determine how you want to proceed.

What Are the Benefits of Hiring a Divorce Lawyer Before Filing?

It is a common misconception that hiring a divorce lawyer means that you have decided to file for divorce. However, working with a divorce lawyer early on will help you make the right decision, whether proceeding with a divorce or trying to address your issues and save your marriage. A lawyer will help you consider your options by providing the following legal advice:

  • Discuss the divorce law basics. You may have questions about the difference between divorce and separation, how issues like alimony, child support, and property division will be resolved, and the steps involved in the divorce process. Your divorce lawyer will address all of your questions and concerns so that you will better understand the process and make a more informed decision.
  • Explain the divorce timeline. One of clients’ most common questions is how long the divorce process will take. Understanding the timeline and how long each step of the process will likely take will help you decide whether to proceed with a divorce or focus on what brought you together in the first place.
  • Discuss the different divorce options. Depending on the nature of your divorce, several alternative dispute resolution (ADR) methods will be available, including collaborative divorce and mediation. If your relationship has become contentious, you may anticipate a high-conflict divorce, which will likely be more time-consuming and expensive.
  • Pre-divorce planning. A customized pre-divorce plan will ensure that you have a plan if you decide to divorce. Creating a pre-divorce plan has many benefits, including gathering critical legal documents, considering the best strategy for determining how and when to tell your spouse, and preparing the documents so that the necessary documents are ready if you decide to begin the process officially.

There are certain situations where it is in your best interest to hire a divorce lawyer before you officially file for divorce, including:

  • Your spouse has engaged in violent or abusive behavior towards you or your children.
  • You believe your spouse is lying or vindictive about essential issues.
  • There are complicated property or financial matters.
  • Your spouse has already hired a divorce lawyer.

Our Skilled Paramus Divorce Lawyers at TMO Law LLC Assist Clients at Every Stage of the Process

If you are considering getting a divorce but are still determining whether it is the right decision, contact our Paramus divorce lawyers at TMO Law LLC. We will address your questions and concerns. If you intend to file for divorce, we will protect your legal rights and pursue the best possible settlement outcome. To schedule a confidential consultation, call us today at 201-971-4866 or complete our online form. Located in Paramus, New Jersey, we serve clients in Bergen, Passaic, Morris, Essex, and Hudson Counties, and northern New Jersey.

What Is the Difference Between a Contested and Uncontested Divorce?

If you and your spouse are getting a divorce, you may wonder how long the process will take, how expensive it will be, and how you will resolve complex issues. Depending on the circumstances of your divorce and the issues that need to be resolved, the divorce process can take anywhere from several months to several years, and the legal fees will vary significantly.

If you and your spouse can agree on all key issues, you may seek an uncontested divorce, which is generally much less expensive and time-consuming than a contested divorce. Regardless of the type of divorce that you pursue, it is highly recommended that you contact an experienced lawyer who can help you navigate the process and negotiate the best possible settlement outcome.

What Is an Uncontested Divorce?

Most couples prefer an uncontested divorce since it is typically less expensive, time-consuming, and contentious. If you can resolve the key issues productively and respectfully, you may reach a mutually agreeable divorce settlement.

The process of an uncontested divorce generally involves the following:

  • One spouse hires a divorce lawyer to draft the documents.
  • Both spouses review the document and agree to all terms, including custody, child support, spousal support, and the division of assets and debts.
  • Mediation may occur.
  • A judge reviews the documents. If the judge approves the terms, they will sign the document.
  • Once approved, the final divorce decree is entered.

What Is a Contested Divorce?

Unfortunately, not all couples can agree on many issues that need to be resolved, in which case a judge must make the final decision. Several steps are involved in a contested divorce, making the process much more time-consuming and costly. The steps involved in a contested divorce may include the following:

  • Prepare and file the divorce documents.
  • The served spouse has 20 days to respond to the documents.
  • A case management conference (CMC) is scheduled, likely occurring approximately 90 days after the documents are filed.
  • Discovery is opened, where both divorce lawyers gather and present evidence for the trial. Both sides’ lawyers can request documents and hold depositions.
  • The case proceeds to a trial.
  • The judge makes a final ruling and enters a final decree.

Even uncontested divorces can be complex, so having an experienced divorce lawyer on your side is in your best interest. It is essential to have legal representation in a contested divorce since they are much more complicated and potentially contentious. A dedicated divorce lawyer will protect your legal rights, from filing the documents to representing you in court.

Our Skilled Paramus Divorce Lawyers at TMO Law LLC Help Clients Navigate the Divorce Process

If you and your spouse are getting a divorce, do not hesitate to contact our Paramus divorce lawyers at TMO Law LLC. Whether you are pursuing a contested or uncontested divorce, our dedicated legal team will help. To schedule a confidential consultation, call 201-971-4866 or contact us online. Located in Paramus, New Jersey, we serve clients in Bergen, Passaic, Morris, Essex, and Hudson counties, and northern New Jersey.

Should I Wait Until My Divorce Is Finalized Before Dating?

upset couple

The divorce process can take several months to a year or more to resolve, whether you are pursuing a fault-based or no-fault divorce. During this time, you may miss the companionship you had when you were married. However, while starting a new relationship may become increasingly more appealing, it could sometimes harm the outcome of your divorce. If you are getting a divorce and have questions or concerns about the implications of dating, contact an experienced divorce lawyer.

Even if you and your spouse are separated and living apart, the court may consider your new relationship as adultery. If your divorce is contentious, your spouse may seek additional spousal support, demand custody of your children, or make other unreasonable requests, arguing that you were unfaithful.

Tips for Dating Before a Divorce Is Finalized

You should keep some guidelines in mind as you navigate the divorce process.

  • DO be careful about how you communicate and interact with a new partner in front of your children. Do not rush to introduce them to a new partner, particularly when the relationship is new.
  • DO be honest with a new partner about your status. It is important that you are honest about your situation and that you are technically still married. Discuss any progress with your partner, and hold off on taking your relationship to the next level until your divorce has been finalized.
  • DO accept support from friends and family. As one relationship ends and another begins, it can be a lot to process. Discuss your thoughts and feelings about your current situation and the challenges associated with the divorce process with close friends and family.
  • DO NOT even consider dating until you and your spouse are physically separated. If you start dating while still living together in the same house, it can create a hostile living situation.
  • DO NOT date openly. This can cause your spouse to use this against you during divorce proceedings.
  • DO NOT start living with a new partner before your divorce is finalized. Moving in together while your divorce is still pending may be viewed unfavorably by the court and negatively impact your divorce settlement.

Our Bergen County Divorce Lawyers at TMO Law LLC Assist Clients With the Divorce Process

If you and your spouse have decided to get a divorce, contact our Bergen County divorce lawyers at TMO Law LLC. To schedule a confidential consultation, call us today at 201-971-4866 or complete our online form. Located in Paramus, New Jersey, we serve clients in Bergen, Passaic, Morris, Essex, and Hudson counties, and northern New Jersey.

How Do I Start My Divorce in New Jersey?

To initiate a divorce in New Jersey, one spouse must file a Complaint for Divorce with the court and officially serve the other spouse. To do so, the spouse must first determine how they want to handle divorce proceedings. The standard and most convenient approach is in which each spouse hires their own divorce lawyer to represent them and negotiate the terms of the settlement agreement. It is best to hire a divorce lawyer as soon as possible to start the process.

What Are the Grounds for Divorce in New Jersey?

In New Jersey, divorces are considered “no-fault” or “fault” based on the circumstances. When filing a divorce complaint, you must state a reason, legally referred to as grounds for divorce. Most divorces in New Jersey are uncontested, citing “irreconcilable differences.” If you choose this option, you are not required to disclose those differences.

Fault-based divorces must be based on one or more of the state’s legally recognized grounds. To divorce in New Jersey, you must first be eligible under the state’s requirements regarding residency and grounds for divorce.

Once served, the receiving spouse is given 35 days to respond to the divorce complaint, at which time they can file any disputes or counterclaims. The response must also include intentions regarding the division of assets and other issues to be addressed during divorce negotiations.

How Can a New Jersey Divorce Lawyer Help Me?

New Jersey does not require hiring lawyers during divorce proceedings, but it is always wise to consult one. Experienced divorce lawyers understand the system, can anticipate issues, and employ proven strategies that protect your rights and best interests. Working with our Bergen County divorce lawyers at TMO Law LLC will provide you with the following:

  • Less contention: Working with an experienced lawyer tends to lessen divorce proceedings’ emotional stress and contentiousness.
  • Extensive knowledge: An experienced divorce lawyer keenly understands New Jersey divorce law and judicial processes.
  • Negotiating and litigating skills: All issues must be dealt with until a mutual final agreement is reached, either between the couple themselves, each party’s attorney, or imposed by the court. An experienced divorce lawyer is skilled at negotiation and litigation should your case go to trial.
  • Rights protection: A lawyer’s primary objective during divorce is to advocate and protect your legal rights throughout the proceedings.
  • Quicker conclusion: The combined above also means that divorce proceedings may move forward more smoothly and quicker, saving you time, money, and stress.

How Long Does it Take to Divorce in New Jersey?

The length of time to divorce depends on the circumstances, type of divorce, the number of issues, and how quickly spouses can reach a final mutual agreement. The New Jersey legal system prefers divorces to be settled within one year, though they can be settled in less time. Divorces stemming from decades-long marriages and those with a high number of assets often exceed one year.

Our Skilled Bergen County Divorce Lawyers at TMO Law LLC Represent Clients Seeking Divorce

If you are considering divorce, our seasoned Bergen County divorce lawyers at TMO Law LLC will provide sound legal guidance and discuss your options. Call 201-971-4866 or contact us online to schedule a consultation. Located in Paramus, New Jersey, we serve clients in Bergen, Passaic, Morris, Essex, and Hudson counties, and northern New Jersey.