Getting divorced is a process that requires informed decision-making every step of the way. As a result, if you are contemplating a divorce in New Jersey, there are several steps you will want to take to prepare. The more effort you put into your preparations, the smoother the process is likely to go, and the more satisfied you are likely to be with the outcome of your divorce.
Every divorce is different, and, when preparing to end your marriage, it is important to rely on an experienced New Jersey divorce attorney’s advice. With that said, here is a general overview of the steps you can take to begin preparing for the divorce process:
1. Collect Your Financial Records
Your personal and family finances will play an important role in various aspects of the divorce process. Collect your income and tax records from the past few years, and collect copies of recent bills and statements pertaining to your mortgage, car loans, school loans, and any other debts as well.
2. Inventory Your Tangible Assets
Make a list of all of the tangible assets that you and your spouse own. This includes everything from real estate and vehicles to furniture and family photo albums. New Jersey law requires divorcing spouses to divide their marital assets “equitably,” while each spouse is entitled to retain his or her separate property.
3. Inventory Your Intangible Assets
In addition to creating an inventory of your tangible assets, you will need to create a list of your intangible assets as well. This includes bank accounts, retirement accounts, business ownership interests, cryptocurrency wallets, digital media libraries, and other assets that exist solely in the digital realm.
4. Learn about the Divorce Process
As we mentioned in the introduction, getting divorced is a process, and, as a divorcing spouse, it is important to have a clear understanding of what this process entails. For an overview of what you can expect as the process begins, you can read: How to File for Divorce.
5. Learn about the Options for Resolving Conflicts During Your Divorce
When it comes to resolving conflicts during the divorce process, spouses in New Jersey have a few different options. These options include negotiations, mediation, litigation and collaborative divorce.
6. Think about Your (and Your Spouse’s) Priorities
Neither spouse gets everything in a divorce, which means that both spouses need to be prepared to compromise. To ensure that you know when you are willing to compromise and when you aren’t, it is important to begin placing your priorities in line. Think about questions such as:
- Which of your marital assets are most important to you?
- Which assets are likely to hold the most sentimental value for your spouse?
- How important is it to you to obtain (or seek to avoid) alimony in your divorce?
7. Think about What is Best for Your Children
Finally, if you have children, you must also begin thinking about what is best for them. New Jersey law requires all custody decisions to be made in the “best interests” of the children involved. By applying New Jersey’s “best interests” factors to your personal and family circumstances, you can develop an effective strategy for securing the custody rights you desire.
Schedule an Initial Consultation with a New Jersey Divorce Lawyer at Helmer, Conley & Kasselman, P.A.
If you live in New Jersey and are contemplating a divorce, we encourage you to speak with one of our attorneys about the additional steps you can (and should) take to prepare. To schedule a confidential consultation at your convenience, call us at 877-435-6371 or request an appointment online today.