Are you considering a divorce in 2022? If so, you are not alone. Statistics show that divorce rates increase early in the year as many spouses decide to move forward with ending their marriage after the holiday season. If you are thinking about filing for divorce in the New Year, there are some steps you can take now to get ready for the process. Below are some tips from our New Jersey divorce lawyers.
1. Start Making Lists
When going through a divorce, it is important to make informed decisions. While this will involve discussing your legal options with a New Jersey divorce lawyer, it will also require careful consideration of information that you currently have in your possession.
For example, one of the key parts of any divorce is the division of marital assets. While there are some exceptions, in general, “marital assets” are those that are obtained during the marriage. Assets owned before the marriage are considered “separate” and are not subject to division in most cases. With this in mind, you can begin preparing lists of (i) your marital assets, (ii) your separate assets, and (iii) your spouse’s separate assets so that you know what is (and isn’t) on the table in your divorce.
2. Start Copying Your Important Records
Now is also an excellent time to start copying your important records. This includes things like deeds, mortgages, car titles and other financial documents. It will be helpful to have copies of these records in one place when going through your divorce, and you will need to have copies available to share with your New Jersey divorce lawyer as well.
3. Learn about Your Options
There are a few different ways to resolve a divorce in New Jersey. While going to trial before a judge is one option, it is an option that most spouses prefer to avoid. In most cases, divorcing spouses will be able to negotiate a settlement with the help of their attorneys. When spouses need help coming to terms on specific issues (as is often the case), mediation provides ways to resolve disagreements without asking a judge to render a decision.
4. Learn about the Law
While you can (and should) rely on your divorce lawyer to explain the law to you, it can be helpful to learn some of the basics before you get started. Here are some of our free resources on the critical components of a New Jersey divorce:
5. Start to Prioritize
New Jersey’s divorce laws focus on providing both spouses with a fair and equitable outcome. As a result, both spouses must be prepared to compromise. With this in mind, now is a good time to begin thinking about your priorities. You will want to think about questions such as:
- Do you want to continue living in your current home?
- What other marital assets are important to you for sentimental reasons?
- Do you want to prioritize protecting your retirement, investment accounts or other financial assets?
- How important will it be for you to obtain alimony (or minimize your liability for alimony)?
- What do you want from your child custody arrangement?
6. Think about Your Spouse’s Priorities
In addition to thinking about your priorities, it can be helpful to think about your spouse’s priorities as well. In particular, note any areas where your and your spouse’s priorities are likely to overlap. This will allow you (and your divorce lawyer) to begin thinking about how best to approach these potential conflicts during the divorce process.
7. Create a Post-Divorce Plan
What do you picture for your post-divorce life? Getting divorced provides a fresh start, but it can also be stressful—especially if you don’t have the financial resources you need. By thinking about your future, preparing a budget and thinking about your wants and needs, you can avoid overlooking important issues that may be difficult – if not impossible – to address after your divorce.
8. Avoid Mistakes that Could Complicate Your Divorce
When preparing to go through a divorce, there are some mistakes you need to avoid. For example, you should not try to hide assets from your spouse, and you should not badmouth your spouse on social media. In many respects, knowing what to do and what not to do are equally important, and you will need to be careful to avoid unintended mistakes that could complicate your divorce.
9. Talk to a New Jersey Divorce Lawyer
Given everything involved in preparing to go through a divorce, it is a good idea to speak with a lawyer as you start to navigate the process. An experienced New Jersey divorce lawyer can explain your options and provide personalized legal advice based on your unique family and financial circumstances. Your lawyer can also explain what you can expect as far as timing and potential outcomes and provide tips and strategies to help ensure that the process goes as smoothly and quickly as possible.
10. Don’t Overstress about the Divorce Process
Finally, while getting divorced is a major life event, it is important not to overstress about the divorce process. You can get through it, and a lawyer can help. If you start to feel overwhelmed, focus on taking one step at a time and don’t hesitate to contact your New Jersey divorce lawyer if you have questions or need advice along the way.
Speak with a New Jersey Divorce Lawyer in Confidence
If you are considering filing for divorce in 2022, we encourage you to contact us for a confidential consultation. A New Jersey divorce lawyer at Helmer, Conley & Kasselman, P.A. can explain everything you need to know and provide you with a roadmap for moving forward. To schedule an appointment in person or over the phone, give us a call at 877-435-6371 or tell us how to reach you online today.