Will my Grounds for Divorce Impact the Terms of my Divorce Settlement?
New Jersey divorce law can be quite confusing. As part of the divorce process, couples or individuals must decide to file a no fault or fault divorce, which allows both parties to state the reasons they are filing for divorce, otherwise known as the grounds for divorce. For no fault divorce, grounds for divorce will not “fault” one spouse or another, and must cite either an existing separation or irreconcilable differences. Fault based divorce, however, must be filed based on the wrongful actions of a spouse including adultery, fraud, drug abuse, and so on.
Today, our contested divorce attorney will discuss how different grounds for divorce may have different outcomes for our clients when it comes to alimony, child custody, child support, and division of marital assets.
Union County, NJ Grounds for Divorce Lawyer Discusses Impact on Alimony Settlements
Amongst the many terms of your potential divorce agreement, the issue most directly impacted by your grounds for divorce will likely be alimony. An experienced Union County grounds for divorce lawyer should be able to successfully argue that the wrongful actions of the at fault spouse should entitle the “innocent” spouse to larger alimony payments or be responsible for lower owed payments.
Alimony payments are considered on a case-by-case basis even more so than other divorce disputes. Alimony is meant to give a former spouse access to the necessary financial support which they need or to which they are accustomed. New Jersey judges will often consider the grounds for divorce when determining fair alimony terms.
Elizabeth Contested Divorce Attorney Considers Disputes with Children
There are two fundamental disputes which occur between divorcing spouses when it comes to children:
Child Custody – New Jersey child custody refers to both physical (residential) custody and legal custody. Physical custody determines where a child will spend his or her time and legal custody determines which co-parent(s) have a say in major decisions regarding the child’s healthcare, education, and so forth. Grounds for divorce will not be a factor in child custody proceedings unless the grounds for divorce include activities which could be harmful to a child such as domestic violence or substance abuse.
Child Support – similar to child custody, child support will be considered based on the best interests of the child, not of the parents. Therefore, grounds for divorce will have little to no impact on child support calculations during divorce.
Does my Grounds for Divorce Have an Effect on Equitable Distribution of Marital Assets?
Choosing to pursue a contested or uncontested divorce will not have a material impact on the equitable distribution of your marital assets. The courts view equitable distribution as a fair financial division of assets and debts, and the concepts of fault and misconduct do not generally hold any weight.
However, there are cases where wrongdoing by a spouse may lead to a different outcome. Some individuals going through divorce willfully commit financial fraud in order to conceal, withhold, or otherwise misrepresent their financial assets. If you are able to prove that your spouse committed any such act, your divorce settlement may be adjusted in terms of the equitable distribution of your assets and also for your awarded or owed alimony.
Contact a Linden Contested and Uncontested Divorce Attorney Today
Linden contested and uncontested divorce attorney Edward S. Cooper has extensive experience serving local Union County clients from towns across Linden, Westfield, Elizabeth, Plainfield, Union, Scotch Plains, and all of Northern New Jersey. During a career spanning back to 1989, Attorney Cooper is proud to have served on the Early Settlement Panel for family law and divorce matters. Our firm is dedicated to providing client-centric legal solutions, striving to reach the best possible outcome that meets the unique needs and concerns of our clients and their families.