Divorce papers

Toms River Divorce Lawyers

The divorce process can be complex, and having experienced and compassionate advocates on your side is crucial to protecting your best interests and legal rights. Our knowledgeable and experienced Toms River divorce lawyers at Zeigler Law Group, LLC understand the challenges you are facing during this time and will provide the objective legal advice and guidance you need.

What Types of Divorce Matters Does Zeigler Law Group, LLC Handle?

Our Toms River divorce lawyers at Zeigler Law Group, LLC represent clients in a range of legal matters, including but not limited to the following:

  • Child Custody
  • Child Support
  • Divorce
  • Equitable Distribution
  • Family Law
  • Grandparent Visitation Rights
  • High-Asset Divorce
  • Mediation
  • Spousal Support
  • Surrogacy Law
  • Reproductive Law
  • Taxation Law
  • Visitation Agreements

What Are the Legal Grounds for Divorce in New Jersey?

New Jersey recognizes two types of divorce – “fault” or “no-fault,” each with different requirements. When filing, you must provide a reason for divorcing, legally referred to as “grounds.” Most New Jersey couples file for no-fault divorces, also referred to as an “uncontested” divorce, based on the grounds of “irreconcilable differences.” However, you are not required to disclose any reasons for the dissolution of the marriage when citing irreconcilable differences.

To file for divorce in New Jersey, you must meet the following requirements:

  • One or both spouses must have resided in New Jersey for at least 12 consecutive months before filing.
  • One or both spouses must have experienced irreconcilable differences for at least six months prior to filing.
  • One or both spouses are certain that reconciliation is not possible.

If you have specific reasons for divorcing, such as domestic violence or adultery, you may consider filing a fault-based divorce. New Jersey’s legal grounds for fault-based divorces include:

  • Abandonment or desertion
  • Adultery
  • Alcohol or drug addiction
  • Deviant sexual behavior
  • Domestic violence or mental abuse
  • Incarceration
  • Institutionalization

Fault-based divorces can be challenging to prove. You will be responsible for having evidence that supports your stated grounds. Gathering evidence proving your claims can be quite difficult to acquire on your own. It is crucial in fault-based divorces to hire an experienced lawyer who understands the system, the complexities of each ground, and the information necessary to establish proof. A skilled divorce lawyer typically has a network of trustworthy and experienced investigators and experts to help gather the necessary evidence the courts require.

How Long Does it Take to Get a Divorce in New Jersey?

Many divorces in New Jersey are completed within a few months to one year, depending on the circumstances, how quickly agreements are reached, and the amount of assets and marital property. Long-lasting marriages and high-asset divorces are often much longer, extending beyond a year.

How Does the Divorce Process Work in New Jersey?

Divorces are complex, and numerous matters must be addressed and agreed upon to dissolve a marriage, such as:

  • Child custody
  • Child support
  • Division of marital property and debts
  • Distribution of retirement funds or pension plans
  • Spousal support
  • Visitation agreements
  • Any other relevant legal matters

Per New Jersey law, you must follow specific legal requirements and processes when divorcing. Though each divorce is unique, the process typically includes the following:

  • File the divorce petition: One spouse will file the divorce petition with the court, listing names, addresses, marriage dates, grounds for divorce, and more.
  • Spouse response: Once served, the receiving spouse has 35 days to officially respond, dispute the claims, or file a counterclaim against the filing spouse.
  • Discovery period: Discovery is the longest part of the divorce process. Both spouses must provide all financial information, including income, assets and debts, marital and personal property, investments, taxes, etc.
  • Negotiate an agreement: Once each party has disclosed all required information, negotiations begin regarding the division of property and assets, child custody and support, alimony, visitation, and all other issues requiring mutual agreement. If you reach a settlement agreement before or after filing for divorce and have no need to negotiate, the agreement can be filed for the court to review and rule.
  • Mediation process: If negotiations fail, the court may order mediation to reach an agreement.
  • Settlement conference: If mediation fails, the court may order an Intensive Settlement Conference as a last-ditch effort to avoid trial.
  • Court trial: If all attempts to reach an agreement fail, the case will go to trial, and the court will determine and rule on a settlement agreement.

How Is Marital Property Divided in a Divorce?

New Jersey is an equitable distribution state. Marital property will be divided in a manner that the court deems fair but not necessarily equal. Marital property refers to all assets and debts jointly acquired during marriage, such as the following:

  • Bank accounts
  • Businesses and business interests
  • Credit card debt
  • Fine art
  • Loans and lines of credit
  • Outstanding debts
  • Real estate
  • Retirement or pension funds
  • Stocks and other investments
  • Vehicles and boats

Determining the division of marital property is a complex and lengthy process, particularly in high-asset divorces with wealth exceeding $1 million. All marital property must be located and valued to determine how it will be distributed. During the process, the court considers numerous factors to determine a fair distribution of property, such as the following:

  • Length of the marriage
  • Each spouse’s age and health
  • Each spouse’s income and future earning ability
  • Marital standard of living
  • Each spouse’s economic circumstances
  • Value of marital assets
  • Assets both spouses contributed to the marriage
  • Prenuptial or postnuptial agreement requirements
  • Any other relevant factors

Individually owned personal property each spouse acquired before or during the marriage is typically not considered marital property and is exempt from division. However, commingled assets are generally considered marital property and may be subject to division between the spouses.

How Can a Toms River Divorce Lawyer Help Me?

Divorce can become contentious quickly, even those that are initially amicable. Hiring an experienced divorce lawyer provides you with the guidance, valuable advice, and support you need while protecting your best interests and legal rights. When you hire Zeigler Law Group, LLC, a Toms River divorce lawyer will do the following:

  • Determine grounds for divorce.
  • Prepare and file all legally required documents.
  • Help determine your marital assets.
  • Gather financial records, locate and value assets, and determine liabilities and tax implications.
  • Help determine whether you receive or are required to pay alimony.
  • Develop child custody and co-parenting agreements.
  • Help mediate on contentious issues.
  • Represent you in court should the case proceed to trial.

Our Toms River Divorce Lawyers at Zeigler Law Group, LLC Represent Clients in Numerous Divorce Matters

If you are considering divorce, our Toms River divorce lawyers at Zeigler Law Group, LLC are dedicated and compassionate advocates who will support and guide you. Call 732-361-4827 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. Located in Toms River, Red Bank, Princeton, and Mount Laurel, New Jersey, we serve clients in Ocean County, Monmouth County, Mercer County, and Burlington County.

Contact Zeigler Law Group, LLC
Today To Get Started

Sonya K, Zeigler, Esq. and her team have a well-earned reputation for committed and fierce legal representation. Our firm is here to provide you with the best possible guidance. Call Zeigler Law Group, LLC, at 732-361-4827 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. Located in Tom’s River, Red Bank, Princeton, and Mount Laurel, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout the surrounding areas.

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