Morris County Divorce Lawyers
Centrally located in New Jersey, Morris County is approximately 30 miles from New York City, the sixth-wealthiest county per median household income in the United States, and home to more than 500,000 residents. According to a 2022 analysis by Point2, a real estate search portal, New Jersey has the lowest divorce rate in the country. Despite the statistic, divorces occur regularly in Morris County and, as of the 2020 Census, over 36 percent of residents are single homeowners with no spouse, many of whom have children.
Divorcing is a difficult and emotional process, but you do not have to go through it alone. Our Morris County divorce lawyers at Lyons & Associates, P.C. will stand by you every step of the way, ensuring your legal rights are protected and your best interests are met, for today and in the future.
What Are the Legal Grounds for Divorce in New Jersey?
In New Jersey, you are required to state a reason for divorce, legally known as “grounds,” which determines whether the divorce will be “fault” or “no-fault.” You likely have many reasons for considering a divorce, but you must choose at least one of the accepted legal grounds, as follows:.
The majority of divorces in New Jersey are filed under the no-fault ground, known as “irreconcilable differences,” which does not require you to disclose what those differences are. In fact, claiming other grounds in a no-fault divorce will not affect the outcome of the divorce, provide more child support, alimony, or equitable distribution of assets.
Many couples opt for a no-fault divorce as it is less time-consuming and less expensive than fault divorce. To file for divorce based on irreconcilable differences, you must meet the following requirements:
- One or both spouses must have resided in New Jersey for 12 consecutive months prior to filing
- One or both spouses must have experienced irreconcilable differences for at least 6 months prior to filing
- Irreconcilable differences are the reason that the marriage, civil union, or domestic partnership should be dissolved
- You are certain there is no way to reconcile
If you and your spouse have lived apart in separate homes for the entirety of 18 consecutive months prior to filing, you can choose a no-fault divorce based on separation. Divorces based on separation are much quicker to resolve and the least expensive type of divorce.
Filing for divorce under one of the “fault” causes of action, you will be required to prove your allegations. Grounds in a fault-based divorce include:
- Desertion or abandonment
- Deviant sexual behavior
- Extreme mental or physical cruelty
- Habitual drunkenness
- Narcotic addiction
Proving allegations in a fault divorce can be quite difficult and requires significant evidence. If you are considering a fault divorce, you should consult an experienced divorce lawyer with extensive knowledge of each ground, what evidence is required, and whether or not it is in your best interest to pursue a fault divorce. Additionally, a lawyer will have many more resources for investigating and gathering evidence than attempting to accomplish this yourself.
What Types of Divorce Matters Does Lyons & Associates, P.C. Handle?
Our Morris County divorce lawyers handle numerous aspects of divorce, including:
- Alimony and Spousal Support
- Child Custody and Child Support
- Domestic Violence and Child Abuse Matters
- Equitable Distribution
- High-Asset Divorce
- Modify custody agreements or support plans, when necessary
- Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements
- Same-Sex Divorce
- Uncontested Divorce
Do I Need a Divorce Lawyer for Divorce?
Hiring a divorce lawyer is not required in New Jersey, however, it is highly recommended for many reasons. Even the most amicable spouses are often unable to agree on everything, and the divorce can become contentious quickly.
Having a skilled and dedicated divorce lawyer on your side ensures that your legal rights and the best interests of you and your children is protected throughout the process and negotiate a fair settlement.
How Can a Morris County Divorce Lawyer Help Me?
Divorcing can be emotionally and financially draining, and working with an experienced divorce lawyer provides guidance and support through the process. A divorce lawyer will work on your behalf to:
- Prepare divorce papers: The courts require many documents and petitions be submitted for approval before granting a divorce. Your lawyer will assist you in preparing the documents, respond to your spouse’s petition for divorce if you did not file first, and promptly file.
- Determine grounds: If you are uncertain whether you have grounds, your divorce lawyer can explain the legal grounds, as well as the pros and cons of filing a fault divorce.
- Objective advice: Your divorce lawyer will discuss the factors that will affect your future following divorce, such as child custody or support issues objectively, which is especially beneficial if your divorce is emotionally charged. Your lawyer can also serve as the go-between for you and your spouse, reducing or eliminating the potential for a bitter confrontation.
- Personal attention: Every divorce is different. Your divorce lawyer will help create a legal plan customized to your unique circumstances and objectives, and explain the legal requirements regarding divorce, property distribution, child custody, spousal support, and your legal rights.
- Determine marital assets: The law requires each spouse to fully disclose all assets, both marital and non-marital. A divorce lawyer can compile records, locate assets, and determine liabilities to be properly addressed in the settlement agreement.
- Division of assets: Marital property refers to all income or property both spouses acquired during the course of the marriage. New Jersey is an equitable distribution state, meaning that marital property will be divided in a manner the court deems to be fair, not necessarily equal. An experienced divorce lawyer will ensure that all marital assets are distributed fairly.
- Spousal support: Spousal support is typically ordered when spouses have significantly different incomes, or one spouse sacrificed employment to support the other’s career. Your lawyer can assess whether you may be entitled to spousal support or required to pay it.
- Child custody: New Jersey prefers both parent involvement in children’s lives, if possible. Your divorce lawyer can help develop a co-parenting plan that meets the children’s needs and benefits the whole family.
- Child support: Child support is based on a number of factors, including both spouses’ financial state, children’s financial needs, and medical and education expenses. A skilled divorce lawyer will ensure the payments meet the children’s needs and are paid.
- Negotiate: If you and your spouse disagree on matters such as child custody, division of assets, or spousal support, your lawyer will negotiate on your behalf to reach a fair settlement.
- Represent you in court: Your lawyer will litigate your case should it move into the courts. Trials may be necessary to resolve disputes when attempts such as mediation and negotiation fail. Your lawyer will advocate for your, create arguments and evidence, and call witnesses to testify on your behalf.
Divorces are emotional, even for the most amicable couples, and having a divorce lawyer can also offer emotional support throughout the process. If you are thinking about filing for divorce, speaking with an experienced divorce lawyer to discuss your options and how they can help should be your first step.
Morris County Divorce Lawyers at Lyons & Associates, P.C. Help Clients Navigate the Divorce Process
If you are considering a divorce, the experienced and skilled Morris County divorce lawyers at Lyons & Associates, P.C. can help you through the legal process and help plan for you and your children’s futures. Call us today at 908-575-9777 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. Located in Somerville and Morristown, we serve clients throughout Somerset, Woodbridge, Morristown, Parsippany, Rockaway, Short Hills, Chatham, Randolph, Madison, and Morris Plains.