Navigating the path of divorce often appears fraught with misconceptions. These common misunderstandings can add unnecessary stress to an already challenging process. In New Jersey, some misconceptions tend to persist more than others.
Setting the record straight can alleviate undue concerns and assist those considering divorce in making informed decisions. Here are several common misconceptions clarified.
A spouse needs to prove fault to file for divorce
New Jersey allows for no-fault divorce, meaning that a spouse does not need to prove any wrongdoing by the other party to file for divorce. The most common grounds for a no-fault divorce include irreconcilable differences or separation for at least 18 consecutive months.
Alimony lasts forever
While alimony can sometimes last for many years, it does not always last indefinitely. The duration of alimony payments depends on various factors, including the length of the marriage and the financial independence of both parties.
Children get to choose which parent they want to live with
The court decides custody based on the best interest of the child, taking into consideration the child’s age, the parents’ stability and other relevant factors. While the court can consider the preference of an older child, it does not solely determine the outcome.
Divorce always ends in court
Many divorces can use alternative dispute resolution methods, such as mediation or arbitration to resolve problems. These methods can often be less adversarial, less time-consuming and less costly than going to court.
Equitable distribution means assets get divided equally
Equitable distribution, which New Jersey follows, means a fair distribution, but not necessarily equal. The court considers several factors, like the length of the marriage, the income or property brought into the marriage by each spouse and the standard of living established during the marriage, among others, to decide on a fair distribution.
Divorce is a complex process that affects everyone differently. Knowledge, in this case, indeed equals power—the power to navigate the process with confidence and to ensure fair outcomes for all parties involved.