Divorce is a time of transition. It can be a time of uncertainty. It is often a time of stress. There are many questions which must be faced. What will happen to me? How will my time with my children be affected? How will my children be affected? How will my life change economically? Will I have an alimony obligation? For how long will I receive support? Will I have to return to the workforce? How is child support determined? Can I still retire? What happens to our assets? What is the process? How do I decide on a lawyer? Who will be my advocate?
Our experienced family law attorneys will guide and advise you through the process. Together we have over 45 years of experience in handling divorce issues. Further, members of our family law team have been through a divorce or are the children of divorce, or both. We understand the issues you are dealing with.
What are the issues involved in a Divorce Matter?
A divorce matter can involve five main areas: Child Custody, including parenting time, Child Support, Alimony (Spousal Support), Equitable Distribution (dividing the assets and liabilities) and Cause of Action for Divorce.
The Divorce Process
The divorce process is formally started by the filing of a Complaint for Divorce. Your attorney will review your marital history with you. You and a member of our Family Law Team will discuss which of the nine causes of action, which include Adultery, Desertion (actual or constructive), Extreme Cruelty, and Irreconcilable Differences and decide which is best suited for the facts of your matter.
If you have been served with a Complaint for Divorce, we will meet with you and determine with you the appropriate response, as well as discuss with you a Counterclaim for Divorce, if appropriate.
We will discuss what you should expect during the process. These topics include completing a Case Information Statement and the Matrimonial Early Settlement Panel process. We will provide you with an understanding of the discovery that will need to take place and discuss any trial related issues. While the goal is to achieve a negotiated resolution, all members of our Family Law Team are experienced trial counsel and are trained in mediation and arbitration as well.
What if my spouse and I cannot agree on financial issues while our case is pending?
As with custody and parenting time disputes, the court will order temporary, or pendente lite, financial arrangements. Those arrangements can include the payment of support, certain household bills and living expenses. The court can further order pendente lite distribution of assets under certain circumstances to help fund the litigation process.
How long will it take to finalize my divorce?
The goal of the judicial system is to finalize a divorce within 12 months. Sometimes it is sooner, sometimes longer. Each matter is unique and the time it takes to finalize a divorce is dependent upon many factors, including the complexity of the issues and the attitudes of each of the parties. The degree to which you and your spouse can effectively communicate and work to resolve issues is an important factor for the time it takes to resolve your divorce and the cost of doing so.