Dec 20 2017

Getting Prepped For Your Divorce

Written by: Vito Brunetti

You know you’re ready to file for a divorce, but do you know what to expect? Learning all you can about the process that lies ahead can be invaluable and can save you time, money and stress. Here are some tips to help you get prepared for your divorce case:

Know Your Finances

Many spouses rush to file for their divorce without being fully informed about their financial situation. Do you know what your monthly expenses are? Do you know how much you owe in credit card debts? Do you have access to your bank accounts? Without having a complete picture of your marital finances, you cannot make sound decisions about what to ask for in your divorce.

As soon as possible, get a full understanding of your household income and expenses. Can you really afford to keep the marital house or are you simply emotionally attached? Will you need some form of alimony from your spouse until you get back into the workforce, full time? Gather you financial documents such as bank statements, mortgage statements and credit card bills as well as your income tax returns and W-2 statements. If you’re having trouble making heads or tails of your finances, bring your paperwork to your financial professional to assist you in grasping what your current finances are and what you will need to support yourself going into the future.

All About the Kids

If you have children, you are most likely thinking about what you would like custody to look like. Get educated about the types of custody here in New Jersey and be realistic. You can share residential custody with your ex and have your child half the time, but is that realistic? Or, do you travel frequently out of the country for business? Not all custody and parenting time arrangements are the same, because all families are different. Really take the time to consider what is in the best interests of your child when thinking about custody and talk with an attorney about your options.

If you know that you will have your child with you the majority of the time, you also have to consider child support. In New Jersey, child support is calculated using the New Jersey Child Support Guidelines, a computer program that uses your incomes and certain deductions to determine an amount of child support. Talk with a family law attorney who can run a basic support guideline for you so you have at least an idea what support amount you will likely receive.

Where Do You File?

If you have lived in New Jersey for at least one year, than New Jersey has jurisdiction to hear your divorce case. Your local courthouse in your home county would be where you would file. You can represent yourself in your divorce, but it can get complex, emotional and stressful. It’s always a good idea to consider retaining an experienced family law attorney to represent your best interests and guide you towards your ultimate best resolution. Having a qualified attorney at your side ensures your paperwork is complete and accurate. Going back to correct even the smallest mistakes can be time consuming and cost you more money in the long run.

If you would like assistance in filing for your divorce, or if you need further advice on any area of family law, contact my office in order to schedule your consultation: Vito A. Brunetti, Esq., LLC, located at 35 Journal Square, Suite 631, Jersey City, New Jersey 07306; (201) 537-5248.