With over 50 years of combined family law experience, it is safe to see that our Morris County divorce and family law firm has seen it all. From the most pleasant and amicable of divorces, to the most embattled and contentious divorces, to divorces involving highly complex financial matters like privately owned businesses, one thing has remained consistent across all of these situations – the mistakes that those involved most commonly make.
When it comes to the most common divorce mistakes, and the most problematic, here is what we have learned throughout our years helping clients through the divorce process, and through post-divorce issues such as settlement modifications and enforcement:
“Getting Divorce Advice from Friends” – Florham Park Divorce Lawyers
As we discussed in our “Avoiding Bad Divorce Advice” article, we very often see clients and other involved parties asking their friends and family for legal advice. Although we often turn to close friends and family for advice in any difficult situation, turning to them for legal advice often results in severe misunderstandings, poor decisions, and ultimately even more legal trouble than you began with.
For example, maybe you ask your friend who has already gotten a divorce for advice. What neither of you take into account, however, is that their divorce was 20 years ago, and NJ matrimonial law is a constantly changing landscape as our society changes, and our laws change to reflect these new understandings.
While this is only one example, there are hundreds of reasons why you should turn to your Florham Park divorce lawyer for legal advice, and rely on your friends and family instead for emotional support and guidance.
“Filing for the Right Type of Divorce” – East Hanover Divorce Attorneys
Many people do not realize at the outset of their divorce that there are actually two very distinct types of divorce which can be filed for in New Jersey, no-fault divorce and fault-based divorce. There are several extremely important differences between these two types of divorce (read our “No-Fault Divorce” page for a more detailed explanation). One of the most important things to remember when determining whether or not to file for divorce based on fault is that, just because you might be getting a divorce because of something your spouse did doesn’t necessarily mean you should file for a fault divorce.
For example, when a spouse commits an act(s) of adultery, this is a “fault ground” in New Jersey. However, if you file for a fault-based divorce because your spouse was unfaithful, you will need to definitively prove said adultery in order to get a divorce, and this is never as easy as it sounds! Further, even if you prove the fault ground, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to be receiving greater support or more parenting time with the children, and thus filing for this fault ground may only result in increasing the animosity between you and your spouse, and making the divorce process even more adversarial.
Rather than filing for a divorce, fault-based or not, and then hiring an attorney afterwards, it is a much more prudent measure to speak with an East Hanover divorce attorney before actually filing for your divorce. This is so that you do not make the common mistake of filing for the wrong type of divorce, and wind up not being able to actually get a divorce when all is said and done.
“Ignoring Divorce Paperwork” – Denville Divorce Lawyers
Finally, the last most common mistake that we see when it comes to divorce is individuals choosing to not respond to their divorce papers. Most often, this is because the person receiving the divorce complaint either wishes it wasn’t happening, thinks they can still “fix” the marriage,” or is simply overwhelmed by the stress and complexity the divorce process can bring.
However, what these same individuals may not realize is that if they do not respond to their divorce complaint, 35 days after receiving these papers the divorce becomes “uncontested,” meaning it is almost entirely in the control of the spouse and a family court judge.
It is critical to understand that whether or not you respond, the divorce will happen, and if you don’t respond, it will happen without any input from you regarding your needs, your situation, and your position in the matter. Furthermore, once your divorce is resolved in such a manner, it can be extremely difficult to modify and/or appeal whatever your spouse and the family court judge decides after-the-fact, meaning you might be stuck with whatever poor situation you are left in as a parent, financially, and legally, with little-to-no recourse.
Contact Our Morris County Divorce and Matrimonial Law Attorneys Today
As often as we see these divorce mistakes being made, all of them can be easily avoided by consulting with an experienced and attentive divorce and matrimonial law attorney.
At Jacobs Berger, we have extensive experience working with clients and families to resolve complex divorce, post-divorce, and family law matters of all kinds in towns across New Jersey and Morris County, including East Hanover, Florham Park, Denville, Morristown, Madison, Randolph, Mt. Olive, Morris Township, Dover, Parsippany and more.
Our unique approach to family law focuses on finding creative and constructive solutions to our clients’ legal matters through negotiation rather than pursuing more expensive, time-consuming, stressful, and embattled courtroom litigation. By working in such a manner, we aim to leave our clients and their families in a much more protected financial situation moving forward, able to maintain relationships as co-parents in order to better raise their children, and with an understanding that we are laying the foundation for success not just for today, but for years into the future.
To speak with our legal team today in a strategic planning session regarding your divorce, any kind of post-divorce modification or enforcement matter, or any other kind of family law issue you may be facing, please contact us online, or through our Morristown, NJ office at (973) 710-4366.