Tanya L. Freeman


Frequently Asked Questions

Regarding joint custody agreements, New Jersey tends toward 50/50 custody. In general, joint legal and joint physical custody agreements between the parents are favored by New Jersey courts. The court favors custody arrangements that provide the child to maintain contact with both parents. Based on the child’s best interests, the court determines custody arrangements, assuming that it is ideal for both parents to share parental responsibilities for the child’s welfare

According to New Jersey child custody rules, a parent may be deemed “unfit” by the court if they:

  • Have history of abusing drugs or alcohol
  • Possess a background in physical abuse
  • They have shown no concern or support for the child’s welfare

A judge could consider the requests of a kid if they are older than 12 years old. However, regardless of the child’s desire, the court will determine the child’s ultimate custody arrangement based on what they feel is in the child’s best interests. A child can only genuinely select which parent to live with once they are either emancipated or reach the age of majority, which in New Jersey is 18.

Child support refers to how much money a child requires to cover daily costs. When a divorce causes a child to not reside with both parents equally, the court may ask the spouse with more income to pay child support. You can negotiate child support with your partner if you don’t want the court’s help. 

You likely have a lot involved in your child’s child support arrangement since parents always want what is best for their children. We strongly advise working with a child support attorney like Tanya L. Freeman, Attorney At Law, who will help you decide what is financially best for you and your child.

N.J.S.A. 9:2-2 states that unless the court orders otherwise for a good cause proved, children should not be taken out of New Jersey without both parents’ consent. It implies that to move out of New Jersey with the child, you either need permission from the court or the other parent.

Even if you strongly argue that your child shouldn’t visit their non-custodial parent, you cannot prevent visitation orders unless you have compelling evidence that your child is in immediate danger.

The parties must have been apart for 18 consecutive months in New Jersey before there may be a no-fault divorce, proving there is no reasonable chance of reunion. Note that divorce is sometimes referred to as dissolution in New Jersey courts. Here are some of the grounds for divorce in New Jersey:

  • Unbridgeable differences  
  • Adultery
  • Desertion
  • Constructive desertion
  • Habitual intoxication or drug use
  • Imprisonment

When a spouse files the complaint, a divorce typically takes 10 to 12 months to be finalized. Divorce is as much an emotional procedure as it is a legal one. Cases only conclude when all parties can control their emotions enough to sit down and talk rationally.

You can obtain a divorce without your spouse’s permission and without having to show that your spouse did something wrong to do so. However, if your spouse objects to divorce terms, such as property division, child custody, or alimony, the divorce process could take longer and cost more money. By filing for a default divorce, you can still get the divorce you want, even if your spouse is uncooperative.

It depends on the marriage’s financial history and the parties themselves. For example, if one spouse is unemployed simply because they do not wish to work, the court can calculate alimony based on what he or she earned. It is called the imputation of income. When deciding on spousal support, the court considers factors such as work history, education, stay-at-home parenting, and disabilities. Every case is unique and fact-sensitive.

When deciding on alimony, the courts consider the length of the marriage, but there’s no set time that triggers alimony. In New Jersey, alimony is typically limited to the length of the marriage if it’s less than 20 years unless there are exceptional circumstances. Other factors may also impact the amount and duration of spousal support, so it’s best to seek legal advice.

Based on the child’s best interests, the court determines custody arrangements, assuming that it is ideal for both parents to share parental responsibilities for the child’s welfare. For this reason, a 50/50 custody agreement is frequently used in New Jersey when the court decides upon or mandates shared custody.

The process can conclude in as little as 3-6 months if you have no problems (such as no children, property, or debts). However, if you and your husband cannot come to a compromise because of complex concerns, it could take up to 14 months or longer to finalize your divorce.

An uncontested divorce is the most straightforward process because it allows you and your spouse to agree on the split of your assets and, if you have children, the arrangements that will be made for them.

According to New Jersey law, same-sex couples now legally possess the same rights as heterosexual couples. Thus, the divorce procedure is essentially the same. Most of the time, same-sex couples in New Jersey going through the divorce process take into account many of the same difficulties as opposite-sex couples.

New Jersey is an equitable distribution state; the marital estate is not always divided equally in divorce. Instead, equitable distribution is the partition of marital property reasonably, but only sometimes equally.

New Jersey courts will decide which assets are deemed marital property; typically, non-marital property is that acquired before the marriage, and marital property is that acquired after the marriage, with some exceptions. In certain circumstances, property or assets acquired by one spouse due to an inheritance or gift may not be regarded as marital property unless combined with other marital assets or appreciated during the marriage. 

Any assets one spouse claims are their single and separate property will likely need to be supported by a strong case. Our experienced attorneys in Tanya L. Freeman, Attorney At Law, could help determine which assets may be subject to division in a particular case.

Some assets that are not considered marital property include the following, provided they have not been mixed with marital assets:

  • Property that one spouse had before getting married
  • Inheritances during the marriage

No, mediation is not necessary for a divorce to be finalized. Couples voluntarily choose to go through this process together. Typically, these couples are getting ready for a no-fault divorce, but mediation is an option for couples who are prepared to work together to get the best result.

  • Select an Expert and Qualified Mediator. 

Choose a mediator after doing your study on who has the necessary training and expertise. A skilled mediator can help both parties come to a fair and reasonable agreement on all the problems in their case while also fostering a stress-free environment.

  • Organize Yourself. 

It’s crucial to enter mediation with a thorough inventory of all your assets and debts, both financial and non-financial. Bank accounts, mortgages, cars, credit card debt, valuable property, retirement savings, etc., all fall under this category. Only if the mediator is fully informed and aware of what needs to be determined can they assist you.

  • Make Goals. 

Consider what you want from the divorce and enter mediation with a list of objectives. Choose your priorities and the areas where you are willing to make concessions. For instance, it’s crucial to consider what kind of custody arrangement is best for your family if you have kids. The opportunity to address any queries or worries you may have regarding the divorce process is during mediation.

  • Come Ready to Cooperate.

Going into divorce mediation prepared to be respectful and participate in a fruitful discussion is crucial because it is intended to be a peaceful, non-adversarial alternative to litigation. Therefore, arguments should not be had during or after mediation.

The court may adjust child support if there is a valid basis. A different statute states that assistance cases may be examined every three years to see whether the amount of support should increase or decrease according to changes in the cost of living or an individual’s income.

If you have been granted spousal support, but your former spouse is not fulfilling their obligation to pay, you have the option to file a motion with the court to enforce your spousal support award. This motion, known as a motion to enforce the litigant’s rights, allows you to request various remedies, including receiving all the owed support in one payment, having your ex-spouse’s wages garnished, or even having them arrested. Ultimately, the judge will decide which sanctions or remedies to impose.

When a spouse files the complaint, a divorce typically takes 10 to 12 months to be finalized. Divorce is as much an emotional procedure as it is a legal one. Cases only conclude when all parties can control their emotions enough to sit down and talk rationally.

Equitable distribution rules must be followed in New Jersey when divorced spouses share their “marital property.” However, regardless of how the couple’s marital estate is divided, each spouse can retain their own “separate property.”