Post-Separation: Changing a Marital Separation Into a Divorce In New Jersey

Post-Separation: Changing a Legal Separation Into a Divorce In New Jersey

After spending some time separated, you and your spouse may wish to proceed with filing for a divorce in New Jersey. Transitioning from a separation into divorce is not too different from filing for divorce without separating first. That said, there are considerations involved in changing a marital separation into a divorce that you must know before moving forward. Let’s look at the key steps and aspects involved with making this change, as well as some valuable insights for finalizing the dissolution of your marriage in New Jersey.

Key Takeaways

  • Moving from legal separation to divorce requires living at least 18 months apart.
  • Having a notarized separation agreement in place can accelerate divorce proceedings, especially in the case of uncontested divorce.
  • Meet with a legal representative if you need to adjust or negotiate spousal support or property division.

Key Steps in Changing Marital Separation to Divorce

When you decide to separate in New Jersey, a separation agreement is drafted up and signed that outlines the division of property and assets, alimony, child custody, and other relevant matters. While you do not need a family or divorce lawyer to create this document, it must be signed and notarized for it to be legally binding.

The presence of this separation agreement can accelerate some of the divorce proceedings, especially if you and your spouse are still amicable. Review the terms of the separation agreement to determine whether things should change.

Filing for Divorce

Moving forward from marital separation to divorce in New Jersey requires you to initiate the formal divorce filing process. Typically, filing for divorce involves submitting paperwork for the divorce to the appropriate court. If you wish to file for divorce based on your separation, you and your spouse must have been living a part for at least 18 months.

Renegotiating Terms

During the divorce proceedings, you have time to meet with a legal representative, such as Ziegler Law Group, LLC, to address or amend the separation agreement. For example, you may want to adjust spousal support arrangements or negotiate property division.

In an uncontested divorce, you do not have to go to trial, because both parties will have come to an agreement on all issues.

Attend Court Hearings

If any issues arise during the divorce process, you and your spouse may need to go to court. This puts these problems in front of a judge who will review your case and make a ruling.

Again, if you and your spouse have everything settled solely through discussion, then there is no need for this step.

Finalizing The Marriage Dissolution

Once negotiations are complete and both parties have reached an agreement—with or without the aid of the court—the divorce decree is finalized. You will receive a copy of this divorce decree, as it outlines the formal terms of the divorce and formally dissolves your union. With this, you are no longer married.

Recommendations When Moving From Separation to Divorce

Even the most amicable divorce can be emotionally taxing and confusing at times. To make the process less stressful, here are some recommendations:

Consult with a Family Law Attorney

Seek the guidance of a knowledgeable family law attorney in New Jersey. An experienced professional can provide valuable insights into the legal aspects of transitioning from separation to divorce, ensuring your rights and interests are protected. Furthermore, they can often mediate during negotiations to make sure that both parties are seen and heard. In the event that you and your spouse are not on good terms, your attorneys can act as proxies and draft up an agreement.

Maintain Open Communication

Even if you have not spoken much during your separation, keep an open line of communication with your soon-to-be-ex-spouse during divorce proceedings. Discuss important matters such as child custody, asset division, and support payments to foster a collaborative and smoother process.

Prioritize Well-Being

Whether it is the two of you or there are children and animals involved, it is always important to strive for the well-being of everyone involved. Collaborate on child custody arrangements and support. Aim for solutions that add stability to the situation and acknowledge, even though you will be divorced, that you should continue to support one another.

Financial Planning

Conduct a thorough review of your financial situation. Develop a clear understanding of assets, debts, and potential spousal support arrangements to facilitate fair and equitable financial outcomes. You should also take this time to establish individual bank accounts, update insurance policies (once permitted by the Court to do so), and develop a budget to ensure you will have financial stability after the divorce is finalized. Furthermore, discuss shared debts with your spouse to see who will be paying what.

Contact a NJ Divorce Attorney Today

Changing a separation into a divorce in NJ can take time. Fortunately, the presence of a separation agreement can expedite proceedings. That said, transitioning from separation to divorce requires careful consideration, legal guidance, and open communication. Consulting with a family law or divorce attorney in New Jersey is just one of the ways you can ensure that the divorce goes well and that you get what you need.

For personalized guidance and support, reach out to the lawyers of Ziegler Law Group, LLC by calling 973-533-1100 or by filling out the contact form.

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For attorneys: This Blog/Website is informational in nature and is not a substitute for legal research or a consultation/representation on specific matters pertaining to your clients. Due to the dynamic nature of legal doctrines or the current law what might be upheld or viable one day may be changed or modified the next. As such, all of the content of this entire blog must not be relied upon as a basis for arguments to a court or for specific individualized advice to clients without, again, further research or a formal consultation with our professionals

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