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Gary Blaustein, Esq Nov. 21, 2023

Common Misconceptions About Divorce & Family Law

Matters involving family or domestic relationships, such as divorce, child custody, alimony, property division, or adoption, are quite sensitive and must be handled diligently. As a result, when making changes to your family, dissolving your marriage, or establishing an alimony agreement or parenting time, getting trusted advocacy is imperative to avoid making any costly mistake. 

At Gary Blaustein, Esq, I'm committed to offering comprehensive and knowledgeable guidance to clients in divorce and family law-related matters. As a seasoned New Jersey family law attorney, I'm available to discuss your personal situation, educate you about your available options to seek familial changes or divorce and help clarify the common misconceptions. My firm proudly serves clients across Somerset County, Somerville, Warren, Basking Ridge, and Bedminster, New Jersey. 

Common Misconceptions about Divorce and Family Law 

There are several misleading information and collective popular views out there about making familial changes and the divorce process. As a result, family law attorneys must take sufficient time to enlighten their clients about the legal process involved and some of the things to expect. Here are some common myths and misconceptions about divorce and family law in New Jersey and a brief explanation of why they're not true. 

Misconception #1: If the other parent doesn't pay child support, I can withhold visitation. 

This is false. Child support and visitation (parenting time) are vital elements of a parenting plan but with different rules. Even when the noncustodial parent fails to pay child support, it is unlawful for the custodial parent to deny or withhold visitation. Instead of withholding visitation, the custodial parent can file an enforcement or contempt action against the delinquent parent in court to enforce the child support order and punish the non-compliant parent. 

Misconception #2: It's possible for one of the spouses to deny the divorce. 

Under New Jersey law, a spouse can seek divorce even when their partner is against it. Moreover, New Jersey is considered a hybrid state for divorce. This means that you can file for no-fault divorce without proving any form of wrongdoing or seeking the approval or consent of your estranged partner. Conversely, if you are seeking fault-based divorce, your estranged partner may try to challenge the reason or deny the divorce. 

Misconception #3: If adultery was involved, the other spouse gets everything  

This is a common misconception. New Jersey is an equitable distribution state. This means that, in a contested divorce, the couple's marital assets will be distributed equitably and fairly between the spouses but not necessarily equal.  

To achieve equitable distribution in a divorce case involving infidelity, the New Jersey court will consider whether the adulterous spouse intentionally squandered the couple's marital property and finances on purchasing expensive jewelry, gifts, funding trips, and vacations for their mistress or secret lover. 

Misconception #4: You have to get divorced in the state you got married in. 

This is not true. You don't necessarily have to get divorced in the state you got married. To get a divorce in New Jersey, either spouse must have lived in the state for at least one year before filing for divorce. In fact, you don't have to fulfill the one-year residency requirement if you're seeking fault-based divorce on the grounds of adultery. 

Misconception #5: Alimony is a part of any divorce. 

This is another common misconception. Alimony is not awarded in all divorce cases. Essentially, the New Jersey court will only award alimony or spousal support when one spouse needs financial assistance, and the other party can afford to pay. Conversely, a spouse that commits a murder, aggravated assault, or criminal homicide that causes serious bodily injury or another person's death will be barred from receiving alimony. 

Misconception #6: Our assets will all be split 50/50. 

However, New Jersey is an equitable distribution state, and marital property will be distributed fairly and equitably, but not equally. To achieve equitable property division in a contested divorce, the court will consider the factors below: 

  • the length or duration of the marriage 

  • the potential financial situation of each spouse after the divorce 

  • the value of the couple's marital property and the contribution of each spouse to the purchase and appreciation 

  • the age, emotional, and physical health of each spouse 

  • the contribution of one spouse as the homemaker during the marriage 

  • each spouse's separate property or income 

  • the debts and liabilities of each spouse 

  • the standard of living established by the couple during the marriage 

  • each spouse's income and future earning potential 

  • each spouse's contributions to the other party's training, education, and earning potential 

  • the tax ramifications of the asset division for each spouse 

  • other factors deemed relevant by the court to achieve equitable distribution 

An experienced New Jersey divorce attorney can educate you about the state's divorce process and help you navigate crucial decisions in your marital dissolution matters. 

How Legal Counsel Can Help 

Being able to differentiate between facts and fiction can make it easier to manage your divorce and familial chances effectively. At Gary Blaustein, Esq, I'm ready and poised to advise and guide clients in their family law matters. As your attorney, I can advocate for your best interests and work meticulously with all parties involved to resolve alimony, asset division, child support, custody, parenting time, and other relationship differences peacefully and quickly. 

Contact me at Gary Blaustein, Esq, today to schedule an initial consultation with a seasoned family law attorney. I can offer you the personalized legal counsel and trusted advocacy you need to make well-informed decisions in your family law and divorce matters. My firm proudly serves clients across Somerset County, Somerville, Warren, Basking Ridge, and Bedminster, New Jersey.


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