Guide to Legally Separate in NJ
Researchers estimate that nearly 40%-50% of first marriages end in divorce or separation. But what is the difference between divorce and separation, and are both possible in New Jersey?
Legal separation in NJ may seem impossible initially, but you can do a few things as an alternative. Read on to learn more.
The Difference Between Divorce and Separation
The first step to getting a legal separation is understanding how it differs from divorce. If you get a divorce, you are no longer recognized as a married couple. Separating in New Jersey means you are no longer together but are still technically married.
Some people choose to separate to keep the financial benefits of being married. Other people stay married for the sake of their children. Finally, some couples may decide to remain separated until they understand NJ divorce laws better.
Can You Get Legally Separated in NJ?
There is no formal legal separation process in the state of New Jersey. However, separating in New Jersey is still absolutely possible. Here are a few options for you to consider.
NJ Separation Agreement
One of the most popular New Jersey separation arrangements is a separation agreement. A separation agreement is a contract written and signed by both spouses and then notarized. This agreement resolves common issues in a divorce, such as spousal support, child support, and custody.
This is a legally binding contract, so if your spouse violates the agreement, you can take them to court. Under this agreement, you are separated but not divorced.
Divorce From Bed and Board
Another form of legal separation is a Divorce from Bed and Board. This option requires you to file a complaint with the court, which will decide on custody, visitation, and support issues for you.
Property or money acquired after a Divorce from Bed and Board is not shared. If you decide to get a divorce later, you will have to ask the court to switch your contract to an absolute divorce.
Another popular option is a trial separation. This is an informal agreement between spouses to separate and live apart. Trial separations are often used for couples who see a chance of reconciliation in the future.
If you are considering a trial separation, you should ensure you are on the same page about finances and custody. It is also important to note that you cannot take immediate legal action if this agreement is violated.
Let Us Help You with Your Legal Separation in NJ
While there is no such thing as a legal separation in NJ, there are many things you can do that offer the same outcome. If you have any questions or concerns, it is best to speak with a divorce attorney to help you navigate the process.
The family law attorneys at Dalena and Bosch are always here to answer any of your questions. Please contact Dalena & Bosch at any time with questions or concerns. We are passionate about helping couples who are experiencing difficulties and always do our best to help our clients achieve the best results.