People who are considering divorce generally have a lot of questions and are looking for basic divorce facts prior to an initial meeting with a family law attorney.
There is a lot of misinformation out there, especially when people begin to speak to family and friends who have been through a divorce in another state.
Each state has its own respective laws and there may or may not be overlap between them.
Here are 3 important things to know about divorce and family law in New Jersey.
1. A final judgment of divorce terminates the other spouse’s medical insurance coverage.
When parties go through a divorce, an important thing to keep in mind is that the party who does not provide insurance coverage for the family will lose their coverage upon the entry of the final judgment of divorce. If you do not have insurance coverage independently but are employed and are eligible for benefits, this may not be an issue.
However, this is an important consideration in those circumstances where one spouse may have stayed home to raise the children, or perhaps only works part-time and is not eligible for benefits at his/her employer. As medical insurance coverage can be very costly, this must be considered in negotiating a settlement agreement. It may be necessary to increase the alimony obligation to account for the increased expense of obtaining independent insurance.
One potential solution is known as a divorce from bed and board. This is an option in New Jersey that is akin to legal separation. When the parties receive a judgment of divorce from bed and board, the marital relationship remains for a period of time, but the financials have all been resolved. There is an important caveat to be aware of when considering this option, however, not all companies will acknowledge a divorce from bed and board.
Therefore, before finalizing any settlement agreements, the spouse who provides coverage must check with his/her employer to determine if this is possible. Keep in mind that with a divorce from bed and board you are legally still married and therefore cannot re-marry.
2. Child support is determined pursuant to the child support guidelines.
Child support in New Jersey is established utilizing the child support guidelines. Your attorneys will enter the relevant financial information needed into the guidelines to determine what the appropriate amount of child support is in your case. There are a number of considerations in this calculation.
First, the parties’ gross incomes are included in the guideline. Any alimony paid/received by the parties is also entered. A credit is also provided for the number of overnights the parties each have with the children, as well as the children’s share of medical insurance. The child support guidelines are applicable to children under the age of 19 who do not reside away at college. In some instances, where the parties’ weekly net income exceeds $3,600, the guidelines are not sufficient to support the children.
Therefore, the Court or the parties will deviate up from the guidelines in order to ensure the children continue to receive the benefit of the parties’ joint incomes.
4. Alimony is based on factors, not a formula.
One of the most misunderstood aspects of family law is how alimony is calculated. In some states, there is simply a formula that is utilized. However, in New Jersey, it is much more fact-specific.
Some of the factors that are considered include the needs of the payee vs. the ability to pay of the payor, the duration of the marriage, the marital standard of living enjoyed during the marriage, and the earning capacities of the parties.
Clearly, when taking all of this into account, it is not easy to approximate what alimony might be in a particular case simply from an initial consultation.
If you have questions regarding these important factors of family law, contact the attorneys at DeTorres & DeGeorge to schedule an initial consultation today.
First appeared here: https://www.danddfamilylaw.com/