4 NJ DIVORCE MYTHS DESTROYED BY NEW JERSEY DIVORCE ATTORNEY SANTO ARTUSA JR

Jersey City divorce attorney and New Jersey Family Law Attorney Santo Artusa……This article is about common divorce misconceptions in New Jersey and how I will “destroy” them one by one with the help of Spock. Ok, first myth that we will destroy today: “My spouse will get half of everything I have” This is false. First, New Jersey divorce laws are based on equitable distribution not community property meaning that it is based on various equitable factors. Even if the court divided half of property you have, it is only the property/assets acquired during the marriage. So if you think your spouse will take money you had before the marriage too, no he or she will not. There are circumstances where money is commingled but that if for another time and another article.

#2 – The family courts favor women. Untrue. More and more women are lawyers and in turn Judges and believe it or not, many of these judges in family court are tougher on women then they are on men. I have seen it with my own eyes time and time again.

#3 Men can never have custody of their kids. Untrue. The tender years doctrine is no longer the law or the way courts consider custody. The age of children is part of the factors in custody determinations but mothers and fathers are equal in the State of New Jersey. Obviously if one parent has had the children for a long period of time, the other parent cannot simply expect to fly into their lives and just obtain custody and if they do not, they cannot blame it on whether they are male or female, mother or father.

#4 Men Cannot Receive Alimony-Untrue. Women, you have what you want! You have jobs and salaries just like men and guess what? If you earn more, you will have to pay alimony! Whether you are a man or woman, the breadwinner will pay alimony. If the parties agree to waive alimony then of course it does not have to be paid but alimony can and is paid to men everyday. New world!

Anyway friends, until next time, thank you for reading and contact me if you seek a divorce attorney in New Jersey. We can be reached on 973-337-9643.

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5 MOST COMMON REASONS/GROUNDS FOR DIVORCE AND WHY IT MATTERS

The five most common reasons people file for divorce in New Jersey aside from irreconcilable differences should not be surprising but the actual number of people who suffer from certain causes of actions/reasons for divorce may be surprising and why it is important should be known. As a New Jersey Divorce Lawyer in Jersey City, I have seen it all. While New Jersey is a no-fault state when pleading or using a cause of action in a New Jersey divorce which means that whether there is fault or not, the economics of the case may remain the same and the Judge may not use any of this information to change the economic ruling.

For example, cheating or adultery is a reason for divorce/cause of action used everyday. It is not used as often as before but people want the court to know why the divorce is happening and that it is not simply a mutually agreed breakup but rather one’s betrayal caused the breakup of the union.

Substance Abuse- A spouse’s continuous substance abuse/addiction issues is another reason that people file for divorce in New Jersey which suffers from a high right of opiate addictions.

Extreme Cruelty- Extreme cruelty is widely defined and can include adultery, mental abuse, physical/domestic abuse, harassment, sexual assault and other acts that someone should not be forced to live with.

Desertion- Another common reason for a divorce is that one party simply got up and left and never came back. A spouse cannot be forced to wait around forever for when their spouse decides to come back if ever.

Imprisonment- Yes, when a spouse goes to jail, sometimes the spouse that is out does not want to wait and wants to move on with his or her life.

While these causes of action may not affect the economic outcome of your case, for many people it is important for them to make it clear why they are dissolving the marriage/getting a divorce. If you are seeking a divorce in New Jersey for any reason or have a family law issue, contact my team on 973-337-9643 for an in person meeting or phone consult in our Jersey City office.

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NEW JERSEY DIVORCE-MY SPOUSE DOES NOT WORK! HOW MUCH ALIMONY MUST I PAY?

View from a divorce lawyer in New Jersey concerning what some men and women call the freedom tax-ALIMONY—-You may get mad, you may be angry after you read this or you may be slightly relieved as to how much alimony you must pay to your spouse in New Jersey or if you are the dependent spouse, how much you can obtain in a New Jersey divorce court. As it depends on a case by case basis and alimony is not automatic in any divorce in New Jersey, as a Jersey City divorce lawyer that handles both contested and amicable divorces, I will explain the key factors in determining how much if any alimony you may have to pay because of the divorce.

First, lets assume your case is a case that can be deemed an alimony case. A case where there is a significant income gap between the spouses and that the marriage is more than 2 years (2 years is not the starting point by law, alimony can be awarded in shorter marriages and in some cases will not be awarded in marriages lasting only two years).

Ok, so you have an alimony case. For example you earn $150,000 per year and your spouse does not work. Your spouse has not worked the entire marriage. However, prior to your marriage, your spouse earned $75,000 per year or even if your spouse did not work and has the ability to work a certain job because he or she has a Masters Degree from Rutgers University (My Law School Alma Mater). What we would do then is seek employment statistics and/or use the United States Census data for the Northeast region to come up with a reasonable imputed income to use for the alimony and/or child support calculations because the court will not use zero for your spouse’s income especially if the marriage is less than 20 years. So, let us stay with $75,000. Again, while there is no absolute calculation, the court will try to see how the parties lived (to come up with or understand the economic lifestyle led). This is essentially the household budget, entertainment, a savings component, etc. Due to this, the alimony number can range dramatically but lets use what many call the “rule of thumb 1/3 rule.” This essentially means if you subtract your spouses 75k from your 150k, leaving 75,000 which you multiply by 33% and that will give you a round about number as to how much alimony may be. Again, alimony is not automatic, there are ways around alimony if you have assets but if you do not want to give more assets away and there is a sizable income gap, it could be an alimony case in reality. Now, alimony is a tax deduction for the payor and the more alimony you pay, the less child support you will pay which is a straight calculation (New Jersey Child Support Guidelines).

If you are facing a divorce or want to file for divorce in Hudson County, Essex County, Union County or beyond, my team and I at the Artusa Law Firm of Jersey City can help guide you every step of the way. Contact us on 201-706-7910 to discuss your case.

WHAT YOU REALLY WANT TO KNOW ABOUT DIVORCE IN NEW JERSEY IN 7 QUESTIONS-7

Einstein’s favorite color was green and his favorite number 7 so let’s stick with 7 very important questions that people should ask or do ask divorce lawyers when meeting with them to determine what to do at this point in their lives and I mean past the point of family meetings, interventions, marriage counseling, etc., the point where one party has left or one party needs to go for the sanity of the home, the kids, etc. Never easy, but sometimes it is what must be done. Remember, leaving the house never means losing your stake in the home itself so leave that issue alone for now. Lets focus on what you can do, should do and never do when you get to this point.

  1. My parents passed away, should I deposit that into our joint account since that is all we have? NO, NO, NO. Open your own account and place those funds there. Those funds are yours and not marital, keep those funds apart. You are allowed to open you own account an anytime during the marriage, during separation, etc. It is not against the law nor will you be punished for that.
  2. I hate my spouse because he cheated on me, I do not want him to see the kids, Can I do that? Think about this. Forget what you did or did not do, what your spouse did or did not do. Your kids do not deserve to be alienated from their father or mother because of your bitterness. Grow Up. Your kids will hate you in the end when the truth is revealed and if it is never revealed, the guilt of your purposeful alienation will haunt you when you kids struggle with adult relationships.
  3. I want to live in the house, can’t I just call the police to get my spouse out? Yes you can temporarily if they believe you are in fear but if you lose the restraining order, your spouse will be allowed back in and if you are found not to be credible, it will come up in the divorce case. Not good.
  4. My friends tell me I can get more money or that I don’t have to let my spouse see the kids, is this true? Your friends are your worst enemies in terms of legal advice. They do not know anything except what may have happened to them in their case. They do not know everything in your case no matter how you try to explain it. Focus on your case and listen to your divorce attorney.
  5. I want sole custody so I can make all decisions for our children, is that easy? No it is not. New Jersey favors joint custody unless you can show concerns, a lack or interest, a lack of communication, etc. However, it is important to remember that the primary or residential parent has many powers whether it is sole or joint custody in New Jersey.
  6. Does a Judge have to decide our issues? No. You can make a deal/settlement through mediation or arbitration. You can also agree together and it will be made in writing, The Judge only decides at the last resort and the court tries to help resolve your case along the way with the help of skilled divorce lawyers and deadlines.
  7. If we do not agree, how long will a divorce take? It can take 6 months to over one year depending on the issues involved. The more you can agree on (if anything) the faster the case can move.

These are just 7 questions that people have during divorce/family law consults in my firm. If you have a potential case, contact my team on 201-706-7910 to setup an appointment in our Jersey City location.