Divorce is a challenging decision to make for anyone. The emotional turmoil is one aspect to face, but there is also a legal element to consider. The views around divorce have changed, and many people are putting themselves first. In the past, many couples stayed together for the kids, but now they realize that can hurt the kids in the long term. Divorce is a significant decision, and you should ask yourself questions before proceeding, like whether it is salvageable and what separation will look like. If you are considering divorce, it can be helpful to sit down with your spouse to discuss your relationship, family issues, goals and needs before you discuss your legal concerns with an experienced New Jersey family lawyer.

7 Questions To Ask Each Other Before Deciding to Divorce in New Jersey

1. Is There a Way to Save the Relationship?

The most important question you can ask yourself is whether the relationship is salvageable. Sometimes, there is a solution to the issues the couple is facing. Instead of looking for a solution, they opt for a permanent decision. Sit down and talk to your spouse about the problems in your marriage and if there is a way to fix them. You can sit down alone to list why you want to divorce. You can also meet with a relationship counselor alone or together. This can establish the underlying issues and if the marriage can be saved. If you conclude it is not, divorce is your best option.

2. Do You Both Agree?

Divorce is difficult, but sometimes, the couple agrees it is for the best. Before taking legal action, discuss if you are both on the same page. What may happen is one spouse has already processed the end of the marriage and the other one has no idea there are problems. They can be blindsided, which can make the divorce process contentious. It is best to have a mutual understanding of where you stand, which can lead to a more amicable resolution. When ready to proceed, speak to a New Jersey divorce lawyer.

3. Where Will Each Person Live?

Often, married couples will purchase property together. When divorcing, only one spouse will remain in the family home. You are transitioning from a family home to two separate dwellings. This is a challenging aspect of divorce. With the current housing and financial climate, some couples choose to continue living together even after divorcing. This requires an additional element of communication and boundaries.

Conversely, one person may move in with family and leave the home with the spouse and children. The family home is the most valuable asset in divorce and often the cause of many arguments. This can be the most challenging aspect to fight over. There have been instances where the couple keeps the family home and the parents rotate. The children do not shuffle back and forth, but the parents take turns. Find the best solution by speaking to your spouse and a New Jersey family lawyer.

4. If There Are Children, How Will Parenting Work?

Divorce can be significantly more complex if there are children involved. You raised these kids together, and now you’re separating. This was not the plan, and while you discussed parenting while married, your ideas may change as you separate. Sometimes, couples have arguments about how to raise their children. This can become significantly worse during divorce.

Aside from how you will raise your children, you must decide the logistics around child custody,  visitation and parenting. The best way to determine this is to put yourself in your child’s position: What is in the best interests of the child? This way, you can find a plan that works for everyone. Some considerations include:

  • Where will the child live
  • What school will they go to
  • How often will they stay at each home
  • How will transportation between homes and activities work

You should assess their doctors, friends and extracurricular activities. Look at the current activity calendar and how you handle these logistics currently. You can then take this plan to your divorce attorney in New Jersey. You do not have to have everything figured out, but having a foundation can help.

5. Discuss Your Assets and Debts

Finances and asset division are another contentious topic in divorces. While the family home is a significant aspect, individual and joint accounts are also a topic of contention. This can involve:

  • Savings accounts
  • Property
  • Investments
  • Business
  • Inheritance
  • Pensions

You will have to sit down and write out every asset and debt you have jointly and independently. You must also decide who will get what. Debt is another aspect, as you may have joint and separate accounts. Retirement accounts can be complex as they may require additional steps. You want a financial foundation to move into the next chapter of life. You can get help from a financial planner and a New Jersey family attorney.

6. How Do You Make Your Agreements Legally Binding?

While you may have decided how to split your finances and raise your children, you must make it legally binding. Sometimes, people end a marriage amicably with verbal agreements. Then, as circumstances change, their viewpoints do as well. Since there is no written agreement, there is nothing to enforce the arrangement. This can lead to additional legal battles. If there is no arrangement, a judge will decide what they believe is best. Ideally, when you agree while separating, you should get that in writing with the help of a divorce lawyer in New Jersey.

7. How to Protect Yourself in the Future?

A divorce can signify an end but also a new beginning for the couple. This time can also lead to a period of self-reflection. Some people seek counseling to avoid making the same mistakes in the future. If another relationship starts, you will also want to protect yourself. Even if you had an amicable divorce, you may want to look for ways to ensure you do not face the same struggles in the future. You can discuss your future with your New Jersey family lawyer.

Where Family Comes First

Speak to a New Jersey Divorce Lawyer

When going through a divorce, you want a law firm that has experience helping families in similar situations. Jersey Coast Family Law can help in various ways, including divorce ligations, prenuptial agreements, and more. Our offices in Toms River and Red Bank serve clients throughout New Jersey. Call 732-361-4718 to schedule an initial consultation.

Serving Clients in Ocean and Monmouth Counties
and throughout the State of New Jersey