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How to divorce will impact your insurance and benefits.

New Jersey Benefits Modification Attorneys

If you are thinking about going through a divorce or already have gone through a divorce, you need to keep in mind that your benefits and insurance may be affected. Life insurance, health insurance, pension and other types of benefits are on the table. You may need to either purchase a new insurance plans, may be able to take your ex-spouse off life insurance plans, or various other situations. Your child might be eligible for some health insurance protection as well. As you can see, each divorce case is different, so what may have happened to one couple may not apply necessarily to your situation. The best way to find out is to speak with a knowledgeable New Jersey divorce lawyer to see what legal options are available to you. At the Law Offices of Jef Henninger, Esq., our benefit and insurance modification lawyers look thoroughly at your unique situation and guide you to the best possible result for you and your family. Reach out to one of our highly skilled NJ divorce lawyers with our 24/7 hotline at 732-773-2768 and receive a free initial consultation.

How are alimony, child support and custody and asset distribution handled in a contested divorce?

New Jersey Contested Divorce Lawyers

A New Jersey contested divorce makes any agreements or settlements seem time-consuming and maybe even impossible. When dealing with child custody, a schedule of parenting time as well as prime custody of the child needs to be establish. This should always be done with the child’s best interest in mind. While the child’s best interest may be viewed differently by each parent, an agreement needs to be reached in order to move forward with the divorce. If the child custody becomes more complex, there may be a need to have a mental health expert evaluate the situation. Alimony, distribution of any assets or liabilities and child support must also be delegated and distributed fairly amongst both parties. Child support must follow under the New Jersey Child Support Guidelines. With the various alimony and child support laws that one would need to consider, having a battle-tested, experienced New Jersey contested divorce lawyer is a good idea.

At the Law Offices of Jef Henninger, Esq., our team of aggressive New Jersey contested divorce attorneys will look at all facets of the contested divorce process and will utilize or vast knowledge in New Jersey divorce law to fight for your needs and protect your rights. If you are looking for top notch legal representation to help you through your divorce, call our law firm today and talk with one of our Bergen County divorce attorneys with our free initial consultation at 732-773-2768.

What happens in a divorce if I have a lot of financial assets to sort through?

New Jersey High Net-Worth Divorce Attorneys

Dealing with a high net-worth divorce means there are numerous issues that can possibly make your divorce much more complicated and drawn out. Some of the factors that will need to be negotiated and divided fairly are stock options, any pre-nuptial agreements, retirement assets, real estate and any business ownership liabilities. This can also include IRAs, 401K’s, employee stock option plans, vacation properties, and commercial properties, just to name a few. However, just because there are a lot of financial assets that will need to be evaluated and distributed accordingly, does not mean it needs to be stressful or take a long time. We know how to streamline your case to make a seemingly complicated case, as simple as possible.

At the Law Offices of Jef Henninger, Esq., our smart New Jersey high net-worth divorce attorneys explain all the options and advantages available, guide you throughout the divorce and are aggressive when it comes to litigation. Schedule a free initial consultation with our professional Hackensack divorce lawyers by calling 732-773-2768.

What you can expect to encounter during the divorce.

Experienced NJ Divorce Attorneys

When you are thinking about getting a divorce in New Jersey, it is only normal to want to know what you may be stepping into. In order to help you get a grasp of what is entailed in a divorce case, this post will go through the general steps you encounter during a divorce. Please keep in mind, however, that each divorce case is unique and your divorce may not follow these steps completely. This is just a general overview of what most divorce cases go through. Be sure to reach out to an experienced New Jersey divorce attorney to discuss the details of your specific divorce case.

The first step is the complaint for divorce form being filled out and submitted. This is when either you or your spouse send a request to a New Jersey court for a judgment of divorce. In order to do this, you must submit a Confidential Litigant Information Sheet which will give the court information about your identity, the grounds for the divorce like adultery, separation, extreme cruelty, etc., and an Affidavit of Insurance Coverage form which will go over your existing insurances like auto, homeowner, and other types of insurance. Once that has been all filed, your divorce case will be given a docket number and either you or your spouse, depending on which one of you filed the Complaint For Divorce form, will receive the divorce papers.

The next step will be what is known as discovery. Discovery is where both you and your spouse will give each other the information needed in order to proceed forward with the divorce. Some of the things you may be asked to exchange are credit card statements or business records. There may even be some written questions and a case information statement that will need to be completed. This will go over the couple’s monthly budgets, liabilities and various other financial information. A deposition may also be asked during this time. A deposition is a verbal, recorded conversation that is taken under oath that can be used in court. While this is all going on, your divorce attorney should be trying to reach a settlement to help possibly keep the divorce out of court.

If a settlement is not reached by a certain date which is scheduled by the court, an early settlement panel will be arranged. You and your attorney will need to be present in front of this panel and they will go over the issues that may be preventing you from reaching a settlement. The panel will give suggestions on how to reach a settlement and if both parties are satisfied, the divorce can be granted at that very moment. However, if there are still issues not resolved, then an economic mediator will need to be selected.

If the economic mediation still does not produce a settlement, a settlement conference will be held. These intensive conferences are held all day and both you and your spouse and both your attorneys will need to return to court to do this. This is considered the last option available to help reach resolution with your divorce without it going to trial. But, if there is still no resolution or settlement made after this conference, then the divorce case will go to trial. Once in trial, the judge will hear both sides and will make the final decision and finalize your divorce.

As you can see, having an experienced, professional New Jersey divorce lawyer during this process is a good investment. At the Law Offices of Jef Henninger, Esq., our aggressive divorce lawyers walk with you through these steps, and fight to reach a settlement that meets your goals and needs. And, if the case does go to trial, we utilize our decades of divorce law experience to protect your rights. Schedule a free initial consultation with our law firm today at 732-773-2768 and see what steps are needed for your unique divorce case and what our Passaic County divorce attorneys can do to help you.

How are the division of debts and assets calculated?

New Jersey Equitable Distribution Attorneys

Just like with alimony and child support calculations, the division of any debts or assets from a marriage are analyzed against various factors. Some of these factors include any prenuptial or post-nuptial agreements involved, income of you and your spouse, education backgrounds, length of absence from the workforce, parental responsibilities, age of both parties, duration of the marriage, and overall health of both parties. Once these mentioned factors, as well as a few others, are determined, then the assets and debts can be distributed amongst you and your spouse. Final determination of the distribution of assets and debts can be reached through arbitration, mediation, negotiation or by the judge if the divorce has reached trial. However, disputes can arise and become a hurdle in your divorce case.

At the Law Offices of Jef Henninger, Esq., our professional New Jersey equitable distribution lawyers will protect your needs and have experience in working through complex distribution cases. Call our law offices any time, even on nights and weekends, at 732-773-2768 to receive a free initial consultation with one of our Union County divorce lawyers.

How to deal with your house

In any divorce, the house is usually the largest asset that needs to be divided.  If the house was purchased during the marriage, then the available options are easy to identify.  If it is a pre-marital asset, it becomes much more complicated.  For purposes of this article, I will assume that the house was acquired during the marriage.  

There are going to be one of three scenarios with your house:  It either has equity,  it doesn’t or it has a little equity.  Equity is determined by taking the value of the house and subtracting the mortgage(s).  The value of the house is usually determined by an appraisal company.  They can run $250 to $500 and they value in quality and dependability.  Your attorney should have several that he or she relies upon.  Both sides usually chip in to get one appraisal although either side can get their own.

Scenario One – little equity in the house

There is equity and then there is equity.  If the value of the house is $310,000 and the balance of the mortgage is $300,000,  then there is little to no equity in the house as the sale price subtracted by real estate commissions and other expenses associated with the sale will eat up all of the equity in the house.  This is a complicated situation and your attorney will be in the best position to advise you on your options.  The bottom line is that each side does have equity in the house that should balance out somehow.

Scenario Two – equity in the house

If there is equity in the house, then the entire case should be a little easier.  You can either sell the house and split the proceeds or one side can buy out the other.  Again, your attorney should be able to guide you through this process.

Scenario Three – no equity in the house

This is tough.  Rarely does a couple owe the an amount that is the exact value of the house.  Instead, they are usually underwater which means that a sale of the house will leave the couple still owing money (this is called a short sale).  Clearly, selling the house will be a disaster.  In these situations, foreclosure and bankruptcy are considered.  The best thing to do is to work with both your attorney and your spouse’s attorney to brainstorm how this situation will be handled. 

If you are ready to divorce different, call Jef Henninger today.  Jef can represent you in your divorce case in any New Jersey Court including Mount Holly, Trenton and Camden.

Equitable Distribution in New Jersey

Equitable distribution is division of marital property or assets. In order to divide the property, we first have to identify the assets, then we value them and then they are distributed.  In general, it doesn’t matter who purchased the asset or whose name it is under as New Jersey law recognizes the spouses as an “economic partnership.”   However, equitable distribution applies to all assets acquired during the marriage and not assets that were owned prior to the marriage. Assets subject to equitable distribution include real estate, jewelry, mutual funds, stock options, bank and brokerage accounts, retirement assets, small businesses, all the way down to plates and forks.  

N.J.S.A. 2A:34-23 (h) and N.J.S.A. 2A:34-23.1 are the two major statutes that govern equitable distribution.  Theses statutes list fifteen factors but allows the court to consider any other additional factors it may deem relevant:

  1. The duration of the marriage;
  2. The age and physical and emotional health of the parties;
  3. The income or property brought to the marriage by each party;
  4. The standard of living established during the marriage;
  5. Any written agreement made by the parties before or during the marriage concerning an arrangement of property distribution;
  6. The economic circumstances of each party at the time the division of property becomes effective;
  7. The income and earning capacity of each party, including educational background, training, employment skills, work experience, length of absence from the job market, custodial responsibilities for children, and the time and expense necessary to acquire sufficient education or training to enable the party to become self-supporting at a standard of living reasonably comparable to that enjoyed during the marriage;
  8. The contribution by each party to the education, training or earning power of the other;
  9. The contribution of each party to the acquisition, dissipation, preservation, depreciation or appreciation in the amount or value of the marital property, as well as the contribution of a party as a homemaker;
  10. The tax consequences of the proposed distribution to each party;
  11. The present value of the property;
  12. The need of a parent who has physical custody of a child to own or occupy the marital residence and to use or own the household effects;
  13. The debts and liabilities of the parties;
  14. The need for creation, now or in the future, of a trust fund to secure reasonably foreseeable medical or educational costs for a spouse or children;
  15. The extent to which a party deferred achieving their career goals.

When a court makes a ruling on equitable distribution, the court must make specific findings of fact based on the three step process that I outlined  above, i.e., (a) what assets are part of the marital estate; (b) what is the value of each asset; (c) the manner in which it should be distributed.  The value of each asset is determined at the date of the complaint and not the time that the ruling is made.

Except real estate and other major items, courts generally do not get involved in dividing furniture and other small items.

If you need help dealing with equitable distribution issues in your NJ divorce case, call the team of aggressive Passaic County Divorce Lawyers today.