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Key Terms in a New Jersey Divorce

Divorce is a scary time for anyone thinking about it or going through it.  Divorce is also something that people do not understand until they are in the process.  Therefore, I have created a list of key terms that are helpful to those new to divorce.

  1. Property Settlement Agreement/Marital Settlement Agreement – A written contract that addresses and resolves all issues arising out of a marriage. This is the main goal of every divorce and nearly 97%-98% of all couples reach this goal. The remaining couples have the issues of their divorce decided by a Judge.
  2. Support – a) Alimony – guided by statutory factors. The most important factors are the length of marriage, needs of parties, ability to pay, and ages of the parties.
    b) Child Support – We have guidelines. Some cases are above the guidelines and a variety of factors become relevant to establish support.
  3. Custody– a) Parent of Primary Residence – The parent who has the child the majority of the time.
    b) Parent of Alternate Residence – The other parent.
  4. Parenting Time – The term used to describe the time shared between a child and their parent.
  5. Equitable Distribution – The method used to divide marital assets and debts.
  6. Emancipation – The age wherein a child is self-sufficient and child support is no longer an obligation of the parents.
  7. Mediation – A process that allows the divorcing couple to self determine the terms of their divorce. A trained mediator facilitates this discussion and process. The mediator prepares a Memorandum of Understanding, which memorializes the terms of the agreement reached. This Memorandum of Understanding is then incorporated into the Marital Settlement Agreement.

Please contact me at jlawrence@lawlawfirm.com if you have questions about this post or any other family law matter.

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