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Prolonged Separation = Divorce Complications

The New Jersey Appellate Division case of Milcarsky v. Milcarsky, confirmed the trial court’s decisions about thorny issues resulting from prolonged separation.

In this case, the parties separated after nine years of marriage.  However, neither filed for divorce until 2015, 11 years later. The court treated this marriage as one of 20 years’ duration. The trial court awarded open-durational alimony.  The Appellate court affirmed this decision. The court also included all assets acquired post-separation, but prior to the date of the Complaint for Divorce, as marital, but declined to divide them equally, holding such a distribution would be patently unfair. However, the assets acquired during the marriage, and prior to the separation, should be equally divided. This decision yielded a 21.5% distribution of assets. Specifically, the defendant’s 401(k) was divided so that the plaintiff would receive 21.5%, not 50%.

Many factors can complicate a divorce. Certainly, a prolonged period of separation is a significant one.

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

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