Hackensack NJ Separation Attorney
Divorce Lawyer in Bergen County, New Jersey
When you are considering ending your marriage or you need to take some time apart, you may have questions about legal separation in New Jersey. Understanding the differences between separation and divorce is essential when making such important decisions for yourself and your family. At The Elfant Rickett Law Firm, we are committed to ensuring that our clients are thoroughly informed about all of their options. We recognize the stress and significance of these decisions and we walk alongside you every step of the way. Our firm’s founder, Rosa Elfant Rickett, has built a stellar reputation on her willingness and commitment to go the extra mile for clients like this one:
“Rosa successfully managed and resolved my complicated separation and divorce case that involved a minor child. Rosa stood by my side and guided me each step of the way during this very stressful period of time. What impressed me the most about Rosa is her ability to stand by and protect her client and her sensitivity to family related issues. Rosa was available at all times when I needed her advice. Rosa is very smart, bright, ambitious and caring lawyer. She is very knowledgeable and experienced with all family matters. Once you starting working with Rosa you will be protected and she will do everything in her power to achieve the best and fair result. I highly recommend Rosa to everyone.” – Former Client
To read more of our client reviews, visit our Client Reviews Page and please feel free to contact our Hackensack offices anytime to schedule a consultation about your separation or divorce case. We can be reached by phone at 201.968.5700 or contact us online to begin your conversation.
What is a Legal Separation in New Jersey?
The legal implications of separation are not what you might expect under New Jersey law. In fact, New Jersey does not recognize separation as a legal status. You may be separated, as in living apart, but this does not automatically translate into a legal separation. You can, however, draw up a separation agreement that acts as a binding legal document, similar to any other contract under NJ law. This allows you to accomplish a number of things, including becoming the basis for a marital settlement agreement if you choose to divorce at some point in the future.
A separation agreement serves as a legal document through which to address the same issues that may arise during divorce. In order for the separation agreement to be considered valid and enforceable, it must be in writing, voluntarily signed by both parties (meaning neither is under duress at the time), and notarized. The separate agreement can outline arrangements related to a broad range of issues, including:
- Child custody, parenting time, and visitation
- Child support
- Child care expenses
- Spousal support
- Home-related matters such as mortgage payments, property taxes, and household expenses
- Credit card and loan payments (i.e. car loans, college or school tuition)
- Health insurance coverage
Freezing Assets During Separation
When you choose to separate, the other important function that a separation agreement can serve is to “freeze” your assets. By freezing your shared assets, you can prevent any major changes during your separation. For example, neither spouse can run up debt that both end up responsible for or transfer assets out of a shared account.
Turning a Separation into a Divorce
If you ultimately decide to divorce, your separation agreement can provide a framework from which to devise a marital settlement agreement if you so choose. Additionally, New Jersey recognizes separation as a grounds for divorce if you and your spouse have been separated for a period of 18 months prior to filing for divorce. If you haven’t been living separately for 18 months, you can still file for divorce based on irreconcilable differences or other grounds.
Contact a Garfield NJ Separation Lawyer about Your Case
If you are currently separated, considering separation, or wondering about the legal implications of separation vs. divorce in New Jersey, The Elfant Rickett Law Firm is here for you. Our legal team regularly assists clients with separation agreements and divorce in Hackensack, Garfield, Lodi, Cliffside Park, Lyndhurst, and throughout Bergen County and New Jersey. Contact us anytime at 201.968.5700 to schedule a consultation about your specific separation or divorce and make informed decisions for your future.