How I can help...
Frequently Asked Questions
Why choose a certified matrimonial lawyer?
For all matters of family law, a certified matrimonial attorney will provide the knowledge and expertise you need when sensitive matters come to an impasse. Not all matrimonial attorneys are certified. When the Supreme Court of New Jersey certifies a lawyer as a Matrimonial Law Attorney, it means that the lawyer has been carefully screened, has fulfilled ongoing legal education requirements, has been favorably evaluated by his or her peers and judges familiar with the person's work, and has taken and passed a matrimonial law examination.
What issues are involved in a divorce?
A divorce usually deals with some or all of the following: child custody, child support, alimony, and equitable distribution of property.
In resolving child custody disputes, courts have a preference for joint legal custody, which allows both parents to have a say in decisions affecting the health, education, and welfare of their child or children. If the parties cannot get along or cannot set aside their differences so that they can successfully co-parent their child, the court will be forced to decide who will get sole legal custody.
Child support is based upon the income of each parent and the amount of time each parent spends with the child. There are Child Support Guidelines which the court uses to make its calculations. These guidelines are based upon what an intact family, making a particular income, would spend on a child.
In establishing the amount of alimony to be paid, if any, courts consider many factors, including the length of the marriage, the employment history of the parties, and their marital lifestyle including marital debt.
In general, when it comes to distributing marital property, New Jersey law views a marriage as a partnership, and seeks to equitably allocate each property's value between the two former spouses. It applies the principle of Equitable Distribution. Equitable is not always synonymous with equal There are many individual factors that influence how property is awarded.
How long will my divorce take?
Once the complaint is filed, the divorce should not take more than one year. If you and your spouse reach your own agreement on all issues, you may have your divorce issued within days or up to two months later depending on how much earlier the divorce complaint was filed.
How can I control the cost of my divorce?
The answer is up to you. Divorce attorneys work on an hourly basis. If you and your spouse can work out some of your issues and limit the scope of your disagreements, your divorce will be less costly. If you can gather much or all of your financial information, you won’t need to pay your attorney to get it from your spouse or banks or employers.
What should I do to prepare for my divorce?
You should educate yourself about your finances. Make sure you know where your familys money, stocks, and other property is kept.
- Look for mail from financial institutions.
- Look for bank statements. Keep track of checks.
- Carefully examine your lifestyle and document your expenditures. Make a list of all your monthly expenses, keep credit card receipts, and keep track of the cash you spend for incidentals.
The better educated you are about your familys finances, the less likely it is be that assets will be overlooked or concealed from you. In any case, its important to hire an attorney who has a good business sense of where money might be hidden.
What is mediation?
A mediator is a neutral party who will assist you and your spouse in negotiating a settlement of your marital issues. The mediator will not tell you what to do, but will guide you in reaching an agreement. During mediation, it is wise to have the advice of your own attorney. After the mediation process is completed, your attorney will draft a settlement agreement.
The mediator cannot be both a partys lawyer and the parties mediator. By law, mediation and legal representation must be separate.
Is it better to settle or go to court?
It is always better to settle. A settlement allows both parties to participate in the final outcome. When you go to court, a judge controls the outcome. Why would anyone want a total stranger to take control of his or her destiny?
If you would like more information specific to your particular situation, feel free to call Karen Meislik at (973) 783-3000, ext. 111 or send her an email message at email@example.com.
Which New Jersey courts do you cover?
I regularly appear in courtrooms throughout Northern New Jersey which enables me to help clients in the communities of Montclair, Clifton, East Orange, Cedar Grove, Little Falls, Hackensack, Bloomfield, Glen Ridge, West Orange, Verona, Parsippany, Paramus, West Caldwell, Caldwell, Fairfield, Orange, and Wayne.