New Jersey Divorce Lawyer

Family Law and Commercial Litigation Lawyer Serving Northern New Jersey and New York
Howard B. LeopoldNew Jersey Divorce Lawyer Offering Vigorous Advocacy

At Leopold Law, we understand that your legal needs require knowledgeable and dedicated representation. After more than 25 years of handling a wide variety of family law matters for people in many New Jersey communities, divorce attorney Howard Leopold has accumulated the experience and resources necessary to pursue your objectives.

Protecting Your Interests in a Family Law Proceeding

Howard Leopold regularly advises people who are seeking to dissolve a marriage and represents them in any related court proceedings or mediation. In New Jersey, a divorce complaint may be filed for a no-fault divorce, rather than claiming fault-based grounds. In a no-fault divorce, the parties do not present evidence of wrongdoing by one spouse that caused the marriage to end. The marriage is dissolved due to separation or the presence of irreconcilable differences with no reasonable chance of reconciliation. While separation requires that the parties have lived apart for at least 18 consecutive months, a divorce based on irreconcilable differences requires no separation period but only that the parties have experienced irreconcilable differences for at least six months. New Jersey divorce lawyer Howard Leopold can help his clients handle any of the paperwork needed to finalize the dissolution of a marriage, as well as advocate for them in any related disputes that may arise.

Property Division and Equitable Distribution

In New Jersey, unless there is a prenuptial agreement or the parties otherwise agree to the division of their assets, their marital property will be subject to equitable distribution by a court. Each spouse will typically keep his or her separate property, which is broadly defined as assets acquired by either spouse before marriage, or gifted to or inherited by one spouse during the marriage. Separate property may be subject to equitable distribution in certain situations, such as when it increases in value due to the efforts of the other spouse. In dividing the property equitably during the property division process, the court may consider statutorily enumerated factors to determine what would be “fair.” An exactly even split is not required.

Child Custody and Visitation

When young children are involved in a divorce in New Jersey, the parents will need to develop a plan for child custody and visitation. Child custody consists of physical and legal custody. Physical custody refers to the time that the child spends with each parent, while legal custody refers to the right of each parent to make decisions regarding important aspects of the child’s life. Either form of custody may be awarded jointly or solely. If a parent has sole physical custody, meaning that the child spends most of the time with them, the other parent often will receive visitation rights. The parents may have joint legal custody even if they do not have joint physical custody. Since these matters tend to be complicated, legal representation is often vital in ensuring that your child’s future is protected.

Child Support

Like many other states, New Jersey has instituted specific guidelines that govern the payment of child support by a parent. That said, these guidelines are not automatically applied but merely provide a rebuttable presumption, from which a court may deviate if it would be appropriate. Factors that often affect child support include the amount of time that the child spends with each parent, the income of each parent, other support obligations of either parent, or any special needs that a child may have. As with child custody, a parent may seek a post-judgment modification of a child support order if there is a substantial change in circumstances that makes it no longer feasible to continue with the existing arrangement.

Alimony (Spousal Support)

In some situations, a court may find that it is appropriate for one spouse to continue financially supporting the other spouse to a certain extent after their marriage ends. A determination of alimony is more flexible than a child support determination, and it may be permanent or temporary. As with child support, a court may impute income to the paying spouse if it finds that they are voluntarily unemployed or underemployed. Also like child support, alimony may be altered based on a significant change in the life of either spouse, such as job loss or the onset of a disability.

Discuss Your Divorce with a New Jersey Lawyer

Enlisting the services of our dedicated and capable legal team at Leopold Law may provide you with the guidance needed to successfully navigate a complex legal matter. New Jersey divorce attorney Howard Leopold serves Bergen, Passaic, Hudson, and Essex Counties, among other areas of Northern New Jersey and New York. Call Leopold Law at (201) 345-5907 or contact us online to set up a free consultation with a family law attorney.

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