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New Jersey Divorce Guide

A comprehensive free guide to divorce and family law in the State of New Jersey.

Family Law

2. The Major Issues

>> Custody.

How to set, change, enforce, and terminate custody orders. Also includes discussion of constitutional issues, international abduction, moving with the child, custody on death of a parent, and grandparent visitation.

>> Child Support.

How to set, change, enforce, and terminate child support orders. Also includes discussion of the Child Support Guidelines, emancipation, and contribution to college costs.

>> Alimony.

How to set, change, enforce, and terminate alimony orders. Also includes discussion of cohabitation and retirement.

>> Dividing Property.

Explains the three-part process of equitable distribution in the State of New Jersey.

In any divorce proceeding, there are four major issues: (1) custody; (2) child support; (3) alimony; and (4) division of property. Of course, not every issue needs to be litigated in every case. For example, many married couples do not have children. Thus, custody and child support would be off the table. Moreover, in marriages that are very short in duration, the parties may not need to resolve alimony and equitable distribution. In most cases, however, all four major issue are on the table.

A substantial body of law has been built up around each issue. The State Legislature and Courts are always trying to address the wide range of circumstances in which New Jersey families find themselves. Moreover, as public opinion changes, the laws change too. (For example, there was once a presumption that a child’s mother would be awarded custody. That presumption no longer exists. In fact, members of the New Jersey Legislature have proposed laws that would create a presumption of 50/50 custody. It is not clear whether such proposals will be adopted.) Therefore, it is critical to stay on top of actual and upcoming changes — one more reason to hire a qualified divorce attorney. 

The divorce process will not be concluded until all major issues have been resolved, whether by an agreement between the parties or by an Order of the Court.

Andrew M. Shaw, Esq. - Somerville, NJ Divorce Lawyer

Andrew M. Shaw, Esq. is the author of this New Jersey Divorce Guide and the founder of Shaw Divorce & Family Law LLC in Somerville, New Jersey.

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  • American Bar Association - Family Law Section
  • New Jersey State Bar Association – Family Law Section
  • New Jersey State Bar Association – Appellate Practice Special Committee
  • Somerset County Family Law Practice Committee
  • MENSA International