What are the basic things I need to know as I start my divorce process in New Jersey?

It is very important for you to have an understanding of your financial situation. When you come to our office for your initial consultation, you should bring your completed Federal and State tax returns, pay stubs, employment contracts (if any), bank statements, mortgage statements, retirement account statements or information, and anything else that is related to your financial situation.

How will your firm approach my divorce case? What’s the first step?

Our firm is very unique because we approach each case individually. We don’t have a formula where you come in, we speak to you, we file a divorce complaint and do everything according to a set routine. We try to match the client with the right approach for that person. We will talk to you and discuss your particular concerns whether it be your children, a business, or support payments. The FIRST STEP is to schedule an initial consultation with one of our attorneys so that you can discuss your own particular situation, and learn about New Jersey law and what you can expect if you proceed with a divorce action.

Do you offer ways to settle my divorce other than litigation?

We’re very good at what we do and we are unique in that we offer different ways to handle your divorce. We can certainly litigate on your behalf in the traditional fashion, filing a divorce complaint or an answer to your spouse’s divorce complaint. But we can also offer you alternatives such as divorce mediation, collaborative divorce and arbitration. These methods of alternative dispute resolution are sometimes more advantageous to you than the traditional litigation approach. These alternative approaches will be discussed during an initial consultation with one of our lawyers.

Do you think that self representation is a good idea?

No. Representing yourself is almost never a good idea, especially when children are involved. Because you have no training or experience in divorce and family law, you will have a difficult time achieving a fair result, and may be taken advantage of by your spouse or his or her attorney. Sometimes our clients have certain misconceptions of what the law is because they have read something on the internet which is not accurate, or does not apply to their particular situation, but they don’t realize that.

If you don’t have the money for a complete divorce, you should at least have an initial consultation with us so that you understand what’s involved before deciding that you want to represent yourself.

If you don’t have a lot of money, you should consider divorce mediation where you and your spouse represent yourselves with an attorney as the Mediator. Once agreement is reached, the mediator can draft a settlement agreement to reflect the resolution reached by the parties in the mediation process. One of our attorneys can either act as the Mediator, or as your lawyer in reviewing the settlement agreement reached through mediation. Mediation is a good alternative if you feel you cannot afford a divorce attorney throughout the entire divorce process.

What is the likelihood that a divorce case will go to trial?

We don’t know the exact statistics, but settlement in this area of the law is very, very common. Probably 90% or more of the cases settle. At Charny, Karpousis, Altieri & Donoian, P.A., we prepare our cases for Court even if we are at the same time negotiating to settle the case. By doing so, we establish with your spouse and his or her attorney that we mean business as we will be ready to go to Court if necessary. We believe that this approach helps us achieve the best possible negotiated settlements for our clients. And yet we work equally hard at settling our client’s cases to minimize the costs of litigating and to obtain a known outcome for our client.

If I feel that my divorce is my spouse’s fault because of infidelity, will I get more out of the divorce settlement?

“Fault” in the cause of action for divorce has almost no impact on either equitable distribution or support in New Jersey. Exceptions are made for intentional acts affecting finances, such as running a business “into the ground”, or dissipating assets on a paramour, or drugs or gambling. But in reality, it doesn’t make a lot of difference in terms of the relief that will likely be granted. You would have to be able to prove that your spouse used the money toward that end and this is not always so easy to do. Also, unless a lot of money is involved, like a house for the mistress, or total depletion of an investment account, a few dinners or a couple of vacations won’t really make a significant impact in the outcome of a case.

Contact Us Today for Your Family Law Needs in Southern New Jersey

Charny, Karpousis, Altieri & Donoian, P.A. is a highly-recognized team of lawyers exclusively practicing Family Law. If you need legal advice on a Family Law issue in South Jersey, please contact our Mount Laurel offices at (856) 505-1700 to schedule a confidential consultation today. You can be confident you will attain the highest level of quality advice specific to your case.

Our experienced South Jersey family law and divorce attorneys provide legal advice and representation to clients throughout Southern New Jersey, including those in Mount Laurel, Maple Shade, Moorestown, Bordentown, Burlington Township, Cinnaminson, Delanco, Delran, Riverton, Easthampton, Westhampton, Southampton, Hainesport, Lumberton, Medford, Medford Lakes, Shamong, Tabernacle, Evesham, Marlton, Cherry Hill, Voorhees, Haddonfield, Berlin, Blackwood, Gloucester Township, Oaklyn, Barrington, Magnolia, Haddon Heights, Haddon Township (Westmont), Laurel Springs, Lindenwold, Sicklerville, Somerdale, Runnemede, Glendora, Mount Ephraim, Stratford, Collingswood, Audubon, Gibbsboro, Bellmawr, Clementon, Merchantville, Pennsauken, Waterford, Deptford, Gibbstown, Glassboro, Harrison, Logan, Mantua, Mullica Hill, Pitman, Sewell, Turnersville, Washington Township, Wenonah, West Deptford, Westville, Williamstown, and Woodbury, and other municipalities in Burlington, Camden, Gloucester, Salem, Cumberland, Atlantic, Ocean, Mercer and Middlesex Counties.


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