Where to start when filing for divorce

Photo of attorney Melinda L. Singer

Most people in New Jersey get married with the intention of being together forever. Sadly, that is not always the case, and having to deal with an unanticipated divorce can be a daunting prospect. Where does one start, and what are the necessary steps? One thing to keep in mind is that there are ways in which to limit the trauma of a divorce.

Couples who choose to remain amicable and agree to an uncontested divorce can reach a settlement without the need to go to court. While certain aspects will always be traumatic, such as dealing with child-related matters, even those can be negotiated without involving the court. The help of divorce mediators, or choosing a collaborative divorce can ease the negotiations to reach an out-of-court settlement agreement.

It is essential to get organized with gathering the necessary documentation and arrange for the closing of joint bank accounts and credit cards. New accounts will have to be opened, and depending on the decisions made about the family home, modifications to the mortgage arrangement may be necessary, the property sold or an application for a new loan might be necessary. The paperwork can seem staggering, but help is available.

No one in New Jersey needs to deal with this challenging process alone. One of the most important steps is hiring an experienced divorce attorney. If that is done early on, the entire process could be simplified. A lawyer can provide support, guidance and legal advice along every step of the way, and assist with negotiations and drafting settlements and related documents.

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