How To Protect Legal Rights In A New Jersey Divorce
When you are in the midst of a divorce, there are numerous foundational rules you should follow to ensure that you and your soon-to-be former spouse's rights are protected. While breaking some of these rules might be briefly tempting as a way to get back at your spouse for the heartbreak and pain associated with a divorce, it will be a mistake in the long run because it can also hurt you, your children, and your reputation.
Do not hide, dispose of, ruin or give away any piece of property that could be deemed to be part of the marriage. Marital property can be anything that was acquired after the couple was married except for gifts and inheritances, so destroying something that you feel is yours to destroy is a mistake. The only way in which this is possible is if the spouse consents to it or it is agreed to in court.
Spouses have a right to see their children even during a divorce. Do not move children away from the court's jurisdiction. This can have a devastating influence on any attempt to gain custody of the children because it will show that you cannot be trusted with the children or to give the spouse a reasonable opportunity to see them. While the divorce is going on and after it is completed, it must be agreed to legally where the children will be located, who has custody, how much time the non-custodial parent will get to spend with the children and when the visitation will occur. After the divorce, it is possible to move the children to another state, but that too must be agreed to legally to provide the non-custodial parent an opportunity to have parental time with the children.
This ties into not hiding the children. Keeping the children away from the other parent will not only cause problems in the relationship, but it can have legal ramifications as well. Unless there are legitimate reasons to keep the children away such as abuse, it will only serve to cause more acrimony in the divorce proceedings if the children are not allowed to spend time with the non-custodial parent. In fact, if the non-custodial parent is not given access to the children, it is possible that he or she might cease paying child support as retaliation, escalating the dispute further.
Do not use credit cards or money in bank accounts that belong to the other spouse. When there are joint accounts in a divorce, they must be split legally. If one spouse thinks that running up credit card bills on a joint credit card or by using credit cards, home equity or other avenues to acquire goods is a way to get revenge for the divorce and what precipitated it, it is a mistake. Joint credit cards are the responsibility of both parties. An individual's credit card misused could lead to other legal difficulties and cause the spouse who committed the act to fall into poor favor with the court during the divorce.
Making threats, using intimidation or overall harassing behavior will be looked upon unfavorably by the court and could result in police involvement. A restraining order for domestic violence or the allegation of domestic violence can create a slew of issues as the divorce moves forward that can affect both sides with their visitation rights, employment, alimony, child support and many other aspects of the divorce. If there is a court order to stay away from the other party, adhere to it and do not run the risk of an arrest.
Speak To An Experienced New Jersey Divorce Lawyer
While getting a divorce can be a trying time with many unresolved feelings that have to be sorted out, there is no reason to ignore your own legal rights or the rights of the other party. The most contentious divorces can turn worse if either side chooses to ignore the legal rights of their spouse. The most amicable divorces can become contentious if there are attempts to ignore legal rights.
If you or a loved one are in the process of getting divorced or are considering getting divorced in Brick, Long Branch, Colts Neck or any other town in New Jersey and have questions about your legal rights, the attorneys at the Law Firm of Villani & DeLuca in Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey are here to help.
Other Resources for Protecting Your Rights
Finding Hidden Assets In A New Jersey Divorce
Handling Child Abduction By A Spouse
Living Together During A Divorce