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How Do I Know if I Should Get Divorced?

Deciding whether to file for divorce is an intensely personal determination that only you can make. While it can be helpful to solicit advice from family and friends, you ultimately must make the decision personally. What is right for your sibling or your best friend may not be right for you. This also is not a decision that you should make quickly. Give yourself some time to fully consider the various factors that you should take into account when making decisions about divorce.

First, consider whether your desire to get divorced is based on rational reasons or raw emotions. Are you simply angry or upset with your spouse, or have you been considering divorce for a long period of time? Have you already attempted to repair the problems with your marriage, or are you just reacting to something that your spouse has done or said that has hurt you? Take some time to determine whether you truly believe that you would better off on your own, or if you still have hope for your marriage.

Next, ask yourself whether you are staying in your marriage solely for the sake of your children. The reality is that your child is smarter than you think, and probably can tell that your relationship with your spouse is troubled. Listening to you and your spouse fight on a regular basis is not healthy for your child. It teaches your child that dysfunction in your marriage is part of a normal relationship, which is not exactly the healthiest of lessons. At the end of the day, your child will recover from divorce, and hopefully learn the differences between healthy and unhealthy relationships.   Just because you do not have a functional marriage, doesn’t mean that you can’t have a functional and healthy coparenting relationship.

Determining whether to file for divorce can be a very complex decision to make, so you will need to consult a New Jersey family law attorney about your rights and obligations under New Jersey law. We are here to help you make the decisions in your case that will best benefit you and your family in your divorce or related legal matter. We are here to answer your questions, ease your mind, and help guide you through what is likely to be a difficult proceeding. At Argentino Family Law & Child Advocacy, LLC, we handle many legal matters that relate to families and children. Contact our office today and see how we can assist you with your New Jersey divorce case.

Settling Your Divorce Case: What You Should Know Before You Settle

While most divorce cases end in a settlement, reaching that settlement can be a lengthy process. During negotiations in your divorce case, you are likely to question and struggle with making the different decisions that you are facing. Individuals make decisions in their divorce cases for different reasons, not all of which are completely rational or in their best interests. Therefore, before you reach a final settlement in your divorce case, there are a few things that you should know.

First, you should be aware of what you are or potentially are giving up when you agree to a settlement in your divorce case. For example, your spouse’s offer of settlement may include a provision that you are not entitled to any portion of your spouse’s retirement plan, even though it accrued during your marriage. Under New Jersey law, your spouse’s retirement plan would qualify as marital property, so you may very well be entitled to a portion of the plan’s assets. By accepting your spouse’s settlement offer, you may be giving up a legal right to that asset. Of course, you can make whatever decision you want, but you should know what rights you may be giving up before you agree to give them up.

Next, avoid making decisions based on emotions. It is very easy in a divorce to allow your feelings to drive your decisions rather than engaging in a rational decision-making process. Many individuals who simply want to get a divorce over with will agree to whatever settlements their spouses propose, purely for the sake of quickly ending their marriage. Other individuals will claim that they don’t have the money or strength to continue to fight with their spouses. This is one reason why it is so essential to have the assistance and advice of an attorney throughout your divorce proceedings. A divorce lawyer can look at the issues you are facing in a more neutral manner, since he or she has no emotional stake in the matter, and give you rational advice about how to proceed.

No matter whether settlement is a possibility or litigation is a necessity in your divorce case, our New Jersey family law attorneys can guide you through every step of the proceedings needed to resolve your case. We are here to answer all of your questions about your case and present your potential options. At Argentino Family Law & Advocacy, LLC, we have represented the interests of countless families and children throughout many different types of legal proceeding. Contact our office today at (973) 868-0958 or by e-mail at and set up a time to talk with us about your case.

How Should I Choose a Divorce Attorney?

When it comes time to choose a divorce attorney, you may not know where to start. This is an important decision for a variety of reasons. Therefore, you should take several different factors into consideration in making this decision, including the lawyer’s perspective on your case, his or her level of knowledge and experience with divorce cases like yours, and his or her ability to communicate and help you understand the different aspects of your divorce case.

First, realize that lawyers use different strategies and tactics for approaching a divorce case. One lawyer may take an aggressive stance from the beginning of your case, filing multiple motions with the court and refusing to negotiate or compromise on even the smallest of issues. Another attorney may approach your divorce case more holistically and work closely with your spouse’s attorney to negotiate a settlement that is fair for both of you, thus saving both time and money. When you are interviewing lawyers, you should ask how they would handle the different aspects of your divorce case. You need to be comfortable with your attorney’s approach and make sure that his or her approach is truly designed to get you what you want, need, and deserve in your divorce proceedings.

Next, part of an attorney’s job is to educate you about New Jersey divorce law and explain how procedural matters in your divorce proceedings work. You undoubtedly will have many questions throughout your divorce case, and you will want to ensure that you can get clear answers to your questions from your lawyer in a timely manner, both during your initial consultation and throughout your divorce case. How long can you expect to wait to have your phone calls returned? Will your lawyer take the time to explain things to you, or will he or she be too busy to answer your questions? These are all questions that you should ask a prospective lawyer so that you have a clear sense of the information that you will receive from your divorce lawyer and how and when you will receive it.

Finally, make sure that you hire a lawyer who has experience handling not only divorces, but also handling the issues that will arise in your divorce case. For instance, many attorneys operate a general law practice, which means that they handle divorce and family law cases in addition to many other types of cases, including estate planning, business contracts, and criminal defense cases. An attorney who has focused solely on divorce and family law for several years is likely to have far more experience in these matters than a general practitioner. Likewise, if your divorce case involves issues that may not be common to all divorce cases, such as a prenuptial agreement, allegations of child abuse, or a family business, you are likely to get the most help from an attorney ho has handled divorces involving these types of issues in the past.

How Mediation May Be a Useful Alternative Dispute Resolution Tool

Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) in which a neutral third-party mediator hears evidence about both sides of the dispute, facilitates a discussion between the parties, and guide the parties through negotiations outside of the courtroom. As mediation is often a less expensive and time-consuming means of settling family law cases, such as divorces, New Jersey Courts not only encourage the use of mediation, but actually require it in divorces. Mediation is useful in almost all type of family and child-related legal matters. Divorces, child custody and parenting time modifications or disputes, and alimony, equitable distribution and child support cases all are suitable subjects for mediation. From an emotional and personal perspective, it is usually better for spouses and/or parents to reach an agreement to resolve their legal disputes rather than go to court and have the judge make a decision.

As stated above, a mediator is a neutral party who does not take either side of the dispute. He or she does not make decisions in your case, even if mediation fails and the parties reach no agreement. The only role of the mediator is to help the parties communicate in a meaningful and calm manner so that they can work through disputed issues and reach a mutually acceptable resolution. Mediation proceedings are much more informal than court proceedings, which can allow the parties to relax and work on their problems in a friendly rather than hostile environment. If the parties reach an agreement, the mediator then places that agreement in writing and submits it to the court for approval.

At Argentino Family Law & Child Advocacy, LLC , Jodi Argentino is a Court-approved mediator.  We also will participate in mediation as attorneys for either party.  We handle all of the different issues that New Jersey cases involve with respect to families and children whether it involves litigation, mediation, or another form of alternative dispute resolution. We understand how emotional and stressful these types of cases can be, which is why we are here to help guide you through your legal proceedings as simply and efficiently as possible. Contact our offices today to set up an appointment with one of our highly experienced lawyers and see what we can do to help with your case.