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New Jersey Divorce Blog

Know Your Rights: Holding Your Former Spouse Accountable For The Marital Assets They "Pissed Away" or Hid Leading Up To The Divorce Filing

In a divorce, can you recoup monies "pissed away" by a spouse on things unrelated to the marriage or can you hold a spouse accountable for specific debts incurred in advance of a divorce filing? Or, what if your spouse hid assets during the marriage. Can you recoup those monies in a divorce? The answer to each of those questions is YES, YOU CAN, and reliance is found in NJ's equitable distribution statute and in a whole body of case law dealing with that subject.

The advantages of divorce mediation

A previous post on this blog talked about a recent case that, in the final analysis, may have been better off getting resolved through mediation or a similar process. The recent case involved a spat between two New Jersey parents over how much each should contribute to the cost of their son's college education.

The case serves as a good opportunity to remind New Jersey residents facing a divorce or other family law issue about the advantages family law mediation offers.


Unfortunately, one of the most common battles fought in the family courts in New Jersey is over how much each parent should contribute to the cost of their child[rens] college education and over the college selection. Stereo-typically, the language of most divorce agreements in dealing with future college costs is something along the following lines:

Overview of New Jersey's alimony law

Like many other states, New Jersey allows courts to order one party in a divorce to pay alimony, which also frequently gets referred to as spousal support, to the other party.

Court must consider a number of factors before awarding alimony. While the point of these factors is to help a court determine whether and to what extent one spouse needs, or deserves, spousal support payments from the other spouse, each of these factors can depend very heavily on a couple's individual circumstances. As such, a person's right to alimony should be discussed with an experienced New Jersey family law attorney.

Invasion of an Ex's Retirement Assets for Unpaid Child Support, Unpaid Alimony, Unpaid Healthcare Costs, College Costs, and Related Fees

Most people who have gone through a divorce, know that QDRO's (qualified domestic relations orders) can be used to divide specific retirement assets between spouses in a divorce. But few people know that QDRO's can also be used to address unpaid court ordered child support, alimony arrears, unpaid unreimbursed healthcare costs, unpaid college contributions and the legal fees associated with those collection efforts.

Most property will be divided between spouses in New Jersey

Relative to other states, New Jersey actually has a fairly broad definition of what constitutes marital property, that is, property which will get divided fairly in the event of an absolute divorce, a divorce from bed and board or in a similar proceeding.

Basically, any property that a couple acquires during their marriage will be subject to an equitable division of assets. While some may think otherwise, it actually matters very little which spouse acquired or earned the property, in whose name the property is legally titled, and the like.

What's going to happen if you need to change a support order?

Divorce represents one of the most significant changes and transitions that a person will go through in his or her life. It is difficult and emotional, and a person will likely feel the impact of it for years to come. For some, the changes brought about by divorce and other life events can eventually affect a person's ability to meet his or her support obligations.

You may find yourself in a place where you can no longer manage your child support payments. For reasons beyond your control, you may not be able to keep up, and you may be unsure of what you can do. In certain circumstances, it is possible to modify a support order. If you need to change your current support amount, it does not make you a bad parent. You have the right to explore the legal options available to you.

If I have a premarital agreement, how will property get divided?

As is the case in other states, many residents of New Jersey may choose to enter what is formally called a premarital agreement but which may also get referred to as a prenuptial agreement or even just a prenup.

Premarital agreements are enforceable in New Jersey so long as certain conditions are met. Among these conditions, the agreement has to be in proper form, and both sides have to have an opportunity to speak with their own attorneys about it.

Why should same-sex couples keep their divorce peaceful?

There are some obvious reasons why anyone would want their separation to be amicable. A contested divorce can be stressful and may result in you being unhappy with the judge’s decision. But if you are ending a same-sex marriage, you might encounter some unique challenges that being friendly can help with.

Same-sex marriage has only been legal nationwide for a few years—so the laws about same-sex divorce sometimes cause confusion. You might want to consider mediation to avoid these issues.

Helping you seek spousal support during divorce

Divorce can be an expensive process; however, when married couples in New Jersey seek to end their union, he or she will take on these costs. While these costs can be overwhelming during the dissolution process, some spouses are faced with more financial problems than others. In fact, when one spouse was the breadwinner, this can make it challenging for one to maintain the lifestyle they were used to during marriage post-divorce. In these cases, seeking alimony might be the proper step the take.

Seeking alimony during divorce might give rise to disputes; however, this should not deter spouses from seeking financial support that he or she is entitled to. Alimony can be very beneficial, and it can look very differently from one divorced couple to the next. At Diamond & Diamond, P.A., our law firm understands the ins and outs of the divorce process, and is available to help divorcing spouses in the Millburn area understand what types of alimony he or she could seek.

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Millburn, NJ 07041

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