Deciding to divorce is a difficult decision. Many couples decide to try separating first, with the hope that they may be able to get back together after a period of time.
As New Jersey divorce lawyers, we often get calls from people who want to know how to file for a “Legal Separation.” We tell them that, unlike in some other States, there is no such thing in New Jersey.
However, that does not mean that separating couples should do nothing. Under New Jersey divorce law, with few exceptions, all assets and debts acquired during the marriage are subject to equitable distribution in a divorce.
Why is that important? Because, under New Jersey divorce law, “during the marriage” generally means the time from the date of the marriage to the date that the Divorce Complaint is filed.
Therefore, any assets or debts acquired by either spouse during the separation period will need to be shared—unless they enter into a written Separation Agreement which resolves those issues.
Other reasons to have a written Separation Agreement in New Jersey include making sure that both parties agree on who will pay the ongoing living expenses in each household, as well as formalizing a custody arrangement and parenting time schedule for any children.
If you are thinking about separating and would like to set up a personal and confidential appointment, call us at (973) 455-1220 or fill out the Contact Form on our Website.