Family law is the most emotional area of law. A divorce can be a stressful time for you and your family. A divorce touches every aspect of a person’s life. That is why it is important to retain a competent, compassionate, and approachable attorney with family law experience. At the Law Offices of Kisha M. Hebbon, Attorney Hebbon has the experience and compassion to effectively safeguard her client’s current and long term interests. She works closely with her clients and ensures that clients feel comfortable. She is dedicated and committed to her clients and does everything possible to earn their trust. Ms. Hebbon offers both personal and professional support through times that are highly emotional, but require calm and reasoned decision making.
Most people mistakenly believe that it takes a “barracuda” or “bull dog” type attorney to “win” their case. The reality of matrimonial law is that no one wins in a divorce, as all involved parties’ lives will undoubtedly change. The key is to have an attorney who is a strong advocate and knows the law and how it applies to your case. “Barracuda” or ‘bull dog” tactics only cause the attorney and the client to lose credibility with the judge and causes both parties to incur enormous legal expenses. While Ms. Hebbon competently and zealously represents her clients before the Court, she does so with integrity and dignity. She is very up front and honest with her clients and her main goal is to ensure that her clients come out of the divorce process as emotionally and financially whole as possible.
In New Jersey, there are nine grounds or causes to file for divorce. The four most popular grounds are irreconcilable differences (after six months), extreme cruelty (after three months), no fault separation (after 18 months), and adultery.
The Superior Court of New Jersey has jurisdiction over all causes of divorce when either spouse is a resident of New Jersey at the time the action is started. Furthermore, the jurisdiction of the Court over the defendant is fully established when the defendant files an acknowledgment of service of process, enters an appearance, or files an answer to the complaint.
The filing of a Complaint for Divorce starts the divorce process. A Complaint for Divorce is filed in the county in which the plaintiff lived when the cause of action arose, or if the plaintiff was not living in New Jersey at that time, it must be filed in the county in which the defendant was living when the cause of action arose. The Complaint must state the essential facts which form the basis for the petition for divorce, the addresses of the parties, and in cases involving a child, the address, date of birth, and information as to where and with whom the child resides. In a divorce where adultery or deviant sexual conduct is alleged, the complaint must also name the adulterer, or the correspondent.
An Answer is the defendant’s written response to the plaintiff’s Complaint in the divorce case. In addition to the defendant’s Answer, the defendant may file Counterclaims against the plaintiff. A defendant is required to file the Answer and/or Counterclaims within thirty five (35) days of receiving the divorce complaint. Alternatively, the defendant may file an Appearance governed by R. 5:4 3(a) with the Court, where the defendant is not disputing the claims in the Complaint. If the defendant files a Counterclaim, the plaintiff is permitted twenty (20) days in which to file any responsive pleading.
The Case Information Statement (CIS) is the most critical document in a divorce case. Court rules require both parties to file and serve CIS’s in all contested family actions where there is an issue as to custody, support, alimony, or equitable distribution. The primary purpose of the CIS is to identify all assets and liabilities (whether subject to division or not) of the parties. Each party must file their respective CIS within 20 days after the filing of the Answer or Appearance. You will eventually have to provide our office with copies of income tax returns for at least the immediate preceding three years, a list of current debts, a list of all assets owned (including how held), detailed information on all life insurance policies (companies, policy numbers, policy amounts, type of policies, premiums, who pays the premiums, cash surrender values, beneficiaries, loans, etc.), and copies of your last three pay stubs.
Ninety eight percent of divorces in New Jersey are settled before trial. Settlement agreements are agreements where in the divorcing couples determine their rights and responsibilities. A settlement agreement, or Marital Settlement Agreement (MSA) is a contract between the spouses and it determines the issues in the divorce case. The issues addressed in the MSA include alimony, child support, custody, parenting time, debts, and distribution of property subject to division. By negotiating a fair settlement, the parties can make their own legally enforceable contract and avoid years of litigation, expensive legal fees, and years of stress. Our Somerset divorce lawyers are also experienced in handling post-divorce modifications when the dynamics and needs of a family change including a change in financial status, failure to comply with the agreement or a parent choosing to move away.
A fair property settlement agreement can be achieved by having meetings between the parties’ attorneys, through mediation, or court sponsored early settlement programs. When the parties enter into a settlement agreement, the agreement is made a part of the Final Judgment of Divorce and it has the same effect as a judgment entered by the court as long as the settlement agreement is not unconscionable.
Somerset divorce lawyer at Law Offices of Kisha M. Hebbon offers a compassionate and caring approach to the divorce process in New Jersey. For more information or to discuss your case, call us at 732-873-6464 or contact us online. We represent clients throughout New Jersey including Somerset County, Middlesex County, Union County and including but not limited to the towns of Somerset, Franklin, Bridgewater, New Brunswick, East Brunswick, Plainfield, Edison, Metuchen, Woodbridge, Piscataway, Old Bridge, Rahway, Linden, Elizabeth, Cranford, Summit, Union, Clark, Elizabeth, Berkeley Heights, and Scotch Plains.