Does New Jersey have legal separation?
Sometimes, when a marriage doesn’t work out and a couple wants to part ways, divorce is not really an option for them. There are countless situations that call for a couple to seek alternatives to divorce after the end of their relationship. Some people choose to stay married because of health benefits, religious reasons, tax consequences, and even financial support. In some cases, a couple will stay together so that one can become a foster parent or just to keep the doors open to reconciliation. Whatever the reason, legal separation might be something you are interested in and you are seeking more information.
New Jersey does not provide the legal means to legally separate. They do not provide documentation to support it and there is no court that will help a couple legally separate. That said, legal separation can still be acquired through two avenues.
Divorce from bed and board, also known as a limited divorce, is the closest thing New Jersey has to suing the other party for legal separation. This outdated practice was more utilized when divorce held a social stigma. The court will pass judgment on all relevant marital issues, including alimony, division of assets, child support, and child custody. At the end, the divorce is not complete and parties can keep the benefits of marriage and live separately. People often avoid the cost and emotional turmoil of the process, shying away from a method that resembles a divorce so closely.
A Separation Agreement is a popular way to get a legal separation in New Jersey. With the help of a moderator and the process of mediation, a couple works together to come to a conclusion that works for both of them. At the end of the mediation process, the mediator will draft a document detailing what the couple has agreed to and the terms going forward. The couple can use this document to stay legally separated for as long as they wish or file it to start the process of divorce at any time.
The Law Office of Toby Grabelle, LLC is a family and divorce law firm serving Monmouth County and all of New Jersey that would be happy to assist you in legal counsel. If you need quality legal services, contact the firm for a consultation.