FAQs About Family Law and Divorce
in New Jersey and Pennsylvania

When you’ve decided that your marriage can’t be saved and you need to file for divorce, you may have a lot of unanswered questions about custody and visitation, support, and the division of debts and assets. This page provides answers to some of the commonly asked questions about divorce and family law.

At the law office of Aronberg, Kouser, Snyder & Lindemann, P.A., our family law and matrimonial lawyers have decades of combined experience providing comprehensive family law counsel to men and women in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Our matrimonial law attorneys, Daniel K. Snyder and Devan J. Theiler, have both been designated “Rising Stars” by their peers in the legal profession as well as “Awesome Attorneys” in family law by South Jersey Magazine. We are experienced trial attorneys who are never afraid to take your case to trial to get the outcome you want. Nonetheless, we recognize that there are times when a negotiated settlement is in everyone’s best interests. We’ll take the time to learn the details of your situation, as well as your objectives, so that we can put together the best strategy to get the results you seek.

Contact our office online or call us at 856-429-1700 (toll free at 856-429-1700).

Divorce and Family Law FAQ

Q: What is the difference between “no-fault” and “at-fault” divorce?

A: In a no-fault divorce proceeding, the party asking for the divorce does not need to show that the other party did something wrong in order to get a divorce. All states allow no-fault divorce, but every state specifies the grounds under which a no-fault divorce can be granted. A typical basis would “irreconcilable differences,” essentially another way of saying the parties have an inability to get along.

An “at-fault” divorce requires that the party filing for the divorce state specific grounds, such as adultery, cruelty or abandonment. A party may file an “at-fault” divorce proceeding to get a greater share of the marital property or to get an advantage in custody proceedings. Also, some states require a mandatory waiting period in no-fault divorce proceedings.

Q: How are child custody and visitation determined?

A: The most important factor in a child custody determination is the best interests of the minor child. The parties to a divorce may agree on custody and visitation, but the agreement will still be subject to review by the court to ensure that the best interests of the child are actually given priority.

Q: What’s the difference between physical custody and legal custody?

A: Physical custody describes where the minor child actually resides most of the time. The parent with whom the minor child spends most of their time is generally considered to have physical custody. Even when physical time is shared, the court will typically designate one parent as having the right to physical custody.

Legal custody refers to the parent’s right to participate in decisions about the health, welfare and upbringing of the child. Courts generally prefer to grant joint legal custody so that both parents work together and send the same message to the children.

Q: What is an “equitable distribution” state for the purposes of marital property division?

A: Pennsylvania and New Jersey are both “equitable distribution” states. This means that, if the parties cannot come to an agreement regarding the division of property, the court will look at a number of factors and attempt to divide the debts and assets “fairly.” This does not, however, mean equally. The court may consider such factors as earning capacity, length of the marriage, health of the parties and any wrongful conduct when determining the division of debts and assets.

Contact the Law Office of Aronberg, Kouser, Snyder & Lindemann, P.A.

For a confidential consultation with an experienced New Jersey/Pennsylvania matrimonial lawyer, contact us by e-mail or call our office at 856-429-1700 (toll free at 856-429-1700).

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