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Divorce Lawyer New Jersey

New Jersey Divorce Attorneys Ready to Assist You

Cowen & Jacobs are New Jersey divorce lawyers located in Hackensack. Our practice is tailored to meet the needs and objectives of our clients, whether we are assisting them in seeking a negotiated settlement or we are aggressively representing their rights in court.

We provide all of our clients with experienced and personalized guidance through the often difficult divorce process.

What A Divorce Lawyer Does To Help You

Even a seemingly simple divorce can become complex and contentious, especially with regard to issues such as child custody, parenting time, child support, alimony, closely held family businesses, deferred compensation, and more.

We will take the time to explain the legal framework of your case, and encourage questions about the procedures and law governing it. Knowledge is power. Armed with knowledge and our legal skills, our clients feel safe and confident in pursuing all issues that may arise in their case.

We have also found, as have the New Jersey courts, that agreements reached between the parties rather than imposed by a judge, are more lasting and less likely to generate post-judgment litigation. However, when settlement is not possible, we will zealously litigate at the trial level and at the appellate level if required.

What A Divorce Lawyer Does To Help High Income/High Net Worth Clients

As between divorcing spouses, financial issues are the only ones upon which our New Jersey courts will focus. Your emotional needs are not relevant to a judge.

When one or both spouses have a high income and have a substantial net worth, the financial issues arising from a complex divorce are less likely to be completely resolved through alternative dispute resolution such as mediation.

Thus, while we guide our clients through the settlement process that is favored by the Family Part of Superior Court, we are always prepared to skillfully and tenaciously litigate all outstanding issues.

Our New Jersey family law attorneys have been involved in extremely sophisticated financial matters during the course of our over 35 years of legal experience in family law matters. We are cognizant of the need to explore the tax consequences of all financial decisions made within the context of a complex divorce.

Forensic accountants, financial advisors, tax attorneys, and other experts are often employed to ensure that all financial issues are fully identified and thoroughly examined. Our goal is always to ensure that you receive your equitable share of the marital estate.

Since New Jersey is an equitable distribution State and not a community property State, your equitable share may not be 50% of the value of the marital estate; it could be more or less.

Cowen & Jacobs has a proven track record of success in Hackensack, Bergen County simple and complex divorce cases as well as those cases venued in other New Jersey counties including Passaic County, Hudson County, and Essex County.

For a free and confidential consultation, contact us today.

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) in a New Jersey Divorce

Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) is a means of the parties settling issues arising from a divorce rather than having a judge determining the outcome. ADR, which is urged by judges, can limit the amount of financial and emotional stress on the parties and their children arising from a contested divorce.

If the parties cannot settle between themselves or with the assistance of counsel, then the court will mandate child custody/ parenting time mediation and eventually economic mediation. The mediator is a neutral third party whose experience and training facilitates a settlement between the parties.

All communications are confidential and cannot be used at trial. Only terms agreed upon in writing and signed are binding on the parties and enforceable by the court.

Unlike mediation, arbitration is conducted by a private arbitrator chosen by the parties to hear their case in lieu of it being heard by a judge. The arbitrator will hear testimony and will render a decision which cannot be appealed by the parties.

Collaborative divorce law is another form of ADR. It focuses on a team effort to problem-solve rather than fight. The team is made up of the parties, their attorneys, and often child custody and financial experts. Not all disputes can be rectified with ADR.

It’s important that you speak with an experienced divorce lawyer to determine whether or not mediation is the right course of action. At Cowen & Jacobs, Barbara E. Cowen is a court approved family law mediator and trained in collaborative law.

How Long A Divorce Typically Takes In New Jersey

The goal of New Jersey Family Part judges is to enter a divorce within one year of the date of the filing of the Complaint.

Judges will set discovery deadlines for the parties to, for instance, identify and evaluate marital assets for the purposes of equitable distribution, to obtain experts’ reports, and to take depositions of the parties and their respective experts.

However, discovery deadlines are often extended. If you are unable to reach a settlement with your spouse on any or all issues, the judges in the Family Part will set a trial date.

Trials in the Family Part are usually stretched out over weeks or even months depending on a judge’s calendar, the availability of expert witnesses, and unforeseen interruptions. In that case, you can expect that your case will not be resolved for two years or more.

The Cost of a New Jersey Divorce

The cost of your divorce will depend on whether or not your case goes to litigation. Settlements are often less expensive, as they take less time. Litigation can be long and drawn out, which can mean higher attorney fees on top of the additional time and energy it takes to go to court.

In New Jersey, it costs $325 to file your official Complaint for Divorce if you have children and $300 if you do not. If you need to serve your spouse, you may also have to pay a Process Server. At Cowen & Jacobs, we charge retainer fees that reflect our years of experience and history of success in the courtroom. That means you are paying for exceptional high quality legal support.

Why Clients Choose Us to Guide Them Through Their Divorce

Family law is one of the most complex and emotionally challenging areas of law. There are countless issues and caveats, making each case a unique matter requiring specialized knowledge and skills. 

All divorces affect more than just the couple; it can also negatively affect their children. This is not in anyone’s long-term best interest. 

At the law firm of Cowen & Jacobs, while our primary concern is representing your interests and helping you to move forward with your life as financially sound as possible, we also try to mitigate the stress on your children. 

Both goals are achievable through our experience, expertise, and hard work. At the same time, we will try to ease your anxiety by keeping you informed of the progress of your case and by providing you with swift access to us during both business and after-business hours via phone, email, and text messages.

You need an attorney with the resources, knowledge, and experience required to win on your behalf in divorce litigation or to help structure a comprehensive settlement. Cowen & Jacobs are those attorneys. 

Our clients choose us and refer their family and friends to us because we have the capabilities, experience, resources, and personal touch that few family law firms can provide.

Our divorce attorneys represent clients within the following areas:

  • Bergen County
  • Passaic County
  • Essex County
  • Hudson County

Divorce in New Jersey FAQs

What Determines The Amount Of Alimony?

The amount and duration of alimony is governed by the guidelines set forth in the law as fairly recently amended. The statute N.J.S.A. 2A:34-23 addresses the many factors that will determine if spousal support is warranted, and if so, the amount and duration.

In high income/high net worth cases, the amount of equitable distribution a spouse receives is often a significant factor in determining the amount of spousal support, or whether it is necessary at all. We have the experience to advocate for you with regard to your rights and obligations.

Are Prenuptial Agreements Enforceable In New Jersey?

Prenuptial agreements used to be reserved for wealthy older people who, in anticipation of a second marriage, wanted to be assured that their assets would be inherited only by their children from the first marriage.

Today, regardless of a person’s age or marital history, it is common for prospective spouses to want to protect their hard-earned assets and business interests, as well as set forth rights and obligations.

At Cowen & Jacobs we will provide you with a personalized detailed explanation of the options available to you and explain to you the requirements under the Uniform Premarital Agreement Act (UPAA) to which you must adhere in order for your agreement to be enforceable.

Cowen & Jacobs has prepared and reviewed hundreds of prenuptial agreements. Every prenuptial agreement is tailored to the specific needs and expectations of our clients while ensuring that it fully complies with the UPAA.

Is The Divorce Process The Same For Same-Sex Couples?

In New Jersey, the laws and procedures governing divorce proceedings for same-sex couples are exactly the same as for opposite sex spouses. The issues of the case may vary to some degree from those found in spouses of the opposite sex. Cowen & Jacobs has handled many same-sex divorces in New Jersey, including a high profile celebrity divorce.

How Does No-Fault Affect My Divorce Proceedings?

The state of New Jersey allows both fault and no-fault divorces. In a no-fault divorce, both parties list “irreconcilable differences” as grounds for the proceeding. To file for a fault divorce, one party must prove one of the following occurred during the marriage:

• Mental or physical cruelty
• Substance abuse for at least 12 consecutive months during the marriage
• Adultery
• Institutionalized for mental illness for at least 24 consecutive months
• Imprisonment for at least 18 consecutive months
• Abandonment for at least 12 months

Fault divorces result in a costlier, more time-consuming process--both parties need to prove their claims by the preponderance of credible evidence.

No-fault divorces, on the other hand, are speedier and less costly on average. Either way, the divorce lawyers at Cowen & Jacobs can explain in detail which route would be best to take in your particular case.

Is New Jersey A 50/50 State When It Comes To Divorce?

New Jersey is what is known as an “equitable distribution” state. That means marital assets are not automatically split 50-50.

It is necessary to first identify all assets acquired by the parties during the marriage held either in one or both parties’ names, as opposed to assets which are exempt from equitable distribution. Assets acquired by each party before the marriage, and inheritances and gifts from third parties to only one spouse are all exempt.

The next step is to evaluate the value of each marital asset as of the day of the Complaint with a few exceptions. In most cases, the main marital assets that have to be evaluated are the marital residence and all forms of retirement benefits.

It is often more complex to evaluate a spouse’s individual stock options and other forms of deferred compensation. Many clients have disputes over the value of other marital assets or may often suspect hidden assets. Disputes over the validity of prenuptial agreements are also common, particularly when one spouse is much wealthier than the other.

Talk With An Experienced New Jersey Divorce Lawyer Today

We customize our legal strategy to meet the needs of our clients. Whether assisting them in seeking a divorce settlement, representing them in ADR, or securing their financial future with a prenuptial agreement, we protect our clients’ best interests with unparalleled vigor and vigilance. 

For experienced and personalized guidance through any divorce law matters:

Contact the Hackensack Divorce Lawyers at Cowen & Jacobs Today

Contact Our Legal Team Today

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Other Types of Family Law We Practice

Talk With An Experienced Divorce Lawyer
in New Jersey Today

We customize our legal strategy to meet the needs of our clients. Whether assisting them in seeking a divorce settlement, representing them in ADR, or securing their financial future with a prenuptial agreement, we protect our clients’ best interests with unparalleled vigor and vigilance. 


 For experienced and personalized guidance through any divorce law matters:

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