I have a child with spouse, and currently not working. He is going to proceed with the divorce paperwork and so on. What do I need to do from my end to ensure a smooth divorce and custody of the child?
It sounds like your spouse plans on representing himself (not having a lawyer), and you are considering the same thing.
Yes, being represented by a lawyer costs money. However, I believe that it is well worth the cost, because making a mistake can cost you and your child a lot more than the cost of the lawyer, and affect you for a long time.
At the very least, I believe that you should meet as soon as possible with a very experienced lawyer who devotes his/her entire practice to New Jersey Divorce and Family Law matters.
Go over your situation in detail with the attorney, get educated answers to your questions, and obtain expert guidance as to the best course of action. In my opinion, it will be well worth the cost of the meeting.
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I agree with my colleague. Doing the right thing for your child and ensuring that you secure custody is not something you want to leave to chance. If money is an issue, and you spouse is willing, you might try mediation. But before you make any decisions, at least have a consultation with an attorney,
This is not a yes-or-no question, there is no way to tell you what to do without knowing a lot more about what is going on. You need to hire a lawyer, and get a clear idea of what the law is, and how it applies to your situation. Your spouse is filing for divorce without a lawyer, is that what is going on? And you are just going to go to court for a divorce, without consulting a lawyer? Do not do this, you will end up much worse off. More importantly, you need to raise and pay for a child. You need to know what your rights are, and what your husband's obligations are to help you raise your child and pay for that child's needs.
Please mark this answer as "Helpful" or "Best Answer" if my advice helped you. AND NOW THE DISCLAIMER: Please keep in mind that my response is just a general comment on your question, and not legal advice. I have answered based upon the law of the State of New Jersey where I practice; the laws in other states may be very different, and may result in very different outcomes. Your question and any response does NOT create an attorney-client relationship between you and this law firm. The exact details of your situation and things that you have not mentioned in your question can completely change the response I gave. You can not rely upon what I have written as legal advice, because I do not have all of the information that I need to advise you, I only have the very small amount of information that you put into your question. The exact facts of your situation may give you a very different result. To get legal advice that you can rely on and use, please contact me directly.
Many family law attorneys offer free consultations. You should take advantage of this opportunity to spend time going over your case in specific detail. The most important thing to know is that avoiding the situation will not make it go away. therefore, I suggest you file an Answer to your husband's Complaint for Divorce. Once you are served with the divorce papers, you will have 35 days to file an Answer with the court. You must do so in writing. This is your opportunity to let the court know you are seeking custody of your child. In the interim, if you are are need of child support, you can file an application for child support now. Depending on many factors, in some cases it is also possible to get your soon to be ex to advance you counsel fees for your divorce. Bear in mind, this only happens in certain cases. This is one of the reasons you should immediately seek advice of counsel.
Please mark this answer as "Helpful" or "Best Answer" if my advice helped you. I hope you understand that the information I presented to you is based on the limited facts presented and is based on New Jersey. Also, this information does not contain any confidential information and does not create any attorney/client relationship.
You should consult with an attorney of your choice who can provide you with not only information regarding your rights but also obtain some additional information from you. There are many details in every divorce that cause each divorce situation to be unique. Someone who is well versed in Family Law can guide you down the correct path.
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