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Dos and don'ts during divorce

When New Jersey couples divorce, both parties usually want to conclude the legal process as fast as possible. The reasons for wanting a quick divorce include the need to move on after the end of a marriage, to avoid high legal costs and to sever existing legal connections between the spouses.

Individuals who decide to divorce often don't realize that the period between filing the papers and receiving the final divorce decree may cause legal restrictions to be put on each party's behavior. This happens because the spouses, even when they have moved out of their homes, remain legally married during this time. For example, a person who provides health insurance to his or her spouse through a work policy will often be required to maintain that policy until a judge has granted the divorce.

Both parties can expect there to be restrictions on their spending habits. While purchases that are required for daily living, such as food, work, clothes and car repairs, are usually permissible, spending a large amount of money on unnecessary items or services, such as vacations or electronics, is a no-no. These restrictions are to prevent one spouse from running up high debts or spending through assets as a way of financially harming the other person.

Parents of minor children also face significant restrictions. In most cases, neither party will be allowed to take his or her child or children out of state unless he or she has received permission from the court to do so.

People who are unsure of how they should conduct themselves during divorce proceedings may benefit from speaking with an experienced family law attorney. A lawyer may be able to review his or her client's situation provide guidelines on spending, traveling and handling work-related benefits.

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