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Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 30383
Experience:  Attorney with experience in family law.
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I am residing in New Jersey. I am thinking about legal

Customer Question

I am residing in New Jersey. I am thinking about legal separation and divorce.
I have 2 daughters (12,14yo)-
I got married in Korea. No US marriage certificate here. However, I and my husband are both naturalized citizen in US.
1. How to proceed divorce process?
- legal separation here first or divorce in Korea first and bring official document?
2. House is under both name but loan is under my name. If I move out, do I still have responsible to pay mortgage?
3. My income is 3times more than husband. Do I need to pay alimony if I demand divorce? ( I'm planning to take my kids with me)
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 1 year ago.


I'm Lucy, and I'd be happy to answer your questions today. I'm sorry to hear about your situation.

1. Get a copy of the official marriage license from Korea, and take it to the Korean Embassy in the United States. They should be able to give you an apostille, which is an official translation. That document can be filed with the New Jersey courts when you request a divorce. Because you are a US citizen living in the US, you do not need to file anything in the Korean courts unless you intend to move back there and need to be sure they recognize your divorce.

2. Yes. If you do not pay the mortgage, the bank will foreclose, and it will destroy your credit. When a person signs a mortgage, their obligation to pay is never based on living in the house or being married or anything like that. As far as the bank is concerned, you're required to pay until the house is sold, or until your husband is able to refinance in his name only. This is true even if your husband gets the house in the divorce - if he doesn't pay, it'll go on your credit because the loan is in your name. If you don't think he can or will make the payments, you can request that the house be sold as part of the divorce.

3. Possibly. Alimony is need-based, and it's typically reserved for marriages of 10 years or more. Your husband has a right to continue the same standard of living he enjoyed during the marriage. If he makes enough to do that on his own, it's possible a judge could deny him spousal support. If he asks for alimony, you could ask the judge to be allowed to deduct his share of child support from the payment before sending him anything (rather than sending him a check each month and waiting for him to send one back to you). Another option is to see if your husband will enter an agreement where you both agree that he'll pay $X in child support, you'll pay $X in alimony, and no money need change hands each month. Before doing that, use this calculator to find out how much he could be ordered to pay you.

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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have been married to him for 16yrs. I guess the best way is I have to ask him to move out... but since he has ownership on the house, I cannot force to him to move him out.. correct?
Our problem is I am fed up with his alcohol, smoking. Financial irresponsibility- he has credit card debt.1. Custody- if kids want to stay with me, is it possible I can have full custody?
2. If he refused to get divorce or separate - can I still force him to sign it?
3. Do I have responsibilities in his credit card debt?
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

You can get a court order granting you exclusive use and possession of the marital home when you file for divorce. If the judge grants the request, he'll have to move out.

1. Yes, although he would still have some sort of visitation unless you can show that his alcohol abuse renders him unable to care for children

2. No, but you can get divorced without his consent. If there's no separation agreement, the judge divides assets 50/50.

3. Typically, debts and assets are both split 50/50. To get a ruling that says otherwise, you'd have to be able to show the judge why it's only fair for him to carry those debts. That's going to mean going through the credit card bills with a fine-toothed comb, but plenty of lawyers will do that for you.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
1. spouse's affair also can be a reason of not having full custody?2. Do I need to go to the court for legal separation? If spouse doesn't want separation- can I demand it at court? Or I have to file the divorce?3.How much will I Have to pay for divorce expenses?
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

1. The fact of an affair doesn't directly relate to whether your husband is a good father. However, cheating could be a reason for the judge to deny him alimony.

2. New Jersey does not have a court procedure for legal separation. You're considered legally separated as soon as you've living separate and apart, but the way to get court orders for custody and child support is to file for divorce. Only one spouse needs to request a divorce for it to be granted. You don't have to agree.

3. There is unfortunately no way for us to answer that for you. It depends on multiple factors, including whether you hire a lawyer and whether you go to trial, but even a lawyer's fees can vary dramatically based on firm size, geographic location, the lawyer's experience, and other factors. The best way to get an estimate is to call local attorneys in your area to schedule a consultation. Once they hear all the facts of your case, they should be able to give an estimate.

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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Is that easier for me to get divorce in Korea and bring the proof and get recommendation from court?
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

I'm afraid I'm not an expert in Korean law, so I have no idea how easy or difficult it is to divorce there. However, a Korean court order isn't going to govern the distribution of assets located in the United States, and you can't enforce a Korean court order in the US without going through the US courts. If the document doesn't comply with US public policies, the judge could refuse to enforce it, and you'd in the same position you are now. There's no logical or legal reason to get a divorce in Korea unless you were planning to move back there (and you'd need your husband's consent to take the children).

Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Do you have any other questions about this?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
in this case, if I ask him to be separated. Can I ask him to move out? House is under both name. Loan is under my name.
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

You can always ask him to move out. If he refuses, then you need a court order because it's the marital home and his name is ***** *****

Again, New Jersey does not have a legal separation procedure. If your husband refuses to leave and you want to divide finances and establish child support, you will need to file for divorce. When you file for divorce, you can ask for possession of the house at the same time.

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