What to do if my husband wants me to sign divorce papers before we go to court regarding custody of our girls?

UPDATED: Jul 6, 2012

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What to do if my husband wants me to sign divorce papers before we go to court regarding custody of our girls?

We’ve been legally married for 11 years and have 2 kids, ages 10 and 9. He got a new girlfriend that he wants to marry and wants me to sign divorce papers before we go in front of a judge to decide on the kids custody. I want full custody of the kids and want him to have visitation rights. We still leaving together under the same roof. I sleep with the kids in their bedroom while he sleeps on the main bedroom. We both work but he wants me to leave the apartment with the kids because the lease is in his name, or he will transfer the lease to my name if I agree to split the $4000 late fee he owes. Will I lose alimony rights if I sign divorce papers?

Asked on July 6, 2012 under Family Law, New Jersey


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your situation.  Stand your ground here.  Do not sign anything unless and until an attorney reviews the documents on your behalf.  Please.  Although it is possible for you to get a divorce before the issues of support and marriage and asset distribution are decided, it becomes much more difficult in the long run.  And I highly doubt a court would do that with the children involved and with out financial disclosure.  And if a court sees that you are surviving yourself with out support then they may not award it to you.  Also, if the apartment is the marital home then whose name is on the lease does not really matter.  Get help.  Good luck.

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