One of the most personal and serious decisions New Jersey residents can make is whether or not to stay in an unhappy marriage. It is no secret that divorce filings tend to increase in the early months of every new year. Many spouses are especially concerned about their children, finances and property, and are unsure of how to determine the best course of action.

As for children, they are undoubtedly affected by divorce. However, that does not necessarily have to mean their lives will be ruined. There are many resources and support systems available to help children cope with such situations and, in fact, to help them thrive as they adapt to new lifestyles.

Financial matters often spark contention between spouses in divorce. The fact is that desire for financial independence is a key factor in many divorces. Spouses are often surprised to learn, however, that they must fully disclose any and all financial information as proceedings unfold.

When a New Jersey spouse decides to file for divorce, things may get worse before they get better, which has happened in the past for many others, including TV celebrities whose marital break-ups were detailed on the popular reality show “Real Housewives.” However, with support from an experienced family law attorney and a clear understanding of the litigation process, spouses can protect their own rights and their children’s best interests, no matter how acrimonious a particular situation might be. As one therapist often tells her clients, “There is always a light at the end of a tunnel.” For those navigating divorce, research, support and making informed decisions are factors that help spouses achieve their goals as swiftly and amicably as possible.