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Randolph NJ Family Law Blog

Same-sex parents still face various child custody challenges

When the U.S. Supreme Court made its landmark ruling on same-sex marriage in 2015, many people felt that the time was finally right to create the families that they had anticipated for many years. In New Jersey and across the nation, couples took their vows, and many went on to add to their families through adoption or artificial insemination. Unfortunately, many of those families have not been afforded the same rights as heterosexual families, and continue to struggle with child custody matters that are directly tied to their status as same-sex partners.

An example is found in the case of a woman who lawfully married another woman, then went on to welcome a child through artificial insemination. The couple worked together to raise their son, and functioned as a family unit until the relationship went awry. The women divorced, and as part of their divorce settlement, it was agreed that the child would primarily reside with the biological mother, with the other mother receiving liberal visitation rights.

Commercial truck crashes in New Jersey are common and devastating

Getting into a motor vehicle accident can be a terrifying experience. When the other vehicle is a massive commercial truck, like a semi-truck or an 18-wheeler, it can be even worse. The potential for serious injuries and even fatalities increases when an accident involves a huge and heavy vehicle. Truck drivers are much less likely to sustain injuries in these accidents than the people in the smaller vehicles. No matter how safely you drive your own vehicle, you simply can't control how other people behave behind the wheel. A truck driver's mistake could end up costing you a lot.

Driving commercial trucks is a job that is both dangerous and boring at times. Drivers are subject to long work hours and monotony, which can lead to distraction or falling asleep at the wheel. Even though there are laws in place to prevent fatigued driving, commercial drivers may falsify their records or find other ways to bend the rules. Sometimes, employers incentivize this kind of behavior by offering bonuses for on-time deliveries or otherwise pressuring workers to violate federal regulations. Unfortunately, other drivers often end up paying the price for bad decisions and negligence by truck drivers.

Research shows benefits from strong relationship with children

When a New Jersey family goes through a divorce, things can be tumultuous for a period of time. Parents can have an especially challenging time as they move through the process of negotiating a child custody structure. No loving parent wants to lose time with his or her child, and that concern often forms the basis of contention between parents. A growing body of research supports the idea that shared custody is the best way to preserve a strong parental relationship with children. That outcome is good for kids, and is also beneficial to both parents.

In one recent study, shared custody is defined by a structure under which children spend at least 35 percent of their time with each parent. That is markedly different from the "traditional" approach to child custody, where the kids live primarily with one parent, while the other receives visitation rights. That arrangement creates a new type of relationship with the departing parent, in which he or she becomes more of an occasional visitor in the life of the children rather than a full parent.

Bouncing back financially after a New Jersey divorce

For many New Jersey spouses, concerns about finances are a primary source of stress during the end of a marriage. It is difficult to predict the future, and hard to know how easy it will be to make ends meet once the divorce has been made final. Planning is key, but it is also necessary to have a plan for the unforeseeable. That means being ready to make serious financial changes to create a foundation for future stability.

Most spouses will walk away from the marriage with a share of marital assets. They want to preserve that wealth, however, and many will look for ways to do so. One way that many spouses can save money after a divorce is by making adjustments to their discretionary spending. That may mean cooking meals at home rather than eating in restaurants, or watching something on television rather than going out to a show.

Things to think about prior to filing for divorce

Many New Jersey residents can recall reading or hearing about celebrity marriages that ended but where the spouses later decided to remarry. It is important to understand that this is not only an issue that affects celebrities; regular people often remarry a spouse whom they previously divorced. When considering divorce, it is important to carefully consider all aspects of that important decision.

One thing that spouses should give careful consideration to is whether or not they would truly be more happy without their spouse. It is easy to take one's partner for granted and to begin to focus solely on his or her faults rather than strengths. Prior to pulling the plug on a marriage, both spouses should truly think about what their lives would look like without their partner.

Parental alienation and Alex Jones' child custody dispute

Many New Jersey residents have heard the term "parental alienation," but are uncertain of exactly what it means. Fewer are familiar with the name Alex Jones, and the conspiracy theory website InfoWars that he created and maintains. Jones has made headlines after losing a child custody dispute, and parental alienation may be a primary factor that led to the decision to place his three children back into the care of their mother.

Alex and Kelly Jones have been at odds over the care and custody of their three children for some time, and Alex Jones was granted custody in a prior hearing. Kelly Jones claims that she and the children were subjected to parental alienation at the hands of her former husband. She asserts that her access to the kids was limited, and that when she was able to spend time with them, their behavior toward her was far different from the relationship that they had prior to the divorce.

Can Donald Trump be blamed for causing couples to divorce?

It is impossible to turn on any new channel and not be bombarded with commentary on the early days of the Trump administration. Whether one loves or hates the new president, he has certainly made politics interesting. For some New Jersey couples, a failure to agree on whether Trump should be lauded or lambasted could lead to contention. In fact, researchers believe that serious political disagreements could lead some couples to seek a divorce.

According to a recent study, couples in which one partner holds far different political views than the other are at risk of marital problems. More specifically, survey respondents were asked about their views on Trump, and how those views have impacted their relationship. While the full results of the study have not yet been presented, researchers say that there are couples who have decided to end their marriage over political discord.

Child custody dispute centered on YouTube videos

Love it or hate it, YouTube has become a deeply ingrained part of American pop culture. In fact, some people in New Jersey and elsewhere are making a very good living by posting content on the site. It is important to understand that sharing video footage of one's personal life with the world can have a number of unintended consequences, as one couple discovered when they were faced with a child custody dispute over footage involving their children.

The case centered on a YouTube channel called "DaddyOFive," in which a man and his wife posted videos of their kids. Some of those videos showed the children being subjected to "pranks" at the hands of the adults. One featured a little boy being convinced that he was about to be put up for adoption. Others showed the children being encouraged to beat each other up.

Startups founders have special high asset divorce needs

When an individual is able to create a successful startup, he or she can become enormously wealthy in a very short period of time. That is also true of innovators in the field of technology, where a successful software product or phone app can change one's fortune from one day to the next. For those in New Jersey who have done well in the tech industry and are considering divorce, it is important to understand the unique challenges that might arise in a high asset divorce.

Take, for example, the recent split between Facebook and Twitter investor Mark Pincus and his wife. The couple had a prenup in place at the time of their marriage, but she is asking the court to throw it out, due to the fact that her husband's net worth has skyrocketed since their marriage. A large part of what makes a prenup work is the full disclosure of marital assets, and a mutual agreement on how those assets are to be divided during a divorce.