Heymann & Fletcher

Randolph NJ Family Law Blog

Domestic violence survivors benefit from matched savings program

People in an abusive relationship often feel as though they have no way out. Not only does their partner often emotionally manipulate them in order to make them feel as though they can't leave, experts also say that abusive partners may control or abuse their victim's finances, making it difficult to walk away. New Jersey families may be interested in the story of one out-of-state coalition, working to combat financial abuse, as it helps survivors of domestic violence improve their financial situation.

The coalition utilizes both financial counseling and a program where recipients' savings accounts are matched dollar for dollar. The hope is that survivors will have increased independence and give them more long-term financial stability. Classes for financial literacy include how to save for retirement or purchase a home, though organizers acknowledge that some survivors don't have the means to reach that far with their finances initially. Advisers are instructed to consider each recipient on a case-by-case basis and work with what they have.

How women can take control of their finances before divorce

Divorce can happen to anyone, but it impacts some people more than others, especially with regard to finances. Many women feel the effects of divorce the hardest, since they often spend their marriages raising children and taking care of the home rather than working outside of it. They may not feel confident in handling their own finances when they consider getting a divorce. However, experts have tips for women in New Jersey and all over the country who are considering divorce that can help them navigate their new financial circumstances.

The best first step a woman can take is educating herself about her household's finances. Taking stock of current and future expenses and collecting financial documents is the best way to accomplish this. It can help a woman walk into her divorce negotiations with increased confidence and understanding.

2 women launch app for domestic violence survivors

Victims of domestic violence often feel isolated. The person they love the most may also be the one who hurts them physically, emotionally and mentally. They may feel as though they have no way to get away from their partner even if they strongly want to do so. Two women here in New Jersey wanted to give domestic violence survivors a simpler way to get out of an abusive relationship, so they developed an app to help victims file charges against their abusers more easily.

One woman is a police lieutenant and also a survivor of domestic violence. The other woman is a CEO, and together they created an app called VictimsVoice. The app assists victims with documenting incidents of abuse and violence. Anything uploaded and stored on the app can be accessed by legal professionals or another chosen recipient approved by the victim.

Child support: Man paid $40,000 in delinquent payments

Children need support of all kinds from their parents, including financial. When a child and his or her custodial parent don't receive court-ordered child support payments, it can have a drastically-negative effect on the child's life. It is imperative that parents in New Jersey make and receive payments in accordance with existing child support orders. One out-of-state family's story shows just how delinquent payments can affect kids and those who care for them.

The father was charged back at the beginning of the year with felony failure to pay child support. He owed over $85,000 to his ex-wife for the care of his two children with her, his son and daughter. He now must pay a lump-sum of $40,000 to her. As a result, the rest of the payments will be discharged.

Adoption nonprofit encourages helping others in need

When parents are unable to have their own biological children, they often turn to adoption to add to their family. Here in New Jersey, the process can be very complex, but also worthwhile. The expense can sometimes present an obstacle for some parents-to-be. One out-of-state nonprofit decided that not only did it want to help families cover adoption costs, but it made a point to encourage recipients to give back to their community. Now, one couple is that much closer to making their dreams of a family a reality.

The nonprofit, called Both Hands, helps prospective adoptive parents raise needed funds to cover adoption costs. At the same time, it helps the parents complete a service project to benefit a local widow in need. The parents create a team of volunteers to help secure sponsorship for the work being done and to complete the project. One couple raised the money for their adoption and completed an extensive amount of yard work for a woman who lost her husband to cancer last year. Thanks to their efforts, the woman can now enjoy her backyard, using a grill and gardening, which used to be activities that her husband liked.

Mediation is a tool to make divorce easier for your kids

Perhaps one of the most difficult things about getting a divorce is knowing it is going to have some kind of psychological impact on your children. No matter how rough the relationship with your spouse has become over the course of your marriage, you likely still share a deep attachment to your children and a desire for what is best for them.

If you can both stay focused on your children as you begin divorce proceedings, that may make the process easier on your whole family. The less contentious the divorce, the smoother the transition to your new life can be.

Job fair specifically for those making child support payments

Most parents want nothing but the best for their children. This is the case even when two parents aren't in a relationship with one another. One way to ensure children have their needs met is for one parent to make child support payments to the other. However, if that paying parent is out of work or underemployed here in New Jersey, making those payments can be difficult. One out-of-state county took matters into its own hands by hosting a job fair specifically for people making child support payments.

The county has held several of this kind of job fair throughout the year. Representatives said they wanted to empower people to take care of their children. Those who had court-ordered child support payments to make were eligible to attend. Many different companies attended, from a range of industries, and the event was held at the local courthouse.

An expensive wedding may make divorce more likely

Though most couples who marry fully intend to stay that way, many will end up in divorce court. Some of them might wonder if there was any way to predict the outcome of their marriage. One recent study suggests an interesting potential correlation between how much money couples spend on their wedding and their likelihood to consider getting a divorce. New Jersey residents may find the study and all of its reporting to be an interesting look at how people manage money when it comes to their wedding.

The study was done by an online loan company that surveyed several hundred people who got married within the last two years. They found that, for respondents aged 18 to 53, around half of the people who took on debt to pay for their wedding said that finances made them consider getting a divorce. As for how many respondents actually accumulated debt for their wedding, the survey said 45% did so. For couples who did not have debt from their wedding, only 9% of them thought about getting divorced.

Handling child custody when parents don't get along

Taking care of children is hard enough in today's world, even for parents who are married to one another. When two parents are not in a relationship, that can complicate matters, particularly if the two parents do not get along. Even so, there are still ways for parents who dislike one another to successfully co-parent. Experts have advice for New Jersey parents who may have difficulty handling child custody in this situation. According to professionals, it is not necessary for two parents to like one another in order to share custody, but they must decide to put their children first.

The best thing a parent can do is to examine exactly why he or she doesn't get along with the other parent. If the parent still has negative feelings because of a romantic relationship gone bad between the two parties, he or she will have to put that aside in order to co-parent. However, if the parent has issues with how the other parent treats him or her, boundaries will need to be created and enforced. Some parents find it easier if they use a neutral party to communicate with the other parent.

Advances in technology but not laws enable online stalking

In today's society, personal privacy has been diminished in the rush to embrace new technology. While many new gadgets have enhanced the ability of individuals to ensure the safety of loved ones, many of these tools have been used to engage in online stalking. Unfortunately, while technology continues to evolve, laws to protect victims from cyber-stalking have not kept pace. New Jersey residents who have been victims of stalking or other forms of unwanted behaviors may struggle with privacy issues. 

Those who provide devices or services designed to monitor individuals often market their products to parents or employers. Unfortunately, these tools can be used to track the whereabouts and movements of victims who are targets of online stalking. While these devices in and of themselves are legal and have legitimate uses, service providers may have little control when these tools are used for questionable purposes. Law enforcement is often unable to respond to complaints of stalking, as the laws have not been revised to adequately address this problem.

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