Heymann & Fletcher

Randolph NJ Family Law Blog

Woman wants to stop alimony payments after ex wins lottery

It is not uncommon for one spouse to earn more than another during the course of a marriage. When a couple decides to divorce, that might mean that the spouse who earns more money is required to pay alimony to the less-affluent spouse. Even in modern times, usually the ex-husband makes payments to his ex-wife, but that isn't always the case. In an even more unusual situation, one woman in New Jersey is seeking to end her alimony payments to her ex after he won almost $275 million in the lottery.

The woman says that her ex-husband is the one who recently hit the jackpot in the Mega Millions lottery. She says that the alimony payments she is still required to make to him are nothing compared to the amount of money he stands to gain from his winnings. She insists that she is not bitter or unhappy for his good fortune and that she is not seeking to obtain a share of the lottery sum.

Survivor of domestic violence now an advocate for others

Those who have experienced domestic violence often feel alone. Most victims are women who endure various forms of abuse from a romantic partner. Though it often feels as though all hope is lost, there are ways out of an abusive relationship. New Jersey residents may find inspiration from of one out-of-state woman who is sharing her survival story with the world and using her experience to advocate for other people who have endured domestic violence.

The woman, Sarah Gallardo, says that she suffered from multiple forms of abuse for 10 years at the hands of her abuser. She admits that the subject can make people feel uncomfortable, and that those who experience it may be reluctant to talk about what happened to them. Gallardo decided to start a nonprofit to help survivors and to promote her advocacy work.

Research shows benefit to kids able to text parents after divorce

These days, there seems to be a new study every week that says that social media and cell phones are harming people, especially children. Families in New Jersey have likely heard these warnings and may have some concerns. However, recent research is finding something new -- that children of divorce benefit from connecting to their parents over social media and texting.

The study examined the cases of around 400 divorced parents from across the country who have children aged 10 to 18. Researchers considered different parts of relationships between parents and children, such as parental warmth and closeness, parental knowledge of the child and inconsistent discipline. While experts used to believe that the ability of parents to cooperate post-divorce was what influenced how a child dealt with the divorce, this new data suggests something else. It seems now that more contact a child has with the parent who is not living in the home, the better that relationship is.

3 ways to help children cope with your divorce

Divorce can sometimes have negative impacts on children because they have trouble adjusting to the new way of life. The challenges can become overwhelming and they might not know how to cope. It is up to the parents to monitor the children and find ways to help them through this emotional time.

Several factors determine how the kids will respond to their parents' split. Younger children might have a hard time because they don't really understand. Older ones might find it difficult to deal with because they don't want to have to make necessary changes.

Mom found guilty of unpaid child support

Normally, when reports of failure to pay child support hit the New Jersey news, the accused is typically a man. In the past, men were less likely to receive child support from their ex-wives or to have primary custody of their children. Changing societal norms mean that this is no longer the case -- men are fully capable of being excellent parents and their ex-wives may have a higher level of income than they do. This may have been the exact situation in an out-of-state case that claims a mother failed to provide child support for her children for several years.

The mother at the center of this case has four children. In 2007, she was given an order to pay child support for their care. Prosecutors alleged that she did not make these payments, and that she made no effort to support her children financially at all. Prosecutors also say that while taking parents to court over unpaid child support is not ideal, they will pursue these kinds of cases when there is no other option available.

Domestic violence survivor can inspire others

Victims of domestic violence often feel as though they have no hope. The mistreatment they endure often lowers their self-esteem to a point where they have difficulty seeing a future for themselves. Fortunately, there are ways out of abusive relationships. One domestic violence survivor is sharing her story with other New Jersey residents as she pursues her college degree in the hopes that she can inspire others to take the first step to a better life.

The survivor is an officer of the Army National Guard and a mom to four children. She is currently working toward a nursing degree at Rowan College. However, for almost 10 years, she suffered in silence at the hands of her abusive husband. At that time, she was a stay-at-home mom and felt that she did not have the financial resources to leave her marriage.

MLB's Miguel Cabrera may get child support modification

Many families in New Jersey rely on child support payments to fulfill basic needs. Though most people think of parents who used to be married as ones who would need child support, unwed parents also often require this type of income. Such is the case for a player for Tigers' baseball player, Miguel Cabrera, who has requested a child support modification for the payments he makes to a former mistress and mother of two of his children.

Cabrera was initially ordered to pay his ex-mistress $20,000 a month in child support to care for two children he had with her. He and his attorneys argue that the amount should be changed and could be considered palimony -- the term for payments similar to alimony that are made from one member of an unmarried couple to the other. The court has agreed to reconsider the amount.

What are grandparents' rights when dealing with opioid addiction?

All over the news, there are stories of how the country is suffering due to an epidemic of opioid addition. Many people with loved ones who have an addiction may feel powerless to manage the situation. The crisis is tearing families apart here in New Jersey and all over. Subsequently, there has been a rise in the number of grandparents who are raising their own grandchildren due to their own children's struggles with opioid addiction. Many may be wondering exactly what are grandparents' rights in these difficult situations.

Two women recount their own experiences with this exact scenario. They both have children who are addicted to drugs, and as a result, they are now raising their own grandchildren. The women both worried that other people would shun them when they learned of their situations, but the two have taken solace in their shared experiences. They say they still face judgment, but they are determined that their personal stories will spar needed change for many families.

Will the divorce of a friend make you likely to divorce?

Most married couples have other couples whom they spend time with. Whether it is a sibling and their spouse or just good friends, it's natural for spouses to have couple friends. That can make socializing more fun for everyone because there are no so-called "third wheels" when two or more couples hang out together.

You and your spouse may find that spending time with other couples helps you appreciate one another more. You may even find the devotion of another couple inspiring. Unfortunately, even couples that seem happy and stable can sometimes surprise you by ending their marriage.

New Special Victims Unit to help victims of domestic violence

In an ideal world, no one would ever have to suffer at the hands of someone they love and trust. Unfortunately, for many people here in New Jersey, that is exactly the hardship they face. Domestic violence can leave long lasting scars that are physical, emotional and mental. Victims of all ages often suffer in silence, unsure of how to get help. Residents in nearby Gloucester County are now one step closer to justice as a new Special Victims Unit there has been unveiled.

The county prosecutor says that law enforcement has been working to develop this new unit for more than two years. The hope is that it will enable police to provide better aide to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. The unit will be run from the existing Child Advocacy Center. It used to be handled from the prosecutor's office, but he said he recognized that the old location can be intimidating for victims, many of whom are young children.

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