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Randolph NJ Family Law Blog

New Jersey parents may relate to these family law issues

Whether married couples in New Jersey encounter challenges in divorce or happen to be parents who were never married, facing problems related to the upbringing and care of their children can cause stress levels to soar. Those who read celebrity news may find themselves relating to several family law issues that many Hollywood stars have recently faced in their own personal lives. The good news is that the same type of support networks available to celebrities is also available to parents in this state.  

Some custody battles seem to go on forever, such as the ongoing fight between formerly married reality TV stars Jon and Kate Gosselin. They separated more than 10 years ago and had initially planned to implement a bird nesting co-parenting arrangement to help their children maintain a sense of normalcy after their divorce. It didn't work out; full custody and the house were awarded to the mother, and the two continue to battle out various issues in court.  

Family law attorneys understand the complexities of a divorce

Couples who have gone through the entire process of a divorce may attest that merging lives is easier than separating lives. Not only are there multiple legal decisions to make, but it is a process often coupled with pain and heartache. New Jersey family law attorneys understand the difficulties of separating lives and are able to advise clients through the best process to make it as easy as possible. 

Couples can create unnecessary difficulties if caution is not taken with finances once the divorce process begins. If a house, car or investments are sold, an individual could be ordered by the court to pay the other spouse a portion of the amount once terms are determined, and this can extend the entire process. Clients who experience a hassle-free divorce typically consult their attorney before big financial decisions are made and typically only spend money on the basic necessities of life. 

Grocery shopping shouldn't be dangerous

When you go to a grocery store, you expect to get what you need, pay for it and leave. You probably don't expect that you will be injured while you are at that store, but this is a real possibility.

It is up to each grocery store employee to make sure that the store is clean and free of hazards. Owners and managers should have a clear plan for keeping the premises safe for everyone who stops by the establishment. If you are injured in a slip-and-fall or any other type of accident at the grocery store, you should know some specific points:

Family law attorneys can help avoid mistakes in divorce

New Jersey couples who are in a second or third marriage may not realize that their chances of marital success are lower than those who are in their first marriage. Approximately 60 percent of marriages end in divorce when it is the second marriage compared to those who have less than a 50 percent chance of divorce during a first marriage. Because many second marriages occur later in life, there are some important things to consider prior to getting married.

Prenuptial agreements are often only considered for wealthy individuals. Any couple could benefit from one, especially those entering into a second or subsequent marriage. Some second marriages occur later in life when closer to retirement or in retirement years, making it important to agree upon separation terms from the beginning. Agreeing to terms at the beginning does not anticipate that a marriage will not last but aims to protect assets that have already been likely shared with a previous spouse.

A New Jersey divorce can have a substantial impact on finances

Neil Sedaka's signature song is "Breaking Up is Hard to Do." The lyrics couldn't be more true, particularly when a couple has been married for any length of time. It can be difficult to separate lives once they have merged and intertwined. It is easy in the midst of the pain, hurt and emotion to forget to monitor and figure out how to separate finances. Because a couple's finances will be impacted by a divorce, couples in New Jersey are encouraged to keep their money matters in check.

Many couples share bank accounts, list each other on insurance policies and wills, and name each other as beneficiaries on retirement accounts. As a start, individual spouses will want to change all important documents.  Separate bank accounts are encouraged through the process, and an attorney can advise on the best time to change all legal documents. This is especially important when one party plans to use a different name following the divorce.

Divorce: Couples can include college funding in negotiations

A recent study indicates that four out of every ten marriages will end. Unfortunately, a divorce affects more than just the couple. Shared children often feel the biggest impact of a parent's failing marriage. New Jersey parents may be interested to know that more than a child's emotional well-being can be affected; their college education can also be impacted.

When a couple divorces, each spouse experiences an increase in expenses. While married, a married couple typically shares one residence and all other living expenses. Most couples choose to live in separate residences following a divorce, doubling all living expenses. Unfortunately, to pay for all the present needs for a family, including child support, alimony and/or any other payments agreed in a divorce settlement, college funds are often neglected.

Children also experience emotion in a divorce

Some statistics suggest that as many as half of all marriages will end in divorce. In those marriages, children often are caught up in the battles, fights and negotiations of spouses. Although a divorce is painful and can be a lengthy process, New Jersey parents may be in interested to know that there are ways to assist children through the proceedings.

The resulting stress and pain that a divorce may cause among spouses may make it easy for parents to forget that it also may result in a wide range of emotions for any children involved. It is important for parents to remember that children are affected by the stress and pain as the splitting couple. As changes begin to occur, such as living situations, parents often find maintaining consistency with routines can be beneficial to reducing anxiety for their children. Changes always occur in a divorce, but making changes slowly when possible may help some children cope with the process.

Is your spouse hiding assets in your New Jersey divorce?

Even in the best of circumstances, divorce is a difficult process. It's hard to watch the end of a relationship you, at one time, thought would last the rest of your life. People often experience strong emotions, ranging from grief to anger. Some people just want the process over as quickly as possible. That feeling could be even more intense if your spouse has been acting in an aggressive or combative manner.

However, it's important to remember that the outcome of your divorce will impact the foundation for the rest of your future. The more upset your spouse seems, the more likely he or she may be to do something intended to impact the outcome of the divorce. One common underhanded behavior is the intentional hiding of assets. If you think your spouse could engage in this behavior, you should take steps to protect yourself.

Many women are unaware of their finances until a divorce

In the last century, women have gained many rights and more respect from male counterparts than ever before. Despite women becoming more independent, statistics indicate that many women still leave most financial decisions and management up to their spouses. New Jersey readers may be interested to learn that women who have not participated in marital financial decisions often face surprises during a divorce.

A recent study focused on understanding women's involvement with finances in a marriage was collected from two sources. The first group of 600 women surveyed had reportedly been divorced or widowed within the last five years. The second group included 1,500 married couples that had a minimum of $250,000 of assets that could be invested.

Are your finances prepared for a divorce?

Finances are often the center of many marital disputes. It is no surprise that discussing the division of finances during divorce negotiations can be tricky and can easily erupt into arguments. A savvy family law attorney can offer advice to an individual in New Jersey measures that can be taken prior to filing for divorce to protect the client's financial future.

In many marriages, one spouse handles more finances than the other. If one spouse is unaware of a couple's financial situation, it is important to become informed prior to the division of assets. Awareness of all property and debts can affect the approach a spouse may want to take with negotiations. As well as understanding all cash holdings, it is important to understand all outstanding debts because debts are included in negotiations and are often divided, along with other property. When possible, paying off debts is encouraged to make negotiations less complicated.

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