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Randolph NJ Family Law Blog

Child support payments vary depending on locale

Most parents, even when they decide not to have a relationship with one another, only want what is best for their children. Whether the two parents decide to get a divorce or were never married in the first place, it is imperative that the needs of any shared children are put first. One of the ways to do that is for a non-custodial parent to pay child support to a custodial parent. New Jersey families may be interested in a recent study that found that child support payments can vary widely across the nation.

Parents in different states with similar income levels and circumstances can pay significantly different levels of child support. One of the highest rates in the country is nearly $1200 per month, and one of the lowest is around $400 per month. The average child support payment in New Jersey is $424 a month. This is significantly below the national average of $721.

Are children of divorce more likely to get a divorce themselves?

Families of all kinds experience divorce. It happens to people in New Jersey regardless of age, race or socioeconomic status. However, there are certain factors that can make it more likely that a marriage will not last. One of the things that can increase the chance of divorce is whether each spouse's parents were also divorced. Though experts have always suspected a connection between a parent's divorce and the adult child's, there is now scientific research to back this claim.

One sociologist has been examining this idea since the 1990s. His research concluded that people who come from divorced families have a higher rate of marrying people who also come from divorced families. These couples, where both spouses have divorced parents, are then significantly more likely to get divorced themselves. There are a few theories as to why this is the case.

How to share child custody during the summer break

When summer comes, it is often a time for fun and adventure for kids. For divorced families that choose to co-parent, the summer break can raise questions and concerns for everyone involved. New Jersey parents may be unsure how to navigate some of these potentially tricky issues that surround child custody agreements. Fortunately, experts have advice for parents facing this exact scenario.

Many disagreements can be avoided by ensuring there is open and respectful communication, between the two parents and between each parent and the children. When everyone knows what the expectations are for visitation during the summer, everyone will feel more secure and prepared. It is also important that each parent speaks respectfully about the other parent to their child. Those who talk negatively about the other parent to their child risk undermining their own relationship with the child. The children's needs should be kept front and center.

Addressing child-parent rifts in the aftermath of divorce

Divorce can occur for many reasons. Sometimes, married couples naturally grow apart, and divorce is both mutual and amicable. However, in other circumstances, one spouse may feel betrayed by the other. This perceived betrayal could come in the form of a physical or emotional affair with another person.

If you think that your child is mature enough, you may decide to explain to them the reasons why the divorce is occurring. Even if you decide not to share the details, they may be intuitive enough to understand what has happened. In this case, they may become angry at the parent that they perceive to be at fault. This can cause significant problems for the family unit, especially if the child refuses to see the parent at whom they are angry.

Divorce rates dropping due to millennials

Even when a divorce is right for everyone involved, it can still be a difficult event in a person's life. Perhaps that is why, according to recent research, younger people are finding ways to avoid getting divorced. Millennials are often blamed for declines in various industries, and the wedding industry may be the next casualty. Experts speculate that the dropping divorce rates among this age demographic may be due to several different factors that New Jersey families may find informative.

A recent study shows that, since 1981, divorce rates across generations have dropped by 24%. This is, apparently, due to millennials waiting longer to marry, or not marrying at all. The average age a millennial woman gets married in the United States is now 27 and for millennial men, it's 29. About 25% of millennials will never marry at all. Though this generation is still engaging in romantic relationships, they are dating for much longer before tying the knot -- they date for an average of 4.9 years before getting married and are more likely to live together first.

Bill pushes counseling for children affected by domestic violence

When the topic of domestic violence comes up, people often think of an abused spouse or partner. Though it's vitally important to keep those victims at the center of any discussion, there are other potential victims of this kind of abuse who may never experience actual assault. The children of victims or perpetrators of domestic violence are often traumatized by witnessing or overhearing these incidents of abuse. Two New Jersey state legislators want to ensure that these children's emotional well-being is addressed and that they receive counseling to handle the trauma.

The bill before state legislators was approved by the Assembly Women and Children Committee. It would require counseling for any minor children who were exposed to domestic violence, to help manage any of the lasting emotional and psychological damage they may experience. This would apply to children who were physically present and saw abuse occur, or were close enough in proximity to overhear any violence.

How one state is using gambling winnings for unpaid child support

Child support payments are often a crucial part of child care. When two parents are not in a relationship, a child's needs must still be met. The legal system in New Jersey has many ways of ensuring that this happens, including collecting prize money from a parent who has won the lottery or had a gambling win. One state has learned from New Jersey's example and is attempting to recoup unpaid child support from gambling jackpots.

Statistics say that about 14 million people across the country are single parents, but only half of them have an official child support order. It is estimated that child support payments in the United States total more than $33 billion each year, but custodial parents see just over two-thirds of that amount. One state decided to take action and find ways to collect unpaid child support, including taking gambling winnings.

MLB pitcher and wife finalize adoption of their son

New Jersey families come in so many varieties, but the one thing they have in common is love. For some couples, adoption is the way they choose to complete their family, and they have differing reasons for choosing this path. It can be a long process, but the reward at the end of it all makes it worthwhile. The recent adoption of a baby boy by MLB pitcher, Adam Wainwright, and his wife shows just how wonderful the event can be.

Wainwright and his wife have four daughters, but have considered expanding their family through adoption for around eight years. Because of Wainwright's baseball career, they were unsure about the timing. Over the years, they felt as though many things were pointing them in the direction of adoption, and they decided to pursue it in earnest last year. Wainwright suffered a few minor injuries that kept him from playing regularly, so he and his wife decided to take his healing time to make their dream a reality.

Would post-divorce nesting be best for your kids?

Divorce with kids brings up a lot of questions, one of which is where they'll live. Most often, the parents sell the expensive family home -- which they bought on two incomes, after all -- and buy two separate homes or apartments. Then the kids spend time with both of them in these new homes, in accordance with the custody schedule.

Just because it's common, though, doesn't mean it's best for the kids. They have to move. They lose their neighbors and friends. They may leave their school and start at a new one. They really feel the impact of the divorce. For them, nearly every aspect of their lives change.

Should stay-at-home parents get an equal share from the divorce?

Few people would dispute the fact that raising children is an important and valuable undertaking. However, since being a homemaker generally does not generate any income, many people in New Jersey and elsewhere differ on how parenting should be valued during a divorce. There are those who argue that stay-at-home parents are entitled to a fair share of marital assets, despite the fact that they did not directly financially contribute to the relationship. Other people aren't quite so sure. One study appears to reveal that gender is a big contributor to people's opinions on this subject.

The study, conducted by two law professors, looked at the opinions of over 3,000 people to find out what they thought about parents who choose to raise their children as an occupation, which is still mostly the domain of women. Though attitudes are changing, a majority of Americans still believe that mothers are better at raising children than fathers. It can be difficult to financially value the contribution of women who handle most of the child-rearing, especially when a couple makes the decision to divorce.

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