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Cherry Hill Family Legal Blog

Keeping the family home is a common divorce mistake

Getting divorced in New Jersey can certainly be emotionally challenging. However, it can also be financially difficult, and unfortunately, the wrong moves can have long-term repercussions. Here is a look at one commonly made financial mistake to avoid during an upcoming divorce proceeding: keeping the family home.

The reality is, it can be detrimental for a divorcing spouse to keep the house. Divorcing parties may want to keep the home because they have spent years pouring both sweat equity and money into the home. In addition, they may have reared their children in that home.

Here's how you can make co-parenting work

Even when divorce is the best solution to an unhappy marriage, parents still have challenges to overcome afterward. This is especially true for parents just like you who choose to share joint custody. Co-parenting is a lot different compared to past norms when only one parent -- usually the mom -- took on the majority of parenting duties.

You will need to keep several different things in mind as you move forward in your co-parenting journey. Some approaches are the same for virtually all custody arrangements, like not speaking badly about your ex in front of your child. Others are unique to the co-parenting experience.

Tips may help with saving money during divorce

Dealing with the monetary aspect of marital dissolution can no doubt be challenging. Not only must divorcing individuals tackle asset distribution, but they also have to adjust to single incomes following the divorce. However, a couple of tips may make handling finances easier, following divorce in New Jersey.

For starters, individuals who are getting divorced would be wise to develop budgets that reflect their new realities. Sticking to a new budget may understandably be difficult. Still, budgets provide clear pictures regarding where people are spending their money, and this information may encourage them to be more prudent in their spending.

Divorce in the 21st century has changed

While divorce in general is on the decline, a significant number of marriages still don't last in New Jersey. Common perceptions of what life after divorce might look like have also changed. Child custody arrangements, the advent of collaborative and mediated divorce settlements and the idea of conscious uncoupling popularized by certain celebrities have all contributed to a new perception of divorce in the 21st century.

It used to be that very young children were thought to be better off spending the majority of their time with their mothers and the courts tended to favor maternal custody for this reason. With the advent of dual income households and more gender neutrality in general, this belief has gone by the wayside. It is now widely understood that a relationship with both parents is in the best interest of the child and joint custody is becoming the norm.

Planning for future property division before marriage

January is recognized in some legal circles as divorce month because many see an increase in divorce filings in New Jersey during that month. This is sometimes attributed to the idea of starting over with a clean slate. February is regarded in some circles as engagement month due to the preponderance of engagements that occur around Valentine's Day. When a person is contemplating getting married, it may not be thought of as the time to consider future property division in the event of a divorce.

While the overall divorce rate may be on the decline, a significant number of marriages still end in divorce. Before marriage may be a good time for a person to consider protecting one's assets. A prenuptial agreement gives one the opportunity to determine how assets may be divided in the event of a divorce. This can include how wealth amassed during the marriage will be distributed.

Information can be key to successful property division

Most people get married with little thought that they might one day get divorced. But when divorce does become a reality, there are many financial considerations to be made regarding property division in New Jersey. New Jersey is an equitable distribution state which means the court will focus on ordering a fair and equitable distribution of marital property, though not necessarily a 50/50 split.

There are steps a person should take in preparing for the separation and divorce process and for life post-divorce. It is important to have current financial information on all accounts held jointly and individually. In addition to assets, debts and liabilities such as credit cards, car payments, student loans and mortgages need to included. The more accurate the information, the more likely a fair and comprehensive divorce settlement can be achieved. Taking a look at expenses and planning for them post-divorce can help to prepare for life following the divorce.

Divorce: Is your ex trying to turn your kids against you?

Maybe you and your former spouse have always argued about your children. In fact, it might have played a big part in your decision to divorce. Then again, perhaps, child-related issues were not all that relevant to the breakdown in your marriage, but you've encountered obstacles since then regarding child custody. You likely assumed that your spouse would be willing to cooperate and compromise to develop a peaceful co-parenting plan in a New Jersey court.

It might not have taken long for you to realize that things weren't going to go as smoothly as you'd initially hoped. You might have a court order in place with detailed instructions of child custody and visitation plus other important issues regarding your children. If your spouse refuses to adhere to the terms, serious problems can arise, especially if you believe a parental alienation plot is at hand.

Alimony is a complicated aspect of divorce

In the event of a divorce in New Jersey, there are many issues that need to be resolved before a marriage is legally dissolved. One of these issues pertains to spousal support, also known as alimony. Alimony is the money paid by one spouse, typically the higher earning one, to the lesser or non-earning spouse. The issue of alimony is one that must be resolved before a divorce can be finalized.

There are two main questions that arise around alimony. How much will it be for, and for how long must it be paid? The amount may be dependent on several factors, such as the actual and potential income of the recipient. If a person is younger and has many working years ahead of him or her, the amount may be set lower than someone who is nearing retirement age. One of the ideas behind alimony is that the person receiving it should be able to maintain the lifestyle that was enjoyed during the marriage.

Old calendar can be an invaluable tool in child custody dispute

Another year has passed and a new calendar is waiting to be filled with family schedules, social obligations and the myriad other appointments and tasks that fill one's days. In the event that a divorce or separation may be pending and children are involved, tossing the old calendar may not be the best idea. An old calendar can serve as a diary of children's activities and parental involvement in New Jersey. If child custody may be an issue in a pending negotiation, the data provided by the calendar can prove very useful.

If one is a typical human being, it can be difficult to remember what one had for breakfast let alone who took a child to a practice or a doctor's appointment. The stress of dealing with a divorce or separation can also serve to cloud a person's memory. In addition to helping one remember sports and other activity schedules, the calendar can also be useful for providing other information regarding important things such as health history as well as more mundane activities such as birthday parties. All of this can also assist in developing the budget needed to support these activities.

Ways to simplify asset distribution in a divorce

Another year is about to begin, and the new year may mean a divorce for many couples in New Jersey. More people typically file for divorce in January than in any other month. Another issue that typically comes to the fore in January concerns taxes and personal finances in general. When divorce and taxes are combined, frequent questions involve who is entitled to what assets and how taxes will be implicated?

Many people have a significant portion of their financial assets in 401(k) accounts. Amounts contributed to those accounts are typically considered marital property and are subject to asset division in a divorce procedure. If a prenuptial agreement exists, this may dictate the split of these assets. New Jersey is an equitable distribution state, which means that assets are not automatically subject to a 50/50 split.

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