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Cherry Hill Family Legal Blog

Relocation can complicate a divorce when children are involved

Divorce in New Jersey can be a difficult, complex and time-consuming process. This can be amplified when there are children involved. The issue of relocation came up in a divorce proceeding in another state. The mother, who had been granted the majority of parenting time, wanted to relocate the children to another state.

This request was brought before the court. The court will always act in the best interest of the children, who in this case are ages 16, 12 and 11. According to the court's decision, the mother failed to provide sufficient proof of the need to relocate to another state. Such a decision on the part of a parent is often made for financial reasons, and the court will weigh the benefit of that against the advantage of the children's remaining in their current schools and remaining geographically close to both parents.

Familiarity with the financial situation can ease a divorce

The idea of a divorce in New Jersey is never easy to contemplate. A frequent contributor to stress is brought on by concern about post-divorce finances. While that is certainly a valid issue, having an understanding of what is involved with one's finances can be helpful.

Finances can be broken down into four main categories: assets, liabilities, income and expenses. Assets consist predominantly of funds that have a cash value. Examples include checking and savings accounts, retirement accounts, stocks and bonds, and retirement accounts, to name a few. When dividing assets one may want to take into consideration the tax implications of different accounts.

Divorce and the new tax law -- it's not just about alimony

Divorce can be a complicated undertaking in New Jersey. It is not normally entered into lightly. With the imminent change in those tax laws that will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2019, there is another factor to be considered. Should a couple divorce sooner or later? This holds true particularly for wealthier couples.

The new alimony law that goes into effect will take away the tax deduction for alimony paid to an ex-spouse. However, alimony is not the only factor affected. Child support issues such as how 529 college savings plans can be handled are changing. The value of privately held businesses and partnerships may also be handled differently under the new law.

Maximizing your children's benefits from co-parenting

When you decided to divorce, you also decided that co-parenting would be the best way to help your children through this difficult time. Both of you recognized that just because your marriage was ending that doesn't mean that you stop being a family.

In fact, you agreed that your personal relationship with your ex-spouse had little bearing on your parental relationship. You created a parenting plan you both agreed would serve your children's best interests and would allow each of you as much time with the children as possible.

Inherited IRAs may be a possible option for property division

As the time for certain aspects of the new tax law to go into effect approaches, new financial arrangements for divorce are being considered in New Jersey. Since the federal tax law regarding alimony is changing, people navigating divorce proceedings are in search of alternative property division options. One such arrangement involves IRAs. A question was recently posed as to whether it is possible to split an inherited IRA.

IRAs themselves have played a part in divorce for some time now. Inherited IRAs are being looked at as a possible gap closer in light of the new alimony law. With the loss of the alimony tax advantage, the fear among some people is that alimony awards will shrink. Inherited IRAs provide a way to fill that gap. Neither the status nor the distribution schedule of the inherited account would change, only the beneficiary's name would be changed.

Separation does not always lead to an immediate divorce

When entering into a marriage in New Jersey it is almost always with the thought that it will be a marriage that lasts. While this holds true in many cases, separation and divorce are still a common occurrence in today's society. Depending on the situation, a couple may decide to separate, but they may not plan to divorce right away. There are many reasons for this.

If there are children involved they may decide to co-parent and not see the need to immediately divorce. Some even continue to live under the same roof. There can also be financial reasons for deciding against an immediate divorce.

Help for addiction need not result in loss of child custody

The opioid crisis in this country continues to threaten lives and jeopardize families. Parents seeking help for their opioid addiction are frequently confronted with the prospect of losing custody of their children. In actuality, this can deter a person from seeking help due to the fear of losing his or her child. New Jersey is a state that does not equate drug use with child abuse and so losing child custody is not necessarily a deterrent to seeking help.

When children are taken from their families for their protection, they are placed in the foster care system. In some instances, there is a possible benefit to allowing a child to remain with his or her parent while the parent struggles to gain recovery. The child/parent bond can be very strong and can serve as an incentive to a parent to stay clean and sober. It is known that the best place for a child, as long as the child is safe, is with a parent. Some states are working to allow children to join their parents in recovery as a way to aid the parent's recovery and lessen the chance of relapse.

Economic fairness and child support

Child support can be one of the most difficult hurdles to conquer when a couple decides to divorce in New Jersey. The balance needs to be made between providing for the child's needs but also acknowledging the economic realities of both the custodial and noncustodial parents. In most cases, the noncustodial parent will pay child support to the custodial parent.

Providing child support is viewed as one way of preventing a child in a single parent home from slipping into poverty. In some cases, divorcing parents will try to reach child support agreements on their own or will not include a settlement in the divorce agreement. The U.S. Census shows that the number of agreements in place over the past decade has decreased. The deficit amount between what is owed in existing orders and what had been paid was $13.5 billion in 2015.

Couple loses custody of son after giving him marijuana

A Georgia couple who says they gave their son marijuana to treat his seizures, is fighting to regain custody of him. The state took custody of Matthew and Suzeanna Brill's15-year-old son, David, in April when he tested positive for marijuana. They are charged with reckless conduct and facing jail time.  Increasingly marijuana is being decriminalized.  Despite this trend, however, marijuana is still considered an illegal drug.  Is it ever justfied to give a child an illegal drug to treat a debilitating illness?

Parenting plans can make child custody cases easier

You and your spouse have decided to get a divorce. Although you are ready to move on with your own individual lives, you are concerned about how the divorce will affect the time you have with your children.

The good news is that most parents going through divorce in New Jersey and elsewhere resolve their child custody cases outside of court by creating parenting plans. Here is a glimpse at what these types of agreements entail.

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