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Monmouth County Family Law Blog

Keeping the family home after divorce can be problematic

For many New Jersey spouses going through the divorce process, getting a fresh start is important. However, others feel a need to remain connected with the past. Exactly how the family home is viewed and ultimately awarded as an asset to one of the parties becomes a major issue in the final property division settlement. This is especially true when minor children are involved.

Although the general practice is that each party in the divorce receives an equal share of marital property, they almost never get exactly the same distribution of assets unless everything is liquidated and the two split the cash. For many couples, the family home is the single largest asset. If one party is awarded the home, the other receives other assets equal to 50% of the home's equity. The issue, however, is not the separation of the assets but whether the party who keeps the home can afford to do so.

Don’t let divorce stop you from planning for retirement

As you move through the divorce process, it'll often feel like you think about nothing else. This can cause you to overlook a variety of important aspects of your financial and personal lives.

Even though divorce will impact your financial circumstances in many ways, you can't use it as an excuse for not reaching your goals. For example, divorce shouldn't stop you from planning for retirement.

The truth about the child support system

Parents in New Jersey and throughout the country may not like the idea of paying child support. For some individuals, they are an attempt by their former spouses to extort them. However, child support payments should be viewed as an attempt to provide help for children who need both parents in their lives. Generally speaking, a parent has an opportunity to show how much he or she can afford to pay.

If a parent cannot be located, an income may be imputed based on his or her job history and other factors. While this may or may not reflect a parent's current income, it is not done in an attempt to harm this individual. If a noncustodial parent experiences a decrease in income, it may be a good idea to ask for a modification to the current support order. The sooner this is done, the better the outcome may be for that parent.

What courts look at to calculate child and spousal support

People in New Jersey who are supposed to pay child and spousal support may be concerned about how they will afford these payments and their cash flow. In some cases, it may be possible to lower spousal support payments by offering a spouse a larger share of the marital property. People may also consider the timing of filing for divorce. For example, they might want to delay filing if they anticipate a slow income year ahead to ensure that year will be included in salary calculations.

However, people should not attempt to manipulate their income, and courts have ways of detecting this. For example, if a person appears to be underemployed based on their prior salary, their experience and their education level, a court may assign support payments based on what the person has the potential to earn. This might be the case if a person has an MBA from an Ivy League school but is working a low-paying retail job.

Have you considered mediation for your New Jersey divorce?

Divorce is a frightening concept for most married individuals. Even if it's obvious that the marriage is no longer a positive and healthy, couples may still feel reticent to officially end their union. After all, divorce is a messy, complicated, expensive process. Also, most people have heard at least a few horror stories about divorce gone wrong and the lasting issues that sometimes result from ending a marriage.

If you feel like your marriage is clearly over but you don't want to drag your family through the emotional tumult of a contentious divorce, mediation could be the best option for your family. It is a process that allows you to file an uncontested divorce.

Important responsibilities for custodial parents

When a New Jersey parent takes on sole custody of a child after a divorce, they have a lot of important responsibilities. This is true whether the parent is doing everything alone or they have an ex with visitation. For parents who still have an ex-partner around, one of the most important responsibilities is to treat the noncustodial parent fairly. This means consulting with them about important parenting matters and sticking to a visitation schedule.

In some circumstances, a custodial parent may need or want to move far away for a job or other important reason. Before doing so, it's their responsibility to consult with the noncustodial parent about the decision. In this situation, a noncustodial parent has the right to initiate a change in child custody.

Child support is usually modifiable

New Jersey residents may be interested in knowing about some of the issues that are considered when it comes to modifying child support. When determining where the children will live, how the kids' time will be divided between their parents and if one person will need to pay child support, the courts consider the circumstances of each family. They have quite a bit of leeway since most child support solutions are not one-size-fits-all.

Child support is designed to even out the burden of caring for a child's needs and maintaining his or her standard of living. Some of the factors that the courts examine include how much time the children spend with each parent; how much income each parent earns; and who pays for things like school expenses, child care, and health insurance. Child support is almost always modifiable.

6 common things that can suddenly cause a divorce

You feel like your marriage is strong. You assume that you and your spouse are not going to get divorced any time soon. Moreover, if you do start heading that way, you think that you will see the warning signs well in advance.

You might. Some couples do, and every relationship is different. However, it's important to remember that a lot of common events suddenly push couples in the direction of divorce. Some of them are things you can't predict. Others are intentional choices that you make, not realizing they may end your marriage. It can come as a surprise.

Tips to make co-parenting successful

New Jersey parents who have gone through a divorce and are now co-parenting know that there are challenges involved. Co-parenting can include a variety of combinations, including two biological parents, one biological parent and another guardian, or adoptive parents. No matter the combination, parents can save energy, time and money on future mediation by keeping in mind the following tips.

When it comes to custody and visitation, the child's best interests should always be put first. This is something that divorced partners can sometimes fail to recognize. While a divorced person may see their ex-spouse as unreliable or incompetent, the importance of that individual in the child's life cannot be overstated. Ex-spouses need to put aside negative feelings in order to make visiting the other parent a positive thing for their child. Of course, this does not include parents who are abusive or would harm the child.

New Jersey courts have the final say regarding alimony

Typical issues that must be resolved during a divorce include child custody, child support, the division of property and alimony. The purpose of alimony, also known as spousal support, is to limit the economic impact on a spouse who is a non-wage earner or a lower-wage earner by providing financial support to that spouse.

The amount of alimony a spouse is entitled to receive varies from state to state. Typical factors used to determine the amount include the length of the marriage, the age and health of each spouse, the payor's ability to pay, the recipient's need and the recipient's previous lifestyle. Other factors sometimes considered by a court include non-marital assets and the amount of time required for the recipient spouse to become financially independent.

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To schedule a consultation, call LaRocca Hornik Rosen Greenberg & Crupi, LLC, at 732-246-2112 or contact us online. We serve clients in Monmouth County, Ocean County, Middlesex County, and central New Jersey from offices in Freehold and Red Bank.

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