Carolann M. Aschoff, P.C.
201-793-7739Jersey City & Bayonne
973-200-4892West Caldwell

Jersey City Family Law Blog

Child custody and child support: Strategies to make it work

Parents generally want what is best for their children. This wish of parents does not change after a divorce. Non-custodial parents may feel that their child custody agreements do not allow them enough opportunities to have a positive impact on the lives of their children.

A New Jersey parent responsible for child support payments may find it comforting to know that making regular, timely payments is one way to have a positive effect on the lives of his or her children. While there is little doubt that regular payments ensure security for a child, it may be problematic for the parent making the payments. Fortunately, there are a few strategies available to help.

Divorce from a mentally ill partner: What to consider?

The saying "love is blind" is often very true. When one gets married, one seems to be blind to any warning signs or faults of the other person. As time goes by, these warning signs may point to something much more ominous, and divorce may become an option. This situation may be especially true in cases of mental illnesses, as signs may only emerge later in the marriage.  

In New Jersey, mental illness is seen as a form of psychopathology resulting in brain functions that differ from the way most other people's brains work. People suffering from mental illnesses may have problems functioning optimally. While mental illnesses can be treated with medication and/or therapy, some cases are never diagnosed.

Does spousal support have to stay constant?

It is a fact of life that nothing is constant and that one's circumstances can change at any moment. Spousal support, if any, is established by using the financial figures supplied during divorce proceedings. New Jersey divorcees may be glad to know that an application can be made to a divorce court to alter the order for support should their financial position change.

A request can be made to change the amount paid as alimony, or even eliminate it.  On the other side, the amount paid as support to an ex-spouse can also be increased. The main consideration is that a substantial change in circumstances must have taken place, which has led to a situation where the ex-spouse has become impaired or unable to make a living.

Investigation hidden assets in a divorce can be challenging

Whenever a New Jersey couple considers ending their marriage, it would only be natural for both spouses to feel vulnerable. This is an emotional time, and it is not uncommon for one party to suspect the other of hiding assets -- particularly if it is a high-asset divorce. Although suspicions may be unfounded, it might be worth investigating.

There are some predictable places to look for concealed assets, starting with under-reporting individual values. Some convert cash into expensive art pieces or antiques and then declare lower values for those items. Spouses involved in occupations that involve cash transactions can fail to report their full income on financial statements and tax returns, and the receipt of bonuses and stock options can be delayed until after the divorce to keep it out of the marital estate. The same tactics can be used with the delay in signing profitable business contracts.

Try to make informed rather than emotional divorce decisions

Regardless of how amicable your divorce is, it will likely be an emotional process. It can be a difficult time in which you will have to make decisions that will affect the rest of your life â€" with many of them being financial. Many people reflect back to times when they made wrong decisions, and more often than not, those were choices made when they were highly emotional.

For that reason, you may follow the advice of those who suggest one should build a support team that includes loved ones to give moral support and professionals to provide legal and financial guidance and support. Each divorce is unique, and it may be best not to navigate yours based solely on the experiences of family and friends during their divorces.

Child custody in the U.S. -- interesting facts to note

In modern-day society, children have been identified as a vulnerable group that needs to be protected at all times. This awareness has also led to the coining of the phrase "best interests of the child," which plays a prevalent role in matters dealing with children. This is particularly true when it comes to deciding on child custody in New Jersey, as across the United States. 

The concept of custody is generally seen as the legal right to make decisions about important matters relating to the child's life. The parent who is granted this right by a court of law is seen as the custodian parent. The custodian parent is in the position to make decisions regarding the child's education, health care and religion.  

Divorce after 50: The end or a new beginning?

Change is never easy. In fact, most people experience some form of stress when major changes happen in their lives. The same holds true in cases of divorce, especially after many years of marriage.

It is estimated that across the United States, including New Jersey, a quarter of the people who divorce are 50 years or older. Many of these couples have been married for twenty or thirty years or even longer. After so many years of marriage, a divorce may be experienced as emotionally overwhelming, but it can be the start of a new life.

Spousal support: How to ensure payments are received

Feelings of negativity and resentment often accompany the end of a relationship. After the divorce process, an ex-spouse may not honor the payments ordered by the court, leaving the person who is supposed to receive the money in a difficult position.  Reasons for nonpayment may vary, from pure spite due to negative feelings to falling on hard financial times, or pressure from a new spouse or romantic partner.

Fortunately, there are a few guidelines which could assist those in New Jersey entitled to alimony payments to make sure they are not left in financial constraints. Some of the steps can be taken before the divorce is finalized and some afterwards. First, in order to ensure that alimony is part of the divorce decree, it is important that the spousal support agreement is properly filed with the court.

Child custody -- co-parenting may be a good option

The end of a marriage seldom is an easy process and is often accompanied by mixed feelings. Decisions regarding child custody are often the most difficult to make, especially when co-parenting is being negotiated. Co-parenting may be a difficult decision to make, particularly if the relationship used to be volatile, which may lead to concerns about the ex-partner's ability as a parent, as well as concerns about financial issues such as child support.

New Jersey parents may benefit from looking past these fears and concerns, as co-parenting holds many benefits for their children. Co-parenting can provide stability and security, because it encourages close relationships between the children and both parents. A joint custody arrangement typically allows for the children to feel secure, as they do not have doubts that both parents love them.  Children also benefit from consistency, understanding that problems can be solved even when people do not get along and being exposed to positive examples.

Anchor your summer cruise with strong child custody support

Many families flock to New Jersey shores for summer time fun and relaxation. Some residents choose to set sail away from here, however, cruising to the tropics or other scenic locations. Perhaps, you and your kids have been looking forward to taking a cruise together ever since your divorce was finalized in court. To avoid custody problems, you'll want to make sure you clearly understand the law pertaining to such matters.

It's nice to be spontaneous and set out on impromptu adventures with your children from time to time. However, once your divorce, certain restrictions may apply before you can take your children outside the court's jurisdiction. Every situation is different and much depends on your existing child custody and visitation agreement.

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