Carolann M. Aschoff, P.C.

New Jersey Family Law Blog

Is my spouse having an online affair?

Marital infidelity is hardly a new occurrence. However, many people conduct affairs completely online now, via social media sites or by chatting with potential paramours on websites. If you suspect your partner is having an online affair, Live About recommends looking for the following signs. 

Secrecy surrounding digital accounts

Toxic personalities can spark co-parenting challenges

There are many reasons people in New Jersey and elsewhere get divorced. When you filed a petition, you may have done so after a crisis event in your marriage or perhaps after a long period of issues building up between you and your spouse that you determined you were not able to resolve. Either way, while you are severing the ties of your personal relationship, you understood from the start that you'll always have a connection with your ex as co-parents.

The fact that your partner in parenting has a toxic personality may have you more than a bit concerned. It's understandable, as many people in similar situations have wound up in contentious courtroom battles when the co-parents with toxic personalities have caused child custody problems or have tried to impede the child/parent relationships of the other parents involved. To avoid such problems, it's critical to understand how to protect and exercise your rights, especially if your ex refuses to adhere to a court order.

Keeping the house may not be the best choice

If you are considering divorce in New Jersey, you may be preparing for huge changes. Creating a parenting plan and deciding who gets the television, custom bedroom set and investment accounts. Even if the proceedings are generally amicable, it is still a stressful time. Carolann M. Aschoff, P.C., works with clients to ensure equitable property division for the best possible outcome.

The family home is frequently the most significant asset owned. According to Emma Johnson, several factors can help you decide if you should fight for the house or let it go.

  • One of the most important considerations is whether you can afford it. With a lower household income comes a lifestyle change. If you cannot pay for the mortgage, utilities and upkeep on top of the other expenses, it may not be worth the financial stress.
  • Houses often represent the family position and lifestyle you always wanted. Staying in the home can stop you from moving forward with your new life. A new house and furnishing can help you start a new life, putting the old one behind you.
  • Starting fresh and relying on yourself can be empowering. Whether you rent or buy, the decisions are yours. By making decisions based on finances, your choices are practical rather than emotional. As a result, not only do you maintain a stronger financial position, but you also teach your children how to be money wise.

Why is the valuation date in your divorce important?

With all of the different elements of your divorce case in Jersey City that you have to worry about, you may think that knowing what day your marital assets will officially be valued may not be one of them. Yet when dealing with property division, you will want to know all the you can to ensure that you are not taken advantage of. A valuation date may seem like a mundane detail if you do not also consider the potential for appreciation (or depreciation) that your marital assets present. 

For example, say that you own a vacation home with your ex-spouse, and after your initial separation, they move into it. Knowing that it will likely be sold during your divorce proceedings (and its proceeds split between you), your ex-spouse could conceivably neglect the property in hopes of lowering its value so that you end up with less. Yes, their stake in the property would be lowered as well, yet if their priority is punishing you over all else, they may be willing to accept such a loss. 

Moving to another state after your divorce

For many people, the end of their marriage symbolizes a fresh start and a time full of opportunity. The divorce process can be tough, not only from a financial angle but emotionally as well. However, many people are able to move beyond these hurdles and some are able to pursue new opportunities and change their lives for the better. For example, splitting up with a spouse may make it easier for someone to move to another state, which could offer a better quality of life as well as a more favorable job market and business opportunities. However, it is important to make sure that all bases are covered, especially if you have kids.

Whether someone does not like the weather in a state they have felt stuck in for years, or they were unable to move because their former spouse refused to leave, when a marriage comes to an end this can be a great time to relocate. Some people are simply looking for a new place to live and the sense that their past has been left behind.

Divorce and your outlook on life

When some people feel as if they are stuck in a toxic marriage, they may lose the motivation to succeed in life and pursue new opportunities. Some may feel hopeless, while others may find the courage to file for a divorce and move on. Ending such a marriage can change one’s outlook on life in many ways, whether they feel like they have a fresh start in life, or their emotional state improves because they are no longer dealing with problems that constantly brought them down during their marriage.

On the other hand, some people may feel depressed or hopeless before, during and following their divorce. If you are experiencing negative emotions due to divorce, it is important to look into the reasons why you may feel this way. For example, you could be struggling with stress due to legal matters, and these feelings may subside once the divorce is finalized and you are able to move forward in life.

Using your portion of a 401k

A 401k is meant to provide an additional means of financial support during your retirement. Yet what happens if you and the person that you had planned to spend your years in retirement with divorce? Many who come to see our team here at Carolann M. Aschoff, P.C. from Jersey City are surprised to learn that a 401k is considered a marital asset. Yet given that the contributions made to it come from one's income, the fact that those contributions made during a marriage are viewed as marital assets is understandable. 

The question then becomes how to best manage your share. If it is your ex-spouse's 401k that you are dealing with, you basically have two options. The first is to roll your portion into your own 401k account or into an individual retirement account. The main advantage of doing this is the added money that can be made from it both through earned interest and investment returns (which may vary depending on what type of strategy you authorize your account administrator to employ). The disadvantage is that money is not able to help you in the here-and-now. 

How can a prenuptial agreement help you?

Getting ready to walk down the aisle is an exciting time for a New Jersey couple. During your time of engagement, it is beneficial to think about the various ways you can prepare for your future, including drafting a prenuptial agreement. This can be a smart step for people of all income levels.

A prenuptial agreement is not something that is only beneficial for the rich and famous. This type of contract can help you lay the foundation for your own financial protection in case of a divorce in the future. Drafting a prenuptial agreement may not seem romantic or even necessary, but it is smart to consider the reasons why this could be a prudent step for you. 

The differences between mediation and arbitration

It is possible that you may have heard mediation and arbitration spoken of interchangeably with no intended difference between them. However, if you are exploring alternatives to going to a New Jersey court for an upcoming divorce, you should recognize that the concepts of mediation and arbitration, while they are distinct from court litigation, are not the same. Each of these forms of divorce resolution carries specific attributes that, depending on your needs, you may find more attractive over the other.

FindLaw points out that the structure of arbitration and mediation can be very different. Arbitration usually involves a decision made by a panel of arbitrators while mediation is typically conducted with a single mediator. Arbitration is generally employed when the two spouses cannot come to an agreement or feel they are unlikely to, so each spouse will select an arbitrator. From there, the two arbitrators will choose a third arbitrator, completing a council of three arbitrators to work out the problems of the spouses.

The emotional side of property division

Divorce can be especially hard for some couples, including those who have kids and cannot agree on which custody outcome would serve their best interests and those with a high net worth. For some people, the division of marital property is particularly challenging for a multitude of reasons. Aside from the financial ramifications of property distribution, this facet of the divorce process can also have a significant emotional toll as well. In this post, we will look into some of the emotional hurdles that people may have to work through due to the division of marital property.

First of all, some people have an emotional attachment to some of their property and it can be devastating to lose something that holds sentimental value. There are many different types of property that are split up when a marriage comes to an end and some people have a very hard time accepting that they have to let the property go. Moreover, some people even become angry because they feel as if their former spouse should not be entitled to receive certain property. Aside from these emotions, depression may also arise in some instances.

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