Carolann M. Aschoff, P.C.
WEST CALDWELL
973-200-4892
JERSEY CITY & BAYONNE
201-793-7739

New Jersey Family Law Blog

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.

Divorce, alimony and job loss

If you are getting ready to file for a divorce, or you are already in the middle of one, you could have a number of concerns. For example, you might be worried about what will happen with regard to child custody or you could be stressed out about adjusting to single life. However, the financial side of divorce must be given special attention, and there are many ways in which your finances could be impacted by your marriage coming to an end. Moreover, some people are facing other financial struggles in life, such as those who have lost their job, which can add to their divorce-related financial stress.

If you have already split up with your spouse and recently lost your job, you may have concerns about your ability to continue paying alimony. If so, you should look into the possibility of modifying your spousal support. On the other hand, perhaps you have not even filed for a divorce yet, or maybe you are still working but you know that you will be out of work in the near future. Under these circumstances, it is crucial to prepare for what lies ahead and do what you can to financially brace yourself.

How will alimony tax law changes affect your divorce case?

Many people have considered alimony a negotiation tool during divorce cases for decades. Though a person may have cringed at the thought of having to continue supporting an ex-spouse, the paying individual may still have appreciated the ability to deduct those payments come tax time. However, now that 2019 is underway, that ability no longer exists.

You have likely heard that tax law changes were coming into effect that would affect alimony in New Jersey and across the country. You may not have known exactly how or even if it would affect your divorce outcomes. Gaining information on the changes may help you gain a better idea of what you could face if the court awards alimony in your case.

New Year’s resolutions and family law

Every year, many people focus on improving their lives in the new year, whether they want to eat healthier, get more exercise or accomplish some other type of goal (such as something related to their career). However, some people may have New Year’s resolutions regarding their divorce or other family law issues. For example, someone may make a resolution that they will stay caught up on their child support in the new year or find the courage to handle some stressful family law matter that they have been pushing off.

The new year can be a great time for people to change their lives and find a fresh start. As with any resolution, however, some people give up later on in the year. It is crucial to stay focused and even if you do not pay much attention to New Year’s resolutions, you should still look for ways to properly handle any family law matters that you are facing.

Mediation and social media

A wide range of considerations may come into play for those who are going through a divorce, including deciding which approach is appropriate. Many couples opt for divorce mediation and there are a number of reasons why mediation is advantageous. For example, mediation can save time and money for both parties, as we have written about on this blog. However, other factors may need to be reviewed even if you and your partner have already agreed that mediation is best. For example, your social media activity may need to be considered, especially if you and your spouse are trying to work together to end your marriage in a more amicable manner.

First of all, the type of information that you share online can have an impact on your divorce in different ways. Moreover, if you notice that your spouse is sharing certain types of information that you believe should be kept private, or certain details about you that are untrue and harming your reputation, you may need to take further action. In some instances, mediation is not a viable option because a couple cannot come to an agreement.

Detailing the different types of alimony in New Jersey

Like many of the clients in Jersey City that our team here at Carolann M Aschoff PC has worked with in the past, you may be going in to your divorce proceedings concerned about how much you might be required to pay in alimony. These fears are natural, particularly if you were the primary wage-earner in your home. And while you might not have an issue providing your ex-spouse with some degree of financial assistance until they are fully capable of supporting themselves, you certainly do not want to be faced with an alimony obligation that put an excess burden on you. 

Fortunately, alimony is typically not meant to be a long-term source of income. Rather, it is only required while your ex-spouse is not able to afford the standard of living you enjoyed while married. To ensure that this purpose is met, the state actually chooses from four different types of alimony when it is included as part of a divorce settlement. According to Section 34-23 of New Jersey's state statutes, these types are: 

  • Reimbursement alimony
  • Rehabilitative alimony
  • Limited duration alimony
  • Open durational alimony

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3279 John F. Kennedy Blvd.
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Phone: 201-793-7739
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