Carolann M. Aschoff, P.C.

How to secure the best possible divorce settlement?

The decision to end a marriage is not only difficult emotionally, but also requires many tough decisions. New Jersey couples in the midst of a divorce may benefit from taking note of some important aspects to consider when negotiating a settlement agreement. No matter what the circumstances, one should never negate the importance of safeguarding one's financial security.

It is important for both parties to reach an agreement on how certain important financial matters will be handled. These important matters may include:

  • health insurance concerns
  • division of retirement plans
  • costs of tertiary studies
  • disposition of the marital home

Living expenses, especially for the parent who gets custody should also be carefully negotiated.

When deciding about the division of retirement funds, older divorcees should consider the regulations concerning Social Security benefits, especially if they might be one of the main sources of income. One should not expect to receive full benefits from the age of 64. Health insurance is important, especially in cases where there are children involved.  If one of the parents has health insurance covering the kids, it will typically be expected that the children born from the marriage remain on the health plan.  Should the family have no health insurance in place, it may be a good idea for the custodial parent to include the expense in the amount needed for child support.

While it may seem like a good idea to retain the family home, one should make sure that it will be possible given one's budget. It will also benefit both parties to compile a detailed budget of the costs arising from all school-related and extracurricular activities for their children. In this manner these costs can be fairly divided between the parents.

Although parents may have everything in place to save for when their children go to college, there are always additional expenses. Including how college expenses will be handled in the agreement, even if it seems years away, can make everyone's lives easier. The assistance of a New Jersey family law attorney in negotiating a fair divorce settlement that addresses all material financial matters can be invaluable.   

Source:, "Divorce Settlement Agreement: Points to Consider," Cathy Meyer, Oct. 18, 2017

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