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Essex County Divorce & Family Legal Blog

Should you consider mediating your child custody issues?

As other New Jersey parents who have gone through a divorce can tell you, one of the most important issues you will address is what happens to your children. Regardless of your personal relationship with your future former spouse, you recognize that the children you share need both of you in their lives as much as possible.

When coming to this realization, you gain the ability to avoid a courtroom battle over custody. You could decide together to resolve this matter through mediation instead, which gives you the right to retain control over how you and the other parent continue providing love, security and support to your children well after the divorce is final. 

Why do children usually misbehave?

As a single parent in New Jersey, you’re probably frustrated when your child misbehaves. Getting to the root of behavioral problems is key in this case, as this can help you understand your child’s actions and develop a plan going forward. Very Well Family offers the following advice, which can help you and your child deal with underlying emotions more effectively.

Your child may crave power

How can I cope with the emotional effects of divorce?

If you’re facing a divorce in New Jersey, you’re probably reeling from the emotional effects. These effects can have a profound impact on your life, which is why it’s crucial to develop coping mechanisms to minimize stress and recover from your divorce in a meaningful way. Live About offers the following tips which can help you do just that. 

Put your thoughts in a journal

When online activity causes a marriage to fall apart

In the digital era, couples may find themselves in divorce court for any number of reasons. Aside from having an online affair, a marriage may be torn apart as a result of online activity due to various types of inconsiderate or even unlawful behavior. For example, a spouse may use the internet to carry out any number of crimes, or they could have an online addiction that causes them to drift apart from their spouse. For example, someone may do nothing but play games all day, refusing to work or even maintain a healthy relationship with their marital partner.

Social media can be another source of conflict within a marriage. Some people are addicted to social media while others misuse this technology, such as those who decide to share inappropriate and offensive material online. Regardless of the reason why online activity causes a marriage to fall apart, there are times when one spouse knows that they have been through enough and are determined to move on. If you are facing these challenges yourself, make sure that you are prepared for various legal matters that may surface.

How long will I pay alimony?

Going through a divorce in New Jersey is not easy. It is often compounded by the financial strain it can put on you. This is especially true if in the process of the divorce the judge orders you to pay alimony. Luckily, this state has had some recent reform in this area. According to the official website for the state of New Jersey, the law changes on September 10, 2014, in regards to the length of time you have to pay alimony. Those who had court orders prior to the change date still follow the old rules unless there has been a modification to your agreement, you may follow the new guidelines.

If you are currently divorcing and get an order to pay alimony, the initial guideline for the court is to set a time limit for how long you will pay based on how long you were married. If your marriage lasted less than 20 years, then you cannot be made to pay support for longer than the number of years you were married. For example, if you were married five years, you will only pay for a maximum of five years.

Things to do and not do in a New Jersey child custody battle

Divorce is often a tumultuous time in a person's life. You may find yourself feeling emotionally fragile one day and extremely confident and goal-oriented the next. Every marriage is unique, and therefore, so is every divorce. If you're one of many New Jersey parents who are facing disagreements with your ex regarding child custody, you may want to talk to friends or family members who have experienced similar situations to learn how they were able to overcome problems.

Even though part of you might want to simply march into a courtroom and tell your former spouse exactly what you think of him or her, you also understand that court would likely not look favorably on such behavior. Instead, you are prepared to do whatever you can to succeed in obtaining custody of your kids. One thing you definitely don't want to do is incite disruption in court.

Is shared parenting right for you?

When New Jersey parents divorced in the past, young children typically lived with mom and saw dad on the weekends and holidays. Times have changed, and joint custody seems to be the preferred arrangement of the courts and parents. However, this arrangement doesn’t work for everyone. It’s important to understand the pros and cons before agreeing to shared custody.

According to LiveAbout, children live with each parent approximately half the time in a shared parenting or dual residence custody arrangement. Keep in mind, that even though the physical custody is shared, legal custody does not need to be. Legal custody refers to who makes the big life decisions, such as where the children attend school, major medical decisions and which religion they will practice. Court documents may list physical and legal custody separately. It is essential that you review the entire agreement to ensure you understand the expectations and requirements of the arrangement.

Couple claims to be friends following messy divorce proceedings

Very often, couple's entering into divorce proceedings in Essex County pledge to be amicable towards each other during proceedings. Yet going through a divorce can be mentally and emotionally taxing, and that may take a toll on the participants' understanding and patience. This may be why so many of these cases quickly turn ugly, with both sides becoming defensive and refusing to make concessions to the other even though doing so might help to resolve the matter much faster. Unfortunately, the longer a divorce drags out, the more likely it may become that proceedings do become overly contentious. 

There may, however, be a way back from the brink of a messy divorce. This is illustrated in the case of a congressman from Minnesota currently running for the office of the state's attorney general. A recent court ruling mandated that the records from his divorce from his wife be unsealed. Those records revealed that while the two had attempted to cooperate during their proceedings, disagreements over alimony caused the case to devolve almost into a mud-slinging contest, with him trying to prove that her medical issues shouldn't prevent her from working, and her accusing him of living to lavish a lifestyle. 

Reaching an equitable division of property

Over time, people grow and change. After many years of marriage in New Jersey, you and your spouse may no longer be compatible. At the Law Office of Laurie A. Bernstein, P.C., we understand that a fair division of assets is a priority for moving forward with your life. We help our clients negotiate settlements and reach amicable resolutions. 

According to Business Insider, the judge assesses the financial statements when no equitable division of assets can be reached. If divorce is imminent, getting your finances in order is critical to protecting your children and your future. Here are some steps that can get you started.

Is mediation right for your divorce?

Often, when people hear the word “divorce,” they envision a protracted legal battle wherein the parties spend weeks – or months – wrangling in a courtroom, fighting over every issue. Thankfully, those types of divorces are rare. In general, only a small portion of divorces are so contested that they require that level of litigation.

Many divorces might actually benefit from a non-adversarial method of dispute resolution: mediation.

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