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Englewood Cliffs Legal Blog

New standard for relocating kids after divorce

Raising kids after a divorce is often more challenging for both parents, and this is especially true when parents disagree about something major like where a child should live. A ruling from the Supreme Court of New Jersey will influence what happens when the custodial parent wants to move away from the state.

If one parent does not want a child or children to leave New Jersey, then the other parent must prove that relocation is in a child's best interests. Previously, the law considered whether a move would harm a child. This means a parent who wants to relocate now has the burden of proof to show that this will be positive for children.

3 financial mistakes to avoid during a divorce

New Jersey actually has one of the lowest divorce rates in the country. According to a 2016 article in The New York Post, the only states that have fewer divorces than New Jersey are Wisconsin, Rhode Island and Delaware.

With that being said, plenty of couples still deal with divorce in the Garden State. In fact, many couples end up spending more money than they should on the process. No matter how wealthy some couples may be, they still need to keep an eye on finances. Here are three common mistakes people should avoid making when going through this difficult process.

Determining what a business is worth during divorce

If a New Jersey couple is getting a divorce and one or both of them owns a business, it will usually need to be divided along with other shared marital property. A skilled valuation analyst can determine the value of the business so this division can take place.

How accurate this valuation needs to be depends on the circumstances. The couple must choose between a calculation of value and a full valuation. The full valuation is more expensive, more time-consuming and more accurate. However, it might be necessary if a third party, including an arbitrator or a judge, needs the information. If the couple plans to use it in mediation, it may be possible to do a calculation of value.

Blac Chyna vows to co-parent after Kardashian's Twitter tirade

New Jersey residents who follow the Kardashian family may be interested to learn that Blac Chyna, the model who has an 8-month-old baby with Rob Kardashian, was granted a restraining order on July 11. She had filed for the restraining order after Kardashian attacked her in a Twitter tirade that involved posting graphic content, nude photos and accusations regarding drugs and alcohol.

While restraining orders can have an influence on child custody agreements, Blac Chyna has gone on record to explain that it was she who had trouble with Kardashian, not the child. She said that she intended to work with the lawyers to determine how to continue to co-parent with Kardashian as he has been a great father.

Custody arrangements for undocumented workers

The American-born children of undocumented workers in New Jersey and around the country are automatically granted American citizenship, but this is not enough to stop the immigration authorities from initiating deportation proceedings against their parents. President Trump has been highly critical of the nation's border control policies and has vowed to clamp down on illegal immigration, and this has prompted some undocumented workers to put contingency plans in place to take care of their American-born children should they no longer be able to.

Some immigrant families are seeking individuals who can care for their children on a temporary basis should they be deported, but many parents would rather shield their children from political upheaval and violence in their home countries by putting child custody arrangements into place that would allow them to remain in the United States permanently. However, actually achieving this goal can be extremely difficult even when close friends or family members are willing to take on the added responsibility.

Signs your spouse may be hiding assets

One sneaky tactic that your spouse may use as financial protection during your divorce is hiding assets. Many people in New Jersey resort to hiding assets before and during their divorces, not realizing that it is illegal and unethical for them to do so. Many of them also do not understand how it impacts the property division process. Your divorce situation may already be stressful enough without you having to worry about your spouse trying to cheat you out of your fair share of the marital property and assets. 

Take some time to learn how to identify if your spouse is hiding assets so you can protect your rights and what is rightfully yours. 

Steps for getting custody of a sister or brother

If a New Jersey child's parents dies or are unfit and the child has an older sibling, that sibling might want custody of the child. In order to get custody, the child must be under 18 and the sibling must be legally emancipated or at least 18. In both cases, a sibling must provide proof of being able to financially care for the child and provide a stable environment. In the latter case, the sibling might also have to prove that the parents are unable to take care of the child or are putting the child in danger.

However, a custody battle may be avoided if the parents agree to allow the sibling to raise the child. It may be worthwhile to talk to the parents and make this suggestion since courts are reluctant to remove a child from biological parents. If the parents do not agree, it will be necessary to file for custody in the jurisdiction where the child lives.

How nesting may be beneficial for children

New Jersey parents who are getting a divorce but whose relationship is still relatively amicable may be interested in an approach to joint custody known as "nesting". While in a traditional joint custody arrangement children generally move back and forth between their parents' homes, nesting allows them to remain in the family home while the parent do the rotating in and out.

Two parents who used this approach reported that the 18 months their children had to adjust to the divorce in their own home had helped. The parents rented a small apartment near their home that each one lived in for one week at a time alternating with a week in the family home with the children. They also said that it helped them understand the difficulties their children faced in having to move between two homes.

Aisha Tyler's amicable divorce settlement

New Jersey residents who are ending their marriage and have a lot of marital assets to divide might look to the case of Aisha Tyler's divorce settlement as a way to reach an agreement with an ex-spouse without court coercion. The television and movie personality reached a settlement agreement with her ex-husband that both found fair and just.

According to sources, Tyler agreed to pay her ex-husband $2 million in spousal support. The two agreed to split their community property evenly, and $500,000 of the $2 million will be paid up front as a way to equalize the community property division, with the remaining amount paid in installments of $31,250 monthly for the next four years. Payments do cease if either Tyler or her ex-husband pass away or if he chooses to remarry. As it can sometimes be the case with high-asset divorce, the ex-spouses will keep their individual companies. Tyler has reported that she agreed to the payment because she felt it was fair and the two will remain friends after the divorce.

Errors to avoid in a custody hearing

A New Jersey parent who is facing a child custody hearing may be frustrated with the other parent, but it is important to not show frustration in court. A parent who appears angry or bitter may also look like a parent who is unwilling to cooperate with the other parent, and this could result in that other parent getting custody. Parents should also avoid trying to speak for their children to convince the judge that they are the best choice as the custodial parent. Older children are often allowed to express their preferences if they wish, but a parent should not attempt to make the other parent look bad by arguing that their child needs them more.

Family and friends may try to persuade parents that they should be asking for more support or visitation time, but parents should not allow themselves to be carried away by this. They should stick with the strategy they have worked out with their attorney, and if there is a reason to change it, they should discuss this with the attorney as well.