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Englewood Cliffs Legal Blog

Scarlett Johansson in custody battle over daughter

New Jersey fans of actress Scarlett Johansson may have heard that she is divorcing her husband, Romaine Dauriac. They have a 2-year-old daughter together. Their custody dispute was a private negotiation until March 7 when Johansson and her attorney filed divorce papers in New York.

By filing in New York, Johansson may have made a preemptive move that will help her get custody of the child without having to fight for it in Dauriac's home country of France. The child's place of residence is considered to be the place where the child has spent the previous six months, and Johansson may have filed as she reached the six-month mark with her daughter in New York. Dauriac could still file in France, and this would lead to what is known as a bi-national jurisdiction conflict. The residency rule would hold the key to resolving it. However, Dauriac's attorney has said that he will remain in New York if the two can share custody.

A quick guide to high-asset divorce

If you are anticipating a divorce in West Virginia, understanding how property division works helps you avoid surprises and confusion. All marital property, including valuable assets, are subject to equitable distribution. Learn some tips regarding asset distribution and getting through your divorce as smoothly as possible.

Marital vs. separate assets

In a West Virgin4ia divorce, only the property that belongs to your marriage is divided. Marital property is anything that was earned or acquired during the marriage. Two important exclusions to this general rule are:

International parental abductions and what to do

An international child abduction by a parent is more likely to happen in the early stages of a divorce, while waiting for a custody order or during a conflict between parents. New Jersey parents who are concerned about one occurring might wonder how the State Department might assist them if such a thing happens.

In part, the response of the State Department may depend upon whether or not the country is a signatory to the Hague Convention. The Hague Convention was created in 1980 to deal with parental international abduction, and the United States is a signatory. However, both countries must be signatories for the Convention to apply.

What to do with a family business in divorce

New Jersey couples who are ending their marriage and who own a family business may be concerned about how they will protect that business or divide it during a divorce. Having one person buy the other out involves needing to get the business valued, and this can be expensive. Furthermore, neither individual may have access to the cash flow to buy out the other if their assets are largely tied up in the business. Taking out a bank loan or creating a property settlement note might be one solution.

Continuing to run the business as co-owners might be an option if the two are able to manage the emotional difficulties that could result. Couples who choose this approach should create an agreement that allows each of them to buy out the other.

What happens to the marital home after a divorce

When New Jersey couples are going through a divorce, one of the most important subjects that might have to be discussed in property division negotiations is the marital home. They will have to reach an agreement about who will get to keep the home or whether they will sell it instead.

Some people who are going through a divorce want to stay in the marital home so that they do not have to move. Divorcing parents may be attached to their home for its location in their child's school district. However, a newly single person could have more difficulty affording the mortgage and upkeep for the home that they shared with their ex-spouse. There are also many people who would rather change residences after a divorce to avoid unpleasant memories of their marriage.

Co-parenting can make divorce easier on children

Reaching an amicable settlement can be challenging for divorcing couples in New Jersey and around the country, and it can be particularly difficult for them to find common ground when contentious issues like spousal support and the division of marital property are being discussed. However, even the most belligerent are often able to see beyond their personal animosities when young children are involved. Parents generally want their children to be happy and prosper, and understanding this may be all that is required for custody and visitation talks to be calm and productive.

Much has been written about the harrowing impact that divorce can have on children, and co-parenting solutions have become far more common as a growing body of data highlights the benefits of these child custody arrangements. Parents who cooperate set an example that can pay dividends for their children later in life, but establishing rules and dispensing discipline in a consistent way can be extremely challenging for parents who agree on very little.

How debt is divided in a divorce

Getting divorced involves various complications and difficulties including the distribution of assets. Have you thought about your marital debts? Debt is treated as an asset in a divorce. If you do not know what debt you will be responsible for after the divorce, it is time to learn the basics about dividing debt.

Identifying all marital financial assets during a divorce

When New Jersey couples decide that it is time to get a divorce, they often focus on the large assets first when it comes to property division negotiations. These assets usually include the family home, any other real estate they may own, cars and expensive furniture. Once tangible items have been divided, splitting cash and hashing out child support or alimony is usually the next step. However, some smaller marital assets can be overlooked, especially if a person does not have a qualified financial adviser on thedivorce team.

Some of these assets include retirement plans, stock and deferred compensation. Even though these assets are often considered to be complicated, they can be divided in a divorce if they are marital property. Even when the assets are identified, it can still be difficult to determine what the tax implications are and what type of split actually makes sense. People also need to determine if they need a Qualified Domestic Relations Order to divide up 401(k) plans and pensions.

Social Security considerations during divorces

When New Jersey couples get divorced, many are concerned about how to divide their financial assets. In addition to retirement accounts, bank accounts and other assets, people should also think about their Social Security benefits.

People may be eligible to claim Social Security benefits based on their former spouse's earnings record rather than their own. This may make sense for those who earned less during their career or did not work at all because they stayed home to raise a family. If their former spouses' retirement benefits are higher than what they would receive through their own work records, then it makes sense for them to claim spousal benefits.

Developing a long-distance parenting plan

Divorced parents in New Jersey and around the country are often able to put their personal differences aside and work together to raise their children. Separated couples often worry about the impact their choices will have on their children, and they may seek to make the process easier by developing parenting plans designed to keep disruptions to a minimum. This can be relatively simple to achieve when former spouses live in close proximity to one another. However, things can become more challenging when one parent moves away or enters into a new romantic relationship.

The travel involved in long-distance parenting can take a heavy toll, and few parents fully comprehend the additional pressures and stresses that will be involved with when they mull these decisions over. The situation can become even more acute when the parent who is not moving objects to any changes in the agreed parenting plan because they fear that even minor concessions will inevitably lead to more profound alterations later on.