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Englewood Cliffs Legal Blog

Winning a child custody case

Child custody cases can end with unpredictable results. New Jersey parents who are embroiled in child custody disputes may benefit from learn how to strategize their case and improve their chances of achieving the outcome that they want.

Neither party in a child custody case should assume that the judge will rule in their favor. It is important to know that the court's only role is to do what is in the best interests of the child. Parents who are able to demonstrate that they are focused on the welfare of their child can improve their case.

Changes to insurance policies during divorce

You have made it this far. You have split the debt and the assets, determined a child custody arrangement that works and are ready to sign the divorce decree. Before you put the pen to paper, there is one thing you may not have considered. Have you changed your insurance policies?

While health insurance is generally the most prominent to come to mind, there are several types of insurance you should modify after a divorce.

The role of a QDRO in property division

A Qualified Domestic Relations Order is a necessary document for New Jersey couples who are getting a divorce and need to divide a retirement account. Because it is a complex financial document, they might want to work with a certified divorce financial planner to ensure that they are able to efficiently transfer funds. Without guidance, a QDRO could become costly.

Not every couple will decide to split the retirement account. However, those who make this decision should keep in mind that there may be disadvantages in keeping the account that they may not have anticipated. For example, in a divorce, one person might take the home, which has been paid for, while the other person might take the 401(k). If the retirement account is worth more than the house, it might initially seem as though that person got a better deal. However, the recipient may be unable to access the funds without paying a penalty until the age of 59 1/2.

When business owners divorce

Talking about buyout clauses or separating business assets from marital property are the least romantic things New Jersey couple could think about, but they are often necessary to avoid future headaches such as a case that has been unfolding in Delaware. The case illustrates what could happen in situations when business interests are shared by parties whose relationship is ending.

The future of a very successful translation software company based in New York is being uncomfortably played out in Delaware's Chancery Court. TransPerfect has more than 3,000 employees and boasts lucrative contracts that place the value of the company at more than $1 billion. The majority owners of TransPerfect were college sweethearts who started the business in the 1990s but never walked down the aisle.

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.