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Englewood Cliffs Legal Blog

What to consider before taking a child overseas

New Jersey parents who are divorced are usually allowed to spend time with their kids without their former spouses present. In some cases, this involves taking a child to another country. Ideally, exes will include the terms of such travel in their parenting plan. At a minimum, both parents should know where their kids are going to be at all times. This can be done by providing an itinerary before leaving on the trip.

The itinerary should list where the children will be staying, who they will be staying with and any other pertinent information. If a child does not yet have a passport, both parents may have to agree that he or she can have it before going through the application process. However, if a child is over the age of 16, it's possible to apply for a passport without such permission.

Dealing with insurance in a divorce

Soon-to-be ex-spouses who are getting divorced in New Jersey may need to consider purchasing both life and health insurance. Life insurance could be especially useful if one ex is ordered to pay spousal support to the other.

Some couples also include a requirement to purchase life insurance in their divorce settlements. Otherwise, support could be abruptly cut off for the recipient spouse if the alimony-paying spouse dies. With a life insurance policy, the surviving spouse might still have access to some means of support. It may be best for the recipient spouse to hold the policy and make the premium payments to ensure that the policy does not lapse. Furthermore, the policy should be put into place before the divorce is final. If the spouse is uninsurable, the couple can then modify the divorce agreement.

Consider long-term finances when going through a divorce

As couples in New Jersey go through the divorce process, they have to work out a lot of issues, including who will get the marital home and how custody of the children will be arranged. It can be easy for couples to focus on what needs to be taken care of in the short term. However, they should not overlook how their divorce will affect them in the future, especially when it comes to how their retirement could be affected by divorce.

A person may quickly assume that a pension will automatically go to the individual who earned it at their job. However, it is important for individuals who are going through the divorce process to know that pensions are considered to be marital assets. The portion of the pension that was earned during the marriage is likely subject to be divided during the divorce. Laws in each state differ, so it is good to know if it will be necessary to offset this loss with other assets in order to keep a pension intact.

The effects of divorce on children from wealthy families

In many cases, divorce has the biggest impact on children. They usually do not understand the reasoning for the end of their parents' marriage. Children go through scheduling changes as they have to be a part of two households. They often miss the parent they are not with, and some children may even choose sides. Divorce is a significant life change, no matter how necessary.

Although divorce has an effect on all children, some studies show that wealthy children become more upset than their less well-off peers, particularly with education and behavior.

Moms and dads are more likely to share custody these days

When parents of younger children get divorced in New Jersey, custody decisions have to be made. At one time, mothers were far more likely to be favored in custody-related matters. Moms still tend to get more custody time, but there has been a noticeable shift over the years toward shared parenting arrangements. In fact, one study covering this topic shows that mothers were granted sole custody roughly 80% of the time in the early 1980s. Nearly 30 years later, mothers assumed full parenting duties about 40% of the time.

It's increasingly common for courts to begin with a presumption of legal custody when addressing such matters. Physical custody, on the other hand, still favors mothers. This is largely because of a desire to maintain consistency with daily routines, such as where a child goes to school. Still, it's rare for involved fathers to be completely kept out of the parenting loop today. Changes in attitudes about a father's role in parenting, the liberalization of divorce laws, and more women joining the workforce are among the societal shifts that may have contributed to an increased preference for co-parenting arrangements.

Options for a family business in a divorce

Dividing a family business can be a challenge for New Jersey couples who are ending their marriage. They will need to have the company appraised and make a decision about whether they want to sell it.

Selling it may sound like an easy way to cut financial ties with an ex-spouse and to get rid of an asset that has painful emotional associations. It can leave both parties free to pursue other opportunities, but it may not happen right away. The process of selling the business may take time and cause the divorce process to last longer as well. While this is going on, one or both spouses will still need to keep the business running or find someone who can.

Gathering the right paperwork for a child custody hearing

In some cases, a parent can win a child custody hearing by knowing what types of evidence to bring. When a case begins, each side will have the opportunity to state their position in writing. If the other parent initiates the case, an individual will have the right to see exactly what he or she is using as the basis to do so. Including as many documents as possible can be helpful in making a good first impression with a judge.

Ideally, an individual will include phone logs, a copy of the visitation schedule and medical records. This can show that a parent takes an active role in a child's upbringing. It can also be used to show that a child is frequently injured or otherwise in harm's way with the other parent. Bringing a child's report card to court may imply that a child does better in school when in that person's care.

Divorce and business assets

Getting a divorce is not something many married business owners in New Jersey want to think about. However, business owners should take the necessary steps to protect company interests in case a divorce does occur. They should consider it just as important as making sure that there are insurance policies in place for themselves and their loved ones in case the unexpected happens.

There is more than one way to establish the protections that can help avoid a combative situation between a business owner and their spouse regarding the business assets. There can be a formal mutually agreeable contract, or certain policies can be put in place that may help simplify any divorce negotiations.

Do you need a forensic accountant on your divorce team?

When involved in a divorce and either you or your partner has a high income or considerable assets, you may face complications that other couples typically will not. When your financial situation is especially complex, you probably want to do everything in your power to make sure you receive everything you deserve, and many people facing similar circumstances are frequently relying on forensic accountants to help make this happen.

Just what is a forensic accountant? Essentially, this type of accounting professional is well-versed in identifying, analyzing, interpreting and summarizing complex financial data, and forensic accountants often take a central role in complicated financial, family or business matters. So, how do you know if you need to add one to your divorce team? While divorcing parties at all income levels can potentially benefit from hiring a forensic accountant to help them, it may prove particularly advantageous to do so if you:

Getting back child visitation rights

It can be a very trying time for parents who have been denied child visitation. However, before making any decisions about which steps to take in response, New Jersey parents who are prohibited from seeing their children should first understand why the court has taken away their visitation rights. They should then explore all of their legal options.

The family courts do not regularly issue complete denials of child visitation, but will do so if there is a concern that visitation safety may be compromised. Child visitation may be denied if the visit may present an emotional or physical threat to the wellbeing of the children.