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Morristown Family Law Blog

Child custody issues can adversely affect children's health

When New Jersey parents decide to divorce, the decision undoubtedly has a significant impact on their children's lives. Parents who want what's best for their children understand the importance of closely observing their kids as they come to terms with life-changing events and apply coping skills as they adapt to new lifestyles. If child custody problems arise, it can definitely impede a child's mental or even physical well-being.

Children are typically tuned in to their parents' emotional, mental and physical states of health. In fact, witnessing a parent's distress in divorce sometimes causes a child to internalize the situation, perhaps thinking it is his or her fault. Depending on the ages of the children involved, they might show signs of regression, separation anxiety or trouble at school in reaction to parental conflict in divorce.

Tips to help New Jersey parents avoid child custody stress

When parents in New Jersey or elsewhere decide to divorce, they undoubtedly take into consideration the potential effect their decision will have on their children. In addition to navigating divorce proceedings, post-divorce issues may arise regarding child custody or some other topic that cause high levels of stress for all involved, especially the kids. Good parents always have their children's best interests in mind, which is why it pays to learn about how to keep post-divorce stress to a minimum.

Child custody problems can definitely be difficult to resolve, especially if co-parents do not get along well. Such problems can be exacerbated, however, by parents who allow past marital hurts to interfere with their post-divorce, co-parenting relationship. Therefore, a helpful tip is to keep adult relationship issues separate from parenting issues.

Court approval needed for child support modifications

If a New Jersey court orders a parent to provide financial support for his or her child, he or she must fully adhere to the terms of the court order. If a parent is unable to meet payments because of an unexpected circumstance, a request child support modifications can be made. A parent cannot simply decide to unilaterally stop making payments. R & B music star Chris Brown's ex says he has not been making child support payments.

The court was apparently already involved back in February. The judge overseeing the case ordered Brown to pay $17,000 monthly. The mother of child, Nia Guzman, says he has not made good on the payments. She also said she is having other legal problems with Brown.

Who gets the family pet in a divorce?

Going through a divorce can be extremely difficult. Knowing that your marriage is over and that your life will change dramatically is an unforgiving reality to face. One thing that can make the separation process more challenging is if there is an animal involved due to how attached people get to their critters.

Most people consider their pets to be part of the family. There is an emotional attachment created by coming home to a wagging tail or simply taking care of your animal on a daily basis. In the eyes of the law, however, pets are property.

Child custody and visitation: How to avoid problems in New Jersey

When a married couple decides to divorce, they must resolve multiple issues that will shape their separated futures. If they have children, a majority of those issues will likely be child related. A family law judge will issue final approval regarding New Jersey custody and visitation or child support.

If parents are unable to resolve child-related issues or any other issues, the judge overseeing the case can step in to make the decisions on their behalf. To avoid long, drawn-out court battles, it helps if spouses learn as much as they can about state laws ahead of time. It's also a good idea to formulate a list of goals, including matters of finance, property division or alimony in addition to issues pertaining to the children.

Biological father appeals to high court re child custody issues

In New Jersey and most other states, many households with children include parents of the same sex. As in cases where opposite sex parents decide to end their relationship, parents of the same sex often wind up facing child custody litigation when they disagree about where the child or children in question should live. In one such case, a biological father has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to hear his appeal.

The man had been involved in a relationship with another man and they agreed to have and raise a child together. They wound up parenting twins, who were conceived through the biological father's sperm and the sister of the other man. The biological mother agreed to sign documents to abdicate her parental rights and to remain active as an aunt. She gave birth to twins and sometime later, the two men argued over infidelity and decided to end their relationship.

How will a New Jersey court divide your pension after a divorce?

For a divorcing couple, pension plans, retirement accounts and estate plans can be particularly tricky to work out. It is you or your legal team’s responsibility to update the New Jersey Division of Pensions and Benefits of any changes to marital status, but what changes can you expect in return? Where do you begin?

Mediation: A good option to obtain a divorce in New Jersey

When two New Jersey spouses determine that their relationship is no longer sustainable, they may decide to part ways. Divorce is never easy and some cases are definitely more challenging or emotionally upsetting than others. Many spouses wish they could simply tie up the necessary loose ends and move on in separate ways, in which case mediation may be the best option for them.

Agreeing to attend mediated sessions to achieve a settlement is one of numerous ways to obtain a divorce in this state. Collaborative law and litigation are two other options. When spouses choose mediation, they agree to peacefully resolve differences and attempt to avoid confrontation. This means there may certain topics that spouses agree to avoid during their sessions, such as an extramarital affair or other problem issues that may have led to their decision to divorce.

Same-sex divorce: Issues that can complicate proceedings

Romantic relationships between people of the same sex continue to be a hot button topic in  New Jersey and elsewhere. There are typically many extenuating issues that intersect or, at least, influence this controversial topic, such as religion, political views or, even, ethnicity. No matter what a man or woman personally believes, same-sex marriage is legally permitted in all 50 states, which has led to many complex situations involving same-sex divorce.

In states that do not recognize common law marriage, people of the same sex who lived together long before obtaining a marriage license often encounter challenges regarding marital property. No matter how long a couple has shared a residence, if common law marriage is not recognized, marital property only includes assets acquired during legal marriage. Same-sex divorce can also get complicated regarding child custody issues.

What if post-divorce real estate issues arise?

If you are currently navigating the New Jersey civil justice system because you and your spouse decided to sever marital ties, you may have already encountered and overcome numerous legal challenges. It is important to note, however, that finalizing a divorce does not always eradicate every legal issue. In fact, in certain aspects, your problems may just be beginning, such as if you have to sell your home and find a new place to live or you need to modify the terms of your existing estate plan. Post-divorce real estate issues can impede your ability to move on in life.

Buying and selling homes can be quite stressful, even for those who have not recently come away from divorce proceedings. Property liquidation, title transfers and other issues can be complex and difficult to resolve. If you have children or if your divorce was contentious, you may already be feeling overwhelmed and worried about the future.

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