Florham Park New Jersey Family Law Blog

Should you get a postnuptial agreement?

When people marry, they may decide against signing a prenuptial agreement. Some think that it's unromantic, or pessimistic to think about divorce before the wedding happens. After they walk down the aisle, they may see things a bit differently but worry that there is no way to make a change. 

However, New Jersey couples may decide that a postnuptial agreement is right for them. A postnup essentially accomplishes the same thing as a prenup. It outlines how a couple will divide their assets if they divorce, but it is signed after two people marry. If you are wondering if you should have one, here are some common reasons people sign a postnup.

How married individuals can avoid future money regrets

New Jersey residents who have gone through a divorce can attest to the fact that emotions and expenses run high during the divorce process. However, individuals and their bank accounts can eventually bounce back. A study done by Fidelity Investments shows that it usually takes about five years to recover financially after a divorce.

The same study revealed some of the biggest financial regrets that people have after a divorce. Eighty percent of respondents said that they regretted not being more involved in their daily finances when they were married. These individuals took a longer time than others to recover financially after divorce. Another regret was not being involved in long-term planning and retirement investing.

Research shows an increase in divorce filings in January

For most New Jersey couples, there is no specific time at which they decide to get a divorce. Family law issues are complex, and the end of a marriage will generally happen when the spouses have determined they can no longer make the marriage work. Still, there is statistical evidence indicating there are certain times of year when divorce is more prevalent. January is one of those times.

Because so many people seem to file for divorce after the holiday season has ended and the new year is underway, January is called "Divorce Month" by many legal professionals. This stems from an uptick in business for family law attorneys and a variety of research studies. Social media searches bear this out.

Temporary custody can help families in challenging times

When New Jersey parents decide to divorce, they may determine a temporary custody agreement while a permanent child custody order is being decided. These types of temporary orders can be determined by a court in the best interests of the child. While this is the most common use of temporary custody orders, there are other reasons why a child may be placed temporarily in the custody of a party other than the parents. For example, parents who are unable to afford care for their child may want to provide temporary legal custody to a grandparent, aunt, uncle or other relative, along with the legal authority to make decisions for the child.

Other parents may also ask relatives to care for their children when they are unable to for other reasons. For example, parents may become very ill, require surgery or be hospitalized. While they are receiving care, their child will still need someone to make decisions, and temporary custody can be one way of dealing with this issue. The same may be true for parents, especially single parents, who have some kinds of demanding work schedules or responsibilities and willing relatives happy to step in to provide care for the child.

Tips to help women deal with financial challenges after divorce

Women in New Jersey who have gone through a divorce usually experience financial challenges. While men who go through a divorce are likely to experience an increase in their income, women who worked before or during their marriage are likely to see a 20% decline in their income after marriage. It is also more likely that women will experience poverty in comparison to men after divorce.

There are a few steps women can take in order to deal with these financial challenges. As a woman begins to contemplate divorce, it is beneficial to start putting money away that can be used later on. She may wish to open a post office box where she can receive confidential mail. She may also want to start paying off debt, improving her credit score and getting an accurate idea of where she sits financially.

Reducing conflict by keeping emotions in check during a divorce

It may come as no surprise that going through the end of a marriage can be a stressful and daunting process. If you and your spouse decide to take separate paths in life, you may face a variety of difficult choices, each of which could have a substantial impact on your future and the outcome of the situation.

As you seek to make informed decisions concerning your future, you might worry that your emotions may cloud your judgment. While dissolving a marriage can be an emotional experience, there may be certain tips that could help you achieve focus and become better prepared for what comes next.

How to successfully co-parent with a toxic ex-spouse

Parenting after a divorce has its challenges. This is especially the case when one of the co-parents is a narcissist or toxic person. New Jersey residents may be interested in learning some helpful tips that can help them as they try to put their children's best interests first and avoid power struggles with a toxic co-parent.

Focusing on what a person can't change will drive them crazy. When a person looks at what they can control, like the way they respond to difficult situations, they will be able to maintain their composure and stay calm when situations tend to escalate. They must recognize patterns and triggers that cause an ex to go from zero to 90 in the course of a breath. This will help them to steer the conversation in a direction that empowers and protects them and their children.

The complexities of asset division in a divorce

New Jersey couples with complex investments may face some challenges if they get a divorce. These challenges could be even greater if one person has handled the majority of the finances. The other person may be at a disadvantage and should learn what the shared and individual assets are.

People who are concerned about a spouse taking an action with a joint account, such as making a withdrawal, may want to have the account frozen. Whether or not this is the case, individuals may want to consult with legal and financial professionals to be sure they understand their rights and the limitations around dividing and selling assets. For example, there may be capital gains taxes on the sale of some property. Other investments, such as annuities, could penalize investors who leave early.

2019 Professional Lawyer of the Year awarded to Lynn Fontaine Newsome, Esq.

Lynn - Seton Hall Gala Photo.pngNewsome O'Donnell, LLC is proud to announce that Lynn Fontaine Newsome, Esq. on being awarded the 2019 Professional Lawyer of the Year Award by the Essex County Bar Association.

Professionalism Awards are presented to several carefully selected lawyers from bar associations across the state of New Jersey. The award is given to lawyers who demonstrate exemplary conduct, competence, diligence and demeanor.

Making a balanced decision on a strategic divorce

While the idea of a person asking their spouse for a divorce in order to save money may seem awkward, some New Jersey couples are considering doing just that. The so-called "marriage penalty" along with some proposed wealth taxes from presidential candidates are stirring up chatter about how a strategic divorce could help some couples save some money.

A strategic divorce can save a couple money in several ways. First, filing as single individuals may give some couples, especially high earners, some tax breaks. Second, if one spouse is ill and does not qualify for Medicaid, divorcing may be a way that the ill individual can get the coverage needed without the couple exhausting all of their savings. Third, couples may be able to benefit from more federal student aid if they were to divorce and the custodial parent was considered low income.

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