Florham Park New Jersey Family Law Blog

How do you choose a divorce mediator?

At some point during the process of your divorce in New Jersey, you and your spouse will have to engage the services of a divorce mediator. This is because state law mandates mediation for child custody and economic issues. However, mediation can benefit you in other aspects of your divorce. In fact, according to the Huffington Post, divorce mediation can save you stress both emotionally and financially as opposed to litigating your divorce case in court. 

Another advantage that mediation has over divorce litigation is that while the court assigns a judge to preside over your case, you and your spouse have the option to choose your own mediator. Recognizing objective qualities that make for a good divorce mediator may help you and your spouse make this important first decision in the process.

Remedies to consider for the new tax changes to alimony

If your divorce is not already finalized, you will probably be affected by the new laws which will change how alimony is taxed. Alimony, which is sometimes called spousal support, is a payment one spouse is sometimes ordered to pay the other spouse after divorce. Starting in 2019, alimony will no longer be tax-deductible for the payer or taxable for the receiver.

This tax change has caused many couples to rush to have their divorces finalized before the end of 2018, so the new laws will not apply. However, it will not be possible for every divorcing couple to meet this deadline, though this may not be a bad thing. A recent news article noted that the new tax laws do not have to have a negative effect on your divorce if you incorporate some clever planning on other areas of your finances.

Gray divorce, health and finances

Divorce is not generally one of the things that people in New Jersey want to focus on during the holiday season but it does often end up being something that rears its head during the stress of this time of year. For people who are over the age of 50 and who are considering a divorce, it is important to understand the many ways that this experience might impact their lives.

Psychology Today explains that divorces at later stages in life have increased in number over the past couple of decades. Part of that increase includes a big jump in the number of people getting divorced after being married for at least two times. In fact, a person who is in a remarriage is 2.5 times more likely to get divorced than their first marriage counterparts. For remarriages that have lasted less than one decade, the risk of divorce is ten times greater than it is for marriages that have endured for at least four decades.

What is a Hague adoption and how do you qualify?

If you are a New Jersey couple or individual seeking to adopt a child from a foreign country, you should know that it can be a very complicated process since you must comply not only with the laws of the United States but the laws of the country from which you attend to adopt. 

According to FindLaw, The Hague Adoption Convention has been in place since April 2008 and is an international treaty that establishes a process of international adoption intended to safeguard the best interests of all parties, the adoptive and birth parents as well as the child. Thus, a "Hague adoption" is an international adoption in which the parties meet eligibility requirements and follow the process set forth in The Hague Adoption Convention. In a Hague adoption, both the child and the adoptive parents must reside in countries that are part of the Hague convention, which includes the United States and over 90 other countries.

Using the collaborative divorce process

The process of getting divorced can be complicated and confusing, from court dates and filing deadlines to attorney fees and a wide range of other costs. On top of all of this, is the emotional toll it takes on you and all parties involved.  At Newsome O’Donnell, LLC, our team works with clients to find the best resolution for their unique circumstances.

Until recently, mediation and litigation were the typical methods to settle divorce disputes including alimony and child support to property division. According to FindLaw, the use of a collaborative divorce procedure is an alternative that may benefit everyone. This is especially true if you and your soon to be ex-spouse prefer to stay out of court but cannot agree on everything.

What are the remedies for parenting time issues?

One of the hardest parts of a divorce is dealing with parenting issues. Having tow separate homes can make things more difficult. That is why the courts in New Jersey want you to work together with your ex-spouse to create a parenting plan that outlines your visitation and custody. If you follow the plan, things should go smoothly and everyone should be happy. However, issues do come up. Two common issues are interference and not using parenting time.

According to the New Jersey Courts, interference is a severe issue. It involves the other parent trying to prevent you from seeing your child. This may be not adhering to the visitation schedule and bringing the child to you for your scheduled parenting time or it could be not returning the child at the end of parenting time. The first step in dealing with this is to go through mediation and get to the bottom of what is going on and why this is happening. If that does not help, you can file an incident report or a criminal complaint.

How can divorce psychologically affect fathers?

Most of the time, men are expected to be strong and stoic, even during the worst of times. American society usually expects men to not be very emotional. Men in New Jersey and elsewhere who are divorcing might be told to “suck it up” during one of the worst times of their lives. It can be especially bad for fathers, who might not have as much time with their children as they are used to.

There is no question that a divorce is devastating for everyone involved, including mothers and children. However, there is little public support and awareness of the feelings of depression and loss that dads can experience during and after a divorce. According to Fatherly, post-divorce depression is common for fathers, which may surprise many. Also surprising are recent studies that suggest men are more likely than women to commit suicide after getting a divorce. They are also less likely to take care of their health, and many die of preventable and treatable health conditions.

Do I have to pay income taxes on alimony?

When high-asset couples divorce, the likelihood of spousal support factoring into the process is high. Because of the tax reform law passed last year, how this support affects income taxes will change.

If you are seeking a divorce and will either be paying or receiving alimony, one question you likely have is “will I have to pay taxes on this income?” If your divorce is finalized this year, the answers is yes if you are the recipient and no if you are the payer. If you finalize your divorce after December 31, 2018, the inverse is true

Generational gaps in divorce trends

Generational differences are nothing new. Residents in New Jersey for years have segmented people's behavior and beliefs in part based on their age. Now it appears that yet another area of life is the subject of differences between major generations. This area is marriage and divorce.

As explained by USA Today, 45 seems to be an age at which the rate of divorce begins to change. For people who are at least 45 years old, the number of divorces has been and continues to increase. This includes the baby boom generation, many of whom have passed the age of retirement. On the flip side, however, for people who are younger than 45, the number of divorces per marriage is dropping.

Reworking or enforcing a child support agreement

Terms in your child support agreements are usually specific and complete, and, as a result, you would likely not encounter many situations in which you would have to make a change. However, there are various exceptions to this rule. Say, for example, you were moving to an area of New Jersey with a higher cost of living, or if your child had an emergency causing medical expenses to start piling up; you might want to revise your agreement to share this financial burden with your former spouse. 

Here at Newsome O'Donnell, LLC, we take pride in our work of helping our clients get the financial support they need to raise their children without undue financial strain. This includes changing agreements, when necessary. However, sometimes the issue is that our client's former spouse is not following one of the terms of the original court decision.

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