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New Jersey Family Law Blog

When criticism in your relationship becomes too much to bear

We all divorce for different reasons, but some reasons for divorce surface time and time again. Of course, the circumstances surrounding the following common cause of divorce will be unique for every marriage, but – if your spouse is criticizing you nonstop – you might be able to relate to the following situation:

Imagine that you can't do anything right no matter how hard you try, and for the sake of your marriage you have tried. In fact, you've tried so hard that you've become a dramatically better, more caring and more responsible human being. The problem is, it's never enough for your spouse.

Understand the types of child custody available

New Jersey parents who wish to protect their parental rights in their divorce proceedings need to understand the various kinds of child custody available.

Generally, parents will want to understand the following terms and what they mean in the context of a child custody dispute:

  • Legal custody: This type of custody refers to the decision-making capabilities of a parent. With legal custody, the parent has authority to make decisions about schooling, religion, medical care, sports and other activities.
  • Physical custody: This type of custody refers to the parent with whom the child lives full time. The parent with physical custody will provide shelter, food and care for the children full time.
  • Custodial parent: This parent is the one with whom the child lives. In many cases, a custodial parent will share legal custody while retaining full physical custody.
  • Noncustodial parent: This parent is the one who the child does not live with. In most situations, a noncustodial parent will have visitation rights that can vary in duration and frequency.
  • Joint custody: A parent might have joint legal custody, joint physical custody or both. Usually, when the term joint custody is used, the parent will share all forms of custody jointly and the child will live part-time with both parents.

3 common reasons cited for marital dissolution

You could spend years analyzing the reasons for a failed marriage and never get to the bottom of it. The mysteries of human relationships are far too complicated to pin down and fully understand. Nevertheless, when a marriage has come to an end, at least one party in the relationship will come to a decision on the matter and make the call for divorce.

Whether divorce was your idea or not, it may have happened because of the following three common reasons:

Visitation rights: Activities your 3-year-old child will enjoy

The first rule of thumb when it comes to being a parent is "learn as you go." The second rule of thumb is "don't try to reinvent the wheel, many others have been in your shoes before and you can learn from them." If you have just received visitation rights and you're having a difficult time coming up with the best ways to pass the time with your child or children, do a quick search online and you'll find lots of ideas.

For parents who have young children around three years of age, we have a couple interesting ideas that your children might enjoy:

A postnuptial agreement is a helpful document in a divorce

You and your spouse may have had a postnuptial agreement drawn up because you are both in your second marriage. However, there are other reasons for couples to have this kind of legal document.

If the two of you are contemplating ending your marriage and you have a postnup, fewer obstacles and disagreements will arise during the divorce.

Does your choice of career affect the likelihood of divorce?

When you were debating what you wanted to be when you grew up and you were considering the list of various jobs and careers, it's doubtful that you considered whether the particular job could have a damaging effect on the future stability of your marriage. However, it does seem that certain jobs increase your risk of divorce, according to a recent study that examined data from the United States Census Bureau.

The study found that certain occupations had starkly different divorce rates, revealing that choice of occupation could result in a higher risk of your marriage not lasting. Here are some of the statistics:

  • Only about 25 percent of lower income adults between the ages of 18 and 55 are married.
  • About 56 percent of upper and middle class adults were married.
  • Among upper and middle class adults, approximately 33 percent had been divorced.
  • Among lower income adults, 40 percent of those who had been married had been divorced.

School age children and parenting plans

When kids are between the ages of 6 and 12, it's a lot of fun to hang out with them. They want to learn and play and experience the world in so many creative and unique ways that it's difficult not to feel like a kid yourself when you're interacting together. Like all children, school-aged kids also benefit from regular contact with both of their parents. As such, divorcing parents will want to plan their parenting schedules to ensure that children can maximize the time they have with both sides of their families.

Here are several things to consider when planning parenting schedules for school-aged children, who:

  • Are more comfortable with divorce than younger kids because they're spending more time with their friends and have more involved lives of their own.
  • Can spend longer amounts of time without having contact with both their parents.
  • Understand time, schedules and routines better than younger kids.
  • Can have their own calendars that inform them of the parenting time schedules and other calendared events.
  • Are better capable of adjusting to living in split homes.
  • Can adjust to the different parenting styles of both parents more easily.
  • Do better in their school when both parents get involved with studying and homework.
  • May have opinions to offer that can help the parenting plans suit their needs.

Avoid these mistakes during your divorce proceedings

There are few things that New Jersey spouses commonly do when divorcing. These are mistakes that happen due to the nature of human psychology. Indeed, it's only natural that we get angry and react in certain circumstances. However, it's vital that everyone going through divorce stay in control of their actions, use common sense and refrain from doing certain things that could get them in serious trouble later on down the road.

Here are the most important mistakes to avoid in this regard:

  • Stay as peaceful as possible: Don't ever lose your temper when dealing with your spouse. You will not want to upset your spouse and make things worse than they already are. A simple argument can lead to the destruction of your divorce negotiations and other plans for a speedy, stress-free divorce settlement.
  • Don't leave town until your divorce is final: If possible, don't leave town to take a new job until you've finalized everything in your divorce. Moving out of state could make an uncompleted divorce more complicated to bring to a close.
  • Don't violate temporary visitation or child custody orders: The judge will issue temporary child custody arrangements or you and your spouse will create an out-of-court temporary child visitation or custody agreement. Make sure to adhere to this or it could affect your future custody and/or visitation rights.
  • Stay transparent with your assets: The more transparent you are with money and assets, the better the court will treat you during asset division proceedings. You definitely do not want to appear like you've been hiding cash.

What are the benefits of signing a prenuptial agreement?

The benefits of a signing a prenuptial agreement are clear and numerous. For this reason, many modern day spouses, especially those from the millennial generation, are signing the dotted line before they say "I do."

Although having "the prenuptial agreement talk" is never entirely easy, and it could make some spouses-to-be feel downright upset or insulted, it's still an important discussion to have. There are many benefits related to prenuptial agreements that are significant enough to inspire many to go through with the process.

2018 could be the year to get divorced

With the new tax rules provided by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, any divorce that takes place following Dec. 31, 2018 will be subject to different alimony rules. As such, if alimony will be an issue in your divorce, you may want to consider what it will mean for your finances if you finalize your divorce in 2018 versus 2019.

The difference relates to who gets taxed for alimony payments. Currently, spouses who pay alimony to their spouses could right off their payments as a deduction against their income (and the receiving spouses would pay income tax on it). If this significant deduction served to decrease the alimony payer's tax bracket, not only would he or she benefit from deducting the income, but might get shifted into a much lower tax bracket as a result -- translating into significant tax savings.

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