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New Jersey Family Law Blog

Will I need to split my business in my divorce?

You might think of your business as "your business," and you may even refer to it as that. But if you're married -- even if you started your business before your marriage -- that business could, whether you like it or not, be defined as "our business."

Any business that was created after your marriage will be owned by your spouse, just as much as it's owned by you. On that note, a business you started before you got married will partially belong to your spouse if the value of the business grew during your marriage. The profits and increased value of any business you own following the day you said "I do," will be viewed as marital property in a New Jersey divorce, and therefore, they will be divisible during the asset division process associated with your divorce.

How divorcees are using bitcoin to cheat their ex-spouses

The world has been getting more excited than ever about the technology behind bitcoin -- especially because the price of one bitcoin has skyrocketed over the last year. Bitcoin, among hundreds of other "cryptocurrencies," is a new kind of currency that doesn't involve banks, and holders of these currencies don't even need identities; they just need a digital "wallet" to hold their crypto coins inside.

Cryptocurrencies are completely secret, so a soon-to-be ex-spouse could secretly buy cryptocurrencies, put them in a secret digital wallet and no one would be the wiser. This is why cryptocurrencies are creating a new kind of challenge for divorcing spouses, their attorneys, police and the court system during asset division. Even if a spouse suspects this his or her husband has a digital wallet with cryptocurrencies inside it, authorities wouldn't have any way of finding it, let alone prying it open to extract the digital coins for the purposes of dividing a marital estate.

The best interests of your child: How do courts decide?

Every child custody dispute boils down to one important thing. The courts must focus on the best interests of the child or children involved. When parents know how courts determine a child's best interests, they can better predict the decision a court will make. With this knowledge, it's easier for parents to come to a mutual out-of-court agreement, which avoids the expenses, time and stresses of trial proceedings.

Here are the most important factors that a New Jersey family law court will consider when making a determination on your child's best interests:

  • Can the parents come to agreement?
  • Are the parents able to communicate and cooperate with one another?
  • Have either of the parents been accused or convicted of domestic violence?
  • What is the relationship like between the parent and the child and between the child and siblings with whom he or she might live?
  • Is the home environment stable? Is a particular parent's home likely to be more stable than the other parent's home?
  • Are the parents fit to take care of and raise the child?
  • Are the parents gainfully employed? Does one parent have more employment stability than the other?

Alimony tax deductions to be eradicated for post-2018 divorces

Congress recently passed a massive tax update that will affect nearly every area of your financial life -- even your divorce. One thing that changes for divorced spouses relates to alimony payments. Ex-spouses paying alimony have had the right to deduct those payments from their income taxes for the last 75 years, but now they won't be able to deduct these payments anymore.

For spouses who divorce before 2019, these rules will not affect them, but spouses who divorce after Jan. 1, 2019, the new rules will apply. For divorces that happen before Dec. 31, 2018, spouses who receive alimony payments will need to pay taxes on it and spouses who pay alimony will be able to deduct it.

Should you consider a legal separation instead of divorce?

If the subject of divorce has come up, but neither of you is sure you want to go that far, you might consider a legal separation.

You may not have thought of the many advantages of living separate lives while remaining legally married. Here are four benefits to consider:

Is there a viable reason to reduce my spousal support payments?

No ex-spouse ever wants to pay alimony or spousal support. These payments will doubtlessly represent a significant monthly expenditure -- and if you ever find yourself in a difficult financial circumstance, you might discover that you're having trouble gathering enough cash to pay the bill. Fortunately, if you've suffered a significant change in your financial situation, you might be able to apply for a reduction in your spousal support payments.

Here are a few circumstances in which a spousal support reduction could be granted:

Possible custody law adjustments come New Jersey

Two bills have been introduced to the New Jersey state legislature that could significantly change future child custody decisions in the state. The bills offer the automatic presumption that any children belonging to divorcing parents will split their time equally between the homes of both parents.

If the bills get passed, parents will need to bring compelling arguments and evidence that 50/50 child custody arrangements will be harmful for the children. Barring this kind of evidence, the laws will require 50/50 shared custody arrangements.

What if the judge's decision in my divorce was unlawful?

What if the judge in your family law case makes a decision that you feel is completely unfair? What if the judge strips you of your physical custody rights, merely gives you infrequent visitation rights and requires you to pay $3,000 a month in child support, and the decision is entirely unlawful given your circumstances?

Your situation is not an easy one to be in, but you might be able to fight back by filing a divorce appeal. If successful in your divorce appeal filing, you can appeal to a higher court -- known as an "appellate" or "appeals" court -- to try and get the decision reversed so that a new, more favorable ruling will be issued.

How a new life insurance policy could be a part of your divorce

Most New Jersey residents who are in the throes of the divorce process will be dealing with difficult emotions, overcoming financial concerns and trying to protect their legal rights as a soon-to-be single individual. The idea of buying life insurance will not be at the forefront of their minds. However, the purchase of life insurance could become an element in the finalization of your divorce

The reason people buy life insurance is simple. Depending on the results of your divorce, you might have a lot of ongoing financial obligations to your ex-spouse, i.e., alimony, child support and other matters. This creates the risk that if you die, your ex-spouse will stop receiving these benefits. As such, your spouse's divorce lawyer may negotiate with you to purchase a term life insurance policy that you tie to the divorce settlement. Alternatively, a family court judge may issue a ruling that requires you to buy life insurance as a part of the divorce decree.

3 ways to avoid a bitter divorce

Nasty divorces are all too common for couples in the Little Falls area. Because not all separations are peaceful and mutual decisions, there are often issues and feelings coming into play that make it harder for couples to end their relationships amicably.

It is important for you not to let feelings and irrational decisions get the best of you and the situation. Whether you were married for several years or decades, the actions you take to resolve your separation can keep it from becoming a long, drawn out and expensive hassle. Consider the following ways to avoid a bitter divorce

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