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Jennifer McCaskill
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Red Bank New Jersey Family Law Blog

Following rules: same-sex couples and divorce

Faced with divorce and child custody matters, New Jersey couples are almost universally better off to handle matters outside of court. Aside from being able to hammer out the details themselves, staying out of court avoids the risk of contempt charges connected to same-sex couples and divorce. One man learned the heard way that following the rules is absolutely imperative in any court setting. 

The man was attending a conference to work out child custody details with his former wife. There were signs posted in the building that clearly stated that cell phone use was not permitted in the courthouse. Despite those warnings, the man decided to use his phone to record the meeting. 

Should you stay or should you go?

There comes a point where a romantic relationship no longer works. We all have been there. You go back and forth trying to make a decision about the future and if it will include your current partner. According to the American Psychological Association, approximately 40 to 50 percent of marriages in the United States end in divorce. Making a marriage work is no easy task, here are five tips to help you evaluate if there is longevity in your relationship.

  • Your needs are not met

Harvey Weinstein facing high asset divorce

Disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein has lost his position at the production company that bears his name, the respect of many of his friends and colleagues, and he is being investigated for sexual assault. He is also likely to lose his wife of 10 years, Georgina Chapman. According to reports printed in New Jersey and elsewhere, Chapman is assembling a team of attorneys to process her high asset divorce

The couple just passed their 10-year anniversary. They have a prenuptial agreement in place, and it is rumored that, if their divorce is not final by the 11-year mark, Chapman stands to receive considerably more. As it stands, she is rumored to get spousal support of $400,000 per year.

Potential stressors for same-sex couples and divorce

When an older couple decides to divorce, there are certain considerations that deserve close attention. That is true for all New Jersey couples, even in regard to same-sex couples and divorce. Understanding what to expect can make it easier to move through the process when the time comes. 

One thing that can be a surprise is how quickly friends fall to the wayside once a divorce is underway. This can be especially true for friends who only knew the parties as a couple. They may feel uncertain about how to interact with each spouse as an individual or how to avoid the appearance of taking sides. 

Tips for saving money in a high asset divorce

No one likes to lose money, no matter what one's level of wealth or standard of living. For New Jersey couples going through a high asset divorce, there are several ways to avoid steep financial losses. Understanding the more common financial pitfalls is critical to reaching a favorable outcome.

One key point that cannot be overstressed is the importance of never signing a legal document without a very clear understanding of the conditions contained within. Once a divorce agreement is signed, it becomes next to impossible to revisit any of the matters addressed in the document. Don't be rushed or pressured into signing, and take advantage of legal counsel to ask for clarity or explanations when necessary.

6 tips for creating a custody plan during the holidays

The holidays are meant to be a joyous time spent with your loved ones, but for many divorced couples they can be stressful. Determining who has custody of the children on certain days can be frustrating and emotional for all parties involved.

However, it’s not impossible to work out a plan that works for everyone. Here are some tips if you need help determining a custody plan this holiday season.

Republican tax plan takes aim at alimony deduction

As lawmakers continue working on a large-scale tax plan, a great deal of focus has been placed on improving the financial landscape for working-class Americans, including those in New Jersey. However, certain provisions within the proposed tax bill could have drastic negative consequences on working families. An example lies in the alimony tax deduction, which is currently slated to end should the bill be signed into law in its current form and has sparked debate across the nation.

As it stands, spouses who are tasked with making alimony payments are able to claim the payments as deductions on their income tax return. Alimony recipients are expected to claim that money as income and pay taxes accordingly. Having the ability to deduct alimony payments is important for many Americans.

Occupation, same-sex couples and divorce

Recent research looked at the occupation and divorce rate of respondents to the 2015 United States Census Bureau's community survey. What emerged was a pattern in which people with certain occupations had unusually high or unusually low rates of divorce. Those findings may be of interest to many New Jersey residents, including those interested in same-sex couples & divorce. While the research was not focused on gay couples, time will reveal if same-sex couples experience the same outcomes. 

Researchers found that certain high-paying occupations experienced unusually low rates of divorce. Examples include engineers, scientists, physicians and software developers. All of these jobs pay well and usually adhere to traditional work scheduling. They also require more education and specialized training.

Understand alimony before negotiating a prenuptial agreement

When most New Jersey couples are planning to wed, the last thing on their minds is negotiating the terms of the end of that union. However, statistics suggest that nearly half of all marriages will ultimately end in divorce. Understanding property division and alimony roles can help couples negotiate a prenup that is fair to all parties.

One thing that many people fail to understand is that alimony is different from one couple to the next. Even in families where one partner earned the bulk of wealth, the other spouse has a significant claim on those assets. That is especially true if they put aside their own career to support the advancement of their partner.

Prenuptial agreements can prevent loss during high asset divorce

Many New Jersey residents are aware of the recent passing of media mogul Hugh Hefner. The 91-year-old lived a life that was largely filled with controversy. He was the founder of Playboy magazine, and famously hosted celebrity-filled parties at his mansion. After his death, it has been reported that his wife, who is 60 years younger than he, will get nothing from his estate. She is rumored to have signed an ironclad prenuptial agreement to protect against losses in the event of a high asset divorce, and is not believed to be included in his will.

It is unsurprising that Hefner would have asked his blushing bride to sign a prenuptial agreement. She is his third wife, and there was widespread speculation at the time of their wedding that the entire affair was little more than a promotional stunt. Hefner has four children from previous unions, and his estate was planned to ensure that his heirs receive a portion of his fortune.

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