Jennifer McCaskill
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Red Bank New Jersey Family Law Blog

Prenuptial agreement can be essential in high asset divorce

Love is in the air, and wedding bells are ringing. As the New Jersey couple prepares to walk down the aisle, their thoughts are on love and building a life together. Thoughts of a high asset divorce and the need for a prenuptial agreement are often not in the forefront. Yet, this is the time when the couple needs to openly discuss their current financial picture and address the possibility of things not working out in the future.

Prior to marriage, it is likely that each individual had accumulated a number of assets. One or both may own a home, a business and/or a variety of investments. Right now, it may not seem like it is necessary to protect these assets; however, things can change. Additionally, it is possible that one or both individuals have accumulated debts that may be carried over into the marriage. What began as a loving union may not remain that way.

Timing can have financial consequences when it comes to alimony

Some say that numbers don't lie. Yet, there are times when the numbers just don't seem to add up and something just doesn't appear to be right. When it come to determining the amount of alimony that a New Jersey spouse will be responsible for paying, it may be necessary to look beyond the surface of what is reported on one's tax return.

Generally, all forms of income earned by the individual are taken into consideration in determining the amount of alimony to be paid. One's salary is the most common form of earned income. However, deferred compensation, employer retirement contributions, bonuses and other forms of income may also play an important role.

How staying at home impacts mothers during divorce proceedings

It’s never easy going through a divorce. Even under the best of circumstances and most equitable breakups, this is a difficult experience to go through.

Finding an equitable division of marital assets can become more complicated when one spouse is a stay-at-home parent. Below are several factors that may dictate how New Jersey judges evaluate what is an equitable distribution for stay-at-home mothers.

High asset divorce needs special tax considerations

Taxes can be a stressful subject for anyone. Adding a divorce into the equation can make taxes particularly trying, especially for those with a higher income level. Fortunately, experts have several suggestions for anyone here in New Jersey who may go through a high asset divorce and how they can minimize the impact on their taxes.

First, since the tax laws around alimony changed at the start of the year, the best choice for all parties may be to put alimony into a trust. With the new laws, paying alimony is more expensive than receiving it because the tax deduction for payers has now been removed. Putting the same amount of alimony into a trust allows the receiving spouse to continue to receive payments without the payer being taxed.

Legal parentage remains a concern in same-sex couple divorces

Becoming a parent is a dream for many New Jersey residents. Same-sex couples deserve to make this dream a reality just as traditional couples do. However, when it comes to same-sex divorces, the question of legal parentage remains substantially different from those traditional marriages.

Gaining the right to marry may have addressed many of the issues facing same-sex couples, but the law still needs to catch up regarding some issues. One of the most important ones is child custody. Some New Jersey residents live and act as parents for years without opposition, but problems could arise when the relationship ends. Not being a biological parent complicates the child custody process.

Think long-term during high asset divorce

Even spouses who have considerable wealth may have to face the fact that they will be making adjustments after they divorce. When the income is divided and the households doubled, it may mean rearranging the budget to maintain a certain standard of living. However, even when couples expect these changes, there may be other elements of a high asset divorce they are not prepared for.

Splitting assets can result in unexpected taxation. For example, a New Jersey spouse who obtains stocks or assets from a retirement plan may end up paying taxes on the capital gain. Divorcing spouses who opt to sell their home or other real estate and split the profits may also face capital gains taxes that could seriously deplete the amount of cash they expected to end up with.

Hidden assets and their implications on a high asset divorce

When a New Jersey couple decides to move forward with the process of ending a marriage, it requires the division of all marital assets. The financial implications of a a divorce are significant for both parties, especially a high asset divorce. If one spouse decides to hide assets during this process, it can lead to a final property division order that is unfair and unbalanced. 

If a spouse suspects that the other is not being completely honest in financial disclosures, he or she has options. One of the most important steps is to take careful inventory of all physical and financial assets and carefully review all disclosure documents. A basic signal that a spouse could be trying to hide important financial information is the denial of the existence of certain assets.

Which parent can claim kids on taxes after divorce?

The first couple of years after a divorce can be challenging for New Jersey residents, especially those who share children with a former spouse. For same-sex couples with kids, determining which parent has the right to claim the children as dependents on their taxes isn't always easy. That's especially true for parents who share custody after a divorce. 

The best way to address this matter is to clearly spell out which parent is entitled to tax credits within the divorce agreement. If that does not take place, there are guidelines that can help parents determine the proper course of action. Residence is a big factor, and the parent who cares for the kids most of the time has a greater claim to tax credits. Of course, if custody is shared equally, this may not be a simple matter. 

Teens need to stay connected to both parents after divorce

New Jersey teens sometimes struggle to come to terms with divorce and the changes the process brings to the household. According to researchers, one of the best things parents can do to help their older kids adjust to divorce is to ensure they remain connected to both parents by using Facetime, phone calls or texting. For same-sex couples going through a divorce, ensuring that their kids are moving through the process in a healthy manner is a top priority. 

Even when parents aren't yet able to communicate without anger or resentment, kids can maintain a loving bond with each parent. Researchers found that the form those communications take matters less than the frequency. Kids who stayed in touch with both parents displayed more resiliency than those who had less frequent contact. 

High asset divorce for couples over the age of 50

The end of a marriage is complex, and some of the most difficult issues to address are those pertaining to the division of marital property. This can be especially difficult for those who have been married for decades and have extensive assets and retirement accounts to consider. When a New Jersey couple over the age of 50 decides to end their marriage, it is often a high asset divorce.

In a gray divorce, the financial issues are often complex because marital assets have been built up over many years. Sometimes, older couples facing divorce also have concerns about how this choice will impact their children from previous marriages. The number of gray divorces is increasing, and this may be because life expectancy is longer than ever and there is less stigma about divorce.

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