Jennifer McCaskill
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Red Bank New Jersey Family Law Blog

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.

Alimony just one consideration in late-life divorce

For New Jersey seniors who are considering divorce, understanding the financial issues involved in the process is important. Dividing marital wealth is complicated, and when both spouses are at or beyond retirement age, those calculations become even more pressing. Alimony is one thing to consider, but there are many other issues that deserve attention in the early stages of a late-life divorce. 

Alimony is common in long-term marriages, especially when one partner has set aside his or her own career path to care for the needs of the family. However, the manner in which retirement savings are split is also impactful. Dividing retirement accounts can also bring steep tax penalties, which can reduce the value of those assets for both parties. 

Practical tips for those facing a high asset divorce

Divorce is complicated, but it can be especially so for those who are facing the prospect of a divorce that will involve significant assets and money. A high asset divorce can be lengthy and confusing, and it may be helpful for New Jersey readers to take the time to prepare for this process before moving forward. Even in the most financially complex situations, it is possible to reduce complications and setbacks.

Celebrities often make headlines when they go through the divorce process, often because there is a lot of money, a large home or other valuable assets at stake. These divorces are not the norm, but they can offer valuable insights for others going through a divorce can may be complicated. One of the most important considerations is the financial cost and adjustments a person will have to make when ending his or her marriage.

What if collaborative divorce not working for you?

You chose collaborative divorce because you liked the idea of a calm, rational way to get through a very difficult time in your life. You had hope this was a straightforward process that determined a path to an amicable settlement. But as the process played out, are you finding it increasingly frustrating to get the results you want? If so, maybe a collaborative divorce is not for you.

You agreed on a collaborative divorce believing that calmer heads would prevail and conclude with a mutually-satisfying arrangement for both involved. There was good reason for hope, many times a collaborative divorce works as a satisfying solution for divorce. But it is not uncommon that once you are in the collaborative process, certain items you are deliberating about can leave you more concerned than hopeful.

Celebrity lessons for spouses facing same-sex divorce

In most cases, the lives of celebrities have little to offer the average New Jersey man or woman in the way of relevant advice. An exception might be found in a recent interview with Jennifer Lopez, and her take on divorce and the road that follows. For spouses facing the prospect of a same-sex divorce in 2019, her experience might offer valuable insights. 

To begin, Lopez admits that there were plenty of dark days after her split with husband Marc Anthony. The pair share a set of twins, and her relationship with her kids is part of what sparked Lopez to seek that same level of joy in the rest of her personal life. Laughing and smiling with her kids made her realize that she had let her own happiness fall by the wayside over the years, and reminded her that she deserves to feel joy, and also has the responsibility to make things happen to achieve that level of happiness. 

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