Jennifer McCaskill
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Red Bank New Jersey Family Law Blog

Jacksons settle their high asset divorce case

Many New Jersey residents are aware of the contentious divorce between former Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. and his wife, Sandi Jackson. The couple made their private matters very public during the past two years as they fought over how their divorce would be handled. The parties recently reached a settlement in their high asset divorce

Since filing, both parties have tried to make allegations of infidelity a central issue in their divorce. Jesse Jackson Jr. tried to subpoena a former police official who is now attempting a mayoral run. Sandi Jackson tried to subpoena her husband's former travel companion, as well as owners of a strip club and bathhouse. Neither party was successful in those endeavors, but the moves certainly made headlines. 

Children going through divorce find comfort in routine

Children of families going through a divorce face upheaval on various fronts. One parent likely moved out or the child moved with a parent to a new home. Normal family time spent together changed to time spent shuttling between two homes. Along with numerous household changes emotions run high and tension abounds. During this period of uncertainty, routines provide a much needed sense of normalcy for the child.

A need for normalcy

Could Facebook become a focus in calculating alimony?

When it comes to matters of spousal support, New Jersey spouses should know that there is very little that is set in stone. Family law courts have the ability to create an alimony structure that serves the ends of each couple, as the court sees fit. That means that spouses should pay close attention to their actions as they near a divorce, including their online activities. Family law attorneys are now turning to Facebook and other social media sites for information and evidence that can be used in negotiating for property division, child custody and alimony.

Social media, and Facebook in particular, is a factor in many divorces due to the ease of making connections with people from one's past. A few innocent "likes" and messages can quickly turn into an emotional affair, which can then quickly turn into a physical affair. And that often turns into a divorce. 

Officiants matter for same-sex couples and divorce

Many New Jersey couples dream of a wedding in a special locale, whether within the state or elsewhere in the nation. That may create an ideal setting, but some couples will run into trouble in the event of a divorce. It turns out the individual who officiates the ceremony is critical to same-sex couples and divorce.

Each state has a unique set of rules when it comes to whom is authorized to join two individuals in marriage. In general, most ordained members of the clergy qualify, as do judges and magistrates. When it comes to clergy who obtained ordination through unconventional means, however, things can become cloudy. 

Art collections can complicate high asset divorce

For some New Jersey couples, an expensive art collection serves as a ticket into the upper levels of high society. Art has long been traded among the wealthy, dating back to the 17th century. Today, however, art has become an asset class in and of itself. Investing money into art serves is one way to conceal wealth from tax authorities and other potential losses. For some spouses, an art collection can be an excellent vehicle for shielding wealth from division during a high asset divorce.

Matters can become even more complicated for couples who have homes in multiple locations, or who have an art collection that is so expansive that pieces are stored in various places. Very often, only one spouse is actively involved in creating and maintaining the collection. The other party may be unaware of the full scope of the holdings.

Is Bristol Palin headed for a high asset divorce?

Bristol Palin, daughter of former governor and vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, is headed for divorce from her husband of just two years. Many New Jersey readers remember the acrimonious breakup between Palin and her now-husband that led to the early stages of a paternity and child custody case. Now, the couple could be headed back toward what may be a high asset divorce case. 

When the couple parted ways a couple of years ago, Dakota Meyer quickly took steps to establish paternity and parental rights. Since then, they've welcomed a new child into their family, who joins their first child along with a son Palin gave birth to as a teenager. Meyer recently filed for divorce, citing "conflict of personalities" as the reason for their separation. 

How a financial advisor can protect against high asset divorce

Working with a financial advisor is a great way to preserve and increase personal wealth. When it comes to getting married, a New Jersey financial advisor can also help protect against losses in the event of a high asset divorce. Each set of circumstances is unique, but a prenuptial agreement is among the most powerful ways to protect wealth.

In some cases, a prenup is simply a family expectation. Many wealthy families insist that their adult children sign a prenuptial agreement prior to tying the knot. Some families even have a set list of terms that are to be included in the document. 

Prenups are a common protection against high asset divorce

For wealthy New Jersey couples, a prenuptial agreement is an absolute requirement for marriage. A prenup can be negotiated to include any number of terms, some of which are common and others that are uniquely geared toward the needs of that particular couple. A prime example lies in clauses intended to address length of marriage in the event of a high asset divorce.

When drafting a prenup between a moneyed partner and one with few assets, a predominant focus is on protecting wealth from loss in the event of a swift divorce. That is an understandable concern, as there are many cases in which a marriage ends within a short period of time, and the spouse with more wealth loses a considerable chunk of those assets. A prenup can prevent such a loss.

3 mistakes to avoid when trying to speed up a divorce

Divorce is a painful, stressful process. And unfortunately, it is one that can take much longer to resolve than you might expect. It is not uncommon for people to do whatever they can to speed up the process so that they can move on.

However, in an effort to push the divorce process along, you might make some missteps that prove to be quite costly in the future. In order to avoid paying a high price for expediency, you should be careful to avoid three timesaving mistakes.

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. 

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