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Somerville Family Law Blog

Divorce: The link between financial stress and marital conflict

It might not be all that uncommon for married couples in New Jersey to experience hardships at times, especially where money is concerned. Financial stress can affect a marriage in various ways, and while the issues a couple experience could start out small, these issues can build up over time. Similar concerns could create a rift in a relationship that may ultimately leave a couple wondering if divorce is the healthiest choice for everyone.

Whether stemming from troubles with debt, or from struggles in meeting monetary obligations, financial stress can have a detrimental impact on a person. The strain of dealing with similar issues may lead to a variety of mental health concerns, such as depression and anxiety. Studies also suggest that these issues could also lead to bouts with eating or sleeping disorders, which can disrupt one's physical well-being significantly.

Thomas Ravenel is seeking sole child custody, alleges drug abuse

New Jersey parents often have problems when it comes to devising co-parenting plans. The court's decisions are made in children's best interests, but disputes can arise if parents disagree on what is best for their kids. In most situations, barring extenuating circumstances that may prompt a judge to deem a particular parent unfit, the court believes that most children fare best in shared custody situations. However, if one parent has evidence that the other's presence places children at risk, he or she may petition the court for sole child custody, as TV star Thomas Ravenel has done.

Ravenel is one of the stars on the "Southern Charm" show. Many people also recognize him as a former independent candidate for the U.S. senate. He has filed a petition in court, seeking sole custody of his two children, alleging that their mother, Kathryn Dennis, has a serious substance abuse problem that has placed his children at risk on numerous occasions.

Will my child custody agreement stop my out-of-state move?

Whether for work, family or more personal reasons, leaving New Jersey and moving to a new state is sometimes a necessary part of life. While this can be complicated enough, throwing in a divorce and child custody agreement can make things absolutely confusing. Will you be allowed to bring your child with you, or will they have to stay with your ex? That all depends on a variety of factors. 

If you are the primary custodian for your child, you may be expecting that wherever you go, your child will go. However, this is not the case. Your child's other parents still has rights, and your child may greatly benefit from close proximity to their other parent. 

Filing a motion for modification to child support payments

There are many parents in New Jersey and elsewhere who make monthly payments to another party to provide financial support for their children. However, over time, one's circumstances could change, which may in turn impact one's ability to keep up with child support payments. Those who struggle to meet this financial obligation may benefit from knowing the scenarios in which they may be eligible to request a modification to the original arrangement.

The original determination for child support payments may consist of a person's income at the time, along with the financial reports he or she provided. Any changes in circumstance in the future could have a substantial impact on a person's ability to make the designated support payments. Some of the changes that could cause a person to become incapable of keeping up with payments may include a sudden reduction in income or loss of employment.

Weighing the options re the changes to alimony in divorce

The new year is almost underway, and with it will come changes to the rules and regulations concerning how alimony is taxed. Couples in New Jersey who have made the decision to divorce, but were not able to finalize the process before the end of 2018 may be wondering how these changes might affect the outcome of their situation. Those who have concerns about what this will mean for their finances could benefit from speaking with an attorney for advice on any possible alternatives to alimony.

Under the new law, received alimony payments will not be considered taxable income, while alimony payments will no longer be eligible as a deductible. As such, there will be no difference between alimony payments and division of property payments as far as taxes go. However, there might be certain options to help prevent this from becoming a concern, such as negotiating payments over time for property division instead of pursuing alimony.

Divorce: Staying together for the wrong reasons could be harmful

For some couples in New Jersey, making the decision to end a marriage may be stressful, but it might also be the best option for everyone. Others may have reservations about the process, and the fear of what they will lose during a divorce could leave them considering other alternatives. Unfortunately, this could leave many couples living in an unhappy marriage for extended periods, and in some cases, they may feel they have no other option.

Recent studies indicate that the divorce rate is on the decline, especially when millennials are involved. While the average rate of divorce sits at around 40 percent, studies indicate that younger individuals are nearly 20 percent less likely to consider dissolving their marriages. While a drop in the rate of divorce may appear a positive change on the surface, the underlying factors that lead many couples to stay together might not revolve around happiness.

Topics that may be unique to a gray divorce

Going through the end of a relationship can be challenging at any stage of life. However, individuals in New Jersey who make the decision to divorce late in life may face certain challenges that are unique to their circumstances. With marriages that lasted an extended period, the process could also be somewhat more complex and knowing the issues to address could prove helpful to preparing for the future.

One topic that those who are going through a gray divorce might need to address pertains to pension plans. A pension could play a vital role in property division negotiations, and should the plan need to be divided, one might need to obtain a Qualified Domestic Relations Order to avoid devastating penalties. Health insurance plans are another area of concern, and those who are facing divorce could benefit from seeking advice on the available options regarding an insurance plan prior to entering negotiations.

Weighing the pros and cons of birdnesting following a divorce

For parents in New Jersey and elsewhere, making the decision to take separate paths in life can be an intimidating process. Some parents may worry about how a divorce could affect their children, and they might wish to know more about how to protect the kids throughout the process. One option that may be appealing to some parents pertains to the concept of birdnesting, but this might not always be the best option in every scenario.

The term birdnesting refers to an arrangement in which the parents take turns moving in and out of an apartment or home while allowing the kids to live there full-time. One of the potential benefits of nesting is that it could prove children with a certain level of stability, which can be beneficial during a potentially stressful time. Since kids may grow fond of the family home, the familiar setting may also provide them with a sense of comfort.

Preparing for the holiday season following a divorce

The holiday season is a time when many families make plans to visit friends and loved ones. However, for couples in New Jersey who are facing a divorce, knowing how to approach the holidays can be somewhat more challenging, especially if kids are present. Parents who are going through the end of a marriage could find it helpful to seek advice on how they can make the holiday season less stressful for everyone involved.

Making holiday plans can be stressful under any situation, more so when there are two households in the picture. During this season, kids may wish to spend ample time with each parent, and understanding their wishes and needs could help parents better understand how to protect their interests while discussing seasonal schedules. Since planning ahead can help limit conflict and prevent issues with communication, parents may find it helpful to address the holidays during parenting plan negotiations.

Knowing how to handle the challenges of divorce

It is no secret that going through the end of a marriage can be a highly stressful experience. Studies indicate that a similar life event can have a substantial impact on a person's physical and emotional well-being. However, individuals in New Jersey who are facing divorce may be able to reduce the impact the process will have on their lives by knowing the challenges they might face and how to approach them.

The issues one may experience during the end of a marriage may differ from person to person. However, there are some concerns that may be somewhat more common among those going through a divorce, such as bouts with fatigue and mood swings. Studies indicate that a similar life change could also open a person up to issues with depression or insomnia, and the physical and emotional challenges of a similar process can affect one's future substantially.