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Newark Family Law Blog

How to handle matters involving business and divorce

There is a saying that one should never work with children or animals. For some New Jersey residents, this may also come to be true of former or soon-to-be ex-spouses. Business relationships may flourish while a marriage does; however, this rarely – if ever – continues to be the case when divorce happens.

The most recent figures relating to the number of businesses owned by married couples in this country are almost two decades out of date. At that time, the number of small businesses that fell into this category was reported as around three million, out of an approximate total of 22 million, just shy of 14 percent. Even if the number of such businesses hasn't grown since these figures were produced (which is unlikely), with divorce rates reported between 40 and 50 percent, it seems as though the problem of how to handle a family business in divorce could be more common than one might imagine.

Divorce: Be sure before you close that door

Life is full of decisions, some more important than others. For many New Jersey residents, marriage changes their lives for the better and remains that way until death parts them. Other people are not so lucky, and may instead notice a number of things over time that might point to the need to consider whether securing a divorce is the best way forward.

While it used to be the case that mothers predominantly took care of the children, these days it is common for fathers to be more involved in their children's upbringing. Many families cannot afford to get by on a single income, with the result that both parents often work outside of the home. In such circumstances, a mother or father who is also expected to do the majority of housework and child rearing can feel taken for granted. Over time, this resentment can build up to an overwhelming level.

What happens when a spouse moves the goalposts after divorce?

There is a saying that the best laid plans often go awry. While this may be true in many instances, some New Jersey residents will be familiar with occasions when it appears that a former spouse is simply changing the terms of a divorce agreement to suit his or her own needs. For one woman, her ex-husband's decision to renege 26 years later on an agreement to pay life insurance policies following their divorce raised more questions than were first expected.

At the time of their divorce, the husband had two life insurance policies, with his wife named as the beneficiary. As part of the terms of the divorce, it was agreed that the policies be maintained by him for life and that the beneficiaries be their two children. When he retired, he contacted their children to advise them that he could no longer maintain the payments on the policies, and that they would have to take over the payments. The sum assured was $25,000 per child, and the monthly payments were in the region of $200 to $300 per month per person. He had also by this time remarried and had another adult son with his second wife.

Optimism is a key element to successful divorce mediation

If you've been trying to get a divorce in Passaic County, the current stay on divorce proceedings in the county probably has you feeling perplexed and confused. Not only are you dealing with the emotional turmoil that naturally comes with any kind of romantic breakup, but now you're wondering if you can move forward with your breakup at all.

Fortunately, you can still complete your divorce -- if you and your soon-to-be-ex are able to work together toward a mutually-agreed-upon divorce settlement. This may be achievable through the mediation process.

Equal parenting time is in the best interest of the children

Over the years, there have been many theories involving the relationship between children and their parents. It was once believed that, when parents divorced, the children needed their mothers more than their fathers. Among New Jersey residents these days, there is a more balanced view toward parenting time.

The traditional outcome of divorce has been for the children to remain in the custody of their mothers, while fathers became relegated to the role of an occasional visitor. The implication has been that fathers were somehow less important than mothers in the lives of the children. These views have been all but overturned over the past few years, and the valuable contribution of both parents is now being more widely recognized.

Separation or divorce: Time can harm or heal for older couples

As people get older they often reassess their lives. When one's children have grown up and left home to begin families of their own, it can seem that there's a lot more freedom than may have been the case for the prior 20 years or more. The realization that one no longer feels that same toward his or her spouse can come as a shock to a New Jersey resident, especially if the only option appears to be divorce.

Separating finances may appear simple on the face of it, though it can potentially be quite complex. The length of time that a couple has been married may leave finances so commingled that divorce may be quite daunting for that reason alone. Where there is no intention to remarry, many people decide to simply remain separated, sometimes for many years. While this may seem to be a more peaceable option, it can create problems further down the line, especially if there is no formal separation agreement.

Divorce is one of the main financial wake-up calls for women

Marriage is a partnership, and the division of labor often falls into a pattern based on how a couple live. Traditionally, men were seen as the ones who take care of the finances while women are charged with the care of the home and family. Many New Jersey women may feel that they have a good sense of financial responsibility, and may even handle many of the household finances. However, when they find themselves facing divorce, the sense of security can fall away rapidly.

Perhaps the general upheaval caused by divorce contributes to this feeling. Everything that one thinks one knows is suddenly thrown into disarray. Month-to-month income is very likely to reduce significantly; however, one may feel that this is a challenge that can be overcome. The fear of running out of money now may be far lower than the fear of what happens in the future. Instead of a comfortable retirement, the prospect of potential poverty in one's twilight years may be a reality that has never been considered.

Divorce may not be fair, but property division can be

Life is full of questions. The older one gets, the more questions seem to arise. However prepared a New Jersey resident may think he or she is, being presented with divorce papers can still feel like a bolt from the blue. One of the questions that might cross a person's mind is what happens when it comes to property division in an equitable distribution state.

While a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement may cover many aspects of what might happen in the event of divorce, they are not yet common among people who do not have significant assets to protect, for example. It is preferable for the two parties to come to an amicable agreement on their own regarding property division; however, this is not always possible, for a variety of reasons. Sometimes, tensions may run too high for calm discussion, or there is disagreement on how the division can be made fair in the eyes of both parties. In such circumstances, a judge may have to make the determination, and this could vary substantially from either spouse's own view.

A stitch in time will save much more during divorce

It is regularly suggested that half the marriages in this country end prematurely. According to a recent article in Time magazine, over the 35-year period between 1980 and 2015, the divorce rate actually decreased by 25 percent. While this gives a positive indication of the state of marriage today, the simple fact is that many New Jersey residents will decide to divorce this year.

It is preferable to put protections in place for one's assets as they are created or obtained, although many married people see this as a cynical a move. When one considers that parents take actions that will safeguard assets for future generations, it makes sense to believe that one should give the same care to oneself in advance of any potential problems. Once the possibility of divorce does raise its head, attempting to safeguard assets at that point may be seen as an attempt to defraud one's spouse.

Yes, you can get divorced in West Caldwell

If you live in Essex County, the you know that getting a divorce right now is a bit complicated. However, with the right help, it's not impossible. Even though courts placed a stay on hearing more divorce cases for the time being, you can still achieve your divorce goals with divorce mediation.

This is good news for your divorce in more ways than one. Many couples throughout the country choose divorce mediation over traditionally litigated divorce. In general, mediated divorces are often more amicable and the resulting settlements are more mutually satisfactory.

Honored as a "Best of New Jersey Among our Most Distinguished Americans of Italian Descent" and conferred the "Stivale D'Italia Award of Excellence" by the Italian Tribune for her "honesty, integrity and dedication to fair and ethical business practices" and her "outstanding reputation as a Woman Whose Word is Her Bond".

*See methodology for inclusion at the websites listed: Super Lawyers, NAFLA, AIOFLA, and AVVO. No aspect of this advertisement has been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey.

Contact Cipriano Law Offices, P.C.

To learn more about our Essex County divorce and family lawyers, you may email us or call 800-646-0731 to schedule an initial consultation.

Cipriano Law Offices, P.C.
175 Fairfield Avenue
Suite 4C/D
West Caldwell, NJ 07006

Toll Free: 800-646-0731
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Fax: 973-403-8610
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