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West Caldwell Family Law Blog

How to overcome stress in a New Jersey divorce

Most New Jersey residents who have divorced would agree that the process is not easy. In fact, in many situations, such as those that involve children, stress levels may soar as each issue is discussed with the hope of achieving a fair and satisfactory agreement. Divorce can be an emotionally exhausting experience; however, there are several ways to deal with such stress as one moves toward a new lifestyle.  

Physical health definitely has an impact on emotional health, and vice versa. Studies show physical exercise can help relieve stress. Even if traditional forms of exercise do not suit a particular person's preference, simply being physically active (rather than becoming sedentary and dwelling on one's problems) can boost energy levels and promote good physical and emotional health.  

Brad Pitt to share child custody with Angelina Jolie

Many New Jersey parents can relate to situations where they strongly disagree with their former spouses regarding matters that concern their children. When the main issue at hand is child custody, it can be difficult to resolve the issues, especially if parents are trying to work things out on their own. It is no secret that Hollywood stars Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have been entangled in a custody battle for several years now.  

The good news is that the two appear to have finally reached an agreement and have done so without going to trial. It was reported that Jolie wanted a trial but Pitt convinced her that such an experience would likely have negative psychological effects on their children and that it was in their best interest to settle out of court. As it stands, rather than continuing to have monitored visits with his children, Pitt will have joint physical and legal custody of them.  

Child custody should always focus on children's best interests

When New Jersey parents seek the court's intervention to make decisions regarding their children, they can assume the court will base its rulings on what is or isn't in the best interest of the children. When parents disagree, the court considers various factors and makes decisions on a case-by-case basis. Television star Vanessa Marcil recently spoke about her own child custody dispute with her now 16-year-old son's biological father and made some points that other parents may want to keep in mind when facing similar problems.

Marcil says that parents should always have children's best interests foremost in mind when negotiating co-parenting plans and making child custody decisions. She said she would never dream of asking for sole custody when there is no reason to do so. Marcil expressed her sadness that her son's father, on the other hand, has sued her on multiple occasions regarding custody and child support.

Collaborative law: Basic info and potential benefits

The decision to divorce is a serious one. It's also one that many New Jersey residents may be considering. Some people feel that it is the most viable option for their particular situations, but they hesitate because they really do not want to become entangled in long, contentious court battles. A collaborative law divorce may be something to keep in mind in such circumstances.

This format for divorce is more focused on troubleshooting and amicably resolving differences through peaceful discussion and negotiation rather than storming to court with a mindset to win. Collaboration is an alternative dispute resolution option that allows both spouses to state their needs and thoughts while agreeing to cooperate and compromise as needed in order to execute a fair and agreeable settlement. Spouses whose relationships are so strained that they can barely speak without fighting may find that another process might work better for them.

Getting along with your ex during mediation: 5 tips

Mediation only works if you and your spouse -- who will soon be your ex -- can actually get along. With the divorce stays in place, you don't have a lot of options. Mediation gives you a chance to work out some of your issues, especially those involving children, in a complex relationship. But you have to cooperate to do it.

Think that sounds all but impossible? You're by no means alone. A lot of people struggle with this, but it is possible, even after a messy breakup. Here are some key tips to help:

  1. Give yourself distance when you need it. Some time alone can help feelings and emotions subside. Keeping your distance can help prevent arguments as you both work through some of these things on your own. Don't be afraid to step back and wait. Take a timeout. Tell your ex that you need that time because it's better for both of you in the long run.
  2. At the same time, be patient with your ex. When you get to a place where you can cooperate and work together, do not assume that your ex simply has to be there at the same time. You both have different schedules and different needs. Express that you're willing to wait and don't rush your ex into these conversations too quickly.
  3. Remember that you can be friends. All too often, society tells you that you should feel angry or wronged or vindictive. Striving to be friends with someone after a breakup is looked down upon. You may even have friends tell you that they can't believe you still talk. Don't buy into this way of thinking. It's fine to be friends, it's fine to cooperate and it's definitely better for the children if you do it. Put them first.
  4. Speaking of putting the kids first, never act like they are bargaining chips that you can use to get your way. Keep them out of the discussions as much as possible. Never threaten your ex by saying that you'll make sure he or she never gets to see the kids again. Mediation is about cooperation, not intimidation.
  5. Keep your voice soft and calm. Be fair and know when to be firm, but do not try to come across as intimidating. You may think that you need to in order to get your way, but it just puts your ex on the defensive. You will actually accomplish a lot more if you show your ex that you're willing to work together.

Mediation can help you protect your retirement funds in divorce

Going through a divorce can often have a negative impact on your financial situation. There are many reasons for this, including the fact that spouses tended to drag out their divorces and fight over their assets. The result of that behavior is often a diminished marital estate, especially if you are close to retirement age.

If you choose to go to court, both you and your spouse have to pay for attorneys. You also have to pay the court costs. Those expenses can rapidly add up to tens of thousands of dollars, which often come out of your savings. For some couples, that can mean pulling funds that they planned to use for retirement to pay for the divorce.

Mediation may help keep divorce costs down

When a New Jersey married couple decides to divorce, it activates a series of decisions and legal actions when one of the spouses files papers in court. If the couple has children, a co-parenting plan will be needed. Divorce does not always have to include litigation; in fact, many people nowadays are achieving settlements through mediation.

mediated divorce is typically less expensive than litigation. If the two spouses involved are able to engage in peaceful discussion, then this option might work for them. If, on the other hand, the couple can barely be in the same room without arguing, mediation may not be the best choice. In a mediated divorce, both spouses must agree to calmly discuss pertinent issues, such as child custody, visitation, property division, etc., to resolve disagreements and come to terms for their own settlement. Each party can still be represented by legal counsel, who can offer advice and help to draft any formal agreement that is made.

Are you planning to file divorce papers in New Jersey?

If you have decided to end your marriage in a New Jersey court, you are likely concerned with numerous issues. Divorce is typically no walk in a park and if children are involved, things may get quite complicated. That does not necessarily mean that every case sparks a knock-down, drag-out courtroom battle, however. There are several support options that can keep stress to a minimum.

If you have a close friend or family member who has already gone through divorce, he or she may be a great source of support as you navigate your own journey. It helps to talk to someone who faced similar issues to those you are currently facing, such as matters of child custody or property division, perhaps even alimony. Ask your friends or relatives which options worked best and which they might recommend you to avoid.

Man convicted of three felonies regarding child support

Most parents want what is best for their children and are willing to work hard to provide emotional, physical and financial support to fulfill those needs. As many New Jersey parents can attest, however, it is not always easy to keep up with child support payments after divorce. The state understands this, though, which is why it allows a paying parent to request a stay or a decrease in payments if a problem arises.

A parent cannot simply stop making payments on his or her own volition. Depending on the situation, it could lead to felony charges. In fact, a 38-year-old man in another state recently pleaded no contest and was found guilty on three separate felony charges regarding unpaid child support.

These infidelity issues often lead to divorce

Not every New Jersey marriage lasts a lifetime. Marriages end in divorce for any number of reasons. However, in many relationships, infidelity is a deal breaker. In fact, it is often the deciding factor that prompts spouses to petition the court for divorce rather than try to stick it out and resolve their marital problems.

The reasons one spouse may cheat are as varied as the reasons many couples decide to end their marriages. Nevertheless, most would agree that there were key issues in the extramarital affairs that led to their divorces. In fact, there are some common reasons people often cite as to why they cheated on their spouses.

  • Best Readers Choice Awards Of Essex | 2018
  • IACP | International Academy of Collaborative Professionals NAFLA | Top Ten Rating | 2014
  •  Super lawyer | Melissa Cipriano
  • Super lawyer | Top 100 | New Jersey
  • Super lawyer | Top 50 Women | New Jersey
  • 10 Best 2016 | Client Satisfaction | 10 Best Female Attorney
  • Avvo Rating 10.0 | Superb | Top Attorney Divorce Avvo | Client choice 2015 | Divorce

Melissa Cipriano: 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.

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