As a matrimonial litigant, you never want to feel that your lawyer does not know how best to take you through the divorce or post-divorce process. After spending substantial sums of money on an advocate to aid you through a difficult and emotional process, let’s just say that “the blind leading the blind” is not the vibe that you want to be left walking away with. Continue reading
Tax season is upon us. We are caught up in the bustle of gathering our plethora of forms and receipts. From goods to services and everything in between, there are some tax considerations that intersect with divorce. Whether you recently filed for divorce or are in the midst of considering to file, there are some things that you will want to think about. Continue reading
Parents are responsible for ensuring that their children have access to the basic necessities (food, clothing and shelter) regardless of the relationship status of the mother and father. Because of this, child support payment is taken very seriously and the State of New Jersey provides services to ensure that child support orders are paid. Continue reading
It has been noted that the number of new clients spikes a few times of the year, but most significantly right after the new year. If one types “New Years Resolution Divorce” into Google, over 540,000 results will accumulate in about .29 seconds. While not all of the search results were on point, many are extremely interesting. Continue reading
The holidays are usually a time for joyfully celebrating with family and friends, but when you are in the middle of a divorce, celebrating is probably one of the last things on your mind. With Thanksgiving coming up this week, we’d like to take the time to address the topic of divorce during the holidays. A difficult time for many people, there are still plenty of ways for you to enjoy the holidays – you just need to remember that divorce isn’t the end; it is a new beginning. Continue reading
If you have recently been through or filed for a divorce, you may be aware that just because you have a divorce decree does not mean that you don’t ever have to think about your divorce ever again. Even with legal documents, a spouse may refuse to comply with court orders regarding property division, child support, visitation, child custody, or spousal maintenance matters. Indubitably, this can cause overwhelming frustration and demand that you continue to focus on your divorce long after it should have been settled. Continue reading
Parents are often unable to agree upon where their child should reside, or which parent should have custody, when they have filed for divorce.
In some cases, both parents feel that their child should primarily reside with them, and that they are the “better” parent.
Litigation can ensure when the issue of custody and parenting time cannot be settled. Indubitably, this emotional process is difficult for all parties involved. However simple it may seem to decide who gets primary custody, being able to find a place of agreement is not easy. Here is our attempt to help those on what NOT to do in a custody battle:
- Do NOT represent yourself: custody litigation is complex and costly. Often times, litigants choose to represent themselves because of financial reasons. In custody battles, self-representation can have disastrous results. While you are not equipped to understand all the legal nuances, counsel like the Mullen Law Firm has significant experience in settling custody matters. Being too emotionally involved may blind you in understanding the substantive legal issues that are intertwined in each custody case.
- Do NOT lie: embellishing facts or blatantly lying to bolster your position will always backfire. Do not lie to the Court, the custody expert, or to your attorney. If your lie is exposed, your credibility will be irrevocably tarnished. The Judge and the opposing party’s attorney will remember your fabrication and will remind the Court, too. Also, do not lie to yourself. Be honest when seeking custody- is it for the right reasons? Is it truly for your child‘s best interest?
- Do NOT violate the Court’s orders: The Judge will always remember the liar, as well as the violator. Do not plant any bad seeds about you or your conduct to the trier of your matter. Breaching the terms of a binding order will reflect negatively on you and the Judge, as well as the opposing party’s attorney, will remind the Court of this every step of the way.
- Do NOT keep quiet: If you are unsure, do not be afraid to ask questions. Do not keep to yourself! Bottling up emotions can riddle a situation with unnecessary anxiety and you with stress. Rather, talk it out and ask the appropriate questions to resolve all your concerns. Your child needs you to be healthy: not only physically, but mentally. With counsel like the Mullen Law Firm, you are entitled to having your questions answered.
- Do NOT coach your children: in a custody battle, custody evaluations with a forensic expert is commonplace. Both parties will have the opportunity to meet with the expert to provide insight and opinion as to their family dynamic. At this point, children are involved and they often meet with the expert alone. When preparing children for an interview, it is one thing to explain to them that they are meeting with the expert so they are aware of what to expect. It is a completely different matter when a parent attempts to fill children with talking points. It is wise for a litigant to never disparage the other parent to their children, as it may have negative consequences. Furthermore, coaching a child on what to say to an expert is obvious and transparent. An expert will know when a child has been told what to say.
All children are special and they require different forms of parenting. There is no instruction manual, no how-to guide, no cheat code. Unfortunately, a divorce can bring out many difficulties of being a parent.
It is normal to question what to say to your children and how to let them know that a divorce is coming. The answer is not a one-size-fits-all because no two cases are the same. However, despite the gray areas, there are a few points that most lawyers advise their clients to make:
- Let the children know that both parents love them.
- The divorce is not about them in the least.
- Everything will be fine.
This conversation often comes at a time where the questioned parent doesn’t have answers as to where the children will live, what school they will go to, and what the actual custody schedule will be.
As it turns out, this might not be the best advice after all. Time.com recently published an article in which the writer advises that children who are anxious should not be told everything will be O.K.
Rather, it is important for parents to validate children’s worries.
A child psychologist can help parents relay the notion of an impending divorce to their children. As distasteful as it may seem to sit in an office with your soon-to-be ex to come up with a plan to tell the children, it could make all the difference to your children.
What should you do when you don’t have all the answers? First, determine what it is that the child is worried about. Depending on the age, this could be at its simple as wondering whether a favorite toy will be able to come to a new home. Determining a child’s worries avoids compounding the problem by giving more information than might be necessary, thereby causing more stress. Give what answers you can, without scaring the child. For instance, when a child asks which parent he or she will live with in the middle of a custody evaluation, be honest. Tell the child that mom and dad haven’t made that decision yet and the judge and other professionals are going to help make that decision. Don’t ask a young child for his or her preference. This places the child in the unreasonable position of having to choose one parent over the other. Regardless of how you feel about your soon-to-be ex, most children love both parents equally and unconditionally.
Don’t be afraid to say, “I don’t know,” but say it reassuringly. For a parent who does not anticipate being able to stay in the same school district, assuring that the child will be part of the process of finding a new residence can make the child feel part of the decision-making. This can alleviate some of the fears and anxiety. “I don’t know” is not a perfect answer, but it is better than the child being kept completely in the dark until the day the divorce is over.
It’s no secret that Brangelina has broken up. Brad Pitt has 30 days from September 15 to file a response to Angelina Jolie’s divorce filing.
Pitt has taken the next step in the proceedings and has hired lawyer Lance Spiegel. The top divorce lawyer out of Beverly Hills, Ca., has handled cases for the likes of Charlie Sheen, Michael Jackson, Russell Simmons, Heather Locklear and Eva Longoria.
According to the website of his firm, Young, Spiegel & Lee, Spiegel has “been involved in many high profile, and complex family law matters.”
Spiegel already has his hands full; the case now includes an investigation by the FBI that Pitt was allegedly abusive to his eldest son Maddox on a private plane from France to the U.S. Allegedly, he got drunk and got violent with the kids and Jolie.
Angelina, currently holed up in a Malibu rental with the kids, filed for divorce citing “irreconcilable differences.” She is seeking physical custody of the couple’s six children.
Lawyers for Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, prodded by the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services, have worked out an initial arrangement under which Jolie gets full custody of the couple’s six children, with Pitt allowed to visit. Plus, he has to submit to random drug/alcohol testing and both parents have to undergo separate counseling and family counseling. At this point, the parties have the choice of either going into open court to fight or working out an amicable resolution behind closed doors to be in place until the divorce is granted.
If you and your spouse are considering filing for divorce, call us for a free consultation. Don’t let it spiral out of control. Don’t #Brangelina your marriage and your children.
Dividing the family’s property during divorce can be quite difficult, especially if there are significant assets such as houses, rental property, retirement and pension plans, stock options, restricted stock, deferred compensation, brokerage accounts, closely-held businesses, professional practices and licenses, etc. Deciding who should get what can be quite a challenge, even under the most amenable of situations. But, if your divorce is contentious, then this can be especially complicated.