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Ocean Township Legal Issues Blog

The different types of child support cases

When New Jersey parents start dealing with the child support system for the first time, some of the terminology used can be confusing and difficult to understand. It may also not be clear why some families handle child support privately while others are involved with a state system that manages the payment process. There are actually four different kinds of child support cases that deal with payment arrangements.

The four types of support cases are known as IV-D, IV-A, IV-E and non-IV-D child support matters. The term "IV" refers back to the 1975 Social Security Act's Title IV, which governs the funds provided by the federal government to states to aid needy families. An IV-D case is one where the Office of Child Support Enforcement is involved to establish paternity, enforce an existing order for child support or otherwise assist the custodial parent. On the other hand, IV-A cases are those in which the state is seeking child support from the non-custodial parent because the custodial parent receives public assistance. IV-E cases are similar; however, the children are in foster care or a relative's custody.

Disentangling assets during a divorce over 50

An increasing number of couples in New Jersey are choosing to divorce later in life. Statistics show that while the divorce rate has remained flat or even declined for most American demographics, people older than 50 are an exception. The divorce rate has gone up two times over for this group in the past 20 years, according to the Pew Research Center. There can be major differences when people decide to divorce at an older age. Issues like child custody and support are unlikely to be a concern. However, financial issues and the division of retirement funds are more likely to be serious issues in a "gray divorce."

It should be noted that many couples who decide to divorce after a long marriage might reach a more amicable resolution. Even in these cases, however, people in lengthy marriages can accumulate significant assets, and distributing them can be complex and even contentious. Even when both parties have reached a clear agreement on how to divide their retirement accounts and other investment funds, there are clear rules that must be followed in order to avoid an unnecessary and costly burden in the form of taxes, fees and penalties.

Introducing new partners to children after a divorce

New Jersey parents may find it difficult to co-parent their children with their ex-spouse following a divorce, especially if that divorce was not amicable. However, it is essential for parents to continue to work together for the sake of their children, especially as they begin to move on.

At some point, one or both parents may begin to date other people. However, kids, especially young kids, can quickly latch on to new adults in their lives. To protect the kids, parents should be extremely careful when introducing new partners into their lives. If a parent is worried that the other parent may be too quick to do so, provisions can be put in the child custody order that address the situation.

Frequent causes of pedestrian motor vehicle accidents

Recently, members of the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority have been campaigning for safer road behavior with “Street Smart NJ”. Their goal is to spread awareness about road safety to reduce the amount of pedestrian injuries and fatalities that occur in the state.

Minimizing the amount of pedestrian accidents in New Jersey is a tough challenge. As the article highlighting Street Smart NJ points out, New Jersey had nearly double the national pedestrian fatality rate from 2011 to 2015. No amount of crosswalks and stop signs can stop the actions of one negligent driver. It is crucial that you know how the most common factors that lead to motorists crashing into pedestrians.

Changing tax laws affect divorce negotiations

Tax laws that go into effect with the new year in 2019 could have a major impact on divorce settlements for New Jersey couples who decide to end their marriages. As part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passed at the end of 2017, changes were introduced that effect how spousal support payments are taxed. The changes could have a particularly significant effect on divorce negotiations for wealthy couples, as the tax impacts are magnified in cases involving significant sums of money. As a result, many couples are scrambling to finalize their divorces before the changes go into effect. Any divorce finalized on or before December 31, 2018 will not be affected by the changes.

However, it is not possible for many couples to finalize their divorces before the end of 2018, and as a result, they will need to develop new strategies to mitigate the effect of the changes. Under current tax law, the payer of alimony can deduct the payments from his or her taxes. When the paying spouse earns a substantial income, the value of this tax deduction can cut a significant sum from his or her tax bill. On the other hand, the recipient pays taxes on the spousal support payments at their tax bracket, which is usually lower.

Financial surprises for divorced women

Women in New Jersey are likely to encounter unexpected and unpleasant financial issues when they get a divorce. Forty-six percent of the divorced women who participated in a survey reported that the legal process resulted in financial surprises.

The study in question polled 1,785 women who were about to get a divorce, in the middle of the divorce process or already divorced. Twenty-two percent of women who participated were at least 55 years old; the majority of these older women had already gone through a divorce.

How to create a parenting schedule

When parents in New Jersey divorce, they will need to create a parenting schedule. There are things parents can do to make this process smoother and things they should take steps to avoid.

Parents should think about what the schedule is going to look like for their children. While moving back and forth between parents' homes can be stressful for children, having less time with each parent is stressful as well. Parents should think about what children will gain and lose with the changes. They should also take logistics into account. For example, parents may need to consider childcare options as well as options for getting children to school from each of their residences. They should take children's extracurricular activities into account. There may be additional points to consider if the children have special needs. Finally, parents might want to involve older children in making the parenting schedule.

Preparing financially for divorce

Divorce in California presents challenges to the people involved, both financially and emotionally. The emotional difficulty may be unavoidable in many ways, but being proactive about finances before and during a divorce could make things much easier going forward. Here are a few things people can do to help prepare financially for divorce.

Among the first steps is to evaluate the overall financial circumstance of the couple and the likely circumstances of the individuals following the divorce. Retirement savings, insurance requirements, funding for education and cash flow should all be examined. New goals should be developed as well as new strategies for achieving them.

Dog owners can prevent bites

Dog bites can come unexpectedly and cause major problems for all parties involved. The victims may require medical assistance to avoid potential diseases and the owners become at risk of getting sued for negligence.

It is important for current and future pet owners to take the necessary precautions to ensure that their dogs will not get them in trouble. Here are some ways an owner’s negligence can result in their pets attacking other people:

Retirement planning after a divorce

New Jersey couples planning to start the divorce process may be worried about how the separation will affect their retirement planning. As most spouses understand, divorce can have immediate emotional and financial effects. However, many divorcees neglect to consider their retirement readiness.

A study from Boston College's Center for Retirement Research found that 50 percent of American households risked not being able to maintain their standard of living after retirement. The risk for households with a divorce was 7 percent higher. During marriage, people share their income and expenses. After divorce, however, life becomes more expensive for both parties, which affects their retirement planning. While the divorce rate is no longer increasing in general, separations for married couples over age 50 have continued to grow. This population faces an even bigger challenge when it comes to retirement planning after a divorce.

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