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Marlton Family Law Blog

Who's responsible for credit card debt in a divorce?

Reviewing a list of assets and debts is something a divorcing couple must do. Having to discuss debts may be particularly difficult when a New Jersey couple is going through a divorce since very often, the financial picture is something that contributed to the marriage ending. Couples who have credit card debt need to understand how creditors view that debt.

A person is responsible for any debt accrued in his or her name and that includes debt amassed by those authorized to use a credit card belonging to someone other than cardholder. Courts are likely to hold individuals responsible for credit card debt in their own name and liable jointly for the same debt amassed in both names. But nothing is ever written in stone.

A passive-aggressive spouse may try to derail your divorce

You have heard of contentious divorces that involve drama, shouting and lengthy battles in court. Your divorce does not have to end up like this, but you can face other unique challenges when dealing with a passive-aggressive spouse. This type of behavior can slow down your divorce or even derail your efforts completely. 

If you are dealing with a spouse who is acting passive aggressively during your divorce, you have special challenge ahead of you. At this point, you will want to prepare for what is ahead and plan for your divorce, knowing that you may have to set aside your own temporary emotions when dealing with your spouse. With the right focus, you can secure a final divorce order that allows you to have stability and security going forward. 

Property division in New Jersey: How do pensions fit in the mix?

When a couple makes the decision to divorce, there are a number of issues they need to discuss. One of those is property division. How are assets and debts split when a couple is soon to un-couple? One of the things that could be up for discussion concerns pensions. New Jersey is an equitable distribution state which means in the event of a divorce, marital property is not automatically split 50-50, and as such, the division of marital assets will be done in a way that is fair, but not necessarily equal.

It's not that easy to come up with a pension division amount since a pension plan statement doesn't usually provide the pension's current value, but a future estimate of its value. It is that future stream of income that will be used to come up with how that pension will be divided. However, if a spouse has been making contributions to a pension longer than he or she has been married, there will be a premarital portion to that pension and only the marital portion will be included as a joint asset.

Divorce may actually make relationships, parenting better

There may be times when the best way to keep a relationship intact is to separate. Some couples have said they became better friends and had better relationships with each other after divorce. Some New Jersey spouses might actually excel at divorce and become better in many ways -- including co-parenting their children. When parents place the love they have for their children above anything else, they usually find a way to be civil to each other and in some instances, become friends in the process.

When former spouses agree to keep parenting issues and their one-time marriage issues separate, they might find they actually get along much better. Keeping frustrations away from children not only helps them, but may actually help former spouses to get along as they co-parent their kids. When former spouses communicate about their children, it quickly teaches the children they can't pit one parent against the other.

Top tips include divorce mediation

Let's face it. Everything seems a bit topsy turvy lately, and New Jersey residents are among those millions of Americans that feel like ordinary tasks have become difficult to handle. Add divorce into the mix, and everything can quickly seem overwhelming. Many individuals are looking for tips to avoid extra stress, and when it comes to ending a marriage, divorce mediation may be a lifesaver. 

At first, the term may seem counterintuitive. When a person is contemplating divorce, it may seem impossible to find common ground with the other party. Experts assure this is not the case, and mediation can actually relieve some of the stress and pressure a person can expect to experience during the process. 

Does divorce have an impact on adult children's marriages?

There's an old adage that says the fruit doesn't fall far from the tree. But can the same be said about divorce? Are New Jersey adult children that come from parents who divorce more likely to end up divorcing as well? Experts have found that although that is sometimes the case, there are also cases in which the opposite is true -- adult children often look at their parents' relationships and vow never to make those mistakes themselves.

Researchers have been chronicling children of divorce for years. It's true that there is a connection between parents' and their children's divorces. It seems, too, that children who come from divorce are more likely to marry a partner who has also experienced divorce. Research has also shown that divorce has a genetic component, but only relating to character traits that may be untenable in a marriage.

Did you notice these signs before filing for divorce?

You might feel alone in your current journey, and that is understandable. This is a difficult time in your life, and you may not have given much thought to the idea of divorce before. But no matter how alone you feel, many other people in New Jersey have walked very similar paths. In fact, you might have noticed some of these common signs leading up to your own divorce.

Things like criticizing, broken trust and communication problems are all pretty common. Of course, the reasons behind these problems can all be very different, as one couple could lose trust because of small lies, while another might be dealing with infidelity.

Protecting kids from an angry parent during divorce

Not all marriages last a lifetime and some parents whose marriages do break down end their unions in an atmosphere of volatile emotions and high conflict. In New Jersey and elsewhere, this can be particularly difficult for children whose parents are going through this kind of a divorce. One parent may be angrier than the other and it's important to protect children from these kinds of hurtful emotions.

Having a former spouse who is angry and hostile makes it difficult to arrange things like visitation and health care for kids and to fashion a co-parenting plan that is in children's best interests. Family court is not equipped to deal with issues regarding individual relationships before, during or after divorce, and court orders only work when people obey them, rather than defy them, which is sometimes the case when one parent is being belligerent. Experts say the best way of dealing with an indignant former spouse is not to feed into his or her negative actions and expect his or her actions to change.

Should you divorce or stay together for the kids' sake?

Parents want to do what's best for their kids and often make sacrifices in doing so. But when parents -- of older children in particular -- are in an unhappy marriage and decide to put off divorce for the sake of their children, they need to weigh the pros and cons of both staying together or going their separate ways. What New Jersey parents should really be asking is how their marriage is affecting their children.

Parents also have to think about how their decision will affect their children in the long run since staying together in an unhappy situation could be detrimental to their children -- in many cases more so than divorcing. If parents have concealed their troubled relationship from their children for years, divorce could come as a real shock for kids and other family members. Children are perceptive, but some parents do a good job of hiding marital issues.

Financial security in the midst of divorce

These days marriage doesn't always mean "til death do us part." Since the stigma attached to divorce has all but been erased, more couples who have been in unhappy marriages for years are deciding to go their separate ways and suddenly people in their 50s and older are finding themselves single again. New Jersey residents in this situation should have a handle on how they can minimize the impact divorce has on their finances.

The first step, experts suggest, should be recalculating finances. Doing a post-divorce budget is crucial so it can give each person a snapshot of financial needs of the future. A couple who is divorcing not only has to split assets, but debts as well. Once major issues have been ironed out like child custody, other things need to be seen to such as updating a will, changing passwords to online accounts, opening an independent bank account, stopping joint credit cards and closing joint bank accounts. 

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