Last month on our Somerville, New Jersey, family law blog, we discussed the New Jersey Alimony Reform group's proposal that lawmakers make changes to the state's guidelines for determining and awarding alimony payments.
The typical couple in New Jersey may not appear to have a lot in common with Heidi Klum and Seal, but when spouses are working hard to build their careers while also raising children, it is not uncommon for couples to grow apart.
In many states, couples who are estranged may be able to choose either divorce or legal separation. A legal separation agreement allows married couples who have decided to split to do so without divorcing. Sometimes couples view this option as a trial period to see if divorce is really what they want or if for religious purposes are not comfortable with divorcing. Legal separation also has financial advantages such as coverage under a spouse's medical insurance plan, the ability to file joint tax returns or military benefits under a spouse that would otherwise be terminated after a divorce.
Last month on our Somerville family law blog, we discussed the efforts of law enforcement officers in New Jersey to collect child support payments from deadbeat parents across the state. Deadbeat parents are mothers and fathers who are required to pay child support for their children but fail to follow through with their obligations to do so. Certainly some parents struggle to pay child support if they suddenly lose their jobs or take a hit in their monthly income, but there are also parents who flee the states they are ordered to pay child support in to avoid making payments entirely.
New Jersey couples who are facing the possibility of divorce may not necessarily have to go down that road if they are eligible to seek an annulment. Although state laws differ regarding which situations make a couple eligible to annul their marriages, it may be worth it for couples to consider the benefits of an annulment compared to a divorce.
Nothing may be more heartbreaking for a parent than to be accused of abusing his or her own child. There are certainly many instances when children in New Jersey should be removed from their homes if abuse or domestic violence is suspected in order to protect children from being harmed, but parents also have rights that must be protected if the accusations are false or if an incident was misinterpreted.
When New Jersey couples with children decide to divorce or split, they have an opportunity to really work together so that they can raise their children in a manner that is consistent for the kids but that also meets the needs and desires of the parents. However, New Jersey parents may not always be prepared for just how complex child custody agreements and parenting plans can be.