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As a parent, you always want what’s best for your children. That’s true whether yours is the happiest of marriages, is a marriage that is faltering or a marriage that has already broken down and ended. Parents in that middle group often find themselves struggling with a most profound conflict: do we get divorced now or do we stay together for the sake of the kids? While many parents may feel an impulse that staying together is best for the kids, there is some evidence to suggest that, in many circumstances, the opposite can be true. If you are a parent and you think that your marriage may headed for divorce, it is worth your while to at least consult with an experienced Hoboken divorce attorney.

In an early February installment of fatherly.com’s advice column, “Ask the Good Father,” a writer stated that he and his wife were in that position. Both spouses wanted a divorce. “We’re going to get a divorce. It’s been a long time coming and we are both okay with it,” the father wrote. Despite these facts, the couple planned to remain married for another half-decade or so. Why? They shared a four-year-old son. Remaining an “intact” family until the boy reached the age of “9 or so” was what both parents believed was best for the child, and so they indefinitely postponed going their separate ways.

While that impulse is quite understandable, some research suggests that this couple’s plan of staying together for another 5 years may hurt, not help, the child. Back in early 2019, The Guardian published the results of a research study that looked at 6,245 children in the United Kingdom. That British study indicated that parental breakups were the hardest on children ages 7 to 14. The children in that age group were the most likely to suffer mental health harm, including anxiety and depression. So, if this father’s son had the same mental makeup as those children studied in the UK, then the parents’ delaying their divorce until the boy was around 9 or so would actually do more harm, not less, to the child’s overall well-being.

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If you know much about geography here in New Jersey and the surrounding area, you know that moving “two states away” or even just “one state away” doesn’t mean the same as it does if you live out west. When you share custody of a child or children with an ex-spouse or partner, this is more than just a quirky bit of trivia. The law in New Jersey says that an intrastate move with a child is not the same as an interstate move with a child, so these state boundaries can be very important if you find yourself needing to make a move. When that happens, you want to be sure that your move is not held up by legal snags, so it is vital to have a knowledgeable Hoboken child custody attorney on your side from the start.

If you live in Austin, Texas, you can go 200 miles in any direction and not have left the Lone Star State. Here in Hoboken, you could make an interstate move simply by moving 5 miles to the east of Downtown Hoboken (which would put you in New York City). You could move “two states over” simply by moving 40 miles northeast to Greenwich, Connecticut.

In New Jersey, the law, generally speaking, used to require you to get court approval if you were moving out of state (no matter how short the distance.) A move within the Garden State (no matter how long the distance) generally was considered to be a decision within the sound discretion of the primary residential parent and did not require any court involvement. Of course, that can lead to some peculiar results, like possibly allowing a parent to move 150 miles from Hoboken to Cape May with no court approval while requiring another parent to litigate a move of less than 10 miles from Hoboken to Queens.

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There are lots of stereotypes surrounding prenuptial agreements… some positive and some negative. The reality, however, is that a good prenuptial agreement can potentially benefit both spouses, while a bad one can potentially harm either one. Given just how substantial the impacts of your prenuptial agreement can be, it is essential that you have an experienced Hoboken prenuptial agreement attorney on your side before you sign your agreement.

A recent ruling from the Appellate Division court puts an even brighter spotlight on the vital importance of proceeding cautiously and knowingly before you sign a prenuptial agreement, as getting one of these agreements thrown out is very hard to do. In the case, R.S. was a twice-divorced man preparing for marriage to his third wife. R.S., apparently feeling he’d been “burned” before in divorce, told his bride-to-be that a prenuptial agreement was an absolute must before he’d marry her. Each spouse got independent legal counsel to review the proposed agreement. The wife’s attorney advised against her signing it but, on the eve of the wedding, she signed anyway.

Two decades later, the couple divorced. The wife asked the court to throw out the prenuptial agreement as unenforceable. The wife’s argument was that, if the judge allowed the agreement to stand, she would be left with a post-divorce standard of living that was far below the standard she enjoyed during the marriage. The judge, however, barred any evidence of the couple’s marital lifestyle in the hearing on the agreement’s enforceability.

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Wedding chapel sign in Las Vegas. In the background a false bell tower.

The concept of a “joke” wedding or drunken tying of the knot is often a source for humor, in both music and television. Country music singer Carrie Underwood covered such an event in song in 2009, and Ross and Rachel did it at the end of the fifth season on Friends. Las Vegas chapels today offer the option of a “pretend” wedding, in which there’s no authentic marriage license and no actual marriage. However, if you go through a real Vegas wedding with a genuine marriage license, then you’re legally married. If, after you return home to New Jersey, you realize your Vegas wedding was a case of “Oh no! What have I done?,” then one of your first steps should be to reach out to an experienced Hoboken divorce attorney to discuss your circumstance. Your Vegas wedding has created a legal marriage with real legal consequences, and you will likely need a legal divorce solution to end that marriage.

As noted above, if the wedding you now regret was a pretend one, you can just dispose of the hardcopy and electronic memories and move on. If it wasn’t pretend, it it’s going to take something more, as one woman who recently wrote to NJMoneyHelp.com learned. That woman had married a platonic friend in Las Vegas as a joke. Several years later, the man met another woman whom he desired to marry in sincerity.

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Alimony is the end result of many divorce actions.

Alimony is one of those legal areas that may inspire a great deal of fear and concern among some divorcing spouses. A spouse from a long-term marriage may fear facing a lifetime of alimony, even after his ex-spouse has begun living with a new partner. A spouse from a short-term marriage may fear that she’ll be paying for just a few years of wedded bliss with many years of alimony payments. This post seeks to alleviate some of those fears, which may be unfounded in your situation. Of course, to get the exact advice that you need for your precise circumstances, be sure to reach out to a skilled Hoboken alimony attorney.

L.R. and R.R. were a pair of ex-spouses whose marriage was an example of a long-term one. The pair divorced in 2013 after 21 years of marriage. The trial court in their case ordered that the husband pay the wife permanent alimony. The couple’s marital settlement agreement said that, if the wife began living with someone “unrelated by blood or marriage” for six months, that was cohabitation and would entitle the husband to revisit the issue of alimony and potentially get his permanent alimony terminated.

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Back in 1985, a famous country music performer, Reba McEntire, released a song with the lines, “Somebody should leave…but which one should it be?” Regrettably, failed marriages like this fictional one are a sad reality for many couples in New Jersey. Before you make the decision to be the “somebody” who should leave your marital home, you owe it to yourself to consult a knowledgeable Hoboken divorce attorney. Depending of the specifics of your situation, moving out of the marital home may ultimately be the wrong decision, even if it is the less painful one in the short term.

In New Jersey prior to 2007, you often had to prove that your spouse was “at fault” before a court would give you a divorce. In some foreign countries, you still do. Abandonment is one common way to do that. Back in late November, according to a report in The Tribune, a husband in India won his divorce case after alleging that his wife left for Dubai one day in 2015, taking all her belongings with her, with no “provocation or reason,” and never came back. The judge sided with the husband, ruling that the wife failed to provide “any reasonable cause due to which she had to live separately from the” husband.

Here in New Jersey, getting a divorce in a circumstance like this can be much simpler today. New Jersey law allows spouses to pursue a “no-fault” divorce, which means that you don’t accuse your spouse of some failure, but merely allege irreconcilable differences. However, the law does still allow spouses to pursue an at-fault divorce, and one of the causes available is abandonment or desertion. This fact may give you serious pause if your marital relationship has broken down and you are considering moving out.d

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The law is ever-changing. This is one of the many reasons why it is so important to have a knowledgeable family law attorney on your side. You may think that you may understand how the law works with regard to alimony or child visitation or property division or some other family law issue, but your understanding may be incomplete or, worse yet, based on an outdated version of the law. Your skilled counsel will be both up to date on the law, and also aware of how to use those changes to your maximum benefit.

One of the areas of the law where changes have been occurring in New Jersey is alimony. In September 2019, New Jersey’s significant alimony reform law turned five years old. The law enacted several important changes to the law surrounding alimony but, as some recent Appellate Division court decisions have highlighted, some aspects of the alimony law that existed prior to the enactment of the reform law continue to be in effect today. A Hoboken alimony lawyer can explain how certain provisions of the law may affect you.

One of the very important pieces of the alimony reform law related to the set of circumstances under which a supporting spouse could get his/her support obligation terminated. Under the old legal rules, courts presumed that alimony should be permanent. In this circumstance, by “presumed,” we mean that the law required judges to give a supported spouse alimony for life unless the supporting spouse had enough evidence to affirmatively prove that there were special circumstances present and those special circumstances dictated the award of something other than permanent alimony.

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If you studied Shakespeare in English class, you may remember the lines from Romeo and Juliet that say “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose / By any other name would smell as sweet.” If you’ve studied Dale Carnegie, you may have crossed a quote from the famed lecturer that says a “person’s name is to him or her the sweetest and most important sound in any language.”

Unavoidably, names are important things. After a divorce, you are, of course, free to change your name. However, what options do you have when it comes to your children’s names? Does the law allow you to change their names, too? The answer is “Yes, potentially.” To make sure you have what you need to win this kind of name-change case, you should be sure you have skillful representation from an experienced Hoboken family law attorney to give the court what you need to succeed.

Recently, the Appellate Division court had to address this issue. The couple at odds were ex-spouses who separated after only five months. At the time the couple separated, the wife was four months pregnant. Two weeks after the separation, the couple agreed to a consent order. Paragraph 10 of that order laid out the first, middle and last names to be given to the unborn child.

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Back in the summer, celebrity gossip site TMZ (along with probably countless other sources) reported on the breakup of the eight-month-long marriage of actor Liam Hemsworth and singer Miley Cyrus. According to the TMZ report, the couple had created and signed a prenuptial agreement before they wed. Additionally, each had kept his/her earnings separate during the duration of the marriage. As a result, “there won’t be a fight over money,” the report indicated.

Even if you’re not a couple of multi-millionaires (or even if you are,) there may be good reasons to create what’s called an “antenuptial agreement,” also sometimes known as a prenuptial agreement or premarital agreement. However, what do you do if you’re already married and didn’t create a prenuptial agreement, but now you realize that you probably would have benefited from one? Are you out of luck because you’re already married? No, there are still options. Contact a knowledgeable Hoboken family law attorney and find more about what tools may be able to help you.

One of the tools that is available to you after you’ve already gotten married is something called the mid-marriage agreement, or intra-marital agreement. Mid-marriage agreements can be a great way to protect your interests in an existing marriage, even though the marriage may be successful and nowhere near being “irretrievably broken.”

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