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Burlington County Family Law Blog

Navigating child custody as an active service member

Serving in the military comes with many challenges, and the constant possibility of deployment can create tension and additional stress in a marriage. During long periods while you're away serving the country, your spouse might feel overwhelmed at home and stuck caring for the kids. Your career may get in the way of your marriage and could lead to divorce.

Being in the military involves frequent travel, oftentimes even overseas, so you might wonder how you could still see your kids after a divorce, or if you could even make it to a custody hearing.

Do you need an attorney in a Divorce Mediation?

If you are a litigant who has decided on the mediation process or is wondering whether you should try the mediation process, seeking the guidance of an attorney who will counsel you about your individual rights and best outcomes is advised.

After your consultation, if you decide to try the mediation process, you can hire that same attorney, whose role will be more limited but extremely important during the divorce mediation process.

Family Care Plan for military deployment readiness

The increased deployment of service members since 2001 has raised many difficult military child custody issues. Child custody disputes are complicated for anyone, but things can get even more complicated for military service members. Active duty parents face the possibility of sudden deployments, which can leave little time to prepare for family needs. A Family Care Plan (FCP) is essential for all families and especially critical for single parents and dual military parents.

An FCP can be a useful tool that can protect custodial rights and the well-being of children. The Department of Defense requires its service members who are single parents, pregnant, married, dual-military couples and legal guardians to have an up-to-date Family Care Plan that addresses the day-to-day and big-picture issues involved with raising children.

How is a military pension divided in divorce?

Dividing assets in divorce is always a difficult process. Military divorce is no exception. When one spouse is a service member, special laws specifically for military divorces can come into play. These laws include rules for splitting military pension benefits.

Defense Finance and Accounting Services (DFAS) pays out military pensions. A civilian divorce in New Jersey would have a court ordering a pension provider like DFAS to split the pension. But military couples must follow specific guidelines for DFAS to pay both the service member and the former spouse after divorce.

You could reach agreeable terms in your divorce settlement

In most cases, divorce is emotionally painful and physically exhausting. You likely do not know what to anticipate, what is worth fighting for or how long your divorce process will last.

But rather than dragging things out in court, choosing alternative dispute resolution may enable you to reduce the impact divorce has on you and your family. As you work on determining your child custody, parenting time and property division arrangements, you might appreciate the many benefits of mediation.

Paying for Attorney's Fees in a New Jersey Divorce or Family Law Matter

The issue of paying for attorney's fees in a New Jersey Divorce or Family Law matter comes up often. There is no rule in family law cases that the party who files for divorce or begins the custody dispute must pay for the other party's attorney. There is, however, authority in the law for a judge to potentially require one person to advance or pay the other party's fees. Family Court is a Court of equity, meaning the element of fairness is to be considered when a judge has to decide an issue. New Jersey law therefore gives a judge authority to grant an award of attorney's fees based on the financial situation if needed to level the playing field - to prevent one party from prevailing simply because he or she can afford to pay an attorney more. A judge may also award attorney's fees when one party has acted in bad faith, such as by violating a Court Order or taking a position that is blatantly unreasonable.

Men: 3 reasons why you need legal support during divorce

Men and fathers face some particularly challenging obstacles when they divorce. Historically, the family legal system has often favored women and mothers in the traditional roles of homemaker and dependent.

However, things have changed. Today, according to findings from the Pew Research Center, men are more likely to be stay-at-home parents than they were 50 years ago, and more families are dual-income families. These and other statistics paint a very different picture of families, but because of a few important reasons, men and fathers can still face significant obstacles during a legal battle.

Don't make these 8 social media mistakes during a divorce

Social media is one of the most common places people turn during difficult times. People go to Facebook, Instagram and even dating sites looking for support, love and an outlet to share difficult feelings.

Considering how frequently people turn to these sites, it is no surprise that they often present problems during a divorce, especially a contentious divorce. With or without realizing it, you could be sharing evidence or engaging in behaviors that will be used against you in court or mediation, so it is wise to be cautious when it comes to social media.

What types of issues can be resolved through mediation?

One of the first things people think when they hear that they will likely go through mediation for their divorce is, "No way."

They have this reaction because they assume that there is no way they can sit in a room with an ex they don't like and make decisions about things like money and the kids, which might be the reasons they are splitting up in the first place. However, before you write off the mediation process altogether, understand there are some issues many people are able to resolve through mediation.

Make yourself, your health a top priority during divorce

There is no doubt that divorce is one of the most difficult experiences many people go through.

Considering the incredible toll a divorce can take on a person, it is critical that you try to prioritize your health and well-being during the process. If you don't, you could wind up suffering more and having a harder time getting back on your feet. Below are some ways you can protect yourself.

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