Category: Child Custody
Understanding Prenuptial Agreements in Monmouth and Ocean County NJ
Read on to learn what a prenuptial agreement is, why it is used, and myths about prenups that may impact your premarital decisions.
Prenuptial agreements have gotten a bad name in modern culture because it appears to be a death sentence for a marriage – before the marriage has even begun. This is not the case. A prenuptial agreement serves many purposes, and its use is not solely to ensure that, in the case of a separation, each party will walk away with pre-determined assets still in their possession.
What is a prenuptial agreement?
A prenuptial agreement, or ‘prenup,’ is a legal contract a couple enters into before joining together in marriage or civil union that provides them with certain controls in their marital legal rights, whether the marriage ends in death or divorce. New Jersey law sets certain legal precedents regarding the rights of a spouse in the case of separation by death or divorce, including division of assets, the right to seek alimony, and fair distribution of the estate of the spouse. A prenuptial agreement, however, can supersede those precedents
Prenups provide legal rights to couples regarding more than simply division of assets, however. Read on to learn some common myths about what a prenup is – and isn’t, and the reality of prenuptial agreement.
Myths about prenups
Fact or Fiction? The existence of a prenuptial agreement means the marriage will end up failing
This is, of course, fiction. There are many reasons a prenuptial agreement is a wise contract into which to enter, and fearing for the worst is rarely one of them. According to Business Insider, there is no conclusive evidence that the presence of a prenup results in a higher divorce rate.
Fact or Fiction? Only people with lots of money enter into prenuptial agreements
This, too, is fiction. Because the legal rights addressed in a prenup cover more than the division of assets, they are not all about big money. Prenups include legally-binding agreements from whether a spouse will be legally entitled to alimony payments in the case of a divorce to who will get the pets. They can outline how assets will be separated amongst any children and how shared debt will be handled. Because a marriage or civil union is a business partnership, a prenup acknowledges the many financial and non-financial assets to be considered in a partnership, and upon its termination.
Fact or Fiction? New Jersey prenups can include child custody arrangements in the case of divorce
This is false. The New Jersey Superior Court: Family Part holds children at the central consideration in all divorce and custody arrangements. Because the court uses this ‘best interest of the child’ standard, they must take into account the living situation each parent would offer the child at the time of the divorce, no sooner. The inclusion of a child custody arrangement in a prenuptial agreement would be invalidated by a judge.
Fact or Fiction: A prenup can be drawn up and signed without a lawyer in New Jersey.
This is factual. New Jersey law mandates that prenuptial agreements must be in writing and signed by both spouses, and included an attached statement of the assets addressed in the agreement. While New Jersey couples are encouraged to seek the support of an experienced family law attorney before submitting a prenuptial agreement to the State, it is not legally required. If one spouse hires an attorney and the other does not, a statement of acknowledgment and consent to not having an attorney must be filed as part of the prenuptial agreement. After the entry of a prenuptial agreement into law, it can only be amended or nullified with signatures from both spouses.
Fact or Fiction: If you decide later that you want legal right over your assets after you get married, you can simply sign a post-nuptial agreement.
Easy there! It is not as easy to protect your assets after you get married as that. Any assets that you have accrued between your marriage and the time you decide to arrange a postnuptial agreement are considered marital assets, and as such, they are shared equally. The process of determining what assets will remain with whom will likely require the support of an attorney, and open communication and amiability between spouses.
Get in touch with a Wall Township Prenuptial Agreement and Family Law Attorney Today
At Bronzino Law Firm, our experienced attorneys support clients in Point Pleasant, Brick, Wall, Sea Girt, Spring Lake, and the greater Ocean and Monmouth County Areas in their marriage and family arrangements, including prenuptial agreements.
Separation and Parenting Time Support When Raising a Teenager
Instructing parents going through separation or divorce while raising a teenager in Spring Lake, Brick, and all of Eastern New Jersey
Separation from a spouse can upend even the most together person. In addition to all of the legal considerations and steps that must be taken to finalize the divorce and fairly distribute marital assets, one must tend to their own emotional, physical, and mental health – all of which can be upended by such a stark transition.
This is simply the personal process; add children to the mix, and the process of divorce is an experience that can shift family dynamics, and not just for the better. When you are divorcing and there is a child involved, it is imperative that you keep their stability and wellbeing at the center of all consideration. When the child is a pre-teen or teen, there are additional hurdles to maintaining stability, especially emotional. Anyone who has or has ever been a teenager knows that drama is a byproduct. The following considerations will help you navigate separation from a spouse while strengthening your bond with your teenager.
Seek the support of a parenting counselor
Committing to seek the support of a New Jersey parenting counselor with your ex can make the road to stability for you both – and your teenager – a much smoother process. A parenting counselor is trained in developing systems and norms with separated parents that ground co-parenting in common goals, visions, and routines. The parenting counselor is not there to discuss why you separated, though they will be able to help facilitate discussions regarding differences of opinion about how to raise the child. A parenting counselor is there to offer practical support while keeping a child-centric, age-appropriate focus for the co-parenting planning.
Set up shared systems and routines
Having shared systems in place is key to a stable environment for a teen splitting time between parents. Shifts in hormones, as well as the drama and stress that today’s teens face, in addition to the divorce, make for trying atmosphere within and around them. Have as many grounded routines as possible in place in both homes, so your teen feels a sense of consistency and safety despite an inwardly turbulent experience. As part of your custody arrangement, you will develop a parenting time agreement with your former spouse. Be as detailed as possible about arrangements for co-parenting, and be willing to update it as you try it on and get a feel for what works – and what doesn’t work – for your teen and you both.
When common systems are in place, it makes it easier for you as a parent to check in with your teen about how their time with their other parent was, as you have a frame of reference and a sense of understanding of what your child’s day-to-day flow is like.
Communication is a key component
During the time following a divorce – and the entirety of a child’s teen years – communication can be the last thing you want to engage in. This time, however, is the most important time to be in open and compassionate communication with your ex and child. Remember that you and your ex are now partners in raising your child; as such, focus communication around how to make the process of co-parenting more smooth. Consider the relationship one of the colleagues, and brainstorm ways to make co-parenting more streamlined and your teen’s emotional, mental, and physical health more robust.
If communication with your ex is difficult because of a trying divorce, remember the principles of Nonviolent Communication:
- Use “I” statements, sharing how you feel (I feel calmed…)
- Be specific about behaviors or actions that you perceive to be helpful or unhelpful to your capacity to support your teen the most effective possible (…when I see you take initiative on scheduling transportation.)
- Open up and let your ex know how you would like to feel (I would like to feel this calm regarding weekend visits…
- Make specific and measurable requests (…could you please suggest one specific time on Saturday mornings for a drop off each week?)
Ultimately, your former spouse and you are on the same team. Regardless of what has caused the separation, remember that you can come together to ensure the wellbeing of your teen at this important time in their growth and development into a kind, capable young adult.
Seek advice from an experienced Brick NJ Divorce, Custody, Support, and Family Law Attorney today
At Peter J. Bronzino, our attorneys support clients across Toms River, Wall, Point Pleasant, Asbury Park, Spring Lake, Brick, and all of Eastern New Jersey in their custody arrangements and the development of parenting time agreements.
Brick and Sea Girt NJ Same-sex Divorce Attorneys
Monmouth and Ocean County Divorce Lawyers discuss potential roadblocks that divorcing same-sex spouses may come across
Going through a divorce is difficult for anyone involved. It comes with emotional, mental, physical, and financial stress that can turn your world upside down. Often, there are complicating factors that make a divorce even more difficult to navigate, such as when children are involved. Another example is two spouses of same-sex divorcing. Their stresses may be augmented due to a few additional complications in the process.
Dividing Assets Prior to Legalization of Same Sex Marriage
One of the most difficult hurdles that many divorcing same-sex couples in New Jersey face is the division of their assets. New Jersey legalized same-sex marriage in 2013, relatively recently for many LGBTQ couples. Couples who have a longstanding relationship and many shared assets accumulated over the years will have a harder time legally dividing those assets, as their union was not recognized until their marriage was legalized in 2013 or later. As CNBC noted in its 2017 report “Same-Sex Divorce Poses Complications for Some Splitting Couples,” court systems don’t have a standard method of determining how assets are split from a couple that has been together for longer than their legal recognition. According to the report, some courts may accept, given proof, that the relationship functioned at the status of marriage, albeit unofficial, before the passage of the 2013 Garden State Equality Law. In such a case, the judge may consider all assets acquired since then shared assets. This certainly isn’t the standard, so a divorce involving a long-term relationship that has only been legalized in the last few years could mean a dependent spouse losing entitlement to many of the ‘shared’ assets.
State-to-State Discrepancies in Same Sex Marriage Law
States have dealt with the issue of same-sex marriage differently from state to state over the past decades. Until the Defense of Marriage Act was found unconstitutional by the Supreme Court and repealed in 2013, determining that the federal government cannot discriminate against a gay, lesbian, or queer couple for the purposes of federal legal rights and protections, same-sex couples have had to navigate their relationships differently. Even after DOMA was overturned, it took years for many states to legalize same-sex marriage, though domestic partnerships may have been legally recognized. Until 2015, when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled same-sex marriage legal in all 50 states in Obergefell vs. Hodges, couples who moved between states over the course of their relationship or were in states in which domestic partnership – or nothing – was legal had to live between blurred lines in the recognition of their union.
According to Forbes, one of the main difficulties same-sex couples face is that before the DOMA was repealed, many couples obtained the legal status of a domestic partnership. After the repeal, some states automatically converted domestic partnerships to marriages. However, some did not. This means that upon divorce, some couples have to terminate the marriage and terminate the domestic partnership.
The complications that a long-term, interstate relationship can add to a divorce are many, though they can be navigated and resolved with the support of a skilled divorce attorney who is knowledgeable in the state and federal legal timeline of marriage law before the federal blanket legalization of same-sex marriage in 2015.
When children are involved
As with any divorce, the inclusion of a child complicates matters. This is especially the case if the child was adopted before the marriage was legalized in New Jersey. The parent who has legal guardianship rights of the adopted child may receive custodial rights in a divorce if, at the time of adoption, the couple was not married.
If one member of the couple is the biological parent of the child, they will likely be granted custodial rights unless the other parent has undergone the process of adoption. This means that the other spouse is not required to pay child support after a divorce, though they may also not have custodial or even visitation rights after the divorce if there is no legal relationship between spouse and child. In order to have custodial rights or visitation rights – and pay child support, the spouse must have adopted or taken steps to adopt, or have obtained a parentage judgment.
CONTACT A BRICK, NJ SAME SEX DIVORCE ATTORNEY
At Bronzino Law, LLC, our team of divorce attorneys serves clients across Monmouth County and Ocean County towns including Neptune, Manasquan, Point Pleasant, Toms River, Brick, Asbury Park, Wall and more in all divorce and child custody matters.
Feel free to call our Brick or Sea Girt Bronzino Law, LLC office at (732) 812-3102 for a free and confidential virtual consultation today to discuss your specific situation when it comes to any kind of divorce or family law matter.
Ways to Safely Exit the Home of an Abusive Marriage Attorney Brick and Sea Girt NJ
Being in a marriage with an abusive spouse is a constant cause of stress and worry.
The helplessness that can overwhelm an abused partner – whether that abuse is mental, emotional, or physical – can weigh a person down until they feel even more trapped than they already are. Additional worries such as what to do about money if you are financially dependent, or what will happen in a custody proceeding if you have children, can upend even the most practically-minded person. Having a clear head and strategically planning an exit are essential for your family’s safe exit from an abusive marriage. Even in the absence of threats or actuality of physical harm if you attempt to leave, as a manipulation tactic to get you to stay, it is important to be highly cautious and plan every move.
In order to safely leave the shared living space and eventually the marriage, consider using the following supports:
- Contact a Domestic Violence Hotline – There is a myriad of domestic violence hotlines whose counselors are specifically trained to support your safe transition out of abusive shared living space and ultimately a relationship. They will help you put together a step-by-step plan for your exit that includes invaluable considerations that you may have overlooked, such as what to put in your overnight bag, where to find emergency insurance, what paperwork to travel with, where local lines of support can be found, and what type of shelter to seek when you leave. This process of organizing the exit into a manageable task will immediately ground you.
The New Jersey Domestic Violence Hotline can be reached 24 hours per day at 1-800-572-SAFE (1-800-572-7233).
Things to take into account if suffering from abusive behavior
- Subtly prepare your children to leave – It is not wise to let your children know that you are all going to be leaving. However, you do want to ensure that they know important information such as how to spell their first and last name, what their address is, and what to do in the case of an emergency. This emergency preparation would include both what to do, such as ‘run to a specific neighbor’s house,’ and who to call, ‘911.’
- Keep track of instances of abuse – Documented evidence of abuse can be used to convict a partner of a domestic violence charge. While your first priority is to get your family safely out from under the same roof as the abuser, having documentation of their mental, emotional, and physical forms of abuse will support your case later down the road. This paperwork is one of the documents to keep in the overnight bag you have packed and ready to go.
- Contact a family law attorney to file a restraining order – Having the support of a family law attorney to ensure that you and your children are legally protected from the advancement of your partner during the divorce process is essential. An experienced member of the team will facilitate the process of filing a restraining order with the New Jersey Municipal or Superior Court.
Filing a Restraining Order
It is important to have the legal support of a professional during this process because filing for a Temporary Restraining Order with the New Jersey Superior Court Family does not automatically ensure that a Restraining Order will be immediately placed on the abuser unless the plaintiff shows physical injury. As such, for your safety and that of your family, it is important that you seek professional support to ensure that a Restraining Order, either Temporary or Final, is placed from the outset.
- Stay vigilant about protecting your preparation process – One thing many abusers have in common is that they use threats to manipulate the other person to stay. This often takes the form of the abuser snooping through emails, phones, and computers to find reasons to allege any infidelity to the abusive relationship. Do all of your research regarding the exit from the home on another computer, such as that of a trusted friend or the community library. While it is important to keep your plan as secret as possible, if possible, keep at least one friend or family member abreast of your evolving plans, perhaps even providing them with important documentation in the case of emergency.
Facing an Abusive Marriage? Contact Us At Our Brick Or Sea Girt Office Locations
At Peter J. Bronzino Law Firm, our family law attorneys are experienced in protecting our clients in Brick, Spring Lake, Asbury Park, and all of Eastern New Jersey in all matters of domestic violence and abuse in the home.
Our approach places the safety of our clients at the center, ensuring that they can safely exit an abusive situation and be legally protected throughout the process of separation and divorce, equipped with the resources they need to have mental, emotional, and physical support and safety.
Parenting Time Attorneys During the Corona Virus in Monmouth County NJ
Assisting co-parents during this difficult time riddled with uncertainty in towns including Wall, Seagirt, Brick, Toms River and across the Jersey Shore
The coronavirus has wrought havoc on the whole world. People are losing their lives by the thousands, and worldwide, leaders are ordering that people shelter in place so as not to spread the highly contagious virus at a continuously exponential rate.
In the face of the virus, separated couples everywhere are wondering what this will mean for their co-parenting agreements. Because of the shelter in place orders, usual legally-binding Parenting Time agreements are off the table, and children must stay where they are.
In Philadelphia, one parent sought legal counsel when, after returning from abroad in March, her ex insisted that she spend two weeks in self-quarantine to ensure that she hadn’t contracted the virus. The advice she received was not heartening: there was no way she could argue her ex’s refusal to provide access to the children in court.
This parent isn’t alone. Around the world, parenting time is being replaced by phone calls and video chats. Alternatively, some separated couples are even considering co-living arrangements so that they can both be with the kids. Whatever the makeshift arrangements are that are being made between exes globally, legal considerations are not on the table. In a crisis such as this one, in which more cases of the virus are being discovered every day, doing what is in the child’s best interest – which is always the first priority of a custody arrangement – has little to do with prior legal arrangements.
Are parents breaching parenting time agreements by following shelter in place orders?
Unfortunately, some parents are taking advantage of the shelter in place orders to withhold legal visiting rights from their ex. In support of parents attempting to navigate conflicting legal orders and an invisible contagion, attorneys are reminding their clients the importance of not making assumptions about the health of a co parent’s home or be lax about measures taken to ensure that their children are not exposed to anyone who has not abided by the shelter in place orders.
Attorneys also recommend that clear documentation be kept about the revised custody schedule and any communication with the co-parent that results in revision to the court-ordered custody arrangement.
Co-parents can assume that in order for a court to receive a complaint for breach of custody agreements, there must be an emergency or clear evidence of willful non-compliance.
What is New Jersey law surrounding co-parenting?
So what are laws regarding co-parenting? What would a co-parenting agreement look like in New Jersey in the absence of a pandemic throwing all bets off the table?
A child custody arrangement is set up to ensure the well-being of the child. In New Jersey, as part of the divorce proceedings, a “parenting time” agreement is developed. This is part of the court-ordered custody arrangement, whether or not a parent is the custodial parent (live-in) or the non-custodial parent. A skilled divorce attorney can support a separating couple in developing a parenting time agreement that suits each of their schedules and needs and also represents a priority for the well-being of the child.
Parenting time agreements work in consort with the following custody arrangements:
- Sole Physical Custody: Sole physical custody means that the other parent is strictly limited by law in the amount of parenting time they are allowed to spend with their child. The visits may be supervised or unsupervised, depending on the ruling of the court in the custody hearing. New Jersey Family Part court does orient itself with ensuring that both parents spend time with the child, even if the time is supervised.
- Shared Physical Custody: Shared physical custody means that each parent spends an equal amount of time with their child, according to a schedule that has been determined by the parents and their attorneys and approved by the court. Common schedules include alternating weeks with either parent, months at a time of visit with each parent, etc. A couple must take into account the emotional, physical, social, and academic needs of their child in order to make the best decision on their behalf.
- Residential and Alternate Residential Parent: In this agreement, one person is the custodial parent, meaning that the child lives with them. The alternate residential parent visits based on a regular schedule, which often includes some alternating weekends and summer vacations.
Even in this time of uncertainty, depending upon the circumstances, parents can be penalized for being in breach of their parenting time agreement. Having the support of an experienced divorce attorney is essential at this time.
Contact a Co-parenting Time Attorney in Ocean County Today
At Peter J. Bronzino, Esq, our New Jersey divorce attorneys are committed to supporting our clients throughout Ocean County towns such as Toms River, Wall, Point Pleasant, Asbury Park, Spring Lake, Brick, and all of Eastern New Jersey in matters regarding custody agreements and parenting time schedules.
To speak with our firm today regarding your parenting time agreement and modifications to its schedule due to these extenuating circumstances, contact us online or through our Brick, NJ offices by calling (732) 812-3102 today for a confidential consultation.
COVID-19 “Shelter-in-Place” Divorce Attorney Monmouth and Ocean County NJ
Brick and Seagirt Divorce Attorneys helping clients prepare for a post-pandemic and post-divorce life they deserve.
For people considering or in the process of divorce litigation, civil union dissolution, or filing for separation, the COVID-19 pandemic and “shelter-in-place” order may be the tipping point in their already stressful marriage. Whereas work, school, or other activities meant the possibility to avoid one’s spouse or partner, working and e-learning from home means once less-frequent activities, like cooking dinner together or sharing the same space for 24 hours has significantly impacted the day-to-day living situation of many New Jersey couples.
Though some couples may consider isolation or self-quarantine as a period in which to create greater family dynamics, reevaluate their marital values or work on their relationship intimacy, many others have become more committed to ending their marital union, as what may have previously been trivial matters escalate to incidents of increased tension and in the worse cases, domestic violence.
The uncertainty of the current COVID19/Corona virus situation and physical distancing means that the attorneys at The Bronzino Law, LLC are prepared to provide legal services in a safe, secure, confidential, and convenient way without compromising on quality. Our lawyers will fight to protect your rights and are ready to arrange convenient, free virtual consultation meetings via Skype, WhatsApp video, FaceTime, Zoom, or Google Hangout to discuss how we can best support you and meet your legal needs.
The Bronzino Law Firm manages all divorce-related matters, including child support, child custody, division of assets, alimony and spousal support, and post-divorce modifications for clients across Ocean County and Monmouth County.
Contact us online or call us at (732) 812-3102 to arrange a free virtual legal consultation from the comfort of your home or office, and with the convenience of your smartphone, laptop, or tablet. The Bronzino Law Firm, LLC, is prepared to protect your rights and answer your legal questions or family law–related issues.
8 Things to do for your Divorce During the Corona Pandemic
Here are some positive and actionable ideas, which are also a productive use of your time as you prepare for your NJ divorce.
- Collect the financial documents and paperwork necessary for the full financial disclosures, which are vital to the divorce process and are necessary before reaching any financial agreements related to child support, child custody, alimony and spousal support, and the equitable division of assets.
- Conduct a lifestyle analysis to realistically determine what your future post-divorce housing and budget may be like.
- Practice self-care, exercise, protect your mental health and document your expectations for your post-divorce life and that of your children or pets if you have any. Write down your ideal living or co-parenting situation and the kind of future you envision for yourself.
- If you have children, focus on protecting your child’s emotional and psychological well-being by providing a positive family atmosphere, keeping them calm and busy, and planning fun activities (i.e., watching online tutorials for cooking, exercise/dancing, music, arts & crafts, etc.).
- Take the opportunity to declutter your home and organize your things. Identify items or assets which are truly important to you and those that you are prepared to donate or throw away.
- Avoid hostile conversations with your spouse, and if there are children present, aggressive confrontations that could escalate growing familial unease and tension.
- Take a positive daily inventory, acknowledging what you learned or are grateful for. It will help put your day in perspective and balance out some of the negative or depressing thoughts you may have.
- Educate yourself. Whether it is online free language classes or apps, youtube tutorials, or skills-based technology programs, invest time in improving your future professional and personal development opportunities.
Isolation and the related feelings surrounding it may not be easy, but knowing that it won’t be forever can help you remain positive, keep an open mind, and maintain patient heart. By effectively managing your time under the current situation, you are preparing to live the post-pandemic and post-divorce life you deserve.
Dealing with Divorce and COVID-19? Contact an Ocean and Monmouth County Divorce Attorney Today
The Family Law attorney Peter J. Bronzino has extensive experience helping clients with all divorce-related matters across Ocean and Monmouth County towns, including Toms River, Brick, Point Pleasant, Manasquan, and across the Jersey Shore.
At our law firm, we get to know the people we represent, determine what is most important to them in the divorce, then work with them to develop a strategy designed to meet their individual goals and needs.
Brick and Sea Girt Attorneys Offer Virtual Consultations to Serve Clients
We leverage technology to meet the needs of our clients, by providing dynamic, client-focused representation in Family Law matters
As the world comes to terms with the spread of the coronavirus, countless New Jersey citizens asked to practice “social-distancing” and “shelter in place” are in dire need of legal services, and are finding it challenging to find experienced and flexible legal counsel able to meet their unique needs amid the growing pandemic. Attorneys prepared for what is in many ways a new legal landscape know that in this digital age, it’s possible to provide legal services in a safe and convenient way without compromising on quality.
At The Bronzino Law Firm, LLC, located in Brick, New Jersey, we believe legal services should be accessible at everyone’s fingertips and clients should be able to get the services of an attorney even without an initial physical meeting. We leverage technology to meet the needs of our clients, by providing dynamic, client-focused representation in Family Law matters (i.e., Alimony and Spousal Support, Child Support, Child Custody, Domestic Violence, Criminal Charges, and Municipal Court summons, Real-Estate ventures, and Wills, Trusts & Estates). We understand and believe that each client is different, with distinctive needs and goals, and as such, unique strategies must be crafted for each case in order to favorably settle them for our clients.
Our lawyers are prepared to protect your rights and are ready to arrange convenient, virtual meetings via Skype, WhatsApp video, FaceTime, Zoom, Google Hangout, Clio Connect or Legaler to discuss how we can best support you and meet your legal needs.
How Do I Schedule a Virtual Legal Consultation with a Bronzino Law Firm Attorney?
From the comfort of your home or office and with the convenience of your smartphone, laptop or tablet, you can arrange to speak with a lawyer from The Bronzino Law Firm, LLC, to answer your legal questions or issues. If you would like to speak with an attorney about your case in a free and confidential consultation today, you can:
1) Contact us online or
2) Call our Brick or Sea Girt offices at (732) 812-3102 or
To schedule a call and free 20-minute virtual consultation/meet up to discuss your family law needs. During the consultation feel free to ask questions, as we will discuss the best plan to protect your rights and future going forward.
We believe in keeping our clients informed and involved in the legal process and are prepared to use various technologies in order to do so. By having up-to-date and detailed information about your case, you can make the best possible decisions for your family’s future.
CONTACT A BRICK, NJ FAMILY LAW LAWYER
Serving Families across Monmouth County and Ocean County towns including Neptune, Manasquan, Point Pleasant, Toms River, Brick, Asbury Park, Wall and more
Across all areas of Family Law, our lawyers can answer your questions today. Our attention to detail and priority to the attorney-client relationship often leads to outcomes that are both beneficial and personalized to the individual needs and concerns of our clients and their families. Our experienced attorneys work to resolve legal conflicts outside of the courtroom when possible, but will never hesitate to aggressively litigate and defend our clients’ legal rights when necessary.
Call our Brick or Sea Girt Bronzino Law, LLC office at (732) 812-3102 for a free and confidential virtual consultation today to discuss your unique needs, concerns, or situation when it comes to any kind of family law matter.
Life After Divorce: Tips from Monmouth and Ocean County Family Lawyers
Divorce Attorneys Guiding Clients through the Post Divorce Process in Brick, Sea Girt, Wall, Toms River and across the Jersey Shore
Divorce is an emotionally, mentally, and financially stressful time that can wreak havoc on the life of you and your family. Heart-wrenching considerations and actions litter the process, from making the decision to divorce instead of reconcile, to determining best next steps for yourself and your family, to engaging with attorneys representing you and your spouse and attempting to care for your emotional health as you parse through logistics of splitting the marital assets and determining child custody arrangements. Following the legal proceedings that result in a finalized divorce, when the majority of the mental and financial groundwork has been laid and it’s time to put it into practice, the emotional work of integrating this new change into your life really begins.
During the course of the divorce process and after, it is essential that you take your personal health into account and prioritize activities and routines that support your physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing. Below is a list of ways to support you through the divorce and post-separation process, setting you up for an aligned path forward to your happiest future.
Staying Healthy After Divorce
Listen to your body
- It has often been said that your body keeps the score. We don’t often realize that our consistent states of mind and emotion affect our biochemistry, including our hormones, our muscles, and our nervous system. When we experience stress in our lives, an ancient part of the brain called the amygdala, which is responsible for ensuring our survival and initiates the fight-or-flight stress response, is activated. This means that when we feel stressed, our body receives directives to be on guard for a life-threatening situation. We move through the world as if we are about to be attacked by a bear, and our bodies take on a chronic state of muscle tension, elevated stress hormones like cortisol flooding our system, and digestive and reproductive imbalance.
- Getting into the habit of listening to your body and checking for symptoms of stress like tight shoulders or jaw, constipation or diarrhea, or headache can point to the need to take a step back and rest.
Rest more than usual
- Getting eight hours of sleep per night is a long-held doctor’s recommendation that few of us follow in this day and age. However, because of the elevated levels of the stress hormone cortisol that almost certainly accompanies divorce proceedings in all of its stages, the body needs extra time to recover its parasympathetic state of rest and digest.
Feel, from above
- Emotions are energy in motion. When we are triggered by intense emotion, our thoughts often immediately go to a story that matches the ‘reason’ for that emotion. The thoughts, then,
generate a biochemical response that creates more of the same feeling, which encourages the thoughts, and off we go into a hamster wheel of downward spiraling distress. Waves of emotion after divorce are inevitable, as your whole being releases what no longer serves it and creates space for a new life. When an intense feeling comes, tune into your breath to stay present with right here and now, resisting the urge to follow the story that arises.
- Feel the physical sensation of the emotion and the sensation of the breath moving through it, as if you are a curious child witnessing something in nature that you’ve never before experienced.
Eat the rainbow
- Getting a vast array of nutrients through the form of a plant-based diet will help keep the body clean and detoxified, which can help detox your emotional and mental states, too. Drinking tons of water is also essential.
- Spending time with the elements is an ancient and wise practice. Tapping into the profound simplicity of the earth helps put your conflicts into a larger perspective and creates space for new inspiration and ideas to come through to you.
- Exercising your body, also, is crucial at this time and reduces stress and inflammation while oxygenating the muscles and tissues to build strength, flexibility, and stamina on all levels.
- As you move toward your new, more highly aligned life, surround yourself with people who are a positive and healthy influence on you. Seek the support of a New Jersey certified therapist if you need help processing the old relationship or separation, and then step fully into the path ahead with your chosen family.
Consult with a Wall Township Divorce Lawyer Today and Discuss Your Post Divorce Life Plans
At Bronzino Law Firm, our team of divorce attorneys supports our clients across Brick, Wall, Sea Girt, Spring Lake, and the greater Ocean and Monmouth County Areas in their transition to a new life initiated by a divorce.
Our approach is centered on facilitating a smooth and amicable divorce proceeding so our clients can focus on aligning themselves with their future, knowing that they are structurally and financially set up for success.
Discuss Divorce Home Marital Issues with a Brick and Sea Girt Family Lawyer
Read on to explore some potential benefits and pitfalls of leaving the marital home before divorce proceedings are complete.
The decision to separate from a spouse and the process of divorce is emotionally, physically, and financially trying time. There are many aspects of the division of a marital home that are simultaneously being considered, including how to split shared assets and how to split custody with any children of the couple. If the conflict between the couple is high, a person may consider moving out of the marital home to create a physical and energetic space. Is this a good idea, or could it have negative consequences for the outcome of your divorce? Read on to explore some potential benefits and pitfalls of leaving the marital home before divorce proceedings are complete.
The benefit: space
When going through a separation that is not amicable, it may be in the best interest of all involved to create space. Because this could have implications for the outcome of the divorce, it is important to consider whether such self-care practices as exercise, meditation, or therapy could help support an inner state of calm before moving out of the marital home.
Pitfalls of moving out of the marital home
Unless it is absolutely necessary or a 100 percent amicable separation, most will coach someone going through a divorce to continue living at the marital home. Here’s why.
In New Jersey, when a spouse leaves the marital home before a divorce is finalized, the other spouse may file a motion in court to temporarily take sole possession of the marital home. If this motion were accepted by the New Jersey Superior Court, the person who leaves the home would not be legally able to inhabit the home during the entirety of the divorce proceedings (and potentially after).
Of course, moving from one home to another while still legally, financially required to split the expenses of the marital home means more money spent. While marital expenses are still on the table, it is important to consider additional expenses that leaving the home would add.
Naturally, when a divorce includes children, their wellbeing is the most important consideration in decision-making. The New Jersey Superior Court will always uphold as its first priority the best interest of involved children. As such, they may look at a spouse leaving the marital home during the divorce proceedings as a sign that the person is comfortable with being a non-custodial parent.
Ex’s intentions and capacities
One would hope that, even in the absence of a completely amicable divorce, no ex would purposefully cause harm to shared assets in order to spite the other. However, there have been cases in which, for example, the spouse who stays in the marital home when the other moves out fails to maintain the home, lowering the property value when it comes time to sell.
Options to support the separation process
Whether or not you decide to move out of the marital home before the divorce is finalized, there are specific ways to navigate the shared time and space in service of supporting an amicable divorce.
Parenting Time Schedule
- Even if you are living in the marital home during separation, if children are involved it is important to begin to shift into a routine that primes all parties for shared parenting. New Jersey courts include parenting time schedules in the custody proceedings, yet if you have already worked together as a family to develop a sustainable agreement, it will strengthen the bond necessary for successful co-parenting. It will also increase the chances of a favorable custody arrangement, even if you leave the marital home before the divorce is finalized.
- Many divorce attorneys recommend mediation as a way to identify obstacles to an amicable separation and, hopefully, resolve them, for a swift proceeding that saves time, money, and emotional wellbeing.
- One only has so much resilience. At such a stressful time as divorce, it is important to make self-care a priority in service of all concerned. Lowering cortisol, or stress, levels in the body and building emotional resilience will make for a clearer mind and heart during the divorce, and set you up for your future. Hydrate, rest, exercise, meditate, and surround yourself with the community at this time.
Retain a Wall Township Divorce Lawyer Today to Help Navigate your Options
At Bronzino Law Firm, our divorce attorneys are experienced in guiding the divorce and custody proceedings of our clients across Point Pleasant, Brick, Wall, Sea Girt, Spring Lake, and the greater Ocean and Monmouth County Areas in all related matters.
Our direct approach handles communication with all involved parties and represents the best interests of our clients and their children for an amicable separation, so our clients can orient themselves toward their future.
Custody and Parenting Time Attorneys Monmouth and Ocean County NJ
As part of the divorce proceedings, a couple with children will prepare for a custody hearing to legally determine whether the couple will share custody, or whether one parent will have sole custody.
What is the difference between physical and legal custody?
Parents with legal custody can make legal decisions on behalf of their children, such as medical decisions and schooling matters. If parents have joint legal custody, both can legally weigh in on those matters that impact the child. If there is a major difference of opinion, the agreement is set up so that the courts can resolve the matter. A parent with physical custody means that the child lives with them. Parents who have joint physical custody share the time living with their child either through nesting, in which the child lives in the marital home, and the parents switch off; or the child moves to the homes of either parent during the set time.
What is a parenting time plan in a New Jersey custody agreement?
A child custody arrangement is set up in the best interests of the child. In New Jersey, regardless of the amount of time a parent spends with their child as outlined in a shared custody agreement, whether or not they are the custodial (live-in) parent or the non-custodial parent, the court system refers to this time as “parenting time.” Co-parents can structure this time in any way that works for them. Examples of parenting time shared custody arrangements include
- Shared Physical Custody: In this agreement, each parent spends an equal amount of time with their child. Traditionally, this looks like alternating weeks; however, some children fare better with shorter time periods away from either parent, and some fare better with the stability provided by physically remaining in one parent’s home for longer, such as a month at a time.
- Residential Parent and Alternate Residential Parent agreements: In this case, one parent is the primary custodial caregiver of the parent. The other, or ‘alternate,’ has a more traditional schedule of visitation, spending every other weekend, perhaps, with the child, as well as partial summer vacations.
- Sole Physical Custody: As one could imagine, when one parent has sole physical custody, the other parent is strictly limited in the amount of parenting time they are allowed to spend with the child. Depending on the conditions of the sole custody ruling, these visits may even be supervised. New Jersey Family Part court tends to lean toward both parents having some form of contact with the child, even if it must be supervised.
Are time frames each parent has custodial rights written into the custody agreement?
In the case of both joint physical and joint legal custody agreements, there are clauses written in that determine the amount of time each parent has with the child. This could be laid out as a schedule in addition to a percentage time frame. Because a custody agreement is a legally binding, each parent by law must abide by the time constraints ordered by the court.
Can a parent be penalized for breaking a New Jersey Parenting Plan?
If either parent strays from the court-ordered schedule, they are legally in breach of the law and can be penalized. This could play out in civil court or criminal court depending on the conditions of the breach. If the deviance from the court order is severe, such as removal of the child from the home and travel to an undisclosed location or a location outside of New Jersey, the parent could be arrested for kidnapping and face criminal charges.
If one parent is in breach of the parenting time schedule built into the custody agreement, the other parent has the legal right to request enforcement of the current custodial order from the New Jersey court. In addition to determining whether civil or criminal legal action needs to be taken out against the law-breaking parent, the court may also rule that the petitioning parent receives some sort of compensation for the time lost with their child, which may temporarily shift the legally mandated parenting time schedule.
Having the support of an experienced New Jersey divorce attorney during the process of negotiating the parenting time schedule with one’s ex and their legal team, as well as in the case of a breach of the agreement, is important to ensure that your rights and the wellbeing of your child are met.
Seasoned Custody Attorney protecting the rights of you and your children
At Peter J. Bronzino, our New Jersey divorce attorneys are skilled in supporting families across Toms River, Wall, Point Pleasant, Asbury Park, Spring Lake, Brick, and all of Eastern New Jersey as they undergo the process of negotiating custody agreements and parenting time schedules.
Our direct approach ensures that the best interests of the child and the rights of our parent clients are met in compatible ways.