Divorce With Children Attorney New Jersey
How a Divorce with Children is Different— And Why You Need a New Jersey Divorce with Children Attorney
Just as every marriage is different, every divorce is different. Some focus on finances; others, on the pain of infidelity. Oftentimes, however, the focus— the source of contention or dispute, or the guiding North Star of the divorce— is children.
No doubt children complicate divorce (the way they often complicate a marriage— with all the positive and negative connotations). Be it Child Custody and Parenting Time and/or Relocation of Children, divorce with children contains many issues. Let’s look at how a divorce with children is different— and why you need a New Jersey divorce with children attorney.
In the Best Interest of the Child
The standard the Court uses when dealing with a divorce in which children are in the mix is, In the Best Interest of the Child. What exactly does this mean? How does it impact custody and parenting time and visitation, home, school, finances and more. How do we measure such a subjective standard as the best interest of the child?
Some of the key considerations that often come up when couples with children make the painful but necessary decision to end their marriage are:
- Custody and Parenting Time. Perhaps the biggest adjustment in a child’s life is the simple fact they will not live with both parents, and they will not see both parents every day. Oftentimes the Court will recommend joint custody— a 50%/50% parenting split— but even this takes time to deal with logistically and become accustomed to (for the parents too). That’s to say nothing of cases in which one co-parent has primary custody, and the other may have secondary custody, and/or parenting time. How many Saturday nights do I get with my children? What about this Thanksgiving, or next summer break? Trying to be equitable with time spent with the children for both co-parents will be a major part of moving forward in a divorce with children.
- Home. For a child— especially a young child— think of how important a stable, secure, and safe home is. Home provides a child with a base sense of self-worth from which to operate. Depending upon the circumstances (and finances), one co-parent may choose to move out of the family home, and/or one co-parent may choose to “buy the other one out” of the family home. Additionally, an infrequent arrangement is nesting: the two co-parents come-and-go from the family home, and the children remain put. No matter which way forward you and your New Jersey Divorce with Children Attorney decide is best for you, the guiding principle will be the best interest of the child.
- School. What school district are the children in? Is there a way for the divorce to not disrupt the school year? (Or even the children’s relationship with friends in school?) Oftentimes in divorce cases with the question of relocation, schooling will be a key factor.
- Finances. We often think immediately of child support when couples with children get divorced, and that is a major factor: who will the Court order to pay child support to whom? (This consideration is separate from alimony.) Does one parent make significantly more than the other? New Jersey, like most other states, follows child support guidelines which will compute a suggested amount which the Judge may tweak at their discretion and based on the needs of the children. In most divorce cases, the standard rule in finances is the ability to pay and needs of the child. While the Court will take into consideration job demotions, lost opportunities, etc., the goal again becomes to not disrupt a child’s life— or to disrupt it as little as possible. Is there money still available for soccer fees and new cleats? What about a family vacation— or two? Your New Jersey Divorce with Children Attorney will work with you to figure out the best way forward financially, with the least disruption.
Your New Jersey Divorce with Children Attorney
By now it should be clear that divorce with children is one of the most complicated divorces that may be undertaken. You need a compassionate and confident New Jersey Divorce with Children Attorney to guide you through this difficult process. There’s nothing wrong with consulting with several attorneys; you want one with whom you personally feel comfortable, and who will be there with you from the beginning of the divorce process all the way to when you feel resettled as a parent.
There’s nothing more important in a parent’s life than their children. At O’Cathain Law Group, our motto is Move Forward. That rings especially true for children: childhood is nothing but forward momentum, with its wonderful series of firsts, as your child progresses through the school system and discovers who they truly are, as you prepare them to go out into the world. Divorce should not halt this momentum. Together, as a new type of family, you can Move Forward.
Divorcing with Children? We can help. Call (201) 488-1161, fill out the intake form, or email a dedicated Family Law paralegal to speak with a New Jersey Divorce with Children Attorney at O’Cathain Law Group.