The 5 Critical Risks of Divorce Resources

By now you have probably already viewed our webinar on The 5 Critical Risks of Divorce. We hope you feel empowered and are better prepared to handle the process. Please bookmark this page for continued reference of our comprehensive list of additional resources during your divorce process.

Helpful Slides From the 5 Critical Risks of Divorce Webinar

Weinberger Divorce & Family Law Group has put aside some special slides in a PDF format for you to review again and easily print out for future reference. These video slides from the 5 Critical Risks of Divorce easily help you see important overlooked factors and areas where you might need to take immediate action. Simply click on the links below for the slide/pdf with the divorce topic of your choice:

Answers to Questions Posed During The 5 Critical Risks of Divorce Resources Webinar

Note: Simply click on the Question of interest and the Answer will appear just below:

Q: Will your former spouse be able to show up "whenever" and disrupt your life?

A: Unfortunately, some attorneys don’t take the time or don’t anticipate problems with pick-up and drop-off times when they are drafting a divorce agreement. By not setting specific visitation pickup and drop-off times in your divorce agreement, your spouse can end up showing up whenever and disrupting your life.

Q: If you want your child to be in private school, will you have to pay for it all yourself?

A: This is a common concern. Unfortunately, if educational costs were not addressed during your divorce, you might find that you end up spending the very funds needed to pay for school (private school, college, etc.) on post-judgment litigation over the issue.

Q: If you get a fabulous job offer out of state, can you take it?

A: A job offer out of state could be a no-go if you have shared legal and physical custody. You should read more information about Child Relocation on our web-site.

Q: Which tiny flaws in your CIS could come back to haunt you?

A: A tiny flaw in your CIS relates to overlooked data which can come back to hurt you during any post-judgment matter you might have. For example, if you experience a substantial financial change in circumstances (such as if you lose your job) and file a motion to reduce your support payment obligations, the original CIS from the time support was first established will be compared against a new CIS to determine if your motion has merit. If you did not provide your attorney with an accurate CIS, you might find it more difficult to obtain the modification you were seeking.

Q: Which clauses could leave any future children or spouse destitute in the event of your death?

A: Not updating your estate plan can have a significant impact on your family’s future if you should pass away. For example, most people don’t know this but your beneficiary designations for your life insurance policy and your retirement account take precedence over the designations in your will. So if you get divorced, remarry and have children with your new spouse, but never changed your previous designations, your former spouse might stand to inherit all of your life insurance and all of your retirement accounts.

Q: Which settlement mistakes could multiply your tax liability?

A: Many attorneys will let their clients offset bank accounts with the same amount in retirement accounts. On the surface this might seem okay, especially if the client really wants to keep their retirement accounts intact. The problem with this approach is that the attorney may not have factored into the equation the ordinary income taxes that would be incurred when money is taken out of the retirement accounts. On the other hand, money taken out of a bank account won’t incur any tax consequences. At the end of the day, the bank account is worth more than the retirement account. Also, sometimes paying alimony is a better arrangement than paying child support because alimony payments are tax deductible by the payor whereas child support is not.

Q: What is the cost of post-judgment litigation?

A: Post judgment litigation tends to be much more expensive than resolving your issue as part of the original divorce. If you and your attorney don’t work together to address all current and future issues in your divorce agreement, you could spend a lot of money trying to resolve these issues post-divorce.

Q: How hard is it to modify child custody, support or visitation?

A: Child custody, support and visitation are very hard to modify once they are either agreed to or ordered by the court. Once the agreement is finalized and put on the record, modification will require some significant change in circumstances and possibly expensive litigation. At the end of the day, you should not enter into a divorce agreement lightly. You should treat your divorce agreement as if no modification will take place in the future, while understanding that the court will allow you to make an application for a change. The requested modification may not be granted, but the request can be made of the court. Therefore, be careful not to agree to anything unless you are willing to live by those terms.

Q: What kind of communication with your spouse during a divorce can be used against you?

A: Anything in writing (such as email) can be used in court against you. Sometimes without realizing it one party will admit to a violation of a court order. For example, an angry party will tell their former spouse that the child doesn’t want to spend time with them. Therefore, they will not make the child available to be picked up for parenting time. It may sound silly, but this type of communication happens all the time and can be viewed by the court as an admission of wrongdoing. The person withholding the child may believe that they are protecting their child by not forcing them to go for a visit they don’t want to have. In actuality, the communication makes it appear as though they are alienating the child from the other parent. Another example of communication that could be used against you is emotionally driven communications which could become verbally abusive. This type of action could subject you to a restraining order. Also, be very careful what you post through MySpace, Facebook, Twitter and other social networking sites. These postings can be used as exhibits in applications and may cause you harm in your divorce or other family law matter. These types of communications can be exposed and thus available for scrutiny. Ultimately, this can significantly impact your child custody or parenting time matter if, for example, you post a picture of yourself drinking in the presence of the children or it shows you being involved in illegal activities such as using drugs.

Q: After the shock and exhaustion of the divorce are over, what will you think of your settlement?

A: If you retained the right lawyer, they will work with you to understand what you want out of your divorce. They will help guide you so you don’t let the shock and exhaustion lead to a passive “just give him/her what they want and get it over with” result that you would regret. With the wrong lawyer, it’s over but you’re one of the 70% of people out there who are unhappy with their lawyer’s performance.

Q: What aggressive tactics can cause judges to rule against you?

A: Inflammatory or abusive behavior, grandstanding and anything that makes you look untrustworthy can significantly influence a final outcome.

Q: Which black and white legal issues drive up legal costs with zero possibility that you can win?

A: Some attorneys will fight just for the sake of fighting even though there is little to no hope of getting a judge to rule in their favor.  One such example is exempt assets, which some attorneys will spend an awful lot of money arguing the inevitably failed position. Another example is someone who inherits money from a family member and keeps those assets in a separate account in their name and never comingles it with marital assets. This type of account would be considered their separate asset should a divorce occur, yet countless attorneys spin their wheels fighting tooth and nail to try and get this asset divided only to lose at court.

Q: If you have shared child custody, are you aware of the limitations that exist?

A: If you and your spouse have shared child custody then there is an expectancy that you and your spouse will live in close proximity to one another and communicate regularly about the children. When discussing this arrangement, it is important that your attorney fully explain this type of child custody arrangement with you. Many people who initially want this arrangement don’t fully understand how it works, the level of ongoing interaction they will have to have with their ex and how it might impact them in the future. For example, it could significantly limit your ability to move in the future.

Q: Are you sure you’ve identified all your bargaining chips?

A: Common bargaining chips are non-material assets, household contents, frequent flier miles, reward points on credit cards and with hotels.

Q: What are the top hidden assets your attorney should look for?

A: The top hidden assets your attorney should look for are: non-material assets, liquidated funds, canceled life insurance policies (liquidating cash surrender value) , moved assets, saved income in a separate account while depleting savings or incurring “marital” debt on credit cards.

Additional Articles & Information Related to Divorce & Family Law

Weinberger Divorce & Family Law Group offers additional articles and information to help you with insights to divorce and the legal process of divorce. Below, you will find some of our most reviewed and helpful pages when it comes to divorce in New Jersey.

Before Meeting with a Lawyer

Tips on Finding the RIGHT Lawyer – This is a must read for anyone searching for a lawyer.

Preparing to Meet With Your Lawyer – Lays out pertinent information your lawyer will need from your initial meeting onward.

Funding the Divorce Process – If you have any questions about paying for your divorce, this is definitely the page to read.

Divorce Process Explained

How Do You Begin the Process – Provides you with a four-step process to help you get started.

The NJ Divorce Road Map – Walks you through the divorce process from filing a complaint for divorce to trial.

Overview of Starting the Divorce Process – Provides some guidance on how to proceed and how the divorce process works.

Initial Phases of the Divorce Process

Grounds for a New Jersey Divorce – Describes all the possible grounds for divorce so you can determine which best applies to your specific situation.

Grounds for a New Jersey Annulment – Explains all the possible grounds to obtain an annulment.

NJ Divorce Documents Explained – Identifies and explains the initial pleading phase of filing a complaint for divorce and responding, with all relevant components.

All Aspects of the Discovery Phase of the Divorce Process – Answers common questions related to the process, as well as information and documents that will be required during the discovery phase.

Child Related

New Jersey Child Support Guidelines – Explains the child support guideline factors to be considered and explains how child support is calculated.

New Jersey Child Relocation – Helps you understand what is involved in relocating with your child during or after a divorce.

note: If you have not yet had a chance to view this important video about The 5 Critical Risks of Divorce, please contact us and we will make sure you get special access.