Going through a divorce is usually difficult, both financially and emotionally. Issues such as child custody, child support, division of assets, and alimony can easily overwhelm you, and its common for people to turn to friends and family for advice in times like these. While many of your friends and family members may have gone through their own divorces, a lot of the most common divorce advice given to women can be poor advice, and even just plain wrong. Divorce law changes frequently, invalidating some advice, and it also differs from state to state. Your friends Pennsylvania divorce case and settlement may be quite different than what you can expect in a New Jersey divorce. Let’s take a closer look at some common advice given to women regarding divorce that you should definitely not listen to.
“It’s easy for Mother’s to get full Child Custody”
While this may have been true fifteen years ago, child custody understanding and practices have changed greatly in recent years. Courts now prefer having children spend as much time as possible with both parents, and will rule with this idea in mind. Unless your husband poses a safety risk to your children, or has abandoned the family, be prepared to share custody of your children with him.
“Have your lawyer get you lifetime alimony”
Since the 2014 New Jersey Alimony Reform Act, alimony laws have changed significantly when it comes to the duration of alimony payments. For marriages lasting less than twenty years, alimony can only be sought for a term equal to the number of years you were married. If you were married for ten years, expect your alimony payments to last for only ten years. Additionally, like child support, alimony agreements can be modified after the divorce if certain circumstances change. Things such as your husband losing and/or changing jobs open the door for changes to your alimony agreement. There is now an expectation that the receiver of alimony payments retrain themselves in order to enter the workplace, so when your friend tells you to just collect lifetime alimony, they probably haven’t been keeping up with alimony law reform.
“Live off your child support payments”
Child support payments are meant for your children. They are carefully calculated to allow you to purchase necessary items such as your children’s clothes, food, school expenses, and day care. They are not intended to subsidize the lifestyle of the mother, and your children will suffer if you believe this to be true. And, like alimony, child support agreements can be modified after your divorce should your husband’s employment status change, or if your children reach the age of emancipation. You can’t count on child support to last forever, you need to plan for your children’s future yourself. Anyone who tells you to use your child support payments for yourself doesn’t know what they are talking about.
“Get a shark lawyer and stick it to your ex”
While it’s easy to feel betrayed and angry during a divorce, hiring a lawyer with the expectation of them fighting over every last scrap in your divorce is only hurting yourself. Your legal fees will mount quickly, draining resources from the marital property division agreement (thus from any possible child support and alimony agreement you may negotiate), and you risk causing an even worse divide between you and your ex when you may still have to communicate and work together on issues regarding your children after the divorce. This isn’t to say you shouldn’t hire a Morris County divorce lawyer who will fight for your rights and needs during a divorce, just not one who will fight over the things you don’t really care about.
Contact a Morris County Divorce Attorney Today
There is a lot of very bad advice commonly given to divorcing individuals, and the best way for you to sort the good from the bad is to speak with a knowledgeable and experienced Morristown divorce attorney. A good divorce attorney will be able to present you with realistic expectations for your divorce settlement, inform you of the latest changes to family law and how they affect your divorce, and successfully guide you through the divorce process, negotiating a divorce settlement that protects you and your children’s future.
At The Law Office of Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark, our attorneys practice exclusively family law. This means we extensive experience handling divorce cases of all kinds, including divorces involving high-net worth couples and couples with business and investment holdings. We have seen every trick in the book, and we know how to effectively and efficiently fight for your rights in any divorce matter.
To speak with one of our family law attorneys today in a free and confidential consultation, please contact us online or call our Morristown office at 973-828-0829.