Is it Okay to Date During a Divorce?

Cropped shot of a young woman smiling while on a date at a restaurant

Many soon-to-be divorcees often ask their divorce attorney, “Am I able to date before my divorce is final?” Although the logical answer should be that “it isn’t a good idea until you’re officially divorced,” life just isn’t that simple.

Divorce is rarely an easy decision to make, and the process can leave you feeling lonely, sad, and in need of companionship, and that’s completely natural. If you decide you can’t wait to get your dating life up and running again, we have a few guidelines to help you navigate what’s okay and what’s not for dating through your divorce:

The Don’ts of Dating During Divorce

DON’T consider dating until you are physically separated from your spouse.

If you start dating other people while you are still living in the same residence with your spouse, it often creates an extremely hostile living situation that is a recipe for disaster and could be used against you in court. Not only will a hostile situation make your divorce negotiations more difficult and often more expensive, dating other people while still living with your spouse can lead to domestic violence issues and negatively impact your custodial rights to your children.  

DON’T openly date. 

Dating openly during divorce proceedings could anger your future ex-spouse and lead them to change their mind about prior verbal agreements or otherwise make ongoing settlement negotiations more difficult. It’s also possible the opposing counsel will then try and claim you were having an affair during your marriage. In certain circumstances, your new romantic partner could even be called to testify about your relationship in court. In short, if you’re going to start dating while your divorce is still pending, be very discreet about it.

DON’T start living with your new partner while your divorce is pending.

If you do start dating other people while your divorce is pending, do not jump into a serious relationship and begin living with that person before your divorce is finalized.  Although your feelings for this new person may be strong, and it may make financial sense depending upon your circumstances, it is assuredly a very bad idea to begin living with your new partner while your divorce is still pending.  Abruptly starting to live with a new partner while your divorce is pending will not only sabotage any claims you may have for alimony, it will also be viewed by the court as a poor parental judgment and likely harm your custodial rights.

The Do’s of Dating During Divorce

DO seek support from others. 

If support and someone to talk to is your main reason for seeking a romantic relationship, there are other options. First, you can reach out to family, friends, and loved ones to speak and spend time with. You can also research local support groups in and around your area to connect with others who have or are currently experiencing a divorce, just like you.

DO be honest with potential romantic partners.

If you meet someone you are interested in starting a romantic relationship with, it’s crucial that you are honest with them about your current situation and why it isn’t a good idea to move forward with a serious relationship until your divorce is final.

DO be careful around your kids. 

If you have someone you’re starting to build a romantic connection with, remember that what you say and do in front of your kids will stick with them. This is likely a difficult and fragile time for your children as well, so be careful talking about or bringing new people around them. 

Divorce Lawyer in Clinton, NJ

When going through a divorce, you need an experienced and knowledgeable attorney on your side to guide you through the process. The attorneys at the Law Office of Blake W. Rush have more than 16 years representing spouses in both amicable and contested divorces throughout New Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania. 

Give us a call at (903) 713-9800 or visit our website to contact us and learn more about how we can help you.

How is Child Support Calculated in New Jersey?

If you and your spouse are separating or are having a child while unmarried, it’s crucial to discuss and consider child support. Every circumstance is unique, but whether you will be the custodial parent or non-custodial parent, determining the precise and fair child support payments is important to move forward with raising a child. 

Here at the Law Office of Blake Rush, we specialize in all areas of family law, including child support, because having a lawyer on your side with the best interests of you and your child is necessary.

New Jersey Child Support Law

In New Jersey, the law states that both parents must financially support their children. With married parents, both parents would financially combine their earnings to help care for their kids. The New Jersey Law for child support is designed to mirror this ideal for unmarried and separating parents to ensure both parents meet their children’s needs financially. 

The court will take a combined total of both parents’ net incomes to inform the non-custodial parent, the mother or father without physical custody, how much they will need to pay the custodial parent, the mother or father who has physical custody.  

Calculating Net Income

The child support payments are based on the parents’ net incomes, defined in New Jersey’s child support guidelines Appendix IX-B. Gross income, including all recurring earned and unearned income such as regular compensation, bonuses, Social Security, gambling winnings, etc., will first be calculated for each party. Then, the net income total is determined by subtracting various regular payments such as taxes, alimony, union dues, etc. 

Though parents can try to calculate this total on their own, working with an expert New Jersey Child Support Lawyer is your best option. Your attorney will ensure the estimated total includes all variables to give you the best idea of how much child support you need to pay or receive.  

Calculating Child Support in New Jersey

The basis for determining child support payments is based on the amount of time spent with the child and the expenses, such as housing, transportation, food, healthcare, etc. 

If the child spends 100 percent of their time living with the custodial parent, their child support payments are defined and determined under Appendix IX-F and the sole parenting worksheet Appendix IX-C. If the child spends at least 28 percent to 50 percent of their nights with the non-custodial parent during the year, child support payments may be calculated based on the shared parenting worksheet Appendix IX-D.

When calculating child support in New Jersey, the courts will also consider any and all additional expenses that help take care of the child and give them what they need to be happy and properly taken care of. Every case is different, and the courts will consider each circumstance upon determining final payment amounts.  

Child Support Lawyer in Clinton, NJ

The attorneys at the Law Office of Blake W. Rush have more than 16 years of experience helping parents decide and work out custody agreements, visitation rights, and child support payments. If you’re looking for a child support attorney in New Jersey, we’re the team to help you.

Give us a call at (903) 713-9800 or visit our website to contact us and learn more about how we can help you.

What Documents Will My Attorney Need For My Divorce?

 

It’s no secret; getting a divorce is complicated financially, legally, and emotionally. One of the most important aspects of a divorce is dividing property and assets, referred to as marital property, acquired throughout the marriage can be one of the most intricate steps. Luckily, with an experienced divorce attorney in New Jersey on your side, your attorney can handle the hard work while you can focus on moving forward.

Documents To Collect For Your Divorce Lawyer in New Jersey:

In order for your divorce case to proceed expeditiously, your attorney will request that you gather various important documents, materials, and information. Use this list for guidance on what documents you should start acquiring and bringing to your attorney for your divorce case:

  • Proof of your current income
  • Proof of your spouse’s current income
  • Individual income tax returns from the past three to five years (federal, state, and local) 
  • Business income tax returns from the past three to five years (federal, state, and local)
  • Recent bank statements and bank account information
  • Pension statements
  • Retirement statements
  • Stock portfolios
  • Mortgage statements
  • Property tax statements
  • Loan documents
  • Credit card statements
  • Utility bill statements
  • Other regular monthly bill statements
  • A breakdown of your regular monthly budget
  • Life, health, homeowner’s, automobile, and other insurance policies
  • Personal property and real property appraisals
  • List of property owned by each spouse prior to the marriage
  • List of property acquired by each spouse during the marriage
  • List of personal property, including clothing, jewelry, furniture, computers, artwork, and more
  • Prenuptial agreements
  • Separation agreements
  • Trust documents
  • Wills
  • Powers of attorney

Though this list may seem very long, these documents will help your lawyer properly analyze the issues in your divorce and address all of your economic concrns. As well, once all of this is gathered and ready, you’ll be able to take a deep breath knowing that you can start moving forward with the divorce, as well as your personal life.

If you are unable to gather the above information for any reason, you should advise your attorney promptly so that the attorney can take the necessary steps to obtain the information by other means. However, it will save you a considerable amount in overall legal fees if you are able to gather the requested information on your own instead of having the attorney spend the additional time obtaining the same.

Keep in mind, every individual divorce case is unique and may require additional documents. Consult with your divorce attorney to be certain you are gathering all the proper documents, materials, and information for your case.

Divorce Lawyer in Clinton, NJ

When going through a divorce, you need an experienced and knowledgeable attorney on your side to guide you through the process. The attorneys at the Law Office of Blake W. Rush have more than 16 years representing spouses in both amicable and contested divorces throughout New Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania. 

Give us a call at (903) 713-9800 or visit our website to contact us and learn more about how we can help you.

5 Questions to Ask Your Divorce Lawyer During Your First Meeting

 

Lawyer Discussion

A divorce can be a stressful, emotional, and overwhelming time for anyone. Having an experienced attorney on your side to guide you through the process is the best way to ensure a successful case and help you feel at ease. 

While hiring a divorce lawyer is necessary, you shouldn’t have to settle since they are the ones helping you make important decisions about your life and family. And for this reason, it’s essential you know what to ask when meeting with them for the first time.

Take a look at five important questions you should be asking your divorce attorney in New Jersey during your first meeting:

What is your strategy for my case?

First, you’ll want to get an idea of your attorney’s experience and plans for how to handle a divorce case. Divorces can be complicated and weigh heavily on you, so understanding what to expect from the process and what your lawyers’ plans are to ensure the most successful outcome possible is important. You never want to be left in the dark about your lawyers’ strategy for your case.

How do you prefer to communicate?

Communication is key to a successful case. There will be times when you’ll want to speak with your attorney as soon as possible, or they’ll need to reach you quickly. Because of this, asking them ahead of time their preferred communication method and their average response time can be very beneficial.

What do you need to know about me and my marriage?

A divorce can open up a lot of private, emotional, and potentially painful information about your marriage, family, and life. There likely is a lot of history between you and your spouse, so you may be wondering where to start with your story and what needs to be shared. Don’t be afraid to ask your attorney precisely what they need to know about you and your situation so that the necessary information required for the case is shared.

How can I make this divorce less expensive?

It’s no secret that a divorce can be costly, and you may be concerned about the financial strain this process will have on you. Asking your attorney about strategies and tips on how to proceed while making your divorce as cost-effective as possible should be on your list of questions.  

What are the next steps?

Now it’s time to know what’s next for you in this process. What documents need to be gathered? When will court start? When do you need to start paying? These questions need to be answered, and you’ll want to be prepared for what’s next for you and your attorney. So, don’t hesitate to ask these questions at the end of your meeting and feel confident about moving forward.

Divorce Lawyer in Clinton, NJ

When going through a divorce, you need an experienced and knowledgeable attorney on your side to guide you through the process. The attorneys at the Law Office of Blake W. Rush have more than 16 years representing spouses in both amicable and contested divorces throughout New Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania. Give us a call at (903) 713-9800 or visit our website to contact us and learn more about how we can help you.