Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Friday, July 22, 2011
In the midst of the divorce process, some of my clients have told me that they will NEVER MARRY AGAIN. They are FINISHED. They will not even try DATING. Eventually though, wounds begin to heal and people wade back into the dating pool.
Other clients immediately begin dating and sometimes even jump into a new and serious relationship.before their spouse knows that the marriage is over.
Whatever the pace, new romantic partners become part of the equation. When you have children, navigating your new relationship along with child custody issues can be fraught with peril.
I always tell my clients to take it slow. Introducing someone new to children who have seen their parents separate and their life dramatically changed is just one more stressor in an already difficult time. Separated parents with custody arrangements already have reduced time with their children. Involving your new romantic partner in your precious and limited time with your child means that your child does not have your undivided attention. Additionally, if your new relationship does not last, your child suffers another loss --- yet another person leaves their lives.
The author of this article: Stepfamilies: the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, was thrown into the role of stepmother at the tender age of twenty-three. Now in her forties, she can look back and recognized how she resented her husband's child and even competed with this little boy for her husband's attention. This raw, honest and reflective account is a must read for anyone with children who is separating from the other parent.
Thursday, July 14, 2011
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Tip of the Day
Be careful with Online Support Calculators!
In both Pennsylvania and New Jersey, we calculate child support using guidelines published in the Court Rules. Both the Pennsylvania and New Jersey Child Support Guidelines are the result of exhaustive research by lawyers, actuaries and other professionals to determine the amount of child support paid. However, both states have exceptions and deviations that can cause the Court to award a number different than the simple calculated number. Additionally, income can be a matter of interpretation --- and parents can engage in years of litigation when disagreeing over what constitutes income. Certain extras, such as tuition or child care, are usually calculated separately and apportioned between the households.
Most attorneys use software programs in order to calculate anticipated child support and provide their clients with guidance. However, as a rule, my office never simply relies on the software. In addition, we always calculate child support by hand, to make sure we are not missing any of the deviation factors or other issues that can cause child support to vary.
Some child support calculators can be found online but they vary widely in accuracy. In addition, if you input an incorrect number, you can end up with a figure that is vastly different than what a court would calculate.
Accordingly, beware if you choose to use online support calculators. They may be a useful tool as a starting point, but unless you understand the many deviation factors, ways to determine income available for support and the many exceptions and additions to the basic rules, you could wind up with a number that is way too high ---- or way too low.