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Decisions to be Made in Divorce
Residency & Legal Custody
  • Sole custody and decisions making by one parent
  • Joint decision making but reside mostly with one parent
  • Split residency and joint decision making
  • Activities needing mutual consent or discussion

Access or Visitation
  • Weekends
  • Weekdays
  • Holidays and long weekends
  • School recesses
  • Summer vacations
  • Birthdays - yours and theirs
  • Other special occasions
  • Notice of changes
  • Expenses of missed times
  • Telephone calls.

Geographic Restrictions
  • Foreign travel
  • Relocating with children

Access to Records
  • Doctors, dentists, etc.
  • Schools and teachers

Notifications of:
  • Addresses and phone numbers
  • Illnesses and accidents
  • Children's whereabouts

Real Estate (House or Other)
  • Who occupies until sale
  • Who pays expenses until sale
  • Mortgage
  • Taxes
  • Utilities
  • Insurance
  • Repairs

Sale of house:
  • When - age or graduation of children, remarriage, cohabitation.
  • Selling price - how to determine
  • Division of proceeds
  • Option to buy
  • Expenses of sale
  • Capital Gains tax

Retirement Funds
  • Valuation
  • Division of Value - lump sum, pay-out or both

Division of All Other Personal Property
  • Cars
  • Boats
  • Jewelry
  • Household furniture
  • Bank accounts
  • Stocks, bonds, tax shelters, etc.
  • Collectibles
  • Family photographs

Business Interests
  • Valuation
  • Division of Value - lump sum, pay-out or both

Debts & Liabilities
  • Who is to pay
  • Credit cards
  • Car Loans
  • Bank Loans
  • Pension Loans
  • Life Insurance Loans

Child Support
  • Amount
  • Time of payment
  • Amount of reduction on emancipation
  • Emancipation
  • College
  • Marriage
  • Living away
  • Employment

Cost of Living Adjustments
  • Child Car expenses for working
  • College or private school tuition
  • Summer Camp/activities
  • Extracurricular activities

Medical
  • Who provides insurance?
  • Who pays uncovered expenses?
  • Decisions on elective procedure, including orthodontia
  • Who files for insurance?
  • Dental, prescriptions, glasses, psychotherapy expenses?

Life Insurance
  • Amount
  • Type
  • Beneficiary
  • Trustee for children
  • Duration

Maintenance
  • Amount
  • Time of payment
  • Duration
  • Cost of Living Adjustments
  • Health insurance, including "Cobra" rights

Income Taxes
  • Exemptions for Children
  • Joint or separate return and division of refunds
  • Audits of previous returns and payment of deficiency

Future Disputes
  • Mediation
  • Arbitration
  • Legal Fees

Miscellaneous
  • Religious divorce
  • Wills


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New Jersey is an equitable distribution state, meaning that the division of property in a divorce is to be done fairly, not necessarily equally. The court can take into consideration any factor it deems relevant when dividing property, but it must consider certain factors, such as how long the couple was married and the age and health of both spouses, the income or property brought to the marriage by each spouse, the standard of living that was achieved during the marriage, and the extent to which one spouse may have deferred career goals, among others.
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