Have you as a couple (whether opposite sex or same sex) or as a single parent considered adoption? Perhaps the horror stories that spread the news have scared you away- birth parents taking their children back, children adopted from foreign countries that have serious emotional or behavioral issues, children from the foster care system that seemingly cannot “fit in” to their adoptive homes, prospective adoptive parent(s) waiting years for a child.  Remember, these dreadful stories make for better news, and the thousands of positive and wonderful adoptions are not printed.

Of course, giving birth to a child is not a guarantee for success either.  But putting that aside, there are paths to follow and decisions made along the way to help ensure an adoption triumph, including domestic vs. international; race or mixed race; infant or older child.

Some think adoption is only for celebrities, that they are pushed to the front of the line because of their fame and wealth.  This is simply not the case.  Sheryl Crow, Madonna and Sandra Bullock, all adoptive parents and celebrities suffered glitches along the way- everything from local laws to long exhausting years before a child was placed with them.

To make sure that you have all the information you need for your particular adoption so that you can make the best decisions for your family, call one of our experienced adoption attorneys at Iandoli & Edens at (908) 897-9499.

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Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck keep to themselves

With the marriage of Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck heading to a divorce after a failed reconciliation, the two now have to decide out how to split up their fortunes as well as all of the issues surrounding their children. More likely than not, as is the case in most celebrity divorces, Garner and Affleck will have their two attorneys attempt to iron out a settlement before taking it to Court.   However, if that does not work, they are much more likely to hire a private mediator or arbitrator to help settle the case. Much of this has to do with the fact that they do not want their private lives detailed in a public forum such as an open Court.  It is for this reason that so few celebrity divorces go to trial or are seen in the news.   Mediation is not only for celebrities.  The rest of the populace can also greatly benefit from mediation as opposed to litigation.  Some of the main reasons are time and expense, but there is also the idea that the parties ultimately get to decide their fate as opposed to a Judge who is bound by a set of laws and rules that very well may not be the best fit for a couple.  A more detailed list of benefits is on our firm’s mediation website here:  http://www.anewwaytodivorce.com/why-mediate.html 

If you have any questions about mediation, please call our firm at 908-879-9499, for a free consultation to see if mediation is a good fit for your needs.

Another celebrity divorce is in the news. This time Scarlett Johansson from her French husband, Romain Dauriac.  According to lawyers for Mr. Dauriac the parties were in the middle of private negotiations when Ms. Johansson filed the Complaint for Divorce.  If this is true, one might wonder why she filed the Complaint for Divorce.  An educated guess would be that the filing was to preserve jurisdiction of the matter in New York State given that both parties are seeking residential custody.  Mr. Dauriac is French and reports have indicated that he would like to move back to France with the parties’ daughter.  While he may be ultimately successful in that wish, by filing in New York Ms. Johansson at the very least through her filing has assured herself that an American court will be hearing the issue if settlement negotiations fall through.

Custody is not the only reason to file a Complaint for Divorce while settlement negotiations are ongoing. Issues of support and equitable distribution can also be affected by the timing of the filing of a Complaint for Divorce.  If you or someone you know has questions about divorce, please contact one of our experienced family law attorneys at IANDOLI & EDENS at (908) 879-9499 for guidance through the process.

http://people.com/movies/scarlett-johansson-divorce-filing-not-hostile-act/

Statistics say that approximately 50% of married couples will end their marriage through divorce. Given this statistic it would stand to reason that there is less shame attached to divorce now than there has been in the past.  No doubt the “stigma” of divorce is lessening.  After all, Donald Trump has been married three times and divorced twice.  He has children with his current wife and both ex-wives.  This did not stop us as a country from electing him President.  In fact, not only were his multiple marriages rarely mentioned during the campaign, but his children from all three marriages were visible and supportive of him during the election.  It was a real-life version of “Modern Family”.    Unfortunately, despite the acceptance of divorce and remarriage in today’s society, many people going through divorce still feel a sense of failure.  This makes sense.  Although divorce is commonplace, it is never anyone’s goal when getting married.  If you are a friend or a relative of a person going through a divorce, rather than a gasp of dismay upon hearing the news, a simple “What can I do to help?” will go a long way towards helping them through the divorce.  While the “stigma” of divorce has lessened, the pain and challenges that a divorce brings still exist.  If you or someone you know has questions about divorce, please contact one of our experienced family law attorneys at IANDOLI & EDENS at (908) 879-9499 for guidance through the process.

bloggggParental alienation has become a very hot topic in recent years. Wikipedia describes it as “ …the process, and the result, of the psychological manipulation of a child into showing unwarranted fear, disrespect, or hostility towards a parent or other family member.”  It is further described as occurring “  almost exclusively in association with family separation or divorce…”  One of the first times parental alienation was brought to public attention was during Alec Baldwin and Kim Basinger’s acrimonious divorce.  Mr. Baldwin, in and out of Court proceedings, accused Ms. Basinger of “brainwashing” their daughter Ireland and restricting his time with her.  Ms. Basinger, on the other hand, accused Mr. Baldwin of being unstable and aggressive.  Unfortunately, there are so many layers to parental alienation that it is extraordinarily difficult for the Courts to know how to manage this issue.  Frequently the children are teenagers and if the damage has been done a simple change of custody will rather than resolve the matter will make things worse.  If you are in a situation where you believe your children are being alienated from you, or if you believe you are being unfairly accused of alienation when it is the other parent’s own behavior that is disrupting the relationship between parent and child, call one of our experienced family law attorneys at IANDOLI & EDENS at (908) 879-9499 for guidance through this heartbreaking process.

A fascinating and painful news article came out of Great Britain today. A transgendered woman has been denied direct access to her children by the courts.  Although this article comes from Great Britain it highlights the same issues that American Courts struggle with – What is in the best interest of the children?  The answer is often not a straightforward one.  Parents often disagree with each other and are diametrically opposed to what is in their children’s best interest.  If the parents cannot agree then it is left to the courts to decide.  In the Great Britain case the family in question was a member of an ultra-Orthodox Jewish community.  The judge determined that no direct contact was in the best interest of the children out of concern that if there was contact the children would be ostracized in their community.  This case is clearly an extreme case. However, custody disputes often arise in divorces.  Custody disputes require not only skill on the part of the attorneys, but sensitivity.  Our office has experience in addressing these types of matters.  If you have questions about child custody please contact one of our experienced attorneys at IANDOLI & EDENS (908) 879-9499.

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/jan/30/transgender-woman-denied-direct-access-to-ultra-orthodox-jewish-children

 

 

 

 

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Pursuant to the Internal Revenue Service, W-2 forms should be mailed out to employees by no later than January 31st for income earned during the previous calendar year. While this is over two months prior to April 15th, the traditional tax filing day for most Americans, it is never too early to gather up your vital income information.  It seems like April 15th comes earlier and earlier every year.  It’s impossible to file your taxes without knowing your income.  If you are considering getting divorced in 2017 this information is vital for a different reason.  It is almost impossible to get a fair and equitable divorce without knowing the income of both parties.  Income is the most important factor in most cases in determining alimony and child support.  As in most instances, in the case of divorce knowledge is power.  If you have questions about any aspect of the divorce process please contact one of our knowledgeable attorneys at IANDOLI & EDENS (908) 879-9499.

closeup of a marriage prenuptial agreementDonald Trump has just been sworn in as our 45th President, making Melania Trump the First Lady.  I am sure no one is surprised that upon their marriage in 2005, they signed a Prenuptial Agreement.  In fact, President Trump has been quoted as saying if she won’t sign a prenup, she’s not the wife for you.

So, are Prenuptial Agreements only for the wealthy and famous?  Not necessarily.  There are many reasons a couple may decide they want to prepare and sign a Prenuptial Agreement before they marry.  Often, it’s a second marriage and if there are children of a first marriage, they want to protect them.  In other scenarios, there is a family held business, or one of the couple is caring financially for an ill relative.

To learn more of the benefits and pitfalls of a Prenuptial Agreement, call IANDOLI & EDENS at 908 879 9499 for a free consultation with one of our experienced matrimonial attorneys.

Every day we read about the latest celebrity breakup. Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have been especially active in the headlines recently.  Their divorce is especially difficult and sensitive because they are parents to young children.  Children who most likely had no say in the divorce itself or the added attention that it has brought to their already famous family.  We were happy to read the headline this week that Brad and Angelina are going to put up a “united front” in their divorce and are agreeing to seal sensitive records relating to their children.  Children and their protection should always be the primary goal of all the adults involved in a divorce – from parents, to attorneys, to the Judge.  It does not matter who you are, be it a Hollywood celeb or an average Joe, at the end of the day you are a parent and that bond will continue. Part of a successful divorce is not just ending the marriage, but building a plan for the future. If you have questions about the divorce process please contact one of our experienced attorneys at IANDOLI & EDENS (908) 879-9499.

http://www.eonline.com/news/821109/brad-pitt-and-angelina-jolie-put-on-a-united-front-amid-divorce