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You have decided to move forward with a divorce and your spouse tells you that since he or she earned more money during the marriage, he or she will get custody of the children.  Is this correct?  What happens if you are awarded primary custody of your children and your former spouse remarries someone very wealthy making them more financially well off than you; will custody be transfer to your former spouse?

The family courts do not recognize the wealthier parent as necessarily the better parent.  When it comes to deciding issues of custody and parenting time, the courts must focus on the best interests of the children.  Factors such as which parent was the primary caregiver during the marriage, who takes the children to after school activities and doctor appointments,  who helps with homework and is more involved with the children’s education, are all things the courts consider in determining which parent better serves the needs of the children. These factors will be paramount over which parent can buy the most expensive gifts for the children.  Regarding home environment, the courts look to whether the parent can provide a clean, safe and stable home environment for the children.  It is not necessarily the bigger house that wins when the court is deciding custody. Remember when Britney Spears was ordered to relinquish custody of her two children to her ex-husband, former backup dancer, Kevin Federline.  The court felt that due to Spears’ irresponsible behavior, Federline was better able to serve the children’s needs.

Both parents will seldom be equal in their parenting skills or money available to them.  A court has to consider all relevant factors in determining the best interests of the children when matters of custody are at issue.  If you or someone you know has a custody issue, contact an attorney at Iandoli & Edens, LLC today at 908-879-9499.  We are here to help.

Parenting coordinators are assigned by Judges in certain high conflict cases regarding custody.  Just by reading the celebrity news headlines it is obvious that unfortunately may parents are simply unable to communicate with each other in the best interest of their child or children.  Other couples make disparaging remarks about their children’s other parent that the child or children may become aware of.  Anne Heche and her ex utilized the services of a parenting coordinator after Ms. Heche famously called her ex (and father of her son) a “lazy ass” on the David Lettermen show. Additionally, some parents involve the children themselves in the custody dispute by putting them in the middle.

The  role of the parenting coordinator is set forth in the Pilot Program Guidelines as follows: 

“The parenting coordinator’s goal is to aid parties in monitoring the existing parenting plan, reducing misunderstandings, clarifying priorities, exploring possibilities for compromise and developing methods of communication that promote collaboration in parenting. The parenting coordinator’s role is to facilitate decision-making between the parties or make such recommendations, as may be appropriate when the parties are unable to do so. One primary goal of the parenting coordinator is to empower parents to develop and utilize effective parenting skills so that they can resume the parenting and decision-making role without the need for outside intervention. The parenting coordinator should provide guidance and direction to the parties with the primary focus on the best interests of the child by reducing conflict and fostering sound decisions that aid positive child development.”

Iandoli & Edens can advise you as to your need for a Parenting Coordinator, as well as be appointed as one in your case. 

For more information call:  908 879 9499.

Often Pensions are in the name of one party of the other, but nonetheless pensions are deemed to be assets subject to equitable distribution. Eve if a pension was started prior to the marriage, usually one that portion of the pension acquired prior to the marriage is exempt.  The portion of the pension acquired during the marriage is usually subject to equitable distribution. Likewise, that portion of a pension acquired after a cut-off date for equitable distribution is exempt and usually will not be shared.

That is not to say that the martial portion of the pension cannot be used as a set off against another asset. Sometimes one party keeps his pr her pension and the other party keeps another asset or a greater amount of another asset.

To assist with your rights, contact an attorney at Iandoli & Edens, LLC at 908-879-9499.