New Jersey Law Blog

Wedding day debt boosts odds of divorce

Some New Jersey couples have a desire to create a perfect wedding day, even if it means going into debt to do so. But according to a study by a top online lending marketplace, nearly half of the newlyweds questioned who racked up additional debt on their wedding day considered ending their marriage because of it. However, just 9% of couples without the burden of wedding debt reported considering divorce due to finances.

The study on wedding-related debt was based on responses from more than 500 Americans between the ages of 18 and 53 who were married within two years from when the survey was conducted. More than 75% of the wedding debt newlyweds admitted that they have argued about lingering wedding-related financial obligations with their partner. Of the couples who avoided wedding debt, only 20% said the same thing applied to their relationships.

Divorce and separate finances

New Jersey spouses who maintain separate bank accounts and decide to get a divorce should not automatically assume that their money will be protected just because their name is the only one on the account. In states with community property laws, any assets that are acquired during the course of a marriage are designated as community property. As a result, it belongs to both individuals and is subject to division. Even in the remaining states, which follow equitable distributions laws, having separate financial accounts will not fully protect a person's money.

Completing a prenuptial agreement is the easiest and most effective way to protect assets. Putting together a prenuptial agreement also means that individuals will have to discuss their finances with their significant others. People who prefer to not sign a prenuptial agreement should obtain copies of all their financial account statements for the month before their wedding. Individuals should make sure to maintain records of where any of their money originated so that there will be fewer issues with claiming it as their own if a divorce occurs.

Gender roles can be hard to challenge

Gender roles could determine if a New Jersey couple or any other is at risk of getting a divorce. This may be particularly true in relationships in which a woman begins to equal or exceed the earning capacity of her husband. In some cases of divorce, stress in the relationship was directly related to the fact that a man couldn't handle a woman being a financial equal. In others, it was because the wife was no longer around to do housework.

For wives who choose to go back to work, it can be frustrating to know that their husbands aren't doing more around the house themselves. Men who are used to traditional gender roles generally see household tasks as a woman's job. Researchers in Sweden found that men were hesitant to help more at home even if they left their jobs because their spouses made more money.

What you need to know about Breathalyzers

If you are ever stopped for suspected driving while intoxicated, you should expect the police to ask you to submit to a breath test. In New Jersey, law enforcement officers use the Breathalyzer machine. There are a few things you might want to know about this device if you ever find yourself in the position of having to use one.

First, it is important to know how this machine works so that you know what to do when asked to give a sample and so you know what your results mean. Second, it is good to know that device accuracy can be an issue. Finally third, if you fail the test, you might find some reassurance in knowing that it may be possible to fight the results.

Modifying divorce settlements in New Jersey

When divorced spouses in New Jersey wish to modify the terms of their divorce settlements, their attorneys file what is known as a Lepis motion. This kind of legal motion is named after the divorce case Lepis v. Lepis, which was heard by the New Jersey Supreme Court in 1980. In that case, the justices ruled that matters including support and alimony could be revisited and revised when circumstances changed for the spouse seeking a modification.

When weighing the merits of a Lepis motion, family law judges in New Jersey compare the current standard of living of the spouse making the motion with the standard of living they enjoyed when they were married. Factors they take into consideration include the property and incomes of both spouses, the needs of the dependent spouse and any children involved, and the efforts that the divorced spouse is making to support themselves.

Three steps to consider when preparing for divorce

The end of a relationship can be an emotional time. However, when divorce is imminent, it can be prudent to adequately prepare. Taking the time to prepare for divorce can help you develop a better understanding of what you really want out of your divorce and can help you minimize the stress you experience during your divorce. Your preparations can also provide your divorce team with all of the facts right away, so it can efficiently develop the most appropriate strategy for your situation.

Although preparing for divorce can feel overwhelming, it can be broken down into manageable steps. Three steps to help get your started include collecting documents, building an awareness of your financial situation and evaluating your expenses.

Does Divorce Have Hidden Tax Consequences?


In divorce, property division agreements that appear fair on their face may have hidden tax implications. The family house is a prime example. Although negotiations may include the fair market value of the real property, a party should also consider the property taxes, maintenance expenses, and appreciation or depreciation of the land and physical structure.

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