MEETING OPTIONS DURING THE CORONAVIRUS: The Law Offices of Peter Van Aulen understands your concerns regarding the spread of the Coronavirus, and now offers different meeting options to our clients and those seeking legal representation. All meetings, including initial consultations, can be handled either through the phone, FaceTime, Zoom, or in person.

If you are a noncustodial parent, you undoubtedly want to make the most out of parenting time with your child or children. With that in mind, there are a number of important steps to take to best prepare for enjoyable parenting time with your child. We take a look at nine key steps to prepare for enjoyable parenting time:

  • Plan activities
  • Establish routine
  • Prepare meals
  • Discuss expectations
  • Be patient
  • Stay positive
  • Listen to your child
  • Be flexible
  • Enjoy your parenting time

Plan Activities

One of the first steps you can take to prepare for quality parenting time with your child is to plan engaging activities. Brainstorm and create a list of activities that both you and your child can enjoy together. This could range from playing an interactive board game, taking a scenic trip to the local park, indulging in a creative craft project, or reading an enriching book together. Having a variety of activities planned can not only keep your child entertained but also build their excitement about spending time with you.

Establish Routine

Children tend to thrive in structured environments. Therefore, making an effort to establish a routine for the time you spend with your child can be incredibly beneficial. This routine can encompass regular mealtimes, nap times, and bedtimes. A routine provides a sense of security and predictability, helping children understand what to expect during their day and making them feel more secure and comfortable. Continue Reading →

If you are one of many people in the Garden State who might be thinking of divorce at this time, you may have a feeling of being alone, isolated. When it comes to divorce in New Jersey, perspective can be helpful. With this in mind, we provide you with some key statistics about divorce in New Jersey.

New Jersey Divorce Rate

The divorce rate in New Jersey currently stands at approximately 2.7 divorces per 1,000 population. This significant figure provides a reliable insight into the prevalence of divorce within the state, indicating a fairly high frequency of marital dissolution.

Interestingly, New Jersey’s divorce rate is lower than the national average in the United States, which is approximately 3.2 divorces per 1,000 population. This implies that marriages in New Jersey tend to be slightly more resilient and enduring compared to the national average.

Remarkably, New Jersey boasts the lowest divorce rate in the Northeast region of the United States. This suggests that, compared to its regional counterparts, New Jersey fosters a relatively stable environment for marriages, possibly due to a combination of socio-economic factors and state policies. Continue Reading →

A variety of persistent New Jersey divorce myths and misconceptions exist. We take a moment to dispel some of these commonplace mistaken beliefs about New Jersey marriage dissolution cases.

Divorce Always Leads to a Bitter Court Battle

Many people believe that divorce automatically results in a hostile and contentious court battle. While some divorces do involve disputes, it’s important to note that many couples are able to reach amicable agreements through mediation or collaborative divorce. These alternative methods of dispute resolution can help minimize conflict and promote a more positive outcome for both parties.

Mothers Nearly Always Get Custody of the Children

Even in 2024, there is a fairly common misconception that mothers always receive custody of the children in a New Jersey divorce case. However, child custody decisions are actually based on the best interests of the child. Factors such as parental involvement, stability, and the child’s needs are taken into account when determining custody arrangements. Both parents have an equal opportunity to demonstrate their ability to provide a nurturing and supportive environment for their children.

Divorce Nearly Always Involves Infidelity

Infidelity is often cited as an underlying cause of a New Jersey divorce, but it is important to recognize that there are often multiple reasons that contribute to the breakdown of a marriage. Issues such as communication problems, financial difficulties, or incompatible goals can also play a significant role in the decision to divorce. It’s important to avoid assuming that infidelity is the sole cause of all divorces.

A New Jersey Divorce is Easy if Both Parties Agree Continue Reading →

Divorce can disrupt the stability and routine that individuals rely on, leading to increased anxiety and depression. When a marriage ends, individuals may lose the sense of familiarity and predictability that they once had in their lives. This loss of stability can trigger feelings of uncertainty and insecurity, which can contribute to anxiety and depression. In this article we discuss the possible connection between divorce and anxiety and depression.

Divorce and Stress

In considering the connection between divorce and anxiety and depression, we need to look at the overall level of stress that can be associated with marriage dissolution. The process of divorce often involves high levels of stress, which can contribute to the development or exacerbation of anxiety and depression. From making the decision to separate to navigating the legal proceedings, divorce can be a highly stressful experience. The constant emotional and logistical challenges that arise during this process can take a toll on individuals’ mental well-being and contribute to the onset or worsening of anxiety and depression.

Divorce and Loss, Grief, and Loneliness

Divorce can lead to feelings of loss, grief, and loneliness, which are common triggers for anxiety and depression. The end of a marriage can bring about a profound sense of loss, not only of the relationship itself but also of shared dreams, goals, and future plans. This loss can evoke feelings of grief and sadness, which can contribute to the development of anxiety and depression. Additionally, the loss of a partner can leave individuals feeling lonely and isolated, further impacting their mental health. Continue Reading →

Separation or divorce is never an easy situation, especially when children are involved. This can particularly be the case when younger children are part of the family. One of the biggest challenges that parents might face after separation or divorce is preparing their child for their first overnight parenting time session. This can be a stressful and emotional experience for both the parents and the child. However, with some planning and preparation, parents can help their child have a positive experience during the first overnight parenting time with the noncustodial parent.

Communicate with Your Child

 Before the overnight visit, talk to your child about what to expect during the visit. Explain that it is a normal part of spending time with both parents and reassure them that you will be back to see them soon. Acknowledge that your child may have some concerns or questions about the planned parenting time and encourage them to express themselves openly.

Visit the Location Beforehand

 If the overnight parenting time is taking place in a new location, try to visit beforehand so your child can become familiar with the surroundings. This will help your child feel more comfortable and confident when they arrive for the overnight visit. If it is not possible to visit the location beforehand, consider sharing pictures or videos of the place with your child. Continue Reading →

One of the most popular movies of 2023 is Oppenheimer. Oppenheimer tells the story of Robert Oppenheimer, director of the Manhattan Project. The Manhattan Project was the research undertaken to develop the United States first atomic bomb during World War II. A question raised about the Manhattan Project at the time was how the endeavor affected the divorce rate among employees and their spouses. In this article, we discuss the impact of employment on marriage, using the Manhattan Project as an illustration.

Manhattan Project and Family Life

The project was so secretive that most of the workers didn’t even know what they were working on, and their families were kept in the dark about their work. Despite these challenging conditions and the high-stakes nature of the work, divorce rates among Manhattan Project workers were lower than the national average at the time, according to a study conducted during the early 1940s. In other words, researchers concluded that the impact of work on marriage in the case of the Manhattan Project was not as significant as anticipated or presumed.

Reasons Why Divorce Rates was Lower Among Manhattan Project Workers

The study on impact of employment on marriage found that divorce rates among Manhattan Project workers were about half the national average during the early 1940s. This was surprising, given the long hours, hazardous conditions, and isolation from family and friends that the workers experienced. However, some factors may have contributed to these lower divorce rates. For instance, the workers received good pay and benefits, which may have helped to support their families. Additionally, the close-knit community of workers on the project may have provided a support system for families. Continue Reading →

Divorce is never easy, especially when children are involved. In the state of New Jersey, parents who are going through a divorce are required to participate in a Parent Education Program or PEP. The PEP is a requirement for all parents who are seeking a divorce in the state of New Jersey, regardless of whether they have children or not.

Assist Parents to Understand the Impact of Divorce

The purpose of the PEP is to help parents understand the wide-ranging impact of marriage dissolution on children, and to provide them with the tools they need to help their children through the process. The program aims to educate parents about the impact of divorce on the emotional and psychological well-being of their children, and how they can decrease the possibility for negative implications of divorce on their children.

PEP is Education and Not Counseling

PEP is not a counseling session, but rather an educational program. The program is designed to be informative and practical, with a focus on providing parents with the tools they need to help their children through the process of divorce. Continue Reading →

A New Jersey divorce truly is a life-altering experience. This particularly is the case when children are involved. The process can be emotionally draining and otherwise challenging for divorcing parents and children alike. It is vital for parents to maintain a healthy relationship with your children post-divorce. One of the best ways to achieve this is through video communication. There are seven key benefits associated with video communication following a New Jersey divorce.

The seven key benefits of using video communication to keep close to kids after divorce are:

  • Staying connected
  • Better communication
  • Sharing experiences
  • Build strong relationships
  • Flexible scheduling
  • Cost effective
  • Peace of mind

We discuss each of these important benefits in turn.

Stay Connected

Using video communication, parents can stay connected with children when kids are at the other parent’s home. Video communication provides a sense of closeness and comfort, which is essential for parents and children alike. A keyway in which parents and children can maintain meaningful relationships after divorce is through regular connections between mothers, fathers, and kids.

Better Communication Continue Reading →

Divorces are difficult and emotionally draining. Noting these realities, it is also understandable that many couples would like to try to find ways to avoid the costs associated with the traditional New Jersey divorce process. Some people attempt to pursue what oftentimes is called a do-it-yourself divorce. The stark reality is that not retaining the assistance of experienced legal counsel in a New Jersey divorce can have some significantly negative potential consequences.

There are five more commonplace dangers associated with a do-it-yourself divorce that could have long term consequences for you:

  • Making uninformed decisions
  • Inability to enforce court orders
  • Problems establishing residency requirements
  • Missing important paperwork
  • Lack of advocacy

Making Uninformed Decisions

Without proper legal advice or understanding of relevant laws, couples attempting a divorce on your own may make decisions that cost them more in the long run. Decisions regarding property division, child support, alimony payments and other vital matters should be made after careful consideration of all available options by those who understand the law and its implications. Continue Reading →

It is almost a cliché to state that divorce is hard on children. The reason it is something of a cliché is because divorce and children is a challenging mix. There are specific ways in which parents can help their children maneuver successfully through the divorce process. There are five key strategies that parents can use as a means to support kids during the marriage dissolution process:

  • Maintain daily routines
  • Communicate with children in an age-appropriate manner
  • Appropriately reassure the kids
  • Keep children abreast of custody and parenting time issues
  • Listen to your kids

Maintain Daily Routines

A key strategy to employ to support your children during a divorce is to maintain preexisting daily routines whenever possible. The mere fact that you and your spouse are divorcing already serves to upend many elements of your family life. You provide an added level of stability to the lives of your children by maintaining some of the basic routines that you enjoyed before your New Jersey marriage dissolution started. Examples of daily routines include such simple things like:

  • Nightly dinner time
  • Attend religious services
  • Participating in afterschool activities
  • Other traditional family rituals and activities

Communicate with Children in an Age-Appropriate Manner

Regular and reliable communication between parent and child is always a must. Open, honest, regular communication becomes even more important when parents are divorcing.

When it comes to divorce and children, you need to make sure lines of communication remain open with your kids. A key element of divorce and children communication is to make sure that you speak with your kids using age-appropriate language. Depending on the age of your children, they will have different understandings of your divorce. Indeed, age and maturity level more generally dictate the manner in which your kids receive and process information. Continue Reading →

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Peter Van Aulen is certified by the New Jersey Supreme Court as a Matrimonial Attorney.

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