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Who Pays for the Kids’ College in Divorce?

divorce and college tuitionAmong the many issues facing parties while going through the divorce process is the question of who is responsible for the out of pocket costs for higher  education.  There is no set formula to determine this.  However, there are certain parameters which are important to keep in mind.

First, once the parties have agreed where the child is going to attend college, an application for financial aid is mandatory if financial circumstances dictate same.  The income of both parties will be considered.  There will generally be an obligation to apply for all available financial aid, whether from the college itself or Federal and State grants, loans and scholarships,  The parties, despite their differences on many things should attempt to cooperate in these applications as it will save both out of pocket expenses. 

Once the financial aid package is determined, is critical to know that BOTH parents have an obligation to contribute to the out of pocket expenses  The percentages will be determined by the respective incomes of the parties as well as their own financial needs and ability to pay. Therefore,  be certain to be prepared to demonstrate your financial condition and your potential ability to contribute to the child’s expenses. If there is a college fund that had previously been established, those funds must be applied first in addition to any financial aid before determining the out of pocket costs.

The determination of the obligation for college can be confusing and financially critical.  Be certain to review this issue carefully with your attorney to assure that you are fully protected and your child is as well.

Cherry Hill Divorce Lawyers at the Law Offices of Richard C. Klein, P.A. Help Determine How Your Child’s Tuition Should be Paid

Call the attorneys at the Law Offices of Richard C. Klein at (856) 544-9155 or contact us online.

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Changing Your Name After a Divorce

A name is an integral part of a person’s identity. A name is used for establishing credit, arranging public services, paying bills, and more. Naturally, changing a name involves the legal system. Yet, changing your name after a divorce in New Jersey is not that complicated when done right.

How to Change Back to Your Maiden Name

Many states make changing one’s name because of marriage or divorce difficult. New Jersey is not such a state, provided the person getting divorced follows the law. When a person marries in New Jersey, the ability to change their name is as simple as presenting their marriage certificate to the Motor Vehicle Commission, Social Security office, creditors, and other interested parties. Changing your name after a divorce can be nearly as simple.

New Jersey allows either party to a divorce to change their name at the time of the divorce. The judge will simply rule the change to be so and it will be so. Then the person making the name change need only present the official court papers to interested parties. This is the easy way.

Sometimes people do not make a request to the court for a name change at the time of the divorce proceedings. Regardless of the reason, if this should happen a person will have to follow a more complicated route.

New Jersey follows a name change process that first requires filing a petition in the local Superior Court. This will consist of swearing out an affidavit that your reason for requesting the name change is not to avoid prosecution of a crime or for the commission of a crime, such as fraud.

Next, you will need to place a notice in a local newspaper stating that you intend to change your name. Interested parties will need to be notified as well such as creditors, landlord, bank, etc., and you will need to bring proof of these notifications to court. Next, you will have to state your case for the request to change your name to a judge.

Assuming he or she rules in your favor, copies of the court documents will then have to be forwarded by you to the Registrar of Vital Statistics and the state Department of Treasury.

Finally, once the name change is complete, your former name may not be used under any circumstance and any civil suits you face will remain valid.

When Children Are Involved

If children are involved in the divorce, some parents may ask the courts to also change their names to reflect the custodial parent name. This is seldom approved, with most courts preferring to leave the paternal name with the children. However, there may be instances where making a name change is in the best interests of the children; the courts consider each case on its merits.

Cherry Hill Divorce Lawyers at the Law Offices of Richard C. Klein, P.A. Help With Changing Your Name After a Divorce

Although changing your name after a divorce may seem a simple thing, experience shows that things do not always go as planned. To be safe, the best thing to do is let the attorneys at the Law Offices of Richard C. Klein handle the name change for you. Call us today at (856) 544-9155 or contact us online.

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Things to Know About Divorce and Special Needs Children

Divorce is difficult for both parents and children, but when a special needs child is involved, finding the best solution can be tricky. Families often rely on pubic programs for an array of medical and financial needs to properly care for their child with special needs. Without careful planning, divorce and the resulting court-sanctioned settlements may derail many such programs. This can cause unforeseen difficulties for both parents and the child.

Government benefits such as Social Security and Medicaid help families defray the increasing costs of caring for children with special needs. However, these benefits are subject to incomes derived by parents. Although a couple with a child with special needs may qualify for benefits while together, when divorced, child support and custody payments may cause complications. Divorcing parents need to consider such matters during the settlement process lest they find themselves unable to adequately care for their disabled child’s current and future needs.

Factors That Impact Eligibility for Special Needs Social Services

In considering eligible income for purposes of providing needed supplemental coverage, the value of a home, the direct income earned by parents, and certain investments may be used. In addition, the age of the child, the exact nature of the disability, and life insurance proceeds may impact the ability of a special needs child to receive public assistance.

A parent will want to avoid anything that may cut the child off from public benefits because obtaining these later may be more difficult.

Some of the ways to prevent disruption of benefits is to set up a special needs trust for the child. A trust will ensure that the benefits remain intact while the support is paid to a trustee rather than directly to the child. Take insurance for example. When parents divorce, a common practice is to remove the former spouse as a primary beneficiary and name the child. This can cause the child to have the policy counted as income. A trust can prevent this outcome.

Another factor to consider is the situation of social services rendered to one of the parents. Some parents may be receiving SSI themselves. If a child is under the age of 22 at the time the parent begins to receive Social Security payments, the child may be eligible to draw a payment which is separate and does not impact the parent’s income.

Cherry Hill Divorce Lawyers at the Law Offices of Richard C. Klein Help Protect Special Needs Children

Divorce is difficult and the laws related to providing for special needs children can make it more so. The New Jersey divorce attorneys at the Law Offices of Richard C. Klein understand how to help clients protect their assets and the benefits provided to their children. If you have a special needs child, it will be in the interest of all involved to get in touch today, whether you are considering or already engaged in seeking a divorce. Contact us online or call now at 856-544-9155. We not only serve clients in Cherry Hill but also Mount Laurel, Maple Shade, Marlton, Moorestown, and throughout New Jersey.

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New Jersey Child Support Statute

Individuals that pay or receive child support need to stay up-to-date with support laws and statutes. One of the best ways to stay informed is to contact a Cherry Hill divorce lawyer. We will keep you informed of any changes in New Jersey child support laws.

The Termination of Obligation to pay Child Support, N.J.S.A  declares the age of 19 to be the legal cutoff age for support unless parents have worked out another agreement where the cutoff age would be 23.

Many parents wonder about child support age limits as it is important to note that age limits vary by state. Parents can also work out special terms that extend or limit child support based on several factors. A child with special needs, enrolling in college can have their support extended or terminated.

States base the support termination age on the age of majority, when a child is no longer considered a minor and is now an adult. People believe the age of adulthood is 18, but that is not the age of majority for every state. In New Jersey, the age is 19.

When a New Jersey child reaches the age of majority, the support order is immediately null and void. Typically, termination takes effect on the child’s birthday. or guardians must draft an amended agreement before the child’s 19 birthday to ensure continued support.

Special Needs

The statute offers protections for children with disabilities or special needs. Under Section E, parties can draft a financial agreement that takes effect after the support order ends. The difference between the support order and the agreement lies within the courts. New Jersey child support courts will not be responsible for the enforcement of the agreement or payment collection as everything is left up to the parties.

Children with special needs have additional care costs figured into their support order. Once that ceases, both parties may require help determining the amount each side needs to contribute. Now that the child is an adult, they may be eligible for an individual insurance plan. This can alter the conditions of a financial agreement and a New Jersey divorce lawyer will help work out the details.

College

If a child enrolls in college before turning 19, the child support order remains in effect. Typically, the custodial parent submits a college expense support application to the courts and the courts take the parent’s income history and any financial aid or scholarships into account.

Once officials have reviewed all relevant information, they decide in the best interest of the child. Courts can decide to increase or decrease support based on several factors, such as the child’s living arrangement, as courts may reduce the order if the child lives on campus.

Cherry Hill Divorce Lawyers at the Law Offices of Richard C. Klein Help Clients with Child Support Orders

We help clients draft a child support agreement. If you need help understanding the statute and drafting an order, call us today at (856) 544-9155 or contact us online.

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Domestic Violence an Issue Across All Social Classes

Domestic Violence is a serious concern in the U.S. Although some people mistakenly believe domestic violence only affects women in impoverished and minority communities, nothing could be further from the truth. Domestic violence impacts men and women of every race and socio-economic standing. In fact, among the more affluent, violent home situations are often worsened because of the higher economic situation. Further, the issue can become more complicated for victims in affluent neighborhoods for a number of reasons.

Facts and Misconceptions About Domestic Violence

One of the largest misconceptions about domestic violence is that it only affects persons living in poverty. Part of the reason for this misconception is that research is limited according to the data collected. Because many victims who live in affluent neighborhoods fear the social ramifications to making the situation known, silence becomes a barrier to receiving help. It also becomes a barrier to researchers learning the facts.

Often, a victim of an abusive relationship is virtually trapped by the affluent partner, who is most frequently male. The abuser holds the purse strings and the victim has little in the way of resources. The victim knows that if they phone the police for help, several things will happen. First, the neighbors will know and often, the victim will be shunned in the community. If the victim decides to seek a divorce, she or he will have to find a way, with little to no income, to survive.

Is Domestic Violence More Common in Affluent Neighborhoods?

Along with other underlying factors, the stress associated with maintaining a higher standard of living can trigger an abusive relationship. Yet, it is not that affluence creates stress, but economic uncertainty associated with a volatile market that triggers dangerous stressors. Again however, little is yet known because those living in affluent neighborhoods tend to remain silent.

Finally, another element that plays into the issue is the nature of the properties in which the affluent live. Homes are larger and there is often more space between properties. In such a situation, an abuser can be as loud as he wants and the victims can scream or cry, but neighbors do not hear. Thus, phone calls are not made to authorities in such surroundings as they are in physically closer communities. This physical element may be another key factor explaining why there is less data related to in-home violence and abuse in affluent communities.

Cherry Hill Divorce Lawyers at Richard C. Klein, P.A. Help Victims Escape Domestic Violence

Domestic violence does not discriminate, but victims are not without help. The at understand that abuse can strike anyone at any time. We also understand that when a person lives in an affluent neighborhood, discretion is a must. If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence and needs help escaping a bad relationship, we can help. Our caring and compassionate attorneys will meet with you in confidence and help plan an exit strategy that will both ensure your safety and your dignity. Whether you live in Cherry Hill, Camden County, Burlington County, or Atlantic County, New Jersey, or call now 856-544-9155.

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