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3 Things to Know About Child Custody After a Divorce

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While the divorce rate (and marriage rate) has gone down over the past few decades, many divorces still happen every year. Divorces are nothing to be ashamed of, but most of the time, they still cause a lot of stress. They’re even more stressful when children are involved.

When there’s a child involved in a divorce, you have to think about child custody. What’s best for the child? What works well for the parents?

We’re here to talk about a few child custody facts that future (or current) divorcing parents should know. Read on to learn more.

1. The Judge Always Prioritizes the Child

Many people think that child custody is unfairly always given to the mother. While it used to be true that courts prioritized mothers, this is no longer the case (most of the time). The judge will take the rights for the father into account.

The child is the court’s first priority. They must consider the child’s emotional wellbeing, the parent’s ability to provide care, the child’s preferences (if possible), and sometimes the child’s age (though this is less common).

If one parent has been the primary caregiver (often the mother, but not always), that parent is more likely to get primary custody. If both parents share equal caregiving responsibilities, this isn’t true.

2. Joint Child Custody Is Most Common

The judge wants to give parents joint custody whenever it’s possible to do so. It’s a fact that children fare better when they have both parents to support them (as long as the parents are amicable).

Joint physical custody means that both parents will spend some time taking care of the child. This may not be an equal split. Joint legal custody means that both parents will have a say in the child’s upbringing.

If one parent gets sole custody, it’s likely because the other parent was deemed unfit or they chose to give up custody. Custody arrangements can change if situations change.

3. Joint Custody Doesn’t Negate Child Support

So if both parents have partial (and equal) custody, that means that neither has to pay child support, right?

This isn’t true. After a divorce, it’s unlikely that both parents will be in the same financial situation (especially if one was a stay-at-home parent before the divorce). Because the judge wants what’s best for the child, one parent may still have to provide child support so the child can have a good quality of life in both households.

Remember that the child is now going between two households. If one parent was able to provide a far better life for the child than the other based on finances alone, it would be a way for them to “game the system” and get majority custody.

Keep These Facts About Child Custody in Mind

Child custody will make an already stressful situation more stressful. Remember that your child is innocent in this situation, and going through a messy custody battle will hurt them.

Act in your child’s best interests and work with the other parent to come to an agreement that works for everyone involved.

For more helpful articles about family and more, visit the rest of our site.

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How to Become a Notary in 3 Simple Steps

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Being a notary can come in handy in many different situations. If you’ve wondered how to become a notary, the ease of the process might be surprising. It is possible to become a notary for less than $200 in most cases!

Becoming a notary can be a quick experience when you know what to do. Keep on reading to learn the three simple steps you need to become a notary!

1. Learn How to Become a Notary

When learning how to become a notary, you need to educate yourself as much as possible. What is a notary? A notary is a person who gets approved by the state to witness official documents.

The process might differ depending on the state, but most have training courses. Education is not always a requirement by the state, but it helps you understand the responsibilities.

You will learn all the laws concerning notaries. There will be various situations you face after becoming a notary.

Knowing the state laws will help you know what to do in each one. View here for more information on what notaries can sign. There may be times you get asked to sign something you can’t sign.

Check your state’s website for the latest training on becoming a notary. Take any available courses to gain all the knowledge possible on being a notary. You must understand what you can and cannot notarize.

2. Apply to Become a Notary

After your training, you can apply to become a notary. Most states charge an application fee. These days, many states let you apply online.

You can pay using a credit or debit card. It can cost as little as $20 but as much as $120 in some states. Your state website will have the exact amount you will need to pay.

When applying to become a notary, you will answer basic questions. Once you have completed the application and sent it in, you will have a short waiting period. That timeframe can be up to several weeks.

3. Getting Approved

After you get approved, you may need a notary bond and insurance for your state. You may also need to file your notary status at your local county office.

Once you learn how to become a notary and get approved, you can get your stamp. All notaries get recognized from their stamps. States have various restrictions on these.

You will get an official notary certificate from your state office. Notaries can get stamps from approved manufacturers, so check the state website for those. It takes less than a month from starting the process to get your notary stamp.

What Comes Next?

After you know how to become a notary, you can move to decide how to use your new skill set. Many people charge a small fee for their notary services. Following the steps laid out by your state is a straightforward process.

With a bit of money and training upfront, you can use your new abilities to make some extra income. All you need is a few supplies and the ability to go where needed! Follow our website for more articles on how to develop new skills!

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How Do I Choose the Best Divorce Lawyer in My Local Area?

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Very few, if any, of the around 2 million couples who marry each year go into the marriage expecting a divorce. The travails of adult life often put those expectations to the test. Spouses stop communicating, grow apart, or even become abusive toward each other. In face of that, a little under 750,000 couples do end up getting divorced each year.

If you think your marriage will go in that direction, you also probably wonder how you can pick the best divorce lawyer in your area. Keep reading for a quick guide to picking the best divorce attorney for you.

Ask Around, Quietly

This part of divorce planning is something that you must handle quietly. Reach out to close friends or family members who went through a divorce and that you can trust to keep quiet. Ask them about their divorce attorneys and whether they were satisfied.

This can help you narrow down the list of dozens or even hundreds of potential lawyers to a small handful. You should back these recommendations up with independent research on the lawyers to narrow the list even more.

If you can’t find specific recommendations for a lawyer, look for the best law firm for divorces.

Consultations

You should meet with at least a few of the candidates on your list for a formal consultation. A good consultation will often take several hours and get into the specifics of your case. You should expect to pay for this type of consultation.

While many lawyers will offer a free consultation, these rarely last more than 15 to 20 minutes. They are also largely useless for getting a feel for a lawyer’s personality and approach.

Ask Questions

While you likely lack the experience to dig deeply into something like legal strategy, you can ask questions that will inform your decision. A few common questions that can help you understand what kind of lawyer you are dealing with include:

  • What percentage of divorces do you settle without a court hearing?
  • What approach do you take in settling divorce cases?
  • What role can or will I take in settling the case?

If an attorney sees taking things into the courtroom as the first, last, and only option, you probably want someone else.

Discuss Fees

You should expect an hourly rate for a divorce attorney. The average hovers around $270 an hour, but the lawyers you meet with may charge more or less. Make sure you understand when and how billing will happen, as many divorce lawyers expect a retainer before they start.

Getting the Best Divorce Lawyer

Getting the best divorce lawyer isn’t the same as getting the most expensive or most recognizable divorce attorney. The best divorce lawyer is the one who will best serve your needs. For example, if you prefer avoiding the publicity of a court proceeding, you want someone who does everything they can to settle.

You also want a lawyer that you feel comfortable with personally. Divorce is an emotionally taxing process without adding someone you personally detest to the mix.

Looking for more tips on divorce or family law? Check out the posts in our Law section

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What If I Suspect My Neighbor’s Dog Is a Threat?

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What If I Suspect My Neighbor's Dog Is a Threat

Canines are instinctively territorial.  Sometimes this trait can manifest itself in behavior that is aggressive, putting those around the animal at risk. Ultimately, the responsibility of dealing with this issue falls on the dog’s owner. Fortunately, New Jersey Law does provide avenues to remedy the situation when someone becomes injured.

Dangerous Dog Laws in New Jersey

For dogs that are a threat to the public’s safety, state law has civil procedures in place to handle this situation. To kick off the process, you will need to contact your county’s animal control officer if the pet has attacked another animal or person without provocation. This official will then decide if the dog in question poses an imminent threat. If so, it will impound the canine until the owner goes to court to determine their dog’s potential dangerousness.

If the court determines this is the case, the owner will be ordered to comply with specific conditions to keep the dog, including:

  • Using warning signs on the property
  • Obtain special licensing for the animal
  • Keeping the dog enclosed
  • Using a muzzle and strong leash

Owners who fail to meet the court’s demands to control their aggressive dog face fines of up to $1,000 for every day they are in violation. In situations where the court determines the dog’s dangerous behavior is the result of being abused or a consequence of it being used in dogfighting activities, it could be ordered put down.

NJ Dog Bite Law

If a dangerous dog bit you or someone you know, state law holds dog owners strictly liable for any injuries resulting from the incident. The only time they may not be held at fault is if you were trespassing on private property or intentionally provoked the animal. This standard applies even if the owner had done everything possible to restrain their pet and warn others about the danger it poses. Its previous history of being aggressive or not has no bearing on this fact.

Free Case Evaluation

If you have experienced a traumatizing dog bite or attack that has caused you serious injuries physically, emotionally and financially you should give us a call for a free case evaluation.You shouldn’t be worried about how much a dog bite lawsuit is going to cost. We employ contingency fee contracts to help those in your situation. This means you pay nothing upfront and won’t owe a dime unless they win your case. To find out more, schedule a free case evaluation today.

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