Mothers who plan to divorce need to protect both themselves and their children. The things a mother should ask for in a divorce vary depending on the ages of the children, the best interests of the children, the mother’s ability to earn an income and work outside of the home, the desire to keep the marital home, and any other relevant factors depending upon the circumstances.
An experienced New Jersey family lawyer will explain the divorce rights for mothers. The basic rights include but are not limited to the following:
- Obtaining her equitable share of the marital property. New Jersey considers many factors that can help a mother acquire more than a 50% equitable share in the marital property. In addition to factors such as the length of the marriage, the ability of each spouse to earn an income, and the standard of living of the spouses, New Jersey considers these factors, among others, which should benefit mothers:
- “The contribution by each party to the education, training or earning power of the other”
- “The contribution of each party to the acquisition, dissipation, preservation, depreciation or appreciation in the amount or value of the marital property, or the property acquired during the civil union as well as the contribution of a party as a homemaker”
- Determining the legal custody, physical custody, and rights of each parent. Custody is one of the things a mother should ask for in a divorce. Legal custody is characterized as the right to make long-term decisions about your child’s education, medical care, and religion. Physical custody decides where the child lives each day of the year. While there is no longer a maternal presumption, mother’s rights in child custody include consideration of who can care for young children during the day, who will be home for the child when school-age children come home from school, the needs of the children, and other relevant factors.
- Being paid child support to raise, educate, and provide for the children.
- Obtaining alimony if she can’t work (or can’t earn a comparable living to her spouse) – especially if a mother can’t earn a living because the mother is caring for the children.
Priority things a mother should ask for in a divorce
When considering the things a mother should ask for in a divorce, Marriage.com suggests making the following priorities:
- Custody. You will want physical and legal custody of your children. In New Jersey, from a public policy standpoint, joint, legal custody is favored. As for physical custody, most mothers want the children to live with them and oftentimes remain in the marital home, if feasible. Most often efforts are made to avoid uprooting the children from the school, friends and activities that they are accustomed to prior to the commencement of the divorce.
- One of the main things a mother should ask for in a divorce is the marital home. We fight for mothers to keep the home that the family lived in before the divorce. Often, we can help you keep the marital home by trading off your interest in other assets when there is equity available to do so.
- A fresh financial start. Mothers should try to pay off their debts before starting the next phase of their life. You should review with your family lawyer, which party is responsible for the maintenance of home bills and other bills if you separate before the divorce and who is responsible for the bills and debts after the divorce is filed.
- Health insurance. Mothers should make sure the child support order provides that health insurance be maintained for the children. Mothers should also review their own federal and state rights to insurance until the divorce is final and once the divorce is finalized.
- Tax deductions. Mothers should know which parent is entitled to take the federal tax deduction.
Additional things a mother should ask for in a divorce
Some other things a mother should ask for in a divorce or review with her lawyer include the following:
- That the child support order states whether the duty to pay support should continue if any child attends college
- How and when the children can communicate with their father while they stay with the mother and with the other parent.
- What happens if the other parent can’t meet the agreed upon parenting time schedule – can the mother trade-off or acquire more time with her child/children?
- What are the rights of a parent to travel to another state or to move to another state?
Things a mother should ask for in a divorce include understanding that the courts make decisions about children based on what is in the best interests of the children. Both parties must appreciate that divorce can often be traumatic for children. Mothers may need to arrange for their kids to spend time with a therapist or child psychologist.
At DeTorres & DeGeorge Family Law, our family lawyers have been advising mothers and women about their divorce, custody, and other marital rights for more than thirty years. We understand the things a mother should ask for in a divorce. Contact us today for your consultation.