2 minute read

Divorce: Issues to Address and How to Prepare

Expert Contribution by Donahue Hagan Klein & Weisberg, LLC

At Donahue, Hagan, Klein, and Weisberg, LLC, the goal of our nine attorney firm is to help our clients navigate through family law issues in order to achieve the best resolution. As individual representatives, we will always attempt to settle your matter, but we are fully equipped to litigate, if necessary. Our attorneys also serve as mediators, that is, an impartial third party assisting a couple to reach a mutual settlement agreement. Stephanie Frangos Hagan, a Summit resident, focuses on individual representation in litigation and settlement and also successfully mediates. Another of our distinguished attorneys, Phyllis S. Klein, a Chatham resident, devotes over 90% of her practice to mediation and her individual representation focuses on settlement.

Regardless of how you proceed in divorce, the issues covered are the same:

Child Custody: Legal-how decisions regarding the children are made and Residential- the parenting arrangement, i.e., where the children live.

Alimony: Support between spouses.

Child Support: Support for the children.Equitable Distribution: Division of assets and liabilities.

In preparation for a discussion of these issues, we recommend as follows:

Copy Important Documents

Make copies of important documents such as the last 5 years of tax returns and Social Security statements, the last year of bank statements, check registers, investment statements, retirement account statements and credit card statements, as well as the most recent business related documents, life insurance policies, mortgage documents, wills, automobile titles, etc.

Review Documents and Determine the State of Family Income, Assets and Liabilities

Take note of the family income, both earned (from employment) and unearned (from investments). Earned income may include many forms of compensation such as salary, bonus, stock awards, retirement plans and other benefits such as car allowance or insurances. Consider the earning potential of a non-working spouse, which could factor into the amount and length of the alimony. Also, consider whether any portion of any of the assets or liabilities were incurred by one spouse or the other prior to the date of marriage.

Know the household budget and expenses

If you don’t keep a regular budget, go through your bank register and credit card statements for past 12 months and write down your expenses, understanding that many expenses are not incurred monthly, such as clothing or vacations. Also, start to track the cash you spend so you will be able to determine those expenses as well.

Inventory household and family possessions

List the major items: furniture, artwork, jewelry, appliances, automobiles, etc.

Therefore, whether you are seeking individual representation or seeking a mediator to help both you and your spouse amicably resolve your differences, the attorneys at Donahue, Hagan, Klein, & Weisberg, LLC are here to help. For further information, please contact either Stephanie Frangos Hagan at shagan@dhkwlaw.com or Phyllis S. Klein at pklein@dhkwlaw. comor call (973) 467-5556 or visit our website at www.dhkwlaw. com.

Phyllis S. Klein, Esq. and Stephanie Frangos Hagan, Esq.

Donahue, Hagan, Klein & Weisberg, LLC 44 Whippany Road Morristown, New Jersey 07960

(973) 467-5556 pklein@dhkwlaw.com and shagan@dhkwlaw.com www.dhkwlaw.com