Scotch Plains Family Law FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

What is collaborative divorce?

Collaborative divorce, also called “conscious uncoupling,” offers an alternative method for ending your marriage. Rather than heading straight to court, the collaborative divorce process encourages you and your ex to work together to discuss and negotiate the terms of your divorce.

Ultimately, couples who elect to participate in a collaborative divorce find themselves walking away from their marriage feeling more empowered and at peace with the final agreement than those who go through a more traditional divorce process.

Who oversees a collaborative divorce?

Instead of appearing in court before a judge, you and your ex will meet with a mediator or attorney who will help you navigate the process.

This facilitator will strive to make you both feel heard and supported throughout the process. As tense moments or arguments arise, the mediator will offer communication strategies to help you reach some common ground as you move towards a workable settlement that is favorable to you both. As a natural communicator and empathetic individual, Patricia A. Mack is dedicated to helping you and your ex communicate in an open, honest, and constructive way in order to achieve a positive outcome.

How is child custody determined in New Jersey?

Like most states, New Jersey strives to put the best interests of children first. When establishing child custody arrangements, it’s essential that the children are placed in a stable and nurturing environment that allows them to still cultivate and enjoy positive relationships with each parent. During the collaborative divorce process, you’ll discuss and create a child custody agreement that will allow your child to thrive.

How do I request a child custody modification?

New Jersey courts recognize that circumstances change. If the terms of an existing child custody agreement no longer work for your family’s circumstances, then you should contact a child custody attorney who can help you seek and obtain a modification to reflect these changes.

Patricia A. Mack Attorney at Law will first encourage both parents to collaborate on amending the existing agreement, and the modified documents will then be submitted to a judge for final approval. However, in some cases, you may wish to petition the court directly to implement a modification. Ms. Mack will help you through the process, no matter what course you take.

How can I settle a child custody dispute with my ex?

It’s common for arguments to arise regarding matters of child custody. Experienced family law attorney Patricia A. Mack believes it’s important to initially attempt to have a constructive and respectful conversation with your ex, and she will help to guide the discussion in a supportive manner.

In many cases, disputes can be resolved through an open and collaborative conversation. If the matter still needs to be resolved, she will support you in court as you make your case before a judge.

Isn't estate planning I only need to worry about when I'm older?

While estate planning is typically viewed as important only to aging individuals, it is wise for anyone, regardless of age, to start thinking about and planning for the future.

Estate planning isn’t just about your will and deciding which relatives will inherit what from you—it also includes instructions for medical care and financial strategies for any unforeseen events.

It’s recommended that young professionals, couples who just got married, and parents who recently welcomed a child to meet with an estate planning attorney in order to start protecting their futures.

What should I include in my estate plan?

When most of us think of an estate plan, we usually think it refers to a will. This is true, but a comprehensive estate plan also contains many other important documents that offer protections for the future. Patricia A. Mack Attorney at Law will meet with you to discuss your goals and your unique situation so that she can help you develop an estate plan that is tailored to suit your needs. You’ll explore many important documents, such as a durable power of attorney, an advance directive for health care, and a will. You may also wish to create a living trust to ensure your finances are adequately protected. No matter what your specific needs are, Ms. Mack will work with you to create an estate plan that helps you achieve your goals.

Have more questions? Patricia A. Mack Attorney at Law has answers. Call a dedicated and friendly Scotch Plains divorce & family law attorney today at (908) 859-4077 to get started.