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Succasunna New Jersey Legal Blog

Tips for improving communication with your kids after divorce

After you and your spouse get divorced, you worry that you will lose closeness with your children. You simply won't see them as much. Will you drift apart? Will you forget how to talk to each other?

The key is to know how to make the most of the time you have and focus on excellent communication with your children when you're together. Here are a few tips that can help:

  • Be genuine and honest. Have deep conversations with the kids. Take an interest in what they have to say. They know when you're really invested in the conversation.
  • Use any downtime you have. Don't assume you can only have an important conversation when you have an hour to do nothing but chat. Use that car ride home from school or the time before your child goes to bed. Fit little conversations into everyday life.
  • Tell the children about yourself. Do not just interrogate your kids endlessly. Tell them about your day, your life and your experiences. It flows more naturally when it is a two-way conversation.
  • Give advice in a compassionate manner. For instance, if your child has a problem with a friend at school, tell them what you learned from your own experiences, while acknowledging that your child is having a unique experience of their own. This makes it feel less preachy and children are more likely to listen.

Hidden Perils of Property Owner Associations

In Wayne, New Jersey, hundreds of fellow condo owners may have to fund several million to repair construction defects in two end units.

In Nevada, a homeowner’s association was hit with a $20 million jury verdict for a disabling injury on a common area playground.

In Florida, a trash collector has sued a homeowner’s association for a safety hazard on a strip of grass that led to his on-the-job injury.

Home ownership rises as millennials start buying homes

Homeownership in the United States is on the rise again. Millennials are driving this increase as they start buying homes, getting jobs and starting families.

The rising homeownership rate tells an economic tale. In 2004, before the recession that happened to a large degree because of mortgage loans, the home buyer rate stood at 69.2 percent. That was the highest on record in the United States. That's also why we felt the impact so sharply when the recession hit. There was more to lose.

4 things not to tell your kids during divorce

You have probably heard that honesty is important during a divorce when talking to your kids, and it is. You do not want to lie to your children or mislead them. However, that does not mean you want to tell them everything. This process is hard enough on them already.

To help them cope, here are four things you never want to say:

  1. Do not talk negatively about your spouse. Insults do not help. Talking down about the other person just makes your kids feel like they are stuck in the middle of your argument. That's not fair to them.
  2. Do not make them take sides. This is similar to the above: Don't put them between the two of you and make them pick. Don't try to turn them against your spouse. It's not healthy. Plus, no matter how you feel, your spouse is still their parent after the divorce.
  3. Don't complain about adult problems. You don't want to stress the kids out about things they cannot control, like how you are going to pay the rent or how your spouse's gambling addiction led to the divorce. Don't lie, but keep certain specifics between adults only.
  4. Don't tell your children to act as spies and keep an eye on your spouse -- before or after the divorce. You don't need that information. Even if you want it, it's not right to make the kids give it to you or feel bad that they won't. They should not be involved.

Concerned that Mom or Dad can still drive safely?

It’s one of those uncomfortable discussions, like talking about funeral arrangements or the retirement home.

A recent survey of older drivers revealed that 85 percent have never been asked by relatives if they can still drive safely. Tragically, many accidents occur long after Mom or Dad should have quit driving.

Car accident takes 3 lives and injures 2 more

A devastating accident involved a car with New Jersey plates and another car with Delaware plates. All told, the accident took three lives and put two other people in the hospital with significant injuries. Two young children were riding in one of the vehicles, but they were miraculously unharmed in the crash.

The accident took place on Friday, October 5. It happened on South Hook Road, and the Pennsville Police Department responded to the wreck. Reports indicate that it all happened right around 9:00 p.m.

What are the 'fatal four?'

If you start looking into workplace accidents, it does not take long before you start hearing about the 'fatal four.' Maybe friends told you to stay safe when you got your new job. Maybe your coworkers warned you about the fatal four and told you to practice caution whenever possible. That's great advice but what exactly are the fatal four?

They are the four main ways that workers lose their lives in accidents on construction sites. However, they may also play a large role in any related industries -- painting, roofing, gutter installation, masonry, demolition and many more. The fatal four are:

  1. Falls
  2. Getting struck by an object
  3. Electrocutions
  4. Getting caught between two objects

PTSD and driving phobias after an accident

A car accident can have a massive impact on the rest of your life, even if your physical injuries heal. Many people develop emotional issues and mental disorders after a serious crash, as they may never have been through another event that was so stressful and traumatic.

When looking at the overall population and the people who get into car accidents, studies have found that around 9 percent have clinical PTSD. This does not take into account those who deal with stress and anxiety that does not classify as full PTSD.

Even a signed prenuptial agreement can be invalid

If you and your significant other are thinking about drafting a prenuptial agreement, you know that you both need to sign it before the wedding for it to be valid. While that is true, it is also important to remember that even a signed prenup can end up being invalid in court.

For instance, perhaps you were coerced to sign the document, or you had to do it while you were under duress. This puts unfair pressure on you, and it can mean that you agreed to something you would never have agreed to under normal circumstances.

Questions to ask when inspecting a new home

You put in an offer on a new house. Fortunately, you understood what legal options you had, and you made your offer contingent on the inspection. If the house does not pass, you do not have to go through with the purchase. The contract gives you an easy out.

So, what should you look for when you are doing the inspection? Here are a few key questions to ask:

  1. Is the home missing any shingles? Even one missing shingle can lead to serious water damage inside, which could cause all sorts of interior problems. It may also mean that the house has not been properly cared for over the years.
  2. Does the home have any obvious cracks? This is especially problematic in a brick home. You want to check out the foundation to look for cracks first, as they are the most serious, but cracks in the walls can be indicative of deeper foundational issues as well.
  3. Do you see any fire damage? The best place to check may be the attic, where the beams are still exposed. Other fire damage may have been covered over with drywall or paint, but that does not mean structural damage was properly fixed.
  4. Does the breaker box appear in good order? You can often tell if people have done Do-It-Yourself electrical jobs based on how they installed new breakers. Be wary of electrical work that appears not to be up to code, as it can be a serious fire hazard.

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