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New Jersey Divorce Blog

Some basic information about child custody

Child custody is among the most contentious issues in many divorce and separation proceedings. People often have strong, passionate feelings about where their children should live, what school they should go to, and how they should be raised. Like other aspects of divorce or separation, child custody decisions are governed by legal standards. Decisions are either made by the parties and approved by the court or made by the court if the parties cannot agree.

In order for a child custody arrangement to be approved in New Jersey, the court must find that it is in the best interests of the child. This is true not only for decisions made by the court, but also for decisions agreed to by the parties and approved by the court.

Don't handle a high-asset divorce alone

Whenever a business owner, a high-income earner or a high-value asset owner divorces, there can be thousands and even millions of dollars at stake in the asset division. After the asset division, there often are large amounts of money involved in alimony payments as well. New Jersey spouses will want to remember that continued receipt of alimony can hinge on the living situation of the receiving spouse.

Last month we told you about a case that may be impacted by New Jersey's new law on the effect of cohabitation on the right to receive alimony. An ex-husband claimed that his ex-wife and her boyfriend were cohabiting, and therefore the ex-husband should no longer have to pay alimony to the ex-wife under the new law. The ex-wife claimed that she and her boyfriend were not cohabiting, and therefore the alimony payments should continue.

How to keep your divorce private

One part of divorce which can concern many people is the matter of privacy. Divorce has a way of taking private matters and turning them into public scrutiny. It can be natural to feel that situations brought up during a divorce, such as lying, cheating or some type of mis-conduct may not be kept a private matter. This can certainly be a worry for a couple going through a high-asset divorce where the stakes can be higher, and the public curiosity may be greater.

You do not need to be a celebrity to have privacy worries during a divorce. If you are a local business owner or just concerned about how perceptions can change with family or friends, you can have legitimate concerns of your standing in the public eye. There are some ways you can ease your fears of sensitive information coming out during your divorce. If you are looking for privacy during your divorce, here are a few things you can do.

What can impact the effectiveness of “birdnesting”?

One term you may have heard thrown around lately when it comes to parents and divorce is birdnesting. Birdnesting is a living arrangement strategy that some parents have been turning to in the wake of a split.

Generally, in a birdnesting arrangement, the kids continue to live in the family home and the parents rotate living with them. Sometimes, in these arrangements, the parents get a shared apartment that they rotate using when it is not their “turn” to live with the kids in the family home.

Dividing a medical practice in divorce

Divorce is trying for everyone involved, but it can become even more complicated if you are dividing a business. After starting and building your own successful medical practice, it can be difficult to consider having to divide the value of your practice, especially if your spouse is not a doctor.

If you started your practice prior to getting married, the court may not view this as a marital asset, and it will likely remain untouched. However, if you started your practice after getting married and/or your spouse supported you through medical school, they may be entitled to more of the practice.

Termination of Alimony based on "Cohabitation" under NJ's "new" Alimony Reform Act - a balancing act between dating and cohabitating for alimony termination purposes.

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A Superior Court Judge in Morristown must decide that issue in the case of a Mendham Township man who is seeking to terminate his alimony obligation to his former wife. She lives in a separate house in Mendham Township and has a boyfriend, who she says lives elsewhere. Her ex-husband insists they are, in effect, cohabitating as defined under New Jersey's new Alimony Reform Act.

Common Ways Spouses Hide Assets During a Divorce ( Ouch!)

No one wants to believe that their spouse is capable of something as sneaky, unethical, and potentially illegal as hiding assets, which are or which could be divided in a divorce.... But some actually do exactly that. Here are several of the most common tactics used:

Issuance of a Domestic Violence Final Restraining Order under New Jersey Law

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Under NJ family law, the issuance of a Domestic Violence Final Restraining Order does not require physical violence nor even the threat of physical violence.

In NJ, there are 14 separate criminal type actions that can give rise to the filing of a domestic violence complaint. Of those 14 actions, "Harassment" is the most commonly used basis for a family part judge to issue a Domestic Violence Restraining Order.

What Not to Do in a Custody Battle in the New Jersey Family Court

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Unfortunately, it happens. Sometimes parents are unable to agree upon where their children should primarily reside (or which parent their children should live with) when they have separated or have filed for divorce. Sometimes, both sides feel that their children should primarily reside with themselves and that they are the "better" parent. When there is no agreement and the issue of custody/parenting time cannot be settled, litigation ensues. Custody litigation is an emotional process for all involved. How could it not be? It involves your children. But custody litigation is a complicated process. As a matrimonial attorney, I have handled many custody matters and have witnessed other litigants unknowingly make critical mistakes that affect the outcome of their cases. This is my attempt to help those on what NOT to do in a custody battle:

Residential Custody awarded to 3 parents in New Jersey Court Ruling

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A New Jersey family court judge recently awarded residential custody to three people-the biological father( Darren), his same-sex spouse( Sam), and the biological mother ( Kitty).

After 19 days of trial, Ocean County Superior Court Judge Stephanie Wauters issued a 67 page decision addressing a unique custody setting involving three people who believed that they were creating a new family paradigm, a tri-parenting relationship where the child was the offspring of a man in a same-sex marriage (Darren & Sam) and a woman (Kitty) who had been a long time friend to both men, with the intent that all 3 would remain actively involved in raising their child together.

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