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Hackensack Family Law Blog

Understanding common patterns about domestic violence

Few topics in family law (and criminal law) are as socially uncomfortable as domestic violence. It is a problem that impacts millions of families, yet talking about it feels taboo to most people. Unfortunately, silence around the issue of domestic violence allows it to continue.

In a recent news article, National Public Radio interviewed two victim advocates who shared some truths about domestic violence, those who perpetrate it and those it impacts. We’ll discuss some of those findings in today’s post.

New Jersey lottery winner’s ex-wife takes him to court

Winning the lottery can be a gift and a curse. You’ve attained financial freedom and have the potential to care for generations of your family to come. Unfortunately, there are drawbacks to your newfound fortune. There are taxes that cut into your winnings—and, sometimes, former spouses taking you back to court?

This is exactly what happened to a New Jersey man who won $273 million in March 2019. The man had visions of a new truck, a family vacation and renovating his mom’s home. Renegotiating his divorce agreement likely wasn’t on that list.

Tax Preparation For Divorced Or Divorcing Individuals

It is that time of the year: compiling all of your tax information to ensure you get the most benefit from your available deductions and exemptions. Here is a quick list of items to help you in gathering the information you need and some sound suggestions:

  1. Make sure that you have all of your W-2s, 1099s and K-1 forms that reflect your taxable income for the year. 1099s reflect a variety of income, including earnings, interest, dividends, capital gains and short-term gains from investment s, and distributions from retirement accounts. Your employer and financial institutions should provide copies of this information.
  2. Make sure that you have a 1099 to reflect your mortgage interest paid for the tax year. You can call the mortgage company for this document. Real estate taxes are also deductible against income. You can get the amount of your real estate taxes paid for the year from the municipality where you reside.
  3. You can deduct health care expenses up to a certain a percentage of your adjusted gross income. Gather all of the your out of pocket costs for all family members for whom you contributed, including yourself. Only consider the costs you actually paid and deduct any insurance reimbursements. Consult with your accountant as to how much of these costs you can deduct. Ask if your health insurance is a deduction available to you if you are self-employed.
  4. Work-related child care costs are also deductible costs. Talk to your accountant as to how much.

When The Wedding Is Called Off: Who Gets The Ring?

As a family lawyer, I have been asked this question more than once, and not only from potential clients, or former clients, but also from dear friends of mine. Not every pair of love birds make it down the aisle to say their "I do's." Sometimes, a wedding is called off by one party to the shock and dismay of the other. Sometimes, it is a joint decision painstakingly made together. In any event, it is hoped that the decision to pull the plug on the wedding is made well before the final deposits were paid or the invitations were sealed and placed in the mail. However, sometimes cold feet occurs at the very last minute and a wedding is even called off only days (and in some situations, only hours) before the ceremony. After the tears are shed, words are exchanged, and the numerous telephone calls are made to inform the officiant, the vendors and the guests that the wedding will not be proceeding as planned, the inevitable question is asked: WHO GETS THE ENGAGEMENT RING?

My Ex-Wife May Be Living With Someone. What Is The Current Status Of New Jersey Law?

If you are in the process of divorcing, what issues should you incorporate into your divorce agreement about alimony in the future? How do you balance the need for support versus moving on in life? Read on to see the current state of the law on cohabitation and its effect on the continued payment of alimony.

Since the New Jersey alimony statute (N.J.S.A. 2A:34-23) was amended and took effect in September 2014, attorneys have been waiting for case law to develop to help define and clarify some of the new or revised legal concepts. Once such case has been Robitzski v. Robitzski, A-2818-14T3, which was decided by the Appellate Division on May 5, 2016. In this case, the Appellate Division upheld the lower Court's decision that an alimony payor failed to establish a prima facie case of cohabitation. The parties had been divorced in 2004, with the former husband obligated to pay alimony. The parties agreed that alimony "shall be modified or terminated pursuant to New Jersey statutes and case law" if the wife cohabited in the future. The former husband presented evidence that his former spouse spent overnights with her significant other 100 to 110 overnights per year. The trial Court had denied the former husband's motion, determining that he failed to make a prima facie showing of changed circumstances. However, limited discovery was ordered even though the motion judge found that no prima facie evidence existed.

New Jersey Legislative Changes In Child Support

Effective February 1, 2017, the child support laws, as we know it, will be changed.

The most notable change is that child support terminates, by operation of law without an order of the court, if a child, less than 19 years old: a) marries; b) dies; or c) enters the military service.

At age 19, child support terminates by operation of law without a court order unless: a) another termination date is set forth in a court order; b) the parents of the child agree and the court approves the continuation of support until a predetermined date; or c) the child support is extended by the court based upon an application by a parent who filed prior to the child's 19th birthday.

Sexual Assault Survivor Protection Act Of 2015 - What You Need To Know

What do you do when sexually assaulted by an acquaintance that you may have the possibility of seeing again? Imagine a scenario where you are sexually assaulted by a work colleague or the victim of a date rape. Other than filing criminal charges, is there any recourse to protect you?

Many people are familiar with the NJ Prevention of Domestic Violence Act (NJSA 2C:25-17 et seq.) ("PDVA") which is the law governing restraining orders in New Jersey. The PDVA was passed to protect victims of regular, repeated abuse at the hands of a spouse, significant other, or cohabitant. However, there needs to be that specific relationship to be eligible for protection. At the current time, there are currently 18 causes of action for a restraining order, including harassment, assault, terroristic threats, and the like. Sexual assault is one cause of action that can warrant a restraining order.

However, the PDVA does not provide protection to victims of sexual abuse at the hands of an offender with whom they do not have an established relationship. This could be someone who you met on a first date, a colleague, a neighbor, a college campus sexual assault. Under those circumstances, the protections of a restraining order under the PDVA are not available because there is no past or current relationship romantic relationship.

Baures Gets Relocated: Removal Gets An Update

It is always a difficult scenario. Parents get divorced and a custody schedule is entered, for a parent to later be transferred to a different location. Or, a separation occurs, and one parent wants to move to where they have more family support. Post-divorce, people move on to new jobs, new romantic relationships, and new lives.

What happens to the children when a relocation to a new state must occur in order for a parent to move on with their lives? What happens to the children, and to the non-relocating parent?

The law in New Jersey is well-settled: a custodial parent cannot relocate outside of the State of New Jersey with the children without consent of the non-custodial parent, or permission of the Court. If the non-custodial parent will not consent, the next step is that the parent desiring to relocate must make an application to the Court. How does the Court decide?

Such relocation cases are amongst the most difficult cases for a Court. With any outcome, one parent is going to be extremely disappointed - the parent who cannot relocate may miss out on a fruitful work opportunity or new marriage, or the parent whose children are permitted to move away will forever have their relationship with their children altered.

Mediation: An Interview With Gale B. Weinberg, Esq.

The firm of Weinberg & Cooper, LLC can help you resolve your family law issues through mediation. Gale B. Weinberg, Esq. has been a trained mediator since 1996. Her decades spent as a lawyer have given her a firm legal foundation. She has in-depth knowledge of the law and knows how courts are likely to rule on various family law issues. Her goal as a mediator is to help clients find the best solution for their family. I recently had the opportunity to sit down with Ms. Weinberg and discuss mediation and divorce.

1) What is mediation? Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution. The goal is to reach an amicable resolution of the issues that need to be resolved. The process is confidential. Resolutions can be fashioned in a manner that satisfies the parties.

2) Why should I pick mediation over litigation? Parties who engage in the mediation process with good faith intentions to reach a resolution can finalize a divorce agreement in a more cost and time effective manner.

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Weinberg & Cooper, LLC
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