NJ Family Legal Blog


Eric is the editor and also regularly contributes to the New Jersey Family Legal Blog. This blog provides practical information and useful tips related to such topics as alimony, child support, custody, parenting time, divorce, equitable distribution, prenuptial agreements, domestic violence, and grandparent visitation. This blog is an excellent resource for individuals with New Jersey specific family law questions and advisors whose clients may encounter family law issues.

Recent Blog Posts

  • The New Year’s Resolution Divorce Our partner in our Chester County, Pennsylvania office, Mark Ashton, just wrote an interesting piece on our Pennsylvania Family Law Blog entitled “”Tis the Season”  about how the time between November 1st and the end of the year used to be the quiet time for new matters and how he has found that this year has been different.  We have found that to be the case, as well, as noted below. That said, for many divorce attorneys, the busy season starts after the first of... More
  • Parents Cannot Unilaterally Modify Consent Orders for Grandparent Visitation As we have blogged before, in light of the Constitutional protections given to parents, grandparent visitation is very hard to obtain because the grandparents have to show harm to a child to meet their burden.  What happens, however, if parties agree to grandparent visitation and the parent then either changes their mind or reconsiders decides that the grandparents shouldn’t have visitation anymore?  Must the grandparents then have to prove harm, as if there never was a consent order in the... More
  • A Domestic Violence Final Restraining Order Cannot Be Entered In To By Consent On December 5, 2016, an extremely interesting reported (precedential) opinion was released by the Appellate Division in the matter of J.S. v. D.S.  The opinion was remarkable for two reasons, one procedural and one substantive.  On the procedural side, what was interesting was that the Appellate Division proceeded to decide the case even though the matter was settled and the parties sought to have the appeal dismissed because the Court determined that “the interests of justice require a disposition of... More
  • Custody Neutral Assessments (CNA) Found Not to be Admissible as Expert Reports Custody Neutral Assessments (CNAs), a mostly South Jersey phenomenon, have been described as a supposed alternate dispute resolution program that was available for high conflict cases that were inappropriate for, or are unable to be resolved, through mediation. This program utilizes several mental health practitioners in the community who meet with the parties, discuss contested issues and make clinical recommendations to the court on how to resolve disputed issues.  The way it was supposed to work is that in the counties... More
  • I Want an Oompa Loompa and I Want it Now Ah, that unforgettable line uttered by Veruca Salt in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.  As a matrimonial attorney, this is what it feels like we deal with quite often.  But I am not referring to people just being demanding, I am talking about people making unreasonable demands, with no apparent justification in law or in fact.  In fact, I have had enough of “my client just wants”, “that’s not enough” and “I know that a court would never do... More
  • Read Mark Ashton’s Post “Listening to Your Kids During Traumatic Times” Mark Ashton, a partner in our Exton (Chester County), Pennsylvania office and former editor of our Pennsylvania Family Law Blog wrote an interesting post entitled “Listening to Your Kids During Traumatic Times” . In this post, Mark, from a child’s perspective, lists 15 things that parents going through this process should consider, as follows: As your kid, I want to love both of you fairly and equally and not have you think that my love for you diminishes my love for the... More
  • Justice Delayed is Justice Denied – How the Systemic Delay in Having Matters Adjudicated Causes Litigant’s to Lack Confidence in the Judicial System and Makes Cases Harder to Resolve “Justice delayed is justice denied.”  I am sure that many have heard this old legal maxim.  Though the original source is unclear, what is not unclear is that it essentially means that when a legal remedy is available, but not provided in a timely fashion, it is like having no remedy, at all. When I speak to other attorneys in court, at mediations or at bar events, one of the things discussed most is the delay in getting matters decided.  While... More
  • The Fine (or Maybe Not So Fine) Line Between Zealous Advocacy and Overzealous Advocacy In law school, lawyers begin to be engrained with the concept of ethical duty of zealous advocacy.  While this concept used to be in the Rules of Professional Conduct, over time, it has been removed.  It has even been largely removed from the ABA’s Model Rules, upon which many State’s rules have been based upon, other than in statements in the Preamble that say, “As advocate, a lawyer zealously asserts the client’s position under the rules of the adversary system”... More
  • If You Agree that Alimony Terminates on Cohabitation, It Really Terminates on Cohabitation, Even If the Cohabitation Ends The impact of cohabitation on alimony is often one of the most difficult clauses to negotiate in a marital settlement agreement.  The payor always wants the agreement to read that alimony shall terminate upon cohabitation, while the recipient, if they are allowed to agree to anything, might agree to allow the payor to seek to modify alimony “in accordance with the law”.  Generally, “the law” would be an economic benefits test – i.e. is the alimony recipient receiving an economic... More
  • Another Reminder that Parent Coordinators Are Not Replacements for Judges Whether it is because of busy dockets or the fact that the issues could be hard to decide, especially without a plenary hearing, the use of parent coordinators (PC) began becoming more frequent about 10 years ago.  Sometimes it was by consent but other times, it was foisted upon warring parties whether they wanted it or not.  A new reality of “let the parenting coordinator referee the disputes” became a new reality for many.  In fact, in 2007, the Supreme Court... More