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 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
  • Don’t Let Your Arbitration Agreement Bite You You hear people talk all the time these days that mediation and arbitration, or quite frankly, any alternate dispute resolution (ADR) methods are the best things since sliced bread.  They may very well be in the right case – which these days may be most of them given judicial backlogs, and other factors making presenting cases to a court undesirable.  They may not be the panacea that people think they are, especially when you don’t frame what you want the... More
  • Do You Want To Be Right Or Do You Want to Settle I see it all the time.  The fight rages on for the fight’s sake.  Each party sure that they are right.  Each party insistent that they must win.  The lawyers pile on, adding fuel to the fire.  Worse yet, some times this happens when the major issues are resolved and the battle continues because of minor issues or non-issues. In these cases, sometimes the parties don’t even know that they are as close to settlement as they are. Often, they don’t... More
  • New Decision Provides Clarity on Impact of Retirement on Pre-Amendment Agreement As we have previously noted on this blog, some of the biggest changes in the 2014 alimony reform amendments came in connection with the issue of retirement.  In fact, the amendment to the alimony statute now has three different standards, one for early retirement, one for retirement at the attainment of full retirement age (i.e. age upon which you can receive full Social Security benefits – 67 for most people) for new matters and a third for retirement at full... More
  • The Lawyer the Liar The way things have gone lately, I thought it was time to reprise this blog post, originally published in April of 2014.  It is unfortunate for the system and the litigants to have to endure the misrepresentations by people who should know better. I like a good joke as much as the next person.  That said, like many in my profession, I get sensitive about lawyer jokes.  Often, they are just cheap shots that in no way reflect the reality of what... More
  • Beware Legal Whack A Mole Sometimes, instead of practicing family law, it feels like we are playing a game of legal Whack A Mole.  You know what Whack A Mole is, right?  For those who don’t, it is the carnival game where the player has a mallet and has to hit the mole that pops up.  As soon as you hit one mole, another pops up, again and again. What is legal whack a mole, you may ask.  It is when every time you think that... More
  • Grandparent Visitation Just Got Easier – Well, Not Really, But At Least There Will Now Be A Uniform Procedure After the US Supreme Court decided Troxel v. Granville in 2000, invalidating Washington’s “breathtakingly broad” grandparent and third party visitation statute, there was an onslaught of litigation, nationwide, seeking to invalidate grandparent visitation statutes in each state.  Ultimately, in 2003 in the case of Moriarty v. Bradt (a case I was involved with), the New Jersey Supreme Court addressed this issue for the first time, post-Troxel, and held that because a judicial order compelling grandparent visitation infringes on parents’ fundamental right to raise their... More
  • The New Year's Resolution Divorce For the last few years, I have posted on the phenomenon of the New Year’s Resolution Divorce. For whatever reason, this post has struck a chord and has been both well received and cited by other bloggers. As such, given that the new year is near, I thought I would share that piece again. Over the years, I have noted that the number of new clients spikes a few times of the year, but most significantly right after the new year.... More