NJ Family Legal Blog


Jennifer 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

  • What not to say to your kids in a divorce. As a family lawyer who deals with custody issues, I often remember Keanu Reeve’s line in the 1989 movie, Parenthood:  “You know, Mrs. Buckman, you need a license to buy a dog, or drive a car. H(eck), you need a license to catch a fish! But they’ll let any  *&%$ (expletive) be a [parent].”  There is no instruction manual, and a divorce often brings out some of the challenges of being a parent. Attorneys are often asked by clients what they... More
  • The Importance of a Credit Score Lawyers and litigants alike have long understood the importance of maintaining a good credit rating before, during, and after the divorce. As the parties, particularly one who has not had significant employment during the marriage know, a positive credit rating is critical to establish a new residence, purchase vehicles, and start a new, single life. Often however, the actions of one party can have the effect of damaging irreparably the credit rating of the other. This often happens in the... More
  • Difficult and sometimes perplexing International Custody issues in the news- Again! Actress Kelly Rutherford is back in the news as the more than six year international custody battle for her children continues its latest chapter.  The case is presently in Monaco where her children are currently residing with their father, German businessman, Daniel Giersch. From a family law perspective, this case addresses almost every issue which judges struggle with on a daily basis. It also shines a bright light on the problematic issues associated with our ever mobile society. Copyright: olegdudko /... More
  • J is for Justifying a Deviation from the Child Support Guidelines Your lawyer has just told you what you are likely to receive for child support and your jaw has dropped because you know the amount comes nowhere near the actual cost of supporting the children. How then, do you get your soon-to-be ex-spouse to pay what you consider to be a fair amount for the children? In a recent unreported decision, the court ordered an enhanced amount of child support ($50,000) but was then reversed on appeal because the judge failed... More
  • How to divide an Island and other wedding gift questions The BBC has recently reported that Cristiano Ronoldo, the soccer superstar, has given his agent a Greek Island for a wedding gift. While a Greek island may not be the typical wedding gift for most couples, the question of how the wedding gifts are divided in the event of a divorce certainly comes up often. Copyright: photografier / 123RF Stock Photo New Jersey, as well as the majority of states, considers all property that was acquired during the marriage to be subject... More
  • Staying Together for the Kids- Maybe not such a great idea Oftentimes clients say that they are waiting until after high school or college graduation to get a divorce so that the child or children do not have to experience a divorce.  A lofty goal in most cases in which at least one party is dreadfully unhappy. Yet as they say, the road to you know where is paved with good intentions and this may be another example. Copyright: goodluz / 123RF Stock Photo Recently, I read a column in which the writer... More
  • I is for Independence: The divorce is over and so now what? You’re at the Courthouse and your attorney has handed you for your final divorce documents.  It may be as a result of a negotiated settlement, or it may be as the result of a judge’s decision, but you are a single, independent person again.   But the end of the divorce is not exactly there yet. Various tasks and decisions still remain. Division of Retirement Accounts:  If a retirement plan has been distributed between former spouses, steps need to be taken complete... More
  • Divorce is like a Snowflake – No 2 are alike Recently I met with a new client who brought a close friend who had also been divorced to the meeting. Not surprisingly, I heard much about the friend’s divorce during the meeting, and it was clear that the client’s expectations were influenced by his friend’s story. Copyright: eisashutters / 123RF Stock Photo Thomas Kida, in his book, “Don’t Believe Everything You Think,” notes that anecdotal evidence is a significant factor when we make decisions.  Much of the reason for this is because... More
  • H is for HIPAA Copyright: zimmytws / 123RF Stock Photo Health care information (including mental health information) can be very  important in a family law case in many ways and for many different reasons. In custody matters, the fitness of each parent is front and center of the case.  Often times, a parent’s medical and mental health history will be relevant to the issues that the court is deciding.  For example, does a parent have a medical condition that may impair his or her ability to... More
  • G is for Gift ( including gifts from Grandparents) Copyright: / 123RF Stock Photo “What happens to gifts that were received during our marriage” is a question that is often asked early on in a divorce case. The answer can be as varied as the type of gift, from whom it was received as well as to whom the gift was given. Under New Jersey’s equitable distribution statute, “all property, real, personal or otherwise, legally or beneficially acquired during the marriage by either party by way of gift, devise or... More