NJ Family Legal Blog

http://njfamilylaw.foxrothschild.com/

Jessica 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

  • Do Parents Have an Obligation to Pay for Grad School? One New Jersey Trial Court Says, “It depends” Under Current Law and the Newly Enacted Statute More and more, when discussing the payment of college education expenses with clients for their children, I am being asked, “What about graduate school?”  The guiding principal behind that question, I suppose, is that, in New Jersey, it is well-settled that absent extenuating circumstances, both parties to a divorce have an obligation to financially provide for their children’s college educations.  By that logic, if a child seeks an advanced degree, don’t both parties have an obligation to financially contribute to... More
  • New Jersey Superior Court Opines on a Child’s “Giftedness” in Published Child Support Ruling Many parents want to believe their children are “gifted,” but do they know that this “giftedness” may increase their child support obligations? Judge Jones’ new published (precedential) opinion, P.S. v. J.S. highlighted the distinction between a regular old “extra-curricular activity” and the pursuits of a “gifted” child, reaffirming that, where a child is “gifted,” the Court may deviate from the Child Support Guidelines to award supplementary child support in order to foster that child’s talents and providing some guidance on how the Court might... More
  • New Jersey Appellate Division Issues Decision Clarifying Second Prong of Silver Test The standard for entry of a Final Restraining Order (FRO) under the NJ Prevention of Domestic Violence has been long established by the Courts (and discussed many times on this blog); under the seminal case Silver v. Silver, in order to obtain an FRO, the plaintiff must have a qualifying relationship with the defendant, and also has the burden to establish that: The defendant committed one or more of the predicate acts of domestic violence identified in the Prevention of Domestic... More
  • The Supreme Court Finds a Right to Counsel for Indigent Parents Opposing Private Adoptions In the recent decision In the Matter of the Adoption of a Child by J.E.V. and D.G.V., the New Jersey Supreme Court unanimously held that: [A]n indigent parent who faces termination of parental rights in a contested private adoption proceeding has a right to appointed counsel.  A poor parent who seeks to protect the fundamental right to raise a child, at a contested hearing under the Adoption Act, is entitled to counsel under the due process guarantee of the New Jersey Constitution. In... More
  • The Interplay Between Personal Firearm Forfeiture and Domestic Violence Proceedings Gets Some Clarification from the NJ Supreme Court Recently, the New Jersey Supreme Court provided some important clarification with regard to the issue of firearm forfeiture in the wake of an arrest and firearm seizure pursuant to the New Jersey Prevention of Domestic Violence Act (NJPDVA), N.J.S.A. 2C:25-17 to 35.  In In the Matter of the Application of New Jersey for the Forfeiture of Personal Weapons and Firearms Identification Card Belonging to F.M., the Supreme Court squarely addressed the following important question:  Under what circumstances can a personal firearm and firearms purchaser identification... More
  • When it Comes to Enforcement, Act NOW Not Later A recent unpublished decision, Strunck v. Figueroa, serves as a not-so-gentle reminder that sometimes an enforcement application can be “too little, too late,” and that it is imperative to be proactive to protect your rights under a divorce decree or agreement, especially when your adversary acts in bad faith.  In Strunck, a 2011 divorce decree awarded the plaintiff $23,369, which was to be transferred from the defendant’s retirement account.  Before the plaintiff could act to collect the $23,369, however, the defendant withdrew the... More
  • Filling in the Gaps: The Addition of “Criminal Coercion” as a Predicate Act Under the NJ Prevention of Domestic Violence Act In August 2015, the New Jersey Legislature formally amended the Prevention Against Domestic Violence Act (N.J.S.A. 2C:25-19(a)) to include the predicate act of criminal coercion as a fifteenth form of domestic violence (in addition to: homicide, assault, terroristic threats, kidnapping, criminal restraint, false imprisonment, sexual assault, criminal sexual contact, lewdness, criminal mischief, burglary, criminal trespass, harassment, and stalking, all of which are as defined under their respective criminal statutes). By way of background, in order to obtain a restraining order under... More
  • ‘Til Death Do Us Part…or Not. In the recent case O’Hara v. Estate of John B. O’Hara, Jr., the Appellate Division reminded us that even though the death of a party to a marriage ends that marriage, it doesn’t always end the divorce.  In Carr v. Carr, 120 N.J. 330 (1990), our Court examined what happens in the event that a party dies mid-divorce – after the Complaint has been filed, but before the divorce is finalized.  You might think that when this happens, the case simply ends... More
  • Baby, Now You Really Can Drive My Car: Questions About Child Support & Driving Expenses, Answered Ah, the moment you have been waiting for – nay, dreaming of – has arrived:  your child has gotten his or her driver’s license!  It was a long time coming, after 17 long, hard years of carpooling to school, arguing with the other parents about who is going to pick the kids up from their mall hang-out session, shuttling your child to sports practices, lessons, tutors, and so forth.  Freedom is yours!  There’s just one question:  who’s going to pay... More
  • Divorcing from Your Spouse’s Student Loan Debt I recently came across an article, Getting Financially Naked with Your Partner, by Erin Lowry, that got me thinking about a question that is bound to arise more and more in this practice.  Millennials, as a generation, are beset by student loan debt at the highest levels in history.  As they start marrying and, as a corollary, divorcing, a common question they will ask is: what responsibility do I have when it comes to my husband’s / wife’s student loan debt?   As with many issues,... More