NJ Family Legal Blog

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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

  • Even At a Default Hearing, An Expert Report is Inadmissable Hearsay if the Expert Doesn’t Testify Very often, uncertified expert reports are attached to certifications and courts are asked to accept them though there is no ability to cross examine the expert, etc.  Sometimes, that even happens at a default or other hearing.  That is, a party tries to put the report into evidence without any testimony – direct or cross-examination of the expert.  A default hearing occurs for a few reasons.  Sometimes, the defendant never actually answers the Complaint. Other times, a party is defaulted... More
  • If You Want A Right to Appeal an Arbitration Award, Build it Into Your Arbitration Agreement Many people opt for binding arbitration because it is supposedly faster and cheaper, and binding – thus final.  Some people have to arbitrate their matters that they cannot settle amongst themselves, because there are issues that they cannot try before a court given the court’s mandatory obligation to report certain matters to the proper authorities (e.g. taxing authorities). While many people seek the finality of a binding result, many others are concerned that because an arbitrator is human, she/he could... More
  • Alimony Formulas: Yet Another Cautionary Tale Over the years, I have blogged about alimony formulas, “rules of thumb” and similar ways that alimony is settled.  I say settled, because in most instances, courts are not allowed to use a formula to determine alimony.  Basically, there are two types of formulas that we often see.  One takes a percentage of the differences in the parties’ income (or imputed incomes) to come to a fixed amount of alimony to be paid.  The other – often used in cases... More
  • NJ Divorce Court State of Play After 6 Months of COVID 19 Restrictions Two common questions I hear from potential clients, as well as the general public, are (1) are the courts open and (2) can people even file new matters (divorce, enforcement, modification, etc.) Some express shock when then learn that the Courts never actually closed – well sort of. In March and early April, there was, let’s say, a hiccup of sorts as both the courts, attorneys and litigants got used to working remotely and dealing with court business remotely.  The Court... More
  • Coronavirus Creates Estate Planning Opportunities – Divorce Too? Over the last several weeks, via emails, attending webinars and otherwise, I have frequently heard that the coronavirus may create significant estate planning opportunities.  In fact, while writing this post, I Googled “coronavirus and estate planning opportunities” and got 544 million results in .46 seconds.  While I am sure that not all of the results were on point, the first several pages of results certainly were.  I am sure that this is music to the ears of our Trust and... More
  • Two Months of Overnights May Not Definitively Mean Cohabitation, But It Should At Least Get You Discovery As we have said before, the 2014 amendments to the alimony statute allegedly made it easier to terminate alimony if the recipient of the alimony was cohabiting.  The statute now provides that alimony may be terminated or suspended if cohabitation was proven.   The statute made clear that the parties didn’t even have to live together full time for their to be cohabitation and provided indicia of cohabitation that had been culled from prior case law that the court must consider: (1)... More
  • Thoughts On Moving Cases Forward In Light of the Impact of Coronavirus Prior to the current coronavirus pandemic and resulting shelter in place orders, in many counties, there was already serious backlogs.  What that means is that trial dates were hard to come by and even motions were scheduled to be heard months after they were filed.  While the courts are not currently closed, they aren’t exactly “open” and it is far from business as usual.  While some judges are being very active, if not proactive in managing their dockets, doing conferences... More
  • Coronavirus Stay at Home Requirements and the Enhanced Risk of Domestic Violence There has been much news coverage about how China’s divorce filings spiked after their periods of quarantine and lock down ended including in articles and Bloomberg,   the Daily Mail and many other publications.  In fact, in response to our own stay at home orders/working from home/shut down of the courts in large part, in a bit of gallows humor, I have joked that this is the divorce lawyer’s silver lining of corona virus.  As I previously blogged, whether or not... More
  • How the Economic Downturn and Financial Impact of Coronavirus Could Be Felt in 2021 and Beyond An all too familiar, if not overused, term to describe all thing Covid 19/Corona virus is “unprecedented.”  In an attempt to avoid politics, whether any of this was foreseeable or not, there is no dispute of the absolute financial devastation that the world wide pandemic as created.  The stock market has cratered, many people are out of work, businesses are closed and some may never re-open, etc.  Legislation has been passed to help businesses and citizens alike, but no one... More
  • When Dividing Deferred Compensation – Say What You Mean and Mean What You Say – To Avoid Future Litigation It is not unusual for deferred compensation (eg. stock options, restricted shares, RSU, REUs, and a whole host of others) to  be addressed in marital settlement agreements, either as assets divided in equitable distribution, for purposes of computing income for support, or both.  Often the language is complicated and in some agreements it is incomprehensible.  A proper goal and something that you often see is the attempt to avoid the double dip – that is, if deferred compensation is divided... More