NJ Family Legal Blog


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 advisers whose clients may encounter family law issues.

Recent Blog Posts

  • Appellate Division Examines Proofs Required to Establish Mental Incapacity and Lack of Consent Under the Sexual Assault Survivor Protection Act (SASPA) In a recent published (i.e. precedential) decision, C.R. v. M.T., the New Jersey Appellate Division elaborated upon the legal standard proving that a sexual encounter during which one party was intoxicated was non-consensual under the Sexual Assault Survivor Protection Act (SASPA) N.J.S.A. 2C:14-13 to -21. Although we have blogged frequently on domestic violence restraining orders obtained under the New Jersey Prevention of Domestic Violence Act, SASPA offers another avenue to obtain restraining orders for victims of sexual assault.  In C.R., the plaintiff commenced an... More
  • So, You Think You Don’t Have to Share That Inheritance? One of the more complex issues we see when addressing alimony and equitable distribution relates to inherited assets and the money (distributions, investment experience, interest, etc.) that emanates from them.  Under New Jersey law, inherited assets remain the exempt, separate property of the spouse who inherited same.  It cannot be distributed in whole or in part to the other spouse in the event of a divorce.  See N.J.S.A. 2A:34-23(h). However, there is an exception to every rule.  If an asset is commingled with... More
  • Religion and Divorce: Raising Children of Interfaith Marriages Post-Divorce Raising children born of interfaith marriages can have its challenges (and of course, its unique joys – Chrismukkah, anyone?), but at least parents in intact families navigate and mediate these challenges together.  If and when parents of different religious faiths divorce, the questions of whether and how to raise the children in a particular religion while respecting the traditions of both parents and their families are difficult ones to answer. New Jersey’s case law on this subject is straightforward.  The case... More
  • Moving Child Support from Place to Place I have previously written about the custody and parenting time issues that may be presented when a child is moved from state to state within the country.  But what of child support? In an interesting recent unpublished decision, Flynn v. Flynn, the New Jersey Appellate Division examined the question: in a case where multiple child support orders have been entered in multiple states, which state has jurisdiction over the issue, and which state’s law controls? The Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA) Because the... More
  • How to Behave in the Courtroom Anything can happen in court.  Last week, while in the midst of an appearance, I served as de facto wedding photographer.  Although the bride and groom were blissfully unaware of it, their wedding ceremony came as a welcome reprieve from an incredibly heated argument between me and my adversary, back in court just three months after finalizing our clients’ divorce.  It was hard to imagine that the parties – who had not only hired attorneys to argue on their behalf,... More
  • New Published (Precedential) New Jersey Appellate Division Decision Confirms that all Custody and Parenting Time Decisions Are Created Equal In a new, published (precedential) decision, J.G. v. J.H.,  Judge Koblitz, of the Appellate Division confirmed and explicitly held what we all should have known before:  No matter what type of case, the same rules apply with respect to discovery and investigation, and the trial court judge is under the same obligation to apply the legal standard resulting in a decision that is in the best interests of the child. FD Docket versus FM Docket It sounds obvious:  the welfare of all... More
  • Opposing an Application to Modify or Terminate Alimony Upon Retirement? Be Ready to Address Your Ability to Have Saved Adequately for Retirement. In the wake of the September 10, 2014 amendments to N.J.S.A. 2A:34-23, the legislature clarified the circumstances under which an alimony payor’s obligation can be modified or terminated due to the obligor’s intended or actual retirement.  Under the statute as amended, when faced with an obligor’s application to modify or terminate alimony due to good faith retirement, the Court must consider the question of the alimony recipient’s ability to save for his or her own retirement.  As discussed In the new... More
  • Are You Willing to Bet on Winning Counsel Fees? I recently represented a client at mediation during which the parties were able to resolve virtually all of their issues, save for the Wife’s claim that the Husband should make a significant contribution to her counsel fees. It was the Wife’s position that the Husband had run up her legal fees with multiple order violations, refusal to turn over discovery, and by taking totally unreasonable positions; moreover, since he made more money than her, he had a greater ability to pay... More
  • What Does Your Divorce Have in Common with Halloween? A SPOOOOOOOOOOKY Comparison. All Hallow’s Eve is upon us.  All month long, I have watched my favorite Halloween movies (Hocus Pocus, anyone?), visited haunted houses, carved my Jack-O-Lantern, and engaged in all the usual Halloween festivities.  But it occurred to me:  the scariest thing that many of my clients will go through in their lives is their divorce.  And there’s a reason why the ghosts, ghouls, zombies, witches, and hobgoblins of Halloween are trotted out each year to scare us – that feeling... More
  • In a New Post-Bisbing Decision, the Appellate Division Highlights the Significance of the Requirement to Show Cause for a Proposed Interstate Move Just over a year after the New Jersey Supreme Court changed the standard to be applied in removal, or interstate relocation, cases, the Appellate Division in Dever v. Howell (an Appellate Division set to be published and, thus, will be precedential) is here to remind us that the burden to show cause for the proposed removal is not optional, cannot be an afterthought, and cannot be shifted to the party who opposes the move. N.J.S.A. 9:2-2’s Cause Requirement and Bisbing As a refresher,... More