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

  • Statutes and Subsequent Qualification by the Supreme Court – They Both Matter. In a recent decision, E.H. v. K.H., the Appellate Division made clear that a finding of harassment in connection with the entry of a domestic violence restraining order must be based upon a judge’s findings on all elements of the criminal statute incorporated in the New Jersey Prevention Against Domestic Violence Act, qualified by any subsequent decisional law narrowing or clarifying the statute. In E.H., the trial judge found that the Defendant had committed harassment against the Plaintiff and that there... More
  • A Reminder: No change of circumstances? No best interests of the child finding? No change of custody or parenting time.. Last summer, Eliana Baer and Eric Solotoff of our Family Law Department achieved an Appellate Division victory when a trial court’s decision to allow our client’s ex-husband to obtain a custody evaluation without the requisite finding that there had been a change of circumstances.  In that case, the Appellate Division took issue with the trial court’s choice to put the child through a taxing best interests evaluation because there are two elements that must be met before a change of... More
  • Alienating Your Kids from Their Other Parent May Cost Your Kids Big When it Comes to Child Support and College. Here in New Jersey, divorced parents are generally obligated to contribute to the college education expenses for their un-emancipated children.  In virtually every marital settlement agreement where there are un-emancipated children (the agreement the parties to a divorce enter into in resolution of all of their financial and/or parenting time issues), there is some sort of agreement as to how college will be paid for.  Sometimes, it is very general and simply states that the parties’ respective contributions shall “abide... More
  • As if it Wasn’t Clear the First Time, The Appellate Division Rules On the Impact of a Social Security Administration Disability Determination on Support- Again In a recent published (precedential) decision, Gormley v. Gormley, the Appellate Division cleared up confusion between two prior cases that dealt with the impact of a determination of disability by the Social Security Administration upon support. In Gormley, the parties were divorcing.  The Wife in this matter had been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis during the marriage.  Also during the marriage, the Wife was declared permanently disabled by the Social Security Administration (“SSA”) and did not work.  The trial court judge made a number... More
  • New Jersey Appellate Division Examines the Meaning of “Dating Relationship” in Domestic Violence Cases. I have written about the requirements of obtaining a domestic violence final restraining order (“FRO”) under the New Jersey Prevention Against Domestic Violence Act (“the Act”) previously on this blog.  One of the three main criteria the Court must look at when determining whether to grant a final restraining order in such cases is the nature of the relationship between the parties.  In most cases, this is the easiest call for the judge.  The parties may be married, or they... More
  • Does the Marital Lifestyle Matter When it Comes to Enforcing a Pre-nuptial Agreement? A recent unpublished (non-precedential) decision, Steffens v. Steffens, suggests that the answer to the above question is “no.” In Steffens, the Wife sought to set aside a prenuptial agreement, arguing that it was unconscionable, in large part because the alimony payments she was to receive under the agreement would not allow her to maintain the marital lifestyle.  At trial, the Court excluded evidence of the marital lifestyle.  On appeal, the Wife argued that the Court erred by excluding such evidence which, she... More
  • 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