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Robert contributes regularly 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

  • Appellate Division Issues New Decision on Cohabitation In the midst of our ongoing quest for guidance as to how and when to apply the 2014 cohabitation statute, comes the Appellate Division’s recent unpublished (not precedential) decision in J.S. v. J.M.  While the decision does not reveal much in the way of noteworthy substance beyond what we have already seen in other post-statute decisions, the Appellate Division did opine on a couple of points that this author found interesting, one of which is addressed herein. Briefly, the parties were divorced in 2010,... More
  • A Review of Cohabitation Law in a Post-Amendment Landscape As New Jersey law on cohabitation continues to evolve after passage of the 2014 amendment to the alimony statute, a review of cases released since that time provides insight as to several components of the cohabitation discussion. My new article on this topic in the New Jersey Lawyer’s Family Law issue can be found by clicking on the link below. http://www.foxrothschild.com/robert-a-epstein/publications/a-review-of-cohabitation-law-in-a-post-amendment-landscape/ ____________________________________________________ Robert Epstein is a partner in Fox Rothschild LLP’s Family Law Practice Group and practices throughout New Jersey.  He can be reached... More
  • Appellate Division Denies Cohabitation Claim Under Alimony Statute While we await guidance from the Appellate Division on how to interpret that portion of the amended alimony statute’s cohabitation provision, N.J.S.A. 2A:32-23n, indicating that alimony may be “suspended or terminated” in the event of a payee former spouse’s cohabitation, and whether the pre-statute “economic benefits” test remains alive and well, we are seeing newer cases that address the issue of cohabitation under the statute, rather than under pre-statute case law. In Gille, Jr. v. Gille, an unpublished decision from the Appellate... More
  • Appellate Division Confirms that Alimony Cannot be Judicially Determined with a Formula One of the most common questions posed by clients is – how is alimony determined?  Unfortunately, there is no easy answer to that question, and it is often dependent upon the facts and circumstances of a given matter.  The law does not provide for a formula, even in the final version of the amended alimony statute that passed in late 2014, and requires that trial judges consider each of the factors outlined in New Jersey’s alimony statute (N.J.S.A. 2A:34-23(b)) in rendering an award. As seminal New Jersey... More
  • Happy Xmas (War Is Over) – Takeaways for the 2017 Holiday Season With Chanukkah almost behind us and Christmas rapidly approaching, the time for being jolly is unfortunately also a peak time for parental conflict in divorcing and divorced families.  What one would think (hope) would be a relatively simple discussion between adults in an effort to resolve such issues often turns into something far worse.  Court applications often result where judges are called upon to make last minute decisions about where the children should be, who they should be with, and for what amount of time. With that being said, here... More
  • Mediate, Alleviate, Try Not to Hate…Lessons Learned from 80s Icons Ah, the 80s and MTV when bands still made music videos and we still cared to watch them.  Many of you may remember the video for the INXS song “Mediate” at the back end of the video for “Need You Tonight”, with the band holding a different sign for each word of the song until they all walk away from the camera during the sax solo.  Paying homage to a classic Bob Dylan song, Mediate is really one of the... More
  • Settling Your Case Comes With Great Power and Great Responsibility Amicably settling your divorce matter is almost always better than taking your chances at a trial before a trial judge who knows almost nothing about your life. Not only can settling save you substantial time and expense as compared to continued litigation, but also it provides you with the opportunity to end the case on your terms while removing the risk associated with an uncertain trial decision. To that end, settling also means potentially agreeing to terms that are not necessarily... More
  • SUPREME COURT OF NEW JERSEY DEPARTS FROM STANDARD UTILIZED IN RELOCATION CASES In what seemed like an eventual, but no less dramatic change in family law jurisprudence, the Supreme Court of New Jersey in Bisbing v. Bisbing overturned the well-established two-part test used in determining whether a primary custodian should be permitted to relocate interstate with an unemancipated child and, in connection therewith, the primary custodian’s presumptive right to relocate. In so doing, it noted a “special justification” in returning to the “best interests” of the child standard applied before Baures: We affirm... More
  • Supreme Court of New Jersey Addresses Equitable Claims and Remedies (while reinforcing a potential palimony loophole through the proverbial “black hole”) What rights do people have to an equitable distribution of assets stemming from a period prior to the marriage itself?  If there is no right to equitable distribution under those circumstances, then what rights exist and what remedies can be implemented to protect those rights?  In Thieme v. Aucoin-Thieme, a post-Judgment dispute involving several interesting issues including the equitable distribution of marital assets, distribution of assets pursuant to equitable principles stemming from a pre-marital cohabitation period, and the remedy of... More
  • A PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT ABOUT RETAINING YOUR DIVORCE LAWYER As a matrimonial litigant, you never want to feel that your lawyer does not know how best to take you through the divorce or post-divorce process.  After spending substantial sums of money on an advocate to aid you through a difficult and emotional process, let’s just say that “the blind leading the blind” is not the vibe that you want to be left walking away with. Unfortunately, however, it happens way too often and I cannot tell you how many times... More