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Bankruptcy and Divorce: Things to Consider

divorce lawyer voorhees nj

There are many things to consider when planning for a divorce. Of course, you will have to come to an agreement on how you will divide owned assets like property and finances. Large debt and financial difficulties might make you consider filing for bankruptcy. However, filing for bankruptcy while in the process of a divorce can be tricky and there are a few important things to consider.

Determining When to File for Divorce

Ideally, the most convenient time to file bankruptcy may be once the divorce is completed. However, waiting to file for bankruptcy until the divorce proceedings are over might not be an available option for everyone. A pending bankruptcy will change a few key components of the divorce process.  Most notably, the New Jersey state divorce court cannot equitably distribute the marital property in the midst of a bankruptcy proceeding. The marital assets are part of the bankrupt estate, and will be administered in the bankruptcy proceeding by the trustee on behalf of the creditors.  

It can be tricky deciding what information to include when a divorce is pending and the answers to these questions can affect your bankruptcy ruling. If you are unsure how to file or have questions about what information to include in the filing, it may be useful to work with a divorce lawyer.

How Bankruptcy Can Affect Divorce

While each bankruptcy and divorce case differ, there are a few general rules to understand.  A pending bankruptcy and any stay under federal statute or federal bankruptcy court order cannot cancel, forestall, discharge or dismiss alimony support or child support obligations.  

Other divorce obligations, however, like property debt or loans, may be forgiven under bankruptcy filing. It is useful to work with a divorce lawyer who is familiar with New Jersey’s divorce laws to better understand your individual options.

New Jersey Automatic Stay Laws

Under federal bankruptcy laws, an automatic stay is initiated after filing of the bankruptcy petition.  An automatic stay essentially means that all creditors and debts are put on hold while the details of the bankruptcy are being determined. But it also prevents initiation of a divorce proceeding or continuation of a pending divorce proceeding.  A motion may be filed in the federal bankruptcy court, however, to lift the federal bankruptcy stay insofar as dissolution of the marriage and support obligations are concerned.  

Discuss Your Divorce Case With a Divorce Lawyer Today

If you are considering, or currently involved in, a divorce case, and you are also considering bankruptcy, it is important to reach out to an experienced lawyer as soon as possible. The assets, debts, and details of each divorce case differs, so it is crucial to work with a legal team that can help you navigate your case.

Going through a divorce or bankruptcy, even at the same time, doesn’t have to feel overwhelming. Let our team of experienced New Jersey lawyers help guide you through the process, ensuring that you know what to expect and when, while protecting your legal rights throughout the legal process.

Contact a Cherry Hill Family Law Attorney for a Consultation About Bankruptcy During Divorce in New Jersey Today

If you are thinking about filing for divorce, or if you have already started the divorce process and are dealing with another matter such as child custody, child support, or division of assets, you need to speak with a qualified attorney. The New Jersey family law attorney at the Law Offices of Daniel K. Newman represents clients throughout the state, including Camden, Cherry Hill, Gloucester Township, and Winslow. We understand how challenging this time can be for you, which is why we will fight hard to protect your interests, and the interests of your loved ones, throughout the legal process. Call us at (856) 309-9007 or fill out our confidential contact form to schedule a consultation. We have an office conveniently located at 1202 Laurel Oak Rd #207, Voorhees Township, NJ 08043.

The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.

COVID-19 & The Rise In Divorce Rates

Much of the United States has watched other countries and how they are dealing with COVID-19 to better understand what we can expect. We’ve watched case numbers increase and decrease and learned what to do and what not to do while dealing with this unprecedented global pandemic. We’ve also learned a few things from paying attention to the outcome as countries around the world have adapted to this new virus. 

In addition to the direct impact of the virus, COVID-19 has also left countries with long-lasting effects, both financially and socioeconomically. One such trend is that of divorces. China has noticed a significant increase in the rate of divorces following the COVID-19 emergence. There are many factors that are contributing to that increase. 

How Is COVID-19 Affecting Families and Marriages? 

COVID-19 is affecting the majority of the world in one way or another. Even individuals who are never exposed to or never had any symptoms of the virus are affected in other ways. They might lose their job or deal with increased stress levels in an otherwise already struggling relationship or marriage. 

Families are facing the following pressures during COVID-19: 

  • Financial difficulties due to loss of employment 
  • Difficulty planning for the future 
  • Around-the-clock childcare 
  • Social isolation 

The ongoing impact and stress of the virus could leave many people questioning the happiness in their marriage. Financial difficulties and parenting are already top contributors to divorce

What to Do If You’re Considering Divorce During COVID-19 

If you’re currently considering divorce, then you will want to follow these steps: 

  • Give yourself time to consider: COVID-19 has been stressful on many families all over the world. Before jumping into a decision that you might regret, it is a good idea to give yourself time to consider it. If possible, find ways to enjoy time apart, even while confined to the same household. 
  • Create a divorce plan: Divorce changes the dynamics of a family. It requires parents to determine a child custody agreement. It might require that you find a new residence, which can be difficult during quarantine. If you have already decided that divorce is the only answer, it can be helpful to consider a plan ahead of time. 
  • Discuss your plans with your spouse: Being open with your spouse when you are considering divorce is important. You will need to work together to determine the best living arrangements for you and your children. You will also need to divide your assets. 
  • Discuss your case with a family lawyer: Discussing your case with a family lawyer offers many benefits. It allows you to think logically about the divorce and provides you with a detailed plan of steps you need to take as you prepare for the divorce. Working with a New Jersey lawyer can also give you answers to how to navigate a divorce during COVID-19. 

You can expect delays if you choose to file during COVID-19, as many courthouses are closed to the public. Fortunately, you can discover your options by discussing your case with a family lawyer remotely. New Jersey courts have also implemented temporary measures, like video/audio court sessions or conference calls with the judge, attorneys and parties. 

It can also be beneficial to discuss your options with a New Jersey family lawyer if children are present in the marriage. Child custody can make the process more difficult. Fortunately, you don’t have to navigate this difficult time on your own. Our legal team is here to help you navigate divorce during COVID-19. 

Contact a Voorhees Family Law Attorney for a Consultation About Divorce in New Jersey Today 

If you are thinking about filing for divorce, or if you have already started the divorce process and are dealing with another matter such as child custody, child support, or division of assets, you need to speak with a qualified attorney. The New Jersey family law attorneys at the Law Offices of Daniel K. Newman represents clients throughout the state, including Camden, Cherry Hill, Gloucester Township, Voorhees and Winslow. We understand how challenging this time can be for you, which is why we will fight hard to protect your interests, and the interests of your loved ones, throughout the legal process. Call us at (856) 309-9007 or fill out our confidential contact form to schedule a consultation. We have an office conveniently located at 1202 Laurel Oak Rd, #207, Voorhees Township, NJ 08043. 

The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly. 

New Jersey Child Support and Unemployment

If you’re unemployed and worried about your child support payments in New Jersey, a professional family lawyer from The Law Offices of Daniel K. Newman can help. New Jersey child support is based on the income of both parents. Judges set support amounts or make changes to existing orders according to the New Jersey Child Support Guidelines. Our legal team can help you to explain these modifications and the requirements of the law when it comes to unemployment. 

Imputed Income

If the courts decide that an unemployed parent could be working or could earn more money at a better-paying job, they impute income based on the person’s previous salary or the average earnings of their occupation. Work experience, education, training and available jobs in the area are all looked at as well. Parents cannot avoid paying child support in New Jersey by quitting their job or refusing to look for a better one. 

Disability

If someone is unemployed because of a disability, they have to show proper evidence to the court, including medical records or workers’ compensation records. If the disabled parent is receiving workers’ compensation and/or Social Security Disability, they can base the child support amount on that income. However, if a disabled parent’s only income is disability, a child support obligation cannot bring a person down financially below 105% of the U.S. federal poverty guideline. 

Child Support Order Modifications

A job loss doesn’t excuse paying child support. However, a child support modification can be made to lower payments to a more affordable sum while someone is looking for a new job. This modification is only done if the parent can prove that this job loss is permanent or long-term in nature. 

Contact a Voorhees Township Family Law Attorney for a Consultation About Child Support in New Jersey Today 

If you are thinking about filing for divorce, or if you have already started the divorce process and are dealing with another matter such as child custody, child support, or division of assets, you need to speak with a qualified attorney. The Law Offices of Daniel K. Newman represents clients throughout the state, including Camden, Cherry Hill, Pennsauken, and Lindenwold. We understand how challenging this time can be for you, which is why we will fight hard to protect your interests, and the interests of your loved ones, throughout the legal process. Call us at 856-309-9007 or fill out our confidential contact form to schedule a consultation. We have an office conveniently located at 1202 Laurel Oak Rd, Suite 207, Voorhees Township, NJ 08043. 

The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly. 

Options for Modifying Your Child Visitation Schedule

If you have children, then you already know how unpredictable each new day can be. From doctor’s appointments to afternoon soccer practice, you and your child’s schedules are likely to change from time to time.

This usually isn’t a problem; but what if these schedule changes require a modification to the parenting time schedule you have with your child’s other parent? Depending upon your relationship with the other parent, you may have options for modifying your schedule. Learn everything you need to know about your options below.

Schedule Modifications: The Art of Compromise

Do you and your child’s other parent continue to compromise despite your separation? If so, then modifying your visitation schedule will be much easier. You’ll need to communicate with the other parent and come to an agreement about new arrangements. Once you both agree, then you can file for a modification with the court by way of a consent order if you feel it is necessary. With both parties agreeing to the terms, the judge will simply sign off on the new parenting plan.

Mediation

What should you do if you and the other parent can’t come to an agreement, but you don’t want to go to court, either? In these situations, it may be best to hire a third-party mediator to oversee both arguments. Mediation allows for open dialogue between both parties, and the third-party mediator will be unbiased when listening to both sides.  And sometimes you can utilize the services of a court custody mediator.  In many circumstances, an agreement can be reached between two parents through the mediation process. If you choose this route, then you could save time and money by avoiding court. The success of this type of conflict resolution will hinge on the ability of you and the other parent to come to an agreement. If you don’t think that you’ll be able to do that, then you’ll need to consider other options.

Requesting a Hearing

Sometimes cooperating with the other parent simply isn’t possible. If this describes your situation, then you may need to speak with an attorney about pursuing other options. You may need to file a motion or application for parenting time modification and prove that your position is not unreasonable. A judge will rule on your motion or application by deciding whether the previous custody order should be modified. The standard that the court uses is whether there has been a substantial change of circumstances since the last parenting time order was signed.  The overarching principle is whether or not the new parenting time plan will be in the best interests of the child or children.

Contact a Voorhees Law Attorney for a Consultation About Visitation Schedules in New Jersey Today

If you are thinking about filing for divorce, or if you have already started the divorce process and are dealing with another matter such as child custody, child support, or division of assets, you need to speak with a qualified attorney. The New Jersey family law attorneys at The Law Offices of Daniel K. Newman represent clients throughout the state, including Voorhees, Camden, Burlington and Gloucester. We understand how challenging this time can be for you, which is why we will fight hard to protect your interests, and the interests of your loved ones, throughout the legal process. Call us at (856) 309-9007 or fill out our confidential contact form to schedule a consultation. We have an office conveniently located at 1202 Laurel Oak Rd #207 Voorhees Township, New Jersey 08043.

The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.

Understanding New Jersey Child Support Laws

When a couple with children decides to divorce, it can complicate the financial and emotional factors of raising children. The parents are obligated to agree upon a parenting-time schedule, including overnights, pickup and drop-off times and locations, holiday parenting time and extended summer parenting time. The court mandates that the parties engage in parenting-time mediation, and if that is not successful, a Family Court judge will make the decision either in the context of a pretrial motion or in a divorce trial.

New Jersey Child Support Laws

Each state has its own child support laws, rules and regulations that determine how much each parent owes to support their children. New Jersey believes that the child or children should benefit from both parents’ incomes. The State of New Jersey takes the position that no child should suffer just because their parents made the decision to divorce.  Both parents are expected to be working on a full-time basis unless compelling, unusual circumstances prevent a parent from doing so.  In the event that a parent refuses to work, the court will impute income to that parent for the purpose of calculating the child support according to the New Jersey Child Support Guidelines.

Calculating Child Support Using the Income Shares Method

The State of New Jersey uses the Income Shares Method when calculating how much child support is owed by each parent.  New Jersey will combine both parents’ net weekly incomes while determining the child support owed based on the percentage of overnight custody, daycare expenses and which parent is paying medical insurance expenses. This includes income from multiple sources, such as: Hourly wages, salary, and certain forms of unearned income, including investment earnings and unemployment. The parent of alternate residence (PAR) pays to the parent of primary residence (PPR) child support money either through direct pay to the other parent, the New Jersey Child Support Center or wage execution through the County Probation Department.

Determining Child Support in Unique Cases

Just as each couple’s divorce is different, so are the financial and living circumstances involved with each case. While New Jersey generally does utilize the income shares method when determining child support, there are a few situations that could affect the total amount of child support owed. These could include one or both parents who have very high incomes, above the New Jersey Court Rules Appendix IX child support figures;  Fifty-fifty overnight parenting time which requires a special calculation; and extremely low income for one or both parents which places one or both below 105% of the U.S. Federal Poverty Guideline. Additional costs that could also reduce one or both parents’ calculated child support obligation include unreimbursed medical expenses, tuition costs, educational or training expenses, and the cost of special care for children.

However, using an alternative calculation method requires a request to consider the unique situation with the court. If you are dealing with a unique financial or child custody situation, it might be a good idea to work with an experienced lawyer.

Once a child support total is determined, the individual is expected to pay that cost monthly until the child turns 19 years of age. There are other situations that could end the ruling before that, but special petition or request is often required first. It is also possible to modify the amount owed, especially when income or living situation changes.

Contact a Voorhees Family Law Attorney for a Consultation About Child Support and Child Custody Laws in New Jersey Today

If you are thinking about filing for divorce, or if you have already started the divorce process and are dealing with another matter such as child custody, child support, or division of assets, you need to speak with a qualified attorney. The New Jersey family law attorneys at the Law Offices of Daniel K. Newman represent clients throughout the state, including Camden, Cherry Hill, Gloucester Township and Winslow Township. We understand how challenging this time can be for you, which is why we will fight hard to protect your interests, and the interests of your loved ones, throughout the legal process. Call us at (856) 309-9007, or fill out our confidential contact form to schedule a consultation. We have an office conveniently located at 1202 Laurel Oak Rd #207, Voorhees, NJ 08043.

The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.

Planning For a Child’s Higher Education After A Divorce

In a divorce in which children are involved a divorce court will expect the parents to continue supporting the children. Part of this support may involve financing their higher education and college expenses. In New Jersey, the parents are obligated to pay for the undergraduate college education of the children after all reasonable loans, scholarships and grants.  Generally, this parental obligation requires that the children are full-time students (12 credit hours or more per semester) and that they complete their undergraduate studies within five years or less. This educational monetary support may be applied to various types of post-secondary education, including training, technical and vocational schools. The legal professionals at the Law Offices of Daniel K. Newman of New Jersey understand the state’s child support laws and can give you sound legal advice for your individual case.

Age of The Child 

The age of majority is 18. But as mentioned above, in New Jersey, the parents may be obligated to pay the educational expenses for their progeny until age 23.  Also, if a child is disabled, the parents may incur an indefinite financial responsibility for not only the educational needs of a child, but also for the adult child’s living and medical expenses. This latter responsibility has been codified by the New Jersey Legislature in a financial maintenance statute.  Generally, parents are not financially responsible for post-graduate or professional schooling for their children. 

Factors The Court Will Consider

A court does not automatically order parents to provide financial support for a child’s higher education. Each case is considered individually by the judge, and there are many factors that will be considered. If financial aid is already available in the form of a student loan or a scholarship, that is one consideration. The child’s motivation to complete an undergraduate college education is another one. Part-time employment on the part of the child may also be a probative factor.  The court will also take into account the financial resources of the parents as well.  All of the factors that the court is to take into account are set forth by the Appellate Division of the Superior Court of New Jersey in a case entitled Jacoby v. Jacoby, 427 N.J. Super. 109  (App. Div. 2012).  It is of paramount importance that the parent of primary residence (PPR), who is residing with the child the majority of the time, consults with the other parent about the schools that the child is interested in.  It is mandatory that both parents be kept “in the loop” before any decisions are made and financial obligations incurred. The legal guidelines that are used to calculate and determine the amount of support that will be given for higher education can be complex, and it helps to have an experienced attorney sort it out. Contacting the Law Offices of Daniel K. Newman of Voorhees, New Jersey is a good place to start. 

Coming To an Agreement

Expensive and time-consuming litigation can always be avoided if the two parents can come to a mutual agreement on who will pay for the children’s college expenses, and how much will be paid by each parent. The parents are already aware of their own budgets and usually also of the unique abilities and desires of their own children. 

Contact a Voorhees Family Law Attorney for a Consultation About Child Support in NJ Today

If you are thinking about filing for divorce, or if you have already started the divorce process and are dealing with another matter such as child custody, child support, or division of assets, you need to speak with a qualified attorney. The New Jersey family law attorneys at The Law Offices of Daniel K. Newman represent clients throughout the state, including Camden, Cherry Hill, Winslow, Lindenwold, and throughout the State of New Jersey. We understand how challenging this time can be for you, which is why we will fight hard to protect your interests, and the interests of your loved ones, throughout the legal process. Call us at 856-309-9007 or fill out our confidential contact form to schedule a consultation. We have an office conveniently located at 1202 Laurel Oak Rd #207, Voorhees Township, NJ 08043.

The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.

Relocating with Children after Divorce

If you are the parent of primary residence for your children following your divorce from your spouse, it may become necessary for you to relocate to take advantage of job opportunities, financial needs, or family support. However, relocating with children following divorce often leads to significant litigation, as the children’s other parent may lose regular access to and visitation with their children. When parents are unable to resolve the disputes that arise from relocation and come to a new arrangement for custody and visitation, it becomes necessary for the courts to resolve the dispute for the parents.

The Role of State Law in Relocating with Children after Divorce

State law sets forth the standards that courts use in deciding whether to grant a custodial parent’s request to relocate out of the local community with children. The custodial parent is required to give the noncustodial parent notice of the intention to relocate and either written consent from the other parent or a court order permitting relocation. 

It is important for a custodial parent seeking to relocate with his or her children to follow the required procedures for relocation. Failure to do so can lead the court to require the return of the children to the original jurisdiction; the imposition of counsel fees; or in some limited circumstances awarding primary custody to the other parent. 

Related blog: How Is New Jersey Child Custody Decided and When May It Be Modified?

Factors Courts Use in Evaluating Relocation Requests

When courts evaluate relocation requests, they will consider multiple factors including:

  • The relative strength and stability of each parent’s relationship with the child;
  • The terms of prior custody agreements or arrangements;
  • The reasons for the relocation;
  • Whether the custodial parent has a pattern of seeking relocation or harming the relationship between the child and non-custodial parent;
  • The age and needs of the child;
  • How relocation will affect the child’s physical, educational, and emotional development, and the child’s quality of life, available resources and opportunities;
  • The feasibility of continuing access for the noncustodial parent;
  • The feasibility for the noncustodial parent to relocate as well;
  • The financial impact of relocation upon the parents and the child; and
  • The child’s preference, if the child is sufficiently old and mature enough to express a reasoned preference.

There are two relatively recent New Jersey reported court decisions that deal with the issue of parental relocation. The first is Bisbing v. Bisbing, 230 N.J. 309 (2017). This case addresses the showing necessary to establish “cause” under the New Jersey parental relocation statute, N.J.S.A. 9:2-2, to enter a court order authorizing a parent to relocate out of state with his or her child despite opposition from the other parent. This issue implicates the constitutional right of a parent to engage in interstate travel, including reestablishing one’s domicile or residence, against disruption of the relationship between the child and the other parent. These competing factors must be viewed within the prism of the State’s interest in protecting the best interests of the child. The Bisbing case features a comprehensive discussion of the legal standards and practical considerations at play in determining whether interstate relocation should be permitted.

The second case is A.J. v. R.J., 461 N.J. Super. 173 (App. Div. 2019). The interesting wrinkle in this case is that it deals with an intrastate move—from Elizabeth to Mt. Holly, New Jersey.  So, under certain circumstances a parent may not even have the unbridled ability to relocate hours away within New Jersey. For example, Gloucester County and Bergen County, New Jersey are far more geographically disparate than Camden County and New Castle County, Delaware.  

Contact a Voorhees Family Law Attorney for a Consultation About Relocating with Children in New Jersey Today

If you are thinking about filing for divorce, or if you have already started the divorce process and are dealing with another matter such as child custody, child support, or division of assets, or if this is a post-judgment matter subsequent to your divorce or separation from the other parent, you need to speak with a qualified attorney. The New Jersey family law attorneys at the Law Offices of Daniel K. Newman represent clients throughout the state, including Camden, Cherry Hill, Gloucester Township, and Winslow. We understand how challenging this time can be for you, which is why we will fight hard to protect your interests, and the interests of your loved ones, throughout the legal process. Call us at (856) 309-9007 or fill out our confidential contact form to schedule a consultation. We have an office conveniently located at 1202 Laurel Oak Rd., #207, Voorhees Township, NJ 08043.

The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.

Child Support and 50/50 Joint Custody Arrangements

Family Law Burlington Image - Law Offices of Daniel K. NewmanHousehold Statistics in New Jersey

Statistics show that back in 1960, about half of all households comprised of a married couple and their children. Now, that number has dropped to about 22 percent in New Jersey.

These statistics highlight the increase in both single-parent households and joint custody arrangements. Issues inevitably arise when children are involved in a divorce. One of these big questions is how both parties will financially support their children even after separating.

When parents agree to a joint custody arrangement, does either party pay child support? Keep reading to find out.

What Exactly is Joint Custody?

There are two types of custody: physical and legal. Legal custody is the ability to make parental decisions about the child’s life, whereas physical custody determines who the child will primarily reside with. Joint legal custody doesn’t impact child support arrangements, but joint physical custody does.

How will Child Support be Determined in Joint Custody Cases?

Parents who have joint physical custody usually split the child’s time between households. Courts will reduce the amount of child support obligation based on the number of overnight stays the child has with that parent.

It’s tedious and unreasonable to require parents to track and record each hour they spend with their children. When courts attempt to calculate how many overnights each parent has with the youngsters, their calculations may not be exact. In some situations, your actual parenting time won’t be exact.

When both parents spend an estimated equal time with their children, the courts compare both parent’s incomes. If one parent makes significantly more than the other, then they may still be obligated to pay some support. When both parent’s incomes are equal, what happens next?

Recent Ruling

In May of 2016, the Superior Court of New Jersey heard a similar case where both parents truly shared 50/50 parenting time. Both parties also had equal annual incomes. The judge ultimately decided that deviating from the standard New Jersey Child Support Guidelines was warranted in that case because of the apparent fairness in their arrangement. He ultimately denied the requests for child support, citing the fact that the parents had an equitable arrangement without the added support. Both parents appealed the decision and continued to request financial support from the other. The Appellate Division upheld the lower court’s decision in denying both parent’s request for support.

Contact a Voorhees Township Family Law Attorney for a Consultation About Child Support and Joint Custody in New Jersey Today

If you are thinking about filing for divorce, or if you have already started the divorce process and are dealing with another matter such as child custody, child support, or division of assets, you need to speak with a qualified attorney. The New Jersey family law attorneys at the Law Office of Daniel K. Newman represent clients throughout the state, including Camden, Burlington, Gloucester, Cumberland, and Salem counties. We understand how challenging this time can be for you, which is why we will fight hard to protect your interests, and the interests of your loved ones, throughout the legal process. Call us at 856-309-9007 or fill out our confidential contact form to schedule a consultation. We have an office conveniently located at 1202 Laurel Oak Rd #207, Voorhees Township, NJ 08043.

The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.

What Should I Do If My Ex-Spouse Won’t Pay Alimony?

alimony lawyer medford njAlimony for Divorced Couples in New Jersey

Defined simply, alimony is a court-ordered allowance that one of the newly-divorced spouse pays to the other newly-divorced spouse usually for a specified period of time. The purpose of alimony is to provide newly-divorced spouses with some sense of financial equity so that the lowering-earning spouse can support him or herself after the divorce and maintain a reasonably similar lifestyle to that enjoyed during the marriage.

Consequently, New Jersey courts have broad discretion in determining whether or not to award alimony to a party in a divorce action. Typically, New Jersey courts only award alimony if there is a substantial financial disparity between the spouses and this disparity existed during the marriage. If a New Jersey court awards you alimony in your divorce action and your ex-spouse fails to make alimony payments, it is important to know what your legal options are to ensure that you receive the alimony payments to which you are entitled.

File a Post-judgment Motion to Enforce Alimony Payments

If your ex-spouse is not paying you court-ordered alimony payments, you may file a motion in aid of litigant’s rights against your ex-spouse as a means to compel him or her to make the payments. According to New Jersey law, such motion can be filed in cases where one of the parties is willfully disobeying the terms of a court order. These types of motions may only be granted, however, if the moving party proves that the alleged disobedient party is willfully violating the terms of a court order. When an ex- spouse is failing to make court-ordered alimony payments to the moving ex-spouse, the moving ex-spouse may prove his or her motion by providing the court with an affidavit or certification with exhibits, such as bank statements that can be used to show when the payor ex-spouse stopped making payments as well as with oral or written statements made by the payor ex-spouse that indicate he or she will no longer make the court-ordered payments.

If the moving party successfully proves that the payor ex-spouse is willfully violating the court order by failing to make alimony payments, the court may order the payor ex-spouse to pay the amount currently due and owing to the moving party and may also impose a fine on the payor ex-spouse. In certain cases, the court may even incarcerate the payor ex-spouse for willfully violating a court order to make alimony payments.

Income Withholding

In New Jersey, most awards of alimony include provisions allowing the payor ex-spouse’s employer to withhold a certain portion of the payor’s income and use this withholding to make alimony payments to the payee ex-spouse. However, sometimes court orders fail to contain provisions concerning income withholding. If your ex-spouse is failing to make the court-ordered alimony payments to you and there is no provision in the current alimony order allowing the payor’s employer to withhold the payments from the payor’s income, the payee ex-spouse can request that the court modify the alimony order to include income withholding provisions. If a court grants this modification, the employer of the payor will be the one furnishing you with the payments instead of the payor. Consequently, as long as the payor ex-spouse is employed, you will receive your alimony payments.

Writ of Execution

Similar to obtaining a modification of the alimony order to include income withholding provisions, payee ex-spouses may also try to obtain a writ of execution against the payor ex-spouse if he or she is not receiving the court-ordered payments. When a New Jersey court grants the payee ex-spouse this writ, the court may award the payee ex-spouse a portion of the payor ex-spouse’s bank account or other assets in order to satisfy the past due alimony payments.

Contact a Voorhees Family Law Attorney for a Consultation About Divorce in New Jersey Today

If you are thinking about filing for divorce, or if you have already started the divorce process and are dealing with another matter such as child custody, child support, or division of assets, you need to speak with a qualified attorney. The New Jersey family law attorneys at The Law Offices of Daniel K. Newman represent clients throughout the state, including Voorhees, Cherry Hill, Haddonfield and Collingswood. We understand how challenging this time can be for you, which is why we will fight hard to protect your interests, and the interests of your loved ones, throughout the legal process. Call us at (856) 309-9007 or fill out our confidential contact form to schedule a consultation. We have an office conveniently located at 1202 Laurel Oak Rd #207 Voorhees Township, NJ 08043.

The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.

Visitation Rights of Grandparents in New Jersey

grandparents rights lawyer new jerseyFollowing divorce or death, families struggle with the sadness and change associated with the event. When children are involved, the situation can become even more challenging, especially where the grandparents want to continue being in the lives of those children.

Who Makes Decisions About Visitation?

Generally speaking, a child’s parent or parents have the authority to determine who their child visits and interacts with. Children are considered unable to make their own decisions until the reach the age of 18 in New Jersey, meaning that their guardians or custodians (normally the parents) have the right to decide.

In the context of divorce, the parent to whom custody is granted may not want the child or children to visit with the ex-spouse’s family. Most divorce settlements include terms that govern visitation between parents, but less often include grandparents in the visitation schedule.

New Jersey law recognizes that grandparents can develop and share an incredibly strong bond with grandchildren. Many times, the work schedules of parents lead to the grandparents being heavily involved in the development and day-to-day life of the child. When a parent in a divorce is granted custody, he or she may seek to limit the contact of the ex-spouse’s family, out of fear that the child’s relationship with that family could interfere with his or her ability to develop new family bonds and relationships. New Jersey law can prevent such complete elimination of contact from happening.

Making a Claim for Grandparent Visitation Rights

In order to successfully request that the court enter a visitation order for grandparents, the grandparents must show to the court:

  • That the grandparent having visitation rights is in the best interests of the child or the children
  • That no grandparent visitation rights would be potentially harmful or a negative influence upon the child or children
  • The nature of the relationship between the child’s parent or guardian and the grandparent seeking visitation
  • The amount of time that has passed since the grandparent last saw the child
  • The effect visitation will have on the relationship between the child and their parents
  • The good faith of the grandparent in filing and making the request
  • Whether the grandparent has a history of neglect or abuse
  • Any other relevant factors

A long list of elements, to be certain. However, grandparents who were full-time caretakers for the child in the past do not need to provide any additional evidence that continued visitations are in the child’s best interests; the court presumes that to be the case. Overall, the sole purpose behind the elements is to show the court that granting (or not granting) visitation rights is what is best for the child or children overall. As courts have often said, the “best interests of the child” standard is the pole star for any decisions involving that child – it should always be the question that the court comes back to and answers in the affirmative in any decision it renders.

New Jersey’s law applies to both grandparents and siblings of a child.

Dealing With Grandparent Visitation Issues in New Jersey

This law is critical to any New Jersey grandparent or sibling that has lost access to someone. The bar for earning the court’s approval is high, but should not deter you. If you have lost access to a grandchild or sibling and want it back, contact an experienced New Jersey Grandparent Visitation Rights attorney. The Law Office of Daniel K. Newman is ready to assist you in this difficult time. Contact our office today for a free consultation.

The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.