Category - Divorce

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. 

Understanding Different Types of Divorce in Voorhees New Jersey

Types of Divorce

There are different types of divorces in New Jersey. This is why it is important to have an experienced divorce lawyer by your side from The Law Offices of Daniel K. Newman. We understand all divorce laws in the State of New Jersey and have successfully represented individuals while obtaining for them favorable resolution of their family law matter.

What is an Uncontested Divorce Versus a Contested Divorce?

An uncontested divorce is one where both parties have agreed in writing to the terms and conditions of a Marital Settlement Agreement. A Divorce Complaint and other required documents are filed with the court, and the case is given a court docket number. A Summons along with the Divorce Complaint are then served upon the defendant and proof of service is filed with the court. The court then schedules an “uncontested” Final Judgment for Divorce hearing. This is the most streamlined type of divorce that our NJ law firm can help you with. A contested divorce, on the other hand, is one in which you and your spouse cannot come to an agreement on all of the issues regarding the dissolution of the marriage, children’s issues if there children born of the marriage, allocation of marital debt and equitable distribution of property. This will involve negotiations, hearings, motions and sometimes a full trial in order to have a Superior Court judge issues a ruling as to all of the disputed issues.

About Default Divorces

A divorce by “default” is a two-step process. The first step is filing an Entry of Default. This occurs if the other spouse has not filed an Answer or otherwise pleaded to the Summons and Divorce Complaint within 35 days of service of the Summons and Complaint upon the defendant. The second step is a Notice of Final Judgment. This is a proceeding for a final judgment by default where the attorney prepares a written request for the court detailing relief sought against the defaulting party insofar as dissolution of the marriage, children’s issues, equitable distribution of property and allocation of marital debt is concerned.

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 Camden, Cherry Hill, Winslow, and Pennsauken. 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. There is no charge for the first consultation at our office.

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.

Amber Heard Follows Through On Promise To Donate Johnny Depp Divorce Settlement

Divorce Settlement Lawyer in NJMovie star Johnny Depp is accustomed to being in the public eye, but the negative attention caused by his recent divorce from Amber Heard is extremely embarrassing for the famous actor. Actress Amber Heard filed for divorce in May of 2016 after alleging that Depp aggressively attacked her by pulling her hair and slapping her in the face with a cell phone.

Heard Gives Divorce Settlement to Charity

Heard explained that she planned to pursue a settlement, but it wasn’t for the money except to the extent she could donate it to charity. In August, actress Heard promised to donate her divorce settlement damages. She specifically stated that she planned on giving it to charities that would prevent violence against women to help defend those less able to defend themselves. Recently, she made good on that promise and gave a large amount to the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. The actress was noted on the 2017 donors list from the hospital in a designated category suggesting she donated somewhere between $1 and $5 million.

Family Lawyer Daniel K. Newman

Johnny Depp and Heard’s marriage lasted only 15 months, but the settlement, in this case, was enormous. When physical and emotional abuse is present in the marriage, courts may under the appropriate circumstances award damages against the abuser in what New Jersey calls a “Tevis” claim. The expertise, experience, and compassion that attorney Daniel K. Newman offers his clients provide a practical and successful method for dealing with all types of family law issues. His goal is to help clients achieve the best possible results throughout this difficult time period in their lives. To get started on your case today, contact the law office of Daniel K. Newman at 856-309-9007.

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.

Divorce: Do You Need a Lawyer?

A Divorce Lawyer for Camden County, NJ ResidentsWhen a married couple decides to divorce, both parties face some very difficult decisions. Many individuals going through the divorce process are emotionally distraught and anxious. Despite this, soon-to-be single individuals must make crucial decisions about finances, parental obligations and previously shared property with a former spouse who may or may not be cooperative.

The mental and emotional strain of divorce puts increased pressure on people, so it can be harder to make rational decisions even for the most calculating and forward-looking individuals. If you and your former spouse are able to agree on all issues between yourselves, then you might not need to hire a lawyer. A written signed marital settlement agreement is among the things you need to finalize the divorce. When there are significant marital issues in play that prevent amicable resolution of all issues, a divorce lawyer is necessary to ensure your rights are protected. There are many future financial decisions like college costs and pension issues, for example, which are overlooked by people when they represent themselves.

Various factors may influence a person’s decision to hire a legal professional during a divorce. In many situations, one party may find it impossible to negotiate effectively with their former partner to reach agreements. Your former partner’s personality will play a significant factor in whether you will be able to reach agreements outside of the courtroom. It is best to hire a divorce lawyer when significant issues like abuse have been present during the marriage. A lawyer will protect the rights of abused children, women or men, and a legal advisor can also help you deal with a dishonest or vindictive spouse attempting to utilize divorce court to further abuse you. If your spouse has hired an attorney, then it’s wise to hire your own legal representative.

Contact Camden County, NJ Divorce Lawyer Daniel K. Newman For A Free Consultation Today

Mediation can help some former spouses come to a negotiation, but an experienced divorce lawyer will ensure your rights are protected when one individual refuses to fairly negotiate. The compassionate and dedicated divorce attorney Daniel K. Newman can help you during this difficult process. Contact his law office now at 856-309-9007 to discuss the details of your case and determine if a divorce attorney is right for you.

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.

Benefits of a Collaborative Divorce

The typical divorce often involves parties sparring with each other as adversaries. A collaborative divorce utilizes a different approach. Family law attorneys guide their clients to work together to find equitable solutions to issues such as custody, visitation, and property division. Instead of entering the divorce process contentiously, spouses agree to work together to troubleshoot and solve problems through negotiation and mediation.

In a collaborative divorce, proceedings are less expensive and can be completed more quickly than litigation. Both parties can feel confident about having their concerns addressed. Additionally, a compromise occurs during negotiation, which allows the parties to reach a settlement without a judge interceding. In this format, all parties, including children, typically experience less stress and anxiety.

Both parties must be willing to work with each other to achieve a collaborative divorce. With this plan, a family law attorney can help spouses end their marriage and move forward without the acrimony usually associated with divorce.

Resolving Difficult Family Law Matters

Family law tends to be particularly challenging because emotions often run high. Whether a situation involves the dissolution of marriage or the custody of children, people usually have strong feelings that become part of the process. It may be possible to resolve some problems without excessive intervention, depending on the situation.

Reaching an Agreement

The goal of any family law matter is to reach an agreement. While this often involves going to court to enlist the help of a judge, this is not always necessary. The parties can also make an agreement without the intervention of any outside entities. The process may also involve negotiation, mediation, counseling, and arbitration. If each of these options fails, the final step may be entering the dispute into the court system for a ruling.

Even though it’s typical for these situations to be unpleasant, parties can take steps to resolve issues in a positive manner. Avoiding personal attacks and blame, keeping children out of the process, and striving to communicate effectively are three ways that people can work to resolve differences amicably.

Understanding Post-Judgment Modifications for Child Support

What is a post-judgment modification?

A post-judgment modification is a process in which a person files a motion or application to modify a court order, such as child support, custody, or parenting time. This is typically due to a considerable change in circumstances, and the modification will only be granted if the person’s change in circumstances is substantial enough. A few examples that would be grounds for modification are significant changes in either party’s income, behavioral or criminal problems, substance addiction, change in daycare expenses, college expenses, or unanticipated medical expenses of consequence.

The successful motion or application is frequently accompanied by an affidavit or certification, including relevant exhibits, and sometimes a legal brief if the legal issue is unique or a matter of first impression before the court. The matter is then scheduled for oral argument before a Superior Court judge, at which time a decision is rendered.

Relocating With Your Children

Frequently people come in to see me who want to relocate to another state with their children.  Sometimes divorced, and sometimes having reached the end of non-marital cohabitation with the other natural parent, these individuals express a number of different reasons for wanting to leave New Jersey.  Among the most common reasons are: A desire to go to a sun-belt state with appreciably cheaper costs of living and better job prospects; reuniting with family members who reside in another state; and a job transfer by a new spouse.

Under New Jersey law, N.J.S.A. 9:2-2, minor children of parents divorced, separated or living apart, who are natives of New Jersey, or having resided five years within its limits, cannot be removed for residential purposes out of this jurisdiction without the consent of both parents unless the court shall otherwise order.

A New Jersey Supreme Court case, Baures v. Lewis, 167 N.J. 91 (2001), establishes that a party seeking to move out of New Jersey with his/her children bears the burden of proving that there is a good-faith reason for the proposed move, and that the proposed move will not be inimical to the children’s interests.  The following factors are addressed by the court in making this decision:

(1)        the reasons given for the move;

(2)        the reasons given for the opposition;

(3)        the past history of dealings between the parties insofar as it bears on the reasons  advanced by both parties for supporting and opposing the move;

(4)        whether the child will receive educational, health and leisure opportunities at least equal to what is available here;

(5)        any special needs or talents of the child;

(6)        whether a parenting-time schedule and communication schedule can be developed that  will allow the non-custodial parent to maintain a full and continuous relationship with the child;

(7)        the likelihood that the custodial parent will continue to foster the child’s relationship with the non-custodial parent if the move is allowed;

(8)        the effect of the move on extended family relationships here and in the new location;

(9)        if the child is of age, his or her preference;

(10)      whether the child is entering his or her senior year in high school at which point he or she should generally not be moved until graduation without his or her consent;

(11)      whether the non-custodial parent has the ability to relocate; and

(12)      any other factor bearing on the child’s interest.

From my experience practicing in South Jersey, Chancery Division-Family Part judges in Burlington, Camden, Gloucester, Cumberland and Salem Counties will almost always let the custodial parent move to either Philadelphia or New Castle County, Delaware, if minimally sufficient reasons are set forth by the party seeking to move as long as New Jersey retains jurisdiction of the case for so long as the law allows.  As far as distant locales are concerned, I have always found that the best approach is to present the judge with a host of favorable options so as to make it difficult for him/her to deny the removal application.  These reasons may include: An offer by the custodial parent to permit the non-custodial parent substantially extended summer and holiday parenting time; agreement to fly the non-custodial parent to the children’s new location several times per year if financially feasible; providing the judge with comprehensive statistics about the lower cost of living in the proposed new state, including housing costs, lower taxes and the consumer prices; more favorable job prospects in the new state than those available in New Jersey if the parent seeking to move has not already been offered or accepted new employment; and offering extensive telephone, Skype or Face Time contact with the children.

In a particularly thoughtful, comprehensive opinion, Benjamin v. Benjamin, 430 N.J. Super. 301 (Ch. Div. 2012), Judge L. R. Jones held that it was not a mandatory prerequisite for relocation that the parent seeking to move had obtained a guaranteed job in the other state.  The court reasoned that it was not realistic to expect an employer in another state to offer guaranteed employment to an arms-length job applicant who (a) still lives in New Jersey, (b) is in the middle of ongoing family court litigation which may last for months, and (c) cannot reasonably tell the employer whether or when he or she might be able to start work.

If the other parent objects to the relocation, and there are genuine issues of fact as to whether or not the move would be personally, socially and financial harmful to the child, generally, the court schedules the removal application for a plenary hearing.  This procedure is akin to a trial where witnesses are presented, documents introduced into evidence, and the attorneys prepare  post-hearing, proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law.

All in all, if the party seeking to relocate out-of-state prepares his/her application comprehensively, taking all of the factors set forth in Baures and Benjamin into consideration, there is a reasonable chance that relocation will be permitted.

BAD BEHAVIOR AND ALIMONY

Your spouse has been unfaithful to you, has been physically and/or mentally abusive, or has been involved with illegal or immoral activities, and you want to file for divorce.  Is the court going to take this bad behavior into consideration when deciding whether or not you have to pay alimony? The answer is possibly, but not necessarily.

In a case entitled Mani v. Mani, 183 N.J. 70 (2005), the New Jersey Supreme Court described alimony as an economic right that arises out of the marital relationship.  It is intended to provide the dependent spouse with a level of support and standard of living comparable to the quality of life that he or she enjoyed during the marriage.  If bad behavior by the party who is otherwise eligible for alimony has negatively affected the economic status of the marital parties, fault may be considered in calculating alimony.  But if the marital misconduct does not affect the economic status quo of the parties, generally, it is not to be considered in an award of alimony.  The only exceptions to this rule are cases where the potential alimony recipient is guilty of egregious fault.  In the Mani case, the New Jersey Supreme Court referred to a California statute which barred alimony payments to a dependent spouse who attempted to murder the supporting spouse. Deliberately infecting the spouse with a loathsome disease was also cited by the Mani court as an example of egregious fault.  In the case of Clark v. Clark, 429 N.J. Super. 61 (App. Div. 2012), the Appellate Division of the Superior Court of New Jersey further defined “egregious fault.”  This lawsuit involved a situation in which the wife conceived and carried out a long-term scheme to embezzle the cash receipts from the parties’ pharmacy business.  The wife’s actions were criminal in nature and demonstrated a willful and serious violation of societal norms.  This type of conduct is willfully, wrong, fraudulent and purposely intended to deprive the other spouse of the economic benefits of the marital partnership, and it may serve to lessen or abolish alimony.

In the case of Puchalsky v. Puchalsky, 2014 WL 9913174 (App. Div. 2015), an unpublished opinion, the Appellate Division affirmed the trial judge’s alimony ruling.   Both husband and wife were involved in income-tax evasion and healthcare fraud in the course of running a dental practice.  Since both parties were involved in illicit activities, and neither party would be able to replicate their martial lifestyle irrespective of how much or how little alimony was awarded, the appellate court let stand the trial judge’s alimony award.

As unfair as it may seem to the aggrieved party, in a no-fault state such as New Jersey, the court does not generally take into consideration your spouse’s infidelity or the behavior you had to endure during your marriage, when deciding on the amount and term of alimony.  Bringing these types of behavior to the judge’s attention can be valuable, however, with respect to other decisions the court must make such as custody and parenting time, for example.

So, before concluding that you may be “off the hook” in terms of paying alimony to your spouse in light of his/her bad conduct, unless that conduct causes measurable financial harm, it likely will be a negligible factor at best in considering the amount and length of alimony to be awarded.