Edward R. Weinstein, Esq.

Yes. In order for a prenuptial agreement to be held valid by a judge of a New Jersey Family Court, both spouses should be represented by their own attorney before entering into the agreement. Otherwise it may be deemed invalid. Under New Jersey law, prenuptial agreements have specific requirements in order for the agreement to withstand the scrutiny of a judge of the Family Part of the Superior Court of New Jersey if it were ever contested. The lawyers at our law firm located in East Brunswick, New Jersey, understand that the prenuptial agreement must contain full disclosure of all assets by both spouses, for example. Furthermore, if one spouse did not have an attorney at least review the prenuptial agreement, it may very well be vacated if a divorce occurs.

In Dobre v. Dobre, the parties met in 2003. In either 1999 or 2001, the husband came to the United States from Croatia. The husband’s first language was Serbian, but he could read and write in English so the parties were able to communicate in both languages. The husband first came to the United States under a six-month tourist visa, but then obtained a media visa. Eventually, the husband obtained a green card after marrying the wife. The parties married in 2004 and had three children born of the marriage.

The wife filed for divorce in March 2013. The wife sought child support, joint legal and physical custody of the parties’ children, and equitable distribution. The wife also sought to incorporate the parties’ prenuptial agreement into the judgment of divorce. The husband, in his answer, sought to invalidate the prenuptial agreement. The trial began in February 2015 and ended in April 2015. The Superior Court of New Jersey Family Part issued a written decision in July 2015 and entered the judgment of divorce on October 13, 2015. During the trial, the trial judge set aside the parties’ prenuptial agreement. The wife filed a motion with the court for reconsideration in August 2015, and the husband filed a cross-motion for reconsideration. On November 6, 2015, the trial judge issued an order awarding the husband’s counsel attorney’s fees. The wife then filed an appeal and the husband cross-appealed.

Over the course of my career as a New Jersey divorce lawyer, the 2014 amendments to the alimony laws in our state were the most revolutionary I have ever seen. Specifically, changes were made to New Jersey alimony laws as it pertains to how a New Jersey Family Court shall evaluate cases involving cohabitation of the recipient of the alimony. For a number of reasons, I believe the law was modernized with respect to cohabitation. This attorney breaks down a recent case that illuminates many aspects of this complex area of New Jersey divorce law.

In J.S. v. J.M., the parties were married for twenty years. The parties divorced in 2010 by a final judgment of divorce. Incorporated in the parties’ final judgment of divorce was a property settlement agreement, which laid out the terms of the parties’ divorce, including alimony. The parties agreed in the property settlement agreement that the husband would pay the wife alimony each month until the husband reached normal retirement age. The agreement also stated that the husband’s alimony obligation would end if the wife cohabitated with an unrelated man for a period of thirty or more days.

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Under New Jersey child support laws the parent of primary residence should not gain extra money via child support due to “incidental” beyond what is necessary for the child to enjoy a lifestyle that they would expect to have due to the high amount of income that the family unit receives. This lawyer now analyzes a paramount case in New Jersey Child Support law for wealthy parents and their children.

In Loro v. Colliano, the mother filed for divorced from her husband after a four-year marriage. The parties had one child born of the marriage, a daughter, born on March 6, 1984. A judgment of divorce was entered on June 13, 1991 after very combative litigation. At the time of the divorce, the father was earning approximately $630,000 per year. The mother was awarded sole custody of the parties’ daughter and the father was ordered to pay the wife $1,500 per month for two years in rehabilitative alimony to make the wife whole again. The father was also ordered to pay $375,000 to the wife in equitable distribution. Lastly, the father was ordered to pay $500 per week in child support.

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Over the course of my career as a divorce and family law attorney I have watched technology change many aspects of New Jersey law, especially as it pertains to New Jersey’s Prevention of Domestic Violence Act. When I started practicing in my hometown of East Brunswick, New Jersey, in 1996, many restraining order trials were most often “he said, she said” affairs as most times there were not any no witnesses or other proofs. Then technology altered many aspects of our society, including acts of domestic violence.

First, people would send harassing or threatening emails to one another.  Then texting and smartphones came into play and the game changed forever. By 2012 a survey discussed on the Today Show stated that over 90% of lawyers saw a dramatic increase in text messages being introduced as evidence in domestic violence trial. This recent case discusses how a judge of a New Jersey Family Court analyzes text messages during a restraining order trial ranging from the amount of messages, the time frame as well as the content.

In C.O. v. T.O., the parties were married and were divorcing. The New Jersey Appellate Division previously vacated a final restraining order entered by the Superior Court of New Jersey Family Part pursuant to the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act of 1990. The court supported the Family Part’s finding that T.O. committed a predicate act, which is an earlier crime or offense that is similar to the crime or offense being alleged. However, the Appellate Division sent the case back to the Family Part to be re-heard because there was no finding that a final restraining order was necessary to protect the victim from future harm or abuse. At the re-hearing by the Family Part, the judge heard testimony by the parties and reviewed the alleged predicate act. The judge reviewed the messages from T.O. to C.O., which constituted harassment under N.J.S.A. 2C:25-19(a), and found that the testimony revealed a combative relationship between the parties. The judge found that T.O.’s text messages established harassment and that a final restraining order was necessary to prevent C.O. from future harm because the parties’ divorce was going to be very hostile. The judge also found that T.O.’s conviction in March 2016 for violating the restraining order weighed in favor of supporting the need for the restraining order.

Michael Strahan is a retired Hall of Fame football player and now a host of the popular morning news show, Good Morning America.   However, he and his wife divorced after a notoriously messy trial in 2006 and was ordered to pay $18,000 per month in child support. However on appeal, the New Jersey Appellate Division reversed and lowered this amount as the Court found some of her claimed expenses (such as a nanny for her 10 ten day vacation to Jamaica) should have been excluded. The Court also found that Ms. Strahan also had a legal obligation to help support the children of their marriage. Following please find this lawyer’s analysis of this case and how child support in New Jersey is determined for the rich and famous.

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In Strahan v. Strahan, the parties began dating in October 1994. The parties moved in together in 1995 and married on July 18, 1999. Prior to the marriage, the parties agreed to sign a prenuptial agreement. Twin daughters were born of the marriage on October 28, 2004. During the marriage, the father was a football player with the New York Giants. The mother worked as a cosmetics company manager and model, earning approximately $70,000 per year before quitting her job when the parties moved in together. On March 14, 2005, the complaint for divorce was filed. The parties agreed to share joint legal custody of their daughters, meaning all, important decisions, such as health and education, would be made by both parties. The parties also agreed that the mother would have primary residential custody of the twins, meaning that the girls would live mainly with the mother. In June and July 2006, the parties litigated the matter and, on July 20, 2006, a dual judgment of divorce was entered. On January 12, 2007, an amended judgment of divorce was entered discussing equitable distribution, disability insurance for the father, child support, the legitimacy of the marriage, and attorney’s fees.

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It is difficult but not impossible, depending upon your facts. The good news is that the law of cohabitation and alimony was “modernized” in New Jersey back in 2014 which was part of the greatest overhaul I have ever witnessed to divorce and alimony laws since I became practicing divorce lawyer in New Jersey back in 1995.

Attorneys must provide facts and legal arguments to present to a judge of the Superior Court of New Jersey so that the court may consider a number of factors when deciding whether cohabitation exists. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Commingling of finances such as joint back or credit card accounts;
  • Sharing living expenses such as mortgage and rent payments;
  • Friends and family consider the relationship as a committed and intimate one such as attending holidays, weddings or funerals together;
  • How long has the relationship existed;

A major change in the New Jersey’s alimony law and cohabitation is that it is no longer required to prove actual cohabitation. This is because before the changes in the law folks would draft fake leases for apartments they rarely stayed at because the law of cohabitation was so rigid that often this was deemed to be enough proof. Now these games are over.

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Nevertheless, it is still hard to prove cohabitation. In the following case, one of the reasons the petitioner failed to prove cohabitation was because he failed to have his private detective update their report before filing his motion.

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It depends upon the parents’ respective incomes. The lawyers at our law firm located in East Brunswick, New Jersey advise our clients that when there is a true joint residential custody and parenting time arrangement, New Jersey’s child support guidelines account for this equal time and are adjusted accordingly. Now, if one parent has a much greater annual income than the other, there will be a child support component (although the amount will be dramatically less that if the parenting plan was an “every other weekend” scenario). In the following case, please take note that, as the parents’ annual incomes were nearly equivalent, the judge properly ordered that neither party shall pay child support to the other.

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In Raucci v. Valotta, the parties had been in a dating relationship that lasted approximately three years. The parties had one son from the relationship, born in 2014. The parties used mediation, a form of alternate dispute resolution that occurs outside of the courtroom, to solve most of their parenting issues. Continue reading

This is a red-hot issue for New Jersey lawyers, judges and child custody experts alike. This is because New Jersey law has recently changed the legal standard regarding a parent’s ability to move from New Jersey to another state. Previously, a judge of a New Jersey Family Court would consider the parent was moving away “in good faith” and is it in the best interest of the child. However due to the following new case that they attorneys at our law firm have studied with a close eye, the new stand is only whether or not the move would be in the best interests of the child.

In Bisbing v. Bisbing, Jaime Taormina Bisbing and Glenn R. Bisbing, III married on August 27, 2005. Twin daughters were born of the marriage on November 17, 2006. During the marriage, Jaime, the wife, commuted to work in New York City while Glenn, the husband, worked in New Jersey. The parties separated in 2013 and constructed a Marital Settlement Agreement (“Agreement”), which was executed on March 8, 2014. The terms of the Agreement stated that Jaime would be the parent of primary residence, meaning the children would live with their mother. According to the Agreement, the twins would visit Glenn one weeknight every other week and stay over Glenn’s house every other weekend. The Agreement also stated that the parties would share joint legal custody, meaning that Jaime and Glenn would decide together on important issues regarding their children. The Agreement provided a holiday parenting schedule and allowed both parents to attend all events relating to the children. The Agreement also addressed the issue of relocation. The relocation provision stated that the parties would notify each other if there was a change in residence, and that neither party would move out of New Jersey with the children without written consent from the other parent.

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No. Child Support under New Jersey law is clear that child support is intended for the “child” and not the “parent.” Therefore, the lawyers at our law firm in East Brunswick, New Jersey understand that as the child support is legally for the “child,” a parent cannot waive the money as it is not theirs to waive.

In Conte v. Ainsworth, the parties had one child, a daughter, born in 1992. After the child was born, the parties consented to an agreement that included a parenting time schedule and an amount the father was to pay the mother each week in child support. The father agreed to pay the mother child support each week until the parties’ daughter was emancipated, meaning when she would be legally recognized as an adult. The father never utilized his parenting time and did not see the parties’ daughter until she was an adult. At the time of the trial, the father was paying $330 per week in child support toward the parties’ daughter, who is presently twenty-five years old.

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Yes. Once a Judge of the Family Part of the Superior Court of New Jersey finds that domestic violence happened on the day(s) in question, they shall then allow your lawyer to take testimony of any and all acts of domestic violence that have occurred in the past. Significantly, a history of domestic violence shall be taken into consideration by a judge of a New Jersey Family Court even if was never reported to the police. This is because it is sadly often that the victim of the cycle of domestic violence is afraid to reach out for help for fear of revenge at the hands of their domestic abuser. Other factors that frequently come into play for the attorneys at our law firm is the victim is afraid they may lose custody of their children or they are at the mercy of their

In S.M.E. v. A.E., husband A.E. appealed from a final restraining order entered by the Superior Court of New Jersey, Family Part of Morris County on January 3, 2016, after finding that he assaulted his wife, S.M.E. at her house, and threatened her when they were in the middle of getting a divorce. The New Jersey Appellate Division affirmed the final restraining order, for substantially the same reasons expressed in David J. Weaver’s comprehensive oral opinion that was rendered before entry of the final restraining order. Generally, just proving that that one of the predicate acts of domestic violence established in New Jersey Statute 2C:25-19(a) occurred is not enough to automatically trigger the entrance of a domestic violence restraining order. While such a determination may be self evident, the authoritative standard is whether a restraining order is needed, according to an evaluation of the factors enumerated in New Jersey Statute 2C:25-29(a)(1) to -29(a)(6), to protect the victim from immediate danger or to prevent future abuse. However, in S.M.E. v. A.E. the New Jersey Appellate Division held that when a predicate act of domestic violence is an action that inherently involves the use of physical violence and force, the decision to enter a final restraining order is most often perfunctory and self-evident. As such, the New Jersey Appellate Division deferred to the findings of the Honorable Judge Weaver, which they found to be based on substantial credible evidence in the record, and affirmed the final restraining order entered by the Family Part of Morris County.

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