Edward R. Weinstein, Esq.

Articles Posted in Divorce

Under New Jersey alimony law your attorney must demonstrate to a judge of the Family Part, Superior Court of New Jersey, that your disability creates an inability to obtain a job that is similar to what you had done historically in their career. Your lawyer must provide evidence from your treating doctors in order to prove that under New Jersey divorce law, you simply no longer have the ability to pay the alimony that you agreed (or were court ordered). The lawyers at our East Brunswick, New Jersey law firm embrace a detailed narrative report from your treating physician containing not only your complete diagnosis but your prognosis as well. This way your attorney has the evidence to argue your inability to regain similar employment in the future and therefore a reduction or termination of alimony is warranted.

In R.S. v. T.B., the parties were married in 1983 and had two children born of the marriage. Throughout the marriage, T.B. worked various jobs, including in real estate, as a bank teller, a hairdresser, at Jenny Craig, and an administrative assistant. R.S. worked as a restauranteur and a chef. He also took part in various business ventures. During the parties’ marriage, R.S. and T.B. lived a lavish lifestyle. The parties had combined monthly expenses totaling $32,406.99. T.B.’s own, personal monthly expenses were $12,512.

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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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In 2014 New Jersey’s alimony laws were amended following a joint effort between divorce lawyers and the legislature to “modernize” our states’ alimony statute. One of many changes involves how New Jersey courts would interpret cases wherein the payor of alimony attempts to eliminate (or lower) their alimony payments due to losing a prior job wherein they were employed for a lengthy period of time and has now gained new employment. However, the new job provides a “significant” reduction in income that, in turn, compromises their ability to pay alimony at the same level as previously agreed upon in the Property Settlement Agreement prepared by one of the attorneys in the case or ordered by a judge of the Superior Court of New Jersey following a trial.

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In a recent case the payor of alimony was successful in obtaining a decrease in their alimony payments. First, the amount of alimony payments was lessened in amount when the payor lost their job (which must be W-2 job as per the amended alimony statute) and has successfully proven to the court that they made a realistic effort to obtain a similar job with comparable employment.

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Yes. Throughout my career as a family law attorney, I have observed New Jersey laws evolve along with technology. Ranging from divorce and child custody cases to domestic violence matters, posts on social media websites have become powerful evidence for lawyers to present to judges of the Family Part of the Superior Court of New Jersey. Such posts can be used to prove a plethora of behaviors spanning the cause for a divorce (i.e., pictures with a paramour) to child neglect and even terroristic threats.   Furthermore, what your “ex” expresses about you on a social media platform, especially when children are involved, can generate high emotions and serious problems ranging from embarrassment (especially considering the wide scope of people that social media reaches) to fear for one’s (or your family’s) safety and well being.  Moreover, with more and more children on social media, it is clearly not in their best interests to be watching their parents “go at it” for all to see.

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Therefore, the lawyers at my law firm have taken steps in cases wherein the parties agree that it is not in anyones’ best interest to have the other making disparaging, public comments on the internet. It is essential that both parties stipulate to such an arrangement to become a court order. This is because a judge cannot order such an arrangement due to a legal theory known as stare decisis (i.e., precedent). However, your attorneys may still draft language that would achieve the goal of neither “ex” disparaging the other on social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat.   Specifically, you may have your lawyer prepare a Consent Order that would memorialize such an agreement. Once the terms of the consent order are finalized, the judge assigned to your case shall execute the Consent Order and it then becomes law. Consequently, if the other party violates the consent order, you would have the right to have your attorney file a motion with a New Jersey Family Court to enforce your litigant’s rights, sanctions and attorneys’ fees in connection with the application.

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Throughout my career as a divorce attorney here in my hometown of East Brunswick, New Jersey, I have had many folks come to visit my office after their divorce has already been concluded and are now seeking my advice. Sadly, sometimes the lawyer who represented these folks did not exclusively practice divorce and family law. Consequently, myself and the associate attorneys at our law firm often find poorly written Property Settlement Agreements (“PSA”) that do not protect the client to the fullest extent. Many times this lawyer’s lack of experience in New Jersey divorce cases inhibits their ability to see problems down the road and therefore the PSA does not contain the proper language required to best protect the client.

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On the other hand, if the client had a more savvy divorce attorney in the first place, the PSA would extremely clear as to certain issues that would serve to protect the client down the road. The following case is an example of a litigant who lost out on a significant amount of money because their attorney failed to include specific language to that would have provided the client certain credits. However, as this PSA did not include specific language regarding these credits, they lost their motion. Let’s take a closer look. Continue reading

When it comes to the division of your assets in a divorce, that is. Under New Jersey law certain orders relating to alimony, child support, child custody, and parenting time may be modified upon a showing of changed circumstances. Therefore, you and your lawyer may return to a New Jersey Family Court to have these types of issues reviewed.

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However, Court Orders from the Family Part of the Superior Court of New Jersey regarding equitable distribution of assets are not subject to change absent fraud, misconduct and the like (and even then you have only one year to seek such relief). That is another reason that you should only hire an attorney with a law firm that only handles divorce cases because, as the saying goes, you only get one bite at the apple.

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Throughout my career as a divorce and family law attorney, I have seen many folks who feel that they can, “play the system.” Many times, this involves the high conflict issue of alimony. Let’s call it the way it is; no one wants to pay alimony to their “ex.” While the lawyers at our law firm sympathize, we always give our client’s an honest assessment of their case throughout the divorce process, including the “hot button” issue of alimony. However there are times that, notwithstanding our advice to the contrary some folks proceed, pro se, thinking that they can “play the system” and avoid their alimony obligation. Some folks quit their jobs thinking that this will allow them to circumvent alimony payments. Others hurry right back to court immediately after the divorce thinking that they can convince a judge that alimony is unfair. All told, a judge of the Superior Court of New Jersey can see right through these vain and fruitless attempts to avoid paying alimony. Sometimes, these folks make the situation only worse for themselves when they have to pay their “ex’s” attorney’s fees if the court finds that they are acting in bad faith.

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This is an excellent example of why you should consult with a law firm who only handles divorce and family law. The lawyers at our law firm stand prepared to assist you or a loved one if they would like an honest assessment regarding potential or ongoing alimony payments. Following, please find a recently decided case the illuminates the foregoing.

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No. Pursuant to New Jersey’s Law Against Discrimination, an employer may not chastise, obstruct promotions or terminate an employee simply because they are getting divorced when it has no impact on the quality of their work product or adversely effects the atmosphere at their place of employment. About 10 years ago, an employee was fired because his supervisor was concerned that he was about to begin an “ugly divorce.” This week, the New Jersey Supreme Court handed down a decision clearly stating that it is discriminatory to fire an employee based upon their marital status.

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As an attorney for the past 20 years with a law firm in my hometown of East Brunswick, New Jersey, any and all new decisions are emailed to all lawyers at my office on a daily basis. This ensures that we stay on the cutting edge of divorce or family law in order to best protect our clients.

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In September 2014, New Jersey’s alimony laws became “modernized” in many respects. Consequently, lawyers who only handle divorce and family law cases have been monitoring how the courts interpret many aspects of the New Jersey’s modified alimony laws. To wit, in the past, an attorney would have to advise their client that it may be best to wait until they actually retire before filing a application to terminate or lessen the amount of alimony. Sadly, this would often become a “no-win” situation, as the retired person had to keep paying the alimony until a New Jersey family court judge would relieve them of this obligation. However, Judge Jones recently decided that the “new” alimony law allows for a court to order termination (or modification) based upon probable retirement instead of waiting until the individual has already retired. Following please find a detailed analysis of how the issue of retirement and alimony have become much more fair.

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In Mueller v. Mueller, the Honorable Judge Jones of the Superior Court of New Jersey, Family Part of Ocean County explored what exactly “prospective” means in New Jersey’s recently amended alimony statute, N.J.S.A. 2A-34-23(j)(1-3), in terms of terminating or modifying an alimony obligation on the basis of retirement. Judge Jones held that N.J.S.A. 2A-34-23(j)(1-3), the amended alimony statute, does not state a specific maximum or minimum period of time for getting a ruling in advance on a prospective future retirement. That said, the intent of the statutory amendment is for the prospective retirement to happen reasonably close to the when the motion is filed, not several years later.

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