At The Movies

“In Hollywood, an equitable divorce settlement means each party getting fifty percent of the publicity.” Lauren Bacall, movie actress. It’s Academy Awards season. What better time to see how movies have handled divorce through the years? A popular topic since the advent of silent movies, A Bill of Divorcement (1922) was one of the first. Ten years later the remake starred John Barrymore and Katherine Hepburn and sound. The movie made Hepburn an instant star. Divorce movies-comedies, dramas, foreign filmshave been made by the dozens in the decades since. [...]

By | 2017-03-03T21:27:50+00:00 March 3rd, 2014|Divorce, Equitable Distribution|Comments Off on At The Movies

The Internet – Friend Or Foe?

The internet has spawned many positive changes for modern living.  Communication is easier and instantaneous.  Email and social media have dramatically altered the way our society communicates.  Telephone calls and interpersonal conversations make up a steadily decreasing percentage of human contact.People simply don’t talk to each other as much as they used to.  They, more often, put what they have to say in writing.  The good news is:  there is a record of what was said.  The bad news is:  there is a record of what was said.  Depending on [...]

By | 2017-03-03T21:37:41+00:00 February 3rd, 2014|Internet|Comments Off on The Internet – Friend Or Foe?

Alimony Reform – An Update

Several months ago I wrote about permanent alimony and how that concept, entrenched in New Jersey law for well over a hundred years, might change if proposed legislation became law.  Since then, the debate has been heating up.Anti-alimony groups have been lobbying for passage of a bill that would abolish permanent alimony (in most cases), create a formula for determining the amount and duration of alimony payments, and provide for an automatic end to alimony when certain events occur (such as when the payor reaches the age at which he/ [...]

By | 2017-03-03T21:43:50+00:00 January 3rd, 2014|Alimony|Comments Off on Alimony Reform – An Update

Holiday Parenting Time

As the holidays approach, most people’s stress levels increase. When you’re going through a divorce, the holidays add immeasurably to the nearly constant stress you’ve been experiencing. And, when you have children, stress can increase geometrically.This is the time when parents must summon every bit of self-control and rationality possible from deep within. Children look forward to holidays. They also love their parents. It is, therefore, essential that both parents put aside their anger and hurt so that the holidays will be as happy and fulfilling for the children as [...]

By | 2017-03-03T21:50:57+00:00 December 3rd, 2013|Holidays|Comments Off on Holiday Parenting Time

The Family Court

People often wonder what the Family Court does and why divorces seem to take so long.  That is a complicated question, but it has mostly to do with the several types of cases the Family Court must hear, the proliferation of cases of each type, and a shortage of resources to address each case.In New Jersey, trial Courts are called the Superior Court.  The Superior Court consists of the Civil Part, the Criminal Part and the Chancery Division.  The Family Part (or Family Court) is part of the Chancery Division.The [...]

By | 2017-03-03T21:58:09+00:00 November 3rd, 2013|Family Court|Comments Off on The Family Court

Domestic Violence

Domestic Violence has become an all too common phenomenon in American society.  In response to this burgeoning problem, New Jersey enacted the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act in 1991.  Since then it has been amended several times in an effort to better address the needs of victims for protection and the behavior of the perpetrators of the violence. Domestic violence is specifically defined in the statute and includes attempted murder, assault, harassment, stalking, kidnapping and terroristic threats.  There are other offenses that may also constitute domestic violence under the [...]

By | 2017-03-03T22:10:51+00:00 October 3rd, 2013|Child Support|Comments Off on Domestic Violence

DOMA Is Dead

On June 26, 2013, by a 5-4 vote, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that certain provisions of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) were unconstitutional.  Specifically, the statute’s denial of several significant federal rights to homosexual couples who were legally married in states that recognize same sex marriages was a denial of their right to equal protection under the Fourteenth Amendment.Prior to the Court’s decision, same sex married couples could not file joint income tax returns.  Divorced same sex couples could not claim a tax deduction for [...]

By | 2017-03-03T22:17:20+00:00 September 3rd, 2013|DOMA|Comments Off on DOMA Is Dead

Prenuptial Agreements

When Jerry Seinfeld’s friend George Costanza got cold feet about getting married, he tried to scare off his fiancé with two words – “Pre Nup.” It didn’t work for him, but frequently the idea of a prenuptial agreement puts a damper on the romance of marriage. It can turn a wedding into a business deal and can sometimes end an engagement. And, yet, in some cases, it is advisable.Prenuptial agreements (called Premarital Agreements in New Jersey) are more popular for people about to enter into second (or third or fourth) [...]

By | 2017-03-03T22:23:30+00:00 August 3rd, 2013|Prenuptial Agreements|Comments Off on Prenuptial Agreements

Permanent Alimony

Permanent alimony is the most traditional, and for some, the most feared form of alimony.  It began a long time ago as a way to address the financial needs of the dependent spouse after divorce and forever after.  Back then the dependent spouse was almost always the wife who had assumed the traditional gender role as homemaker or housewife (ancient terms) and mother.  Nearly all women were ill-equipped to be financially self-sufficient after divorce or even to contribute economically to their own support. Thus, alimony designed to support the [...]

By | 2017-03-03T22:32:01+00:00 July 3rd, 2013|Alimony|Comments Off on Permanent Alimony

Financial Experts

Often a spouse’s interest in a small business or a professional practice is an asset subject to equitable distribution. A restaurant, a software company, an architectural practice and a law firm are examples of assets that may have to be divided as part of the divorce.  In order to equitably distribute this type asset, its value must first be established.  Since there is usually no readily available comparable sales data to consult in reaching an estimate of value, other methodologies have been devised by accountants and courts to calculate value [...]

By | 2017-03-03T22:37:04+00:00 June 3rd, 2013|Equitable Distribution|Comments Off on Financial Experts