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Back in the summer, celebrity gossip site TMZ (along with probably countless other sources) reported on the breakup of the eight-month-long marriage of actor Liam Hemsworth and singer Miley Cyrus. According to the TMZ report, the couple had created and signed a prenuptial agreement before they wed. Additionally, each had kept his/her earnings separate during the duration of the marriage. As a result, “there won’t be a fight over money,” the report indicated.

Even if you’re not a couple of multi-millionaires (or even if you are,) there may be good reasons to create what’s called an “antenuptial agreement,” also sometimes known as a prenuptial agreement or premarital agreement. However, what do you do if you’re already married and didn’t create a prenuptial agreement, but now you realize that you probably would have benefited from one? Are you out of luck because you’re already married? No, there are still options. Contact a knowledgeable Hoboken family law attorney and find more about what tools may be able to help you.

One of the tools that is available to you after you’ve already gotten married is something called the mid-marriage agreement, or intra-marital agreement. Mid-marriage agreements can be a great way to protect your interests in an existing marriage, even though the marriage may be successful and nowhere near being “irretrievably broken.”

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Grandparents are integral members of many families. They provide love, support and an important tie to a child’s ancestry and heritage. Nevertheless, in New Jersey, a grandparent (or great-grandparent) who wants a judge to order visitation, assuming the child’s parents are considered fit by the law, has to clear a fairly high hurdle.

That hurdle is high because the law recognizes that one of the fundamental rights of parents is the right to raise their children in the way that they think is the best. Courts will only force parents to go against their own preferences in very limited circumstances. Opportunities do exist for such a court order in some circumstances so, whether you are the grandparent seeking visitation or a parent who opposes visitation, it is important to consult with a knowledgeable Hoboken child custody attorney about your situation.

A case that was decided by the Appellate Division court recently is a good example of how high this hurdle is. F.S. was a man who had several children, including a daughter with S.P.M., two sons with A.K. and a stepson (A.K.’s son) whom F.S. was in the process of adopting.

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Ideally, in a perfect set of circumstances, two spouses going through a divorce will work together collaboratively and maturely to resolve their legal issues in the divorce (such as division of assets, alimony and child issues) in a mutually respectful way. Sometimes, though, that just isn’t “in the cards.” Even if your spouse is approaching your case in a calm and collaborative way, but especially if they’re not, you need to make sure your rights and interests are protected by having an experienced Hoboken family law attorney on your side during every step of the divorce process.

The case of S.G. and F.G. was not one of those “calm and collaborative” cases. Both spouses accused each other of domestic violence. The wife falsely accused the husband of sexually assaulting her. The wife also threatened the husband with a knife.

Additionally, she reportedly destroyed certain computerized financial files of the husband. These computer files weren’t just any financial files, though. They were “spreadsheets and other documents” tracing the husband’s pre-marital assets. When it came time to distribute assets in the divorce, the wife asserted that those assets were actually marital ones and should be divided between the two spouses in the divorce.

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Recently, a member of the New Jersey Senate proposed a bill that would streamline the legal process for the spouse or civil union partner of a biological parent to adopt his/her spouse/partner’s child. The bill, if passed, would set up a speedier process through which same-sex spouses and same-sex civil union partners could adopt the other’s biological child conceived through assisted reproduction, insidernj.com reported.

At this point, you may be wondering, “well, with marriage equality the law of the land in all 50 states after the U.S. Supreme Court’s Obergefell v. Hodges ruling in 2015, the need for going through the trouble and expense of adopting my spouse’s child isn’t there anymore, right?” Well… no. As the senator’s bill recognizes, there are still plenty of very important reasons why it could benefit you and your family to go through the adoption process. Contact an experienced Hoboken family law attorney to discuss your specific situation and learn more about the best path for you.

Before the Obergefell ruling, there were some very good reasons for you — if your child was biologically related to your partner but not to you — to go through the legal steps to adopt that child. The law in all states gives legal parents some very strong rights when it comes to their children, including the right to shut out those the parent doesn’t want in the child’s life. If you’re not a legal parent or guardian, you don’t have those rights — which means you are at risk of being the one “on the outside looking in.” Biological parents automatically have that legal status. Non-biological parents, like stepparents, do not have that same level of legal recognition.

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Once upon a time, the idea of a prenuptial agreement carried mostly negative connotations. The stereotype was that the people who got a prenuptial agreement (also known as an antenuptial agreement or pre-marital agreement) were either greedy and rich spouses trying to avoid sharing the wealth or else worried wealthy people seeking to protect themselves from a “gold digging” soon-to-be spouse. As you can see, this stereotype is fueled by an over-sized dose of cynicism.

The reality is actually much different, and more people are realizing that. According to a recent report, more spouses-to-be are seeking the benefits that a prenuptial agreement can offer. One thing to keep in mind if you’re considering signing a prenuptial agreement is what an impactful decision that is. Once you’ve signed the agreement, your options for getting it invalidated later are fairly limited. (This, by the way, is another reason why you shouldn’t go into the process alone but be sure you are represented by a skilled Hoboken family law attorney.)

According to that recent report, 62% of lawyers who responded to an American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyer survey reported an increase in the number of clients requesting services related to establishing a prenuptial agreement. One attorney, who noted an uptick in prenuptial agreements among second marriages, concluded that spouses had negative memories of their previous divorces and “don’t want the uncertainty of having a judge decide their fate.”

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Alimony law has undergone a number of changes in the last few years as a result of actions taken in Trenton as well as Washington. A few years ago, changes in state law erected some important and substantial new restrictions on alimony. On top of that, the more recent federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act ended the obligation for recipients of alimony to pay federal taxes on that money (for divorce agreements occurring in 2019 or later.)

So, now more than ever, it is very important if you’re getting alimony, to make sure you understand what will and won’t trigger an end to your alimony. In other words, whether you are in the process of working out a divorce agreement in your pending case, or you have an existing agreement in your already completed divorce, look to the advice and counsel of an experienced Hoboken family law attorney to help you make certain that you know what your options are.

One common thing that triggers an end of alimony is the recipient’s remarriage. Of course, that leads to another question — which is, what exactly constitutes a remarriage? In the case of one Camden County couple, W.S. and C.S., that question was the key to their case.

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A receipt lists the typical costs of sending your child to college.

In most divorce situations, the more collaboratively the two spouses work to craft a solution with which both are comfortable (or as comfortable as possible,) the better. That’s especially true if the two are not only spouses but also parents. Collaboration often equates to longer lasting solutions that are more healthy and productive for both spouses involved.

Working collaboratively can save spouses a lot of time and money. However, there are some savings that may not be worth it. One way that some spouses may try to save money in working out a settlement agreement is doing so without legal representation. While some divorcing couples may be able to navigate the process on their own, proceeding without the right Hoboken family law attorney is filled with possible risk.

When it comes to negotiating your divorce settlement agreement, the advice and advocacy of your attorney can be essential. If the agreement you sign isn’t what you really need, there can be serious problems down the road. Look at the case of S.B. and M.E., a couple from Hudson County who had two children together. When they ended their marriage in 2001, theirs was an uncontested divorce. They worked out all their issues in a settlement agreement.

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Back in August, a ruling by the highest court in Australia made international news. In the ruling, the court declared that the man whose sperm was donated to conceive a child had parental rights – including the right to block a move by the child and her mothers. While the ruling by this Australian court will have absolutely no direct effect on the law here in New Jersey, this issue of sperm donors is a very important one here in this state.

These types of issues can be incredibly important to some New Jersey families, including lesbian couples, couples where a male partner is infertile or single women who desire to have children. When your sperm donor seeks visitation or custody, it is important to know exactly how to handle this kind of case. One of your first steps should be to retain the services of an experienced New Jersey family law attorney.

In the Australian case, the biological mother was a woman who sought to start a family with her new partner, according to the Australian Broadcasting Company report. A male friend of the woman agreed to be the sperm donor. Initially, the women raised the child and the biological father visited periodically. However, after the mother’s wife developed cancer and the family decided to move to New Zealand, the biological father sued to block the move. The court system ultimately ruled for the biological father, concluding the man was legally a parent to the child.

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There are many reasons a child might go from living with one parent to living with the other. That change might be the decision of the parents or, in the case of an older child, the parents might allow that mature older child to have a voice in the choice. That child’s relocation may impact a lot of things, including child support. If your teenage child goes from living with your ex-spouse to living with you, then the law says that, generally, you are entitled to a change in child support.

It may mean that, going forward, neither parent pays. Alternately, it may mean that you go from paying your ex-spouse to receiving payments from your ex-spouse. Either way, a modification is often in order. Getting that change is not automatic when your child moves in with you, though. You have to go through a specific legal process to get your child support modified, so you should  have an experienced New Jersey family law attorney representing you and guiding you through the process.

To get an idea how this works, we can look at a recent court case involving a Hunterdon County family. The facts went like this: mother and father married in 1993, had a son in 2001 and divorced in 2003. At the time of the divorce, both parents agreed that the son would live with the mother and that the father would have visitation one night per week and every other weekend. The father also agreed to pay child support.

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Bergen Father Jailed For Non-Support Of Kids Who Live With Him Gets Two More Weeks In Jail

 

Each story of child support and non payment has its own rights and wrongs. What is so unfair in NJ is that some Judges, and even different counties treat the same situation differently. One one hand, it makes no sense to put a person in jail for non payment, since you can’t earn money behind bars, but if the Court does not have the right to jail someone, there is no real penalty for not paying. Child support is serious business in New Jersey