Articles Posted in Hoboken Child Custody

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If you know much about geography here in New Jersey and the surrounding area, you know that moving “two states away” or even just “one state away” doesn’t mean the same as it does if you live out west. When you share custody of a child or children with an ex-spouse or partner, this is more than just a quirky bit of trivia. The law in New Jersey says that an intrastate move with a child is not the same as an interstate move with a child, so these state boundaries can be very important if you find yourself needing to make a move. When that happens, you want to be sure that your move is not held up by legal snags, so it is vital to have a knowledgeable Hoboken child custody attorney on your side from the start.

If you live in Austin, Texas, you can go 200 miles in any direction and not have left the Lone Star State. Here in Hoboken, you could make an interstate move simply by moving 5 miles to the east of Downtown Hoboken (which would put you in New York City). You could move “two states over” simply by moving 40 miles northeast to Greenwich, Connecticut.

In New Jersey, the law, generally speaking, used to require you to get court approval if you were moving out of state (no matter how short the distance.) A move within the Garden State (no matter how long the distance) generally was considered to be a decision within the sound discretion of the primary residential parent and did not require any court involvement. Of course, that can lead to some peculiar results, like possibly allowing a parent to move 150 miles from Hoboken to Cape May with no court approval while requiring another parent to litigate a move of less than 10 miles from Hoboken to Queens.

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Back in 1985, a famous country music performer, Reba McEntire, released a song with the lines, “Somebody should leave…but which one should it be?” Regrettably, failed marriages like this fictional one are a sad reality for many couples in New Jersey. Before you make the decision to be the “somebody” who should leave your marital home, you owe it to yourself to consult a knowledgeable Hoboken divorce attorney. Depending of the specifics of your situation, moving out of the marital home may ultimately be the wrong decision, even if it is the less painful one in the short term.

In New Jersey prior to 2007, you often had to prove that your spouse was “at fault” before a court would give you a divorce. In some foreign countries, you still do. Abandonment is one common way to do that. Back in late November, according to a report in The Tribune, a husband in India won his divorce case after alleging that his wife left for Dubai one day in 2015, taking all her belongings with her, with no “provocation or reason,” and never came back. The judge sided with the husband, ruling that the wife failed to provide “any reasonable cause due to which she had to live separately from the” husband.

Here in New Jersey, getting a divorce in a circumstance like this can be much simpler today. New Jersey law allows spouses to pursue a “no-fault” divorce, which means that you don’t accuse your spouse of some failure, but merely allege irreconcilable differences. However, the law does still allow spouses to pursue an at-fault divorce, and one of the causes available is abandonment or desertion. This fact may give you serious pause if your marital relationship has broken down and you are considering moving out.d

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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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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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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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Pink concert didn’t harm N.J. girl, judge says

A new case recently decided by the New Jersey Courts deals with the situation where one divorced  parent disagrees with the other about attending cultural events such as a music concert.  While the artist Pink was the subject of this case, you can see how it could be problem with a Miley Cyrus concert or a Wrestlemania event.

This case presents issues involving divorced parents, an eleven year old girl, and rock music. The parties are in the midst of ongoing contested litigation over physical custody of the child, during which the plaintiff-father contends that the defendant-mother abused her parental discretion and made an age-inappropriate decision by taking their daughter to a rock concert performed by the singer, P!nk, on December 11, 2013 at the Prudential Center 1 Pseudonyms and initials are used in place of the actual names of the parties and child at issue. in Newark, New Jersey. 2 For the reasons set forth in this opinion, the court holds the following:

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