REDUCING THE SPREAD OF CORONAVIRUS: The Marciano Law Firm takes seriously your concerns regarding the spread of Coronavirus, and we have taken measures to reduce the risk of transmission for both our clients and those seeking legal representation. All meetings can be handled virtually via telephone or through teleconferencing apps like Zoom, FaceTime, Skype and others. All documents can also be signed electronically through various E-sign platforms. If you have any questions about our policies and how we can accommodate your needs, please feel free to give our attorneys a call.


The coronavirus pandemic has impacted almost all areas of our lives. For some, the impact on home life has forced them to reevaluate certain relationships. If you’re one of those people and you’ve determined that your marriage is broken past the point of repair, you may be concerned about your divorce options during this time of ongoing pandemic. The reality is that the courts and the rest of the legal system are operating, so you should wait no more to contact an experienced Hoboken family law attorney.

Going all the way back to the spring, family law attorneys around New Jersey began noticing an upswing in people calling about the possibility of filing for divorce, as a May 2020 report by reinforced. In some places, there are even billboards that tout legal services related to “COVIDivorce.”

Of course, getting a divorce in New Jersey in 2020 hasn’t always been easy – for a while, courts around the state were closed due to the lockdown. For those needing a divorce here, there is helpful news: the courts are open again… and have been for months. Virtual proceedings began in the spring and in-person hearings restarted in the summer.

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Most of us will probably never live the high-flying lifestyle of celebrities, but there may still be things that people of all walks of life can learn from a celebrity divorce. In the case of the divorce of one of the Real Housewives of New Jersey, that lesson is the potentially substantial benefit spouses – especially those with children – can achieve through using the mediation process effectively. Even if you are working collaboratively through the use of the mediation process as opposed to proceeding in an adversarial process, it is nevertheless extremely important to have a skilled Hoboken divorce attorney on your side to protect you and your relationship with your children.

Fans of the Real Housewives of New Jersey will immediately recognize the name “Teresa Guidice” as a starring cast member on all 10 seasons of the reality TV show. In 2019, after two decades of marriage, Teresa and husband Joe separated.

In early September 2020, the attorney who handled the couple’s divorce mediation announced that the couple had finalized their divorce, according to a People report. The Guidices, who were also the parents of four daughters ranging in age from 19 to 11, successfully resolved all of their divorce issues through the mediation process, according to their mediator.

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Opinions are like noses… almost everyone has one, but they usually have a couple of holes in them. That’s true when it comes to estate planning. You may hear some “financial guru” on the radio opining that you don’t need an attorney when it comes time to create your will; that you should just get a form off the internet or from the bookstore instead. Maybe that’ll work sometimes, but often it won’t, especially if unexpected problems should arise. When the unexpected does arise, that’s when legal representation provided by an experienced Hoboken estate planning attorney can be valuable beyond measure. For example, if your will is challenged in court after you die, the service your attorney provided at the time (and even after you’re gone) can be essential to having your planning goals and desires reach fruition.

As a real-life illustration, consider this will challenge case from Mercer County. S.W. was a financially successful man who amassed considerable wealth. He was married twice. The first produced a daughter and the second lasted more than 25 years until his death.

Two years after S.W. and his second wife wed, he executed a will. That 1992 will split his estate roughly 50-50 between the second wife and the daughter. S.W. changed his estate plan three times between June 2014 and his death in March 2016. A June 2014 will gave everything to the daughter. A November 2014 will gave everything to the second wife.

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Historically, adultery has been something that could have a legal impact in two different ways: one in the area of family law and the other in the area of criminal law. Here in New Jersey, criminal penalties for adultery were abolished decades ago. An extramarital affair can still have an effect on your divorce, but those effects are limited. Whether it was you or your spouse who strayed, it is important to have a skilled Hoboken family law attorney on your side to protect your rights in a divorce action and make sure the outcome you get is a fair one.

Criminal adultery laws have actually been making the news recently. While New Jersey decriminalized adultery in 1978, other places still have bans on the books. Back in early November, a New York City assemblyman made news by introducing legislation that would wipe away the Empire State’s criminal ban on adultery.

Here in New Jersey, there are several points in the divorce process where adultery may impact the case. First, let’s look at the initial divorce filing. New Jersey law still recognizes adultery as a valid basis for seeking a divorce. (Some other bases include extreme cruelty, desertion, deviant sexual misconduct, imprisonment, drug addiction and mental illness.)

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When you divorce the mother or father of your children, you may feel a strong desire to make sure that both of you have an active and hands-on role in raising your children. Some parents may promise to continue living near each other and may even put that promise in writing in their marital settlement agreements. Living nearby one another can be an excellent way to raise a child post-divorce but, if your life’s circumstances have thrown an unexpected complication into those plans, be sure your rights and your relationship with your child are protected to the fullest by retaining a skilled Hoboken family law attorney.

There are lots of situations where parents living close to one another would be beneficial for the children. That’s especially true if both of you seek to share joint physical custody of the child. This kind of arrangement may call for each parent to have the child for alternating weeks. Other variations of this include calling for one parent to have the child 4 days and the other 3 days in one week and then to reverse those numbers in the following week.

This arrangement often is successful, at least for as long as both parents stay put. When one or the other finds it desirable or necessary to move, then things can become complicated. In early 2020, for example, the Appellate Division court addressed exactly one of those child custody scenarios.

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If you know a bit about how alimony works in New Jersey, then you know that the lifestyle a couple enjoyed during their marriage (sometimes also called the “marital standard of living”) is a very important factual factor the judge will consider in making an alimony award. So, whether you are the spouse seeking alimony or you are the spouse potentially paying alimony, it is important to have the evidence and the arguments you need in order to present a clear picture of what your marital lifestyle really was. To make sure you are equipped to do that and get a fair outcome from your alimony case, look to an experienced Hoboken family law attorney to provide the legal representation you need for success.

A case from earlier this year faced a question that can potentially impact a lot of Garden State couples: how should courts ascertain a couple’s marital standard of living and handle alimony when the couple’s lifestyle was beyond their actual means?

In that case, S.W. and his wife, G.M., were a divorcing couple who had lived beyond their means while married, even though their means were quite substantial. While the husband’s income fluctuated dramatically from year to year, he had an average annual net income of more than $1.3 million. (The wife stopped working outside the home after the birth of the couple’s eldest child.)

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Two of the most common questions when it comes to estate plans are: do I need one and, if I do, when should I start? For the vast majority of people, the answers to these questions are quite simple. They are “yes” and “now.” Nearly everyone can benefit by doing some form of estate planning and, as none of us (young or old) are promised tomorrow, there’s no time like the present to take control of the distribution of your assets after your death and protect those you care about. To make sure the estate plan you create will achieve the objectives you have, be sure to contact a knowledgeable Hoboken estate planning attorney who can show you the most effective ways to realize your goals.

Sometimes, the deaths of celebrities and the estate plans of celebrities can serve as important cautionary tales for the rest of us. They can make for a sort of “what not to do” story.

This, arguably, was the case with Argentine soccer superstar Diego Maradona. In late November, the famous footballer passed away at age 60. According to the BBC, Maradona’s estate reportedly included a “portfolio of properties, lucrative image rights and an amphibious tank from Belarus.”

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Engaging in proper estate planning can benefit almost all New Jerseyans. It can allow you to ensure control of your assets, benefit the people and charities you hold dear and maybe even save your family money when it comes to so-called “death taxes.” There are various methods and processes that can help you do this, and an experienced Hoboken estate planning attorney can help you pick out which one is best for you.

In January 2021, Americans witnessed a new presidential administration taking control of the executive branch. With that transfer of power will come a changed focus in terms of policy priorities, as the Biden administration focuses on Democratic priorities and moves away from the Republican priorities of the Trump administration.

One area where priorities will likely change is tax policy, as Bloomberg Tax recently reported. Under the Trump Administration, the estate tax exemption swelled to more than $11.5 million in 2020. That, of course, means that very few people are currently subject to paying federal estate taxes, as only a very small percentage of estates have that amount of wealth.

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Opinions about revocable living trusts vary, even among legal professionals. Many attorneys will focus upon the multiple potential benefits a well-written trust can unlock. Opponents may highlight the damage that a poorly written trust can do. In reality, the key to having a revocable living trust that is successful is to work with the right Hoboken estate planning attorney and ensure that the trust agreement you receive is a well-written document custom-tailored to meet your needs and achieve your objectives.

No one wants to think about their loved ones fighting in court over their estate after they die, but it does happen. The most important thing when it comes to these court challenges is not to fret about the challenge itself (which you can’t control) but to focus on ensuring that you have a plan that, even in the face of legal action, will achieve your goals (which you can control.)

A recent court case from Central Jersey shows an example of a well-done estate plan. In 1996, R. and M.A., a husband and wife, established their family living trust. The trust agreement document made it very clear that the trust existed for the benefit of the couple during their lifetimes and then for the benefit of their two children, B. and D.… but only after both parents had died.

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It’s been more than a decade and a half since hip-hop star Kanye West scored a hit song that opined that a “prenup… [is] something that you need to have.” Today, more and more people are agreeing. The group leading the current surge to acquire prenuptial agreements is, according to news reports, the Millennial generation. If you’re preparing to marry, whether or not you’re a Millennial, it is worth your while to contact an experienced Hoboken family law attorney and find out if executing a prenuptial agreement makes sense for you.

Based on these recent reports, many of the reasons Millennials are gravitating to prenuptial agreements are very good ones and something from which anyone who’s contemplating marriage can learn… regardless of age.

Here are some of the reported reasons why Millennials are getting prenuptial agreements and why, potentially, you should, too.

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