Category: Child Custody
Under New Jersey law, both parents are obligated to contribute to the support of their child. The payor’s child support obligation may be modified if he or she has experienced “changed circumstances,” which includes major health issues or permanent disability.
New Jersey law provides that both parents must pay basic child support plus certain add-on expenses. While a Court or the parties may decide how much each parent pays initially, that amount may later be modified if a party has experienced “changed circumstances,” which include job loss or obtaining a higher paying job. When the Court finds that a party is voluntarily underemployed or unemployed without just cause, the Court has the discretion to impute income to that parent based on certain criteria. A recent appellate decision illustrates this point.
Parental relocation is a difficult issue for parents and courts to resolve. If one parent wants to move over the objection of the other parent, the moving parent must convince the court that he/she should be able to relocate with the children over the non-custodial parent’s objection. Until recently, there was a significant difference in New Jersey law for custodial parents intending to relocate out-of-state versus custodial parents intending to relocate within New Jersey. Now, according to the Appellate Division in the case of A.J. v. R.J., a custodial parent who intends to move must demonstrate that the move is in the child’s best interest, regardless of whether the move is in-state or out-of-state.
If your divorce involved children, the New Jersey Courts required you and your former spouse to resolve legal custody and parenting time issues. No matter how much thought went into your custody and parenting time plan, however, it is not unusual for parents to seek modification(s) after the divorce. A recent New Jersey Appellate Division case highlights the challenges that come with modifications of parenting time Orders.
When divorcing couples have children, New Jersey Courts make decisions based on the best interests of the child. That may include ordering the child and/or the parents to undergo therapy. If the parties refuse to submit to therapy or interfere with a child’s participation in therapy, courts will hold them accountable as evidenced by a recent New Jersey decision involving Court-ordered parent-child reunification therapy.
When a couple divorces, the party required to pay alimony and/or child support typically agrees to take out a specific amount of life insurance to secure his or her support obligations. Generally, the insurance policy names the former spouse or children as the beneficiaries. While a spousal support award may be modified in certain circumstances, it does not necessarily follow that the party’s life insurance obligations also will be reduced as evidenced by a recent New Jersey decision.