Marital settlement agreements often provide that a party can suspend, modify or terminate the obligation to pay alimony if the recipient spouse “cohabits” with another person. Currently, cohabitation under New Jersey law is defined as “… a mutually supportive, intimate personal relationship in which a couple has undertaken duties and privileges that are commonly associated with marriage or civil union but does not necessarily maintain a single common household.” The reality under New Jersey law is that proving cohabitation can be difficult as noted in the recent New Jersey appellate case of Landau v. Landau.
New Jersey law allows the award of attorneys’ fees in divorce and other family actions in certain circumstances. Courts looks at several factors including the parties’ behavior in terms of the positions they take in litigation. Acting in bad faith in pursuing or defending an action can have a significant influence on a court’s decision to award attorneys’ fees in favor of one party and against the other party.
Matrimonial law generally encourages couples who separate and divorce to resolve their disputes amicably. However, New Jersey Courts will not blindly enforce agreements, and the Courts have the authority to completely disregard agreements, as demonstrated by a recent New Jersey case involving a separation agreement.
Are “Stipulated Damages” Provisions in Marital Settlement Agreements Enforceable, Even If There Were No Actual Damages?
In New Jersey, Marital Settlement Agreements are contracts that are enforceable just like contracts outside the family law context – with some very important distinctions. Generally, Marital Settlement Agreements are enforceable to the extent they are “fair and equitable.” But does this concept apply to agreements between spouses regarding specific penalties for violations of the […]
How to divide assets is one of the most common sources of dispute in divorce. In New Jersey, marital property and debt are subject to equitable distribution, which means fair, but not necessarily equal, division between the parties. While New Jersey law requires the full disclosure of all assets, New Jersey Courts do not independently verify whether a party has fully and candidly disclosed all assets. Instead, it is up to the other party to “fact check” the accuracy of their spouse’s disclosures. An attorney, acting in concert with other professionals, has several methods to verify financial disclosures and find hidden assets.
Divorcing couples often ask about dating – whether they can date and how it will look to a judge. A divorce can go on for a year or more, so the issue arises in many divorces not just those involving spouses who initiated a divorce because they met someone else. The reality is dating is allowed, but there are a few pitfalls that the parties should understand if they want to date while divorcing.