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...
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.
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.
When children can no longer safely reside with their birth parents, the New Jersey Division of Child Protection and Permanency (DCP&P) first look for relatives and family friends to provide care. The law recognizes that having children cared for by relatives and...
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.
While New Jersey law allows an exemption from mandatory immunization for medical or religious reasons, that right is not absolute. A recent New Jersey Appellate Division case dealt with vaccination over parents’ objection in a very limited circumstance, but it’s reasoning may be relevant in broader situations.
No divorce is stress-free even when couples mutually agree to split. It is an emotional period, often made worse because there are many issues that must be settled, including those involving children, living arrangements and finances. Couples must think rationally about the divorce process and the next steps in their lives at the same time they are dealing with anger, grief and uncertainty.
Mediation can be a highly cost-effective way to settle disputes in divorce. In certain situations, divorcing parties elect to attend mediation without hiring attorneys as an additional cost-saving measure. If you intend to go to mediation without an attorney, there...
Under New Jersey law, parents are presumptively required to provide for the financial support of their unemancipated children. While many parents believe child support automatically terminates when a child reaches age 18, this is not true in New Jersey. Child support terminates upon a child’s emancipation. Importantly, the definition of emancipation varies by state, making it extremely pertinent parents are aware of their state’s laws.