During a divorce, one of the most essential steps is the equitable distribution of marital property. This means that all the money and property acquired by the couple during their marriage will be divided between the two of them. However, dividing up the property isn’t as simple as adding up the value of all the couple’s assets and dividing them in half, because equitable distribution is not the same thing as equal distribution. Continue reading “Equitable Distribution is Not Equal Distribution”
If a parent is unable to care for a child or is determined to be unfit, the guardianship of the child can be granted to a relative or family friend. Guardianship can be defined as the position of being legally responsible for the care of someone who is unable to manage their own affairs. This provides a viable option for the child to be removed from the home and be relieved of neglectful behavior by their parent(s). Continue reading “Obtaining Guardianship of a Minor in New Jersey”
The topic of parental rights has become more difficult to understand in recent years, as technology and science has developed to bring children into the world in unconventional ways. One of these is by way of gestational carrier, otherwise known as a surrogate. In the 1980s, New Jersey’s Supreme Court ruled that a surrogate has the right to keep the child if she chooses to. At that time, the surrogate was usually the biological mother of the child who donated her egg and agreed to simply carry the child and surrender her rights to the adoptive parent/mother and biological father. Today, though, it is possible for a woman to carry a fetus that she has no biological connection to. This has created an issue in surrogate situations today in that the law has yet to catch up to reproductive science.
Continue reading “New Jersey’s Proposed Gestational Carrier Agreement Act May Become Law”
When it comes to things like child support, custody, and visitation, most people tend to think only of the rights of that child’s parents. Typically, the rights of other loved ones in that child’s life are not very well-known generally because the concept that grandparents—and others with significant relations to the child such as siblings—should have the right to contact and visit that child has only been established in the last two decades. Continue reading “The Visitation Rights of Grandparents in New Jersey”
For many teens across the country, college has finally begun! Many students are beginning their freshman year of college at 18 years old. This means that they are considered an adult. Due to this, parents or guardians no longer have the right to access their child’s medical information even though they are likely paying tuition and have the adult child on their health insurance. Many estate-planning attorneys are advising parents and guardians to obtain a health care proxy with a HIPPA waiver, as well as a Power of Attorney.
When couples who have a child or children divorce, one of the most important decisions that will be made is which party will get custody. In New Jersey, there are several types of child custody, including temporary, sole, joint, and split. When a child custody dispute is brought before a New Jersey family court, a judge will look into a number of factors to determine what is in the best interest of the child or children. Some of the factors to be considered are the physical safety of the child or children and fitness of each parent. Due to the fact that character and propensities are relevant to determining these factors, a judge may find a parent’s criminal history to be a significant factor in child custody proceedings.
The term “child support” gives the general implication that the support is intended for adolescents up until they reach the age of emancipation. However, up until recent years, this was not the case in New Jersey. Prior to recent legislation, many parents would continue to provide child support long after the child reached the age of 18, or would terminate the payments themselves without obtaining a court order. The New Jersey legislature recognized the issue and in 2016 passed a legislation that allows for the termination of child support when the child turns 19 years old. On February 1, 2017, the law went into effect in New Jersey. The law not only applies to future child support orders but existing orders as well.
Going through a divorce can be a stressful and challenging time. One impact of divorce that is often overlooked is the impact it can have on your credit score. It is common for individuals going through a divorce to focus on figuring out the details of living their lives separately, but figuring out your now individual finances can be difficult.
Continue reading “How Can Divorce Affect Your Credit Score?”
In New Jersey as many as 2,400 adoptions take place every year. Recently, after years of relentless lobbying, a law took effect that allows those adult New Jersey adoptees to obtain their original birth certificates that have information about their biological parents, their medical history and identity. Prior to this legislation, these records were sealed by the state of New Jersey and were only available through a court order. Since the legislation took effect in January 2017, more than 1,000 adult adoptees have received their birth records from the New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH) after submitting applications.
The Ocean City Superior Court has held that a parent in a divorce proceeding may be required to pay additional child support if there is a clear showing that the child is gifted or talented. Lawrence Jones, the Superior Court Judge assigned to the case, recognized that the state’s current child support guidelines give no indication of how to deal with the additional costs associated with the needs of a gifted or talented child.