Jenny Birz specializes in all types of family and divorce law matters, including:
Divorce may be granted on several grounds, including but not limited to, irreconcilable differences, adultery, extreme cruelty, and abandonment. In order to file for divorce in New Jersey, one must have resided in the State for at least one (1) year, unless the divorce is being filed on the grounds of adultery, in which case the residency requirement does not apply.
The right to receive, or the obligation to pay, alimony is governed by N.J.S.A. 2A:34-23. An alimony award is determined by a number of factors, including but not limited to, the length of the marriage, the supported spouse’s need, and the supporting spouse’s ability to pay.
Distribution of Assets and Debts
The distribution of assets and liabilities as part of a divorce must be equitable, which means that it must be fair, not necessarily equal. Any assets and debts acquired during the marriage are subject to distribution, with the except of gifts and inheritances made to one party only.
Governed by N.J.S.A. 9:2-4, custody consists of legal custody – the ability to participate in major decisionmaking on behalf of the child – and physical custody – the child’s place of residence. In most cases, one parent is named the Parent of Primary Residence and the other is named the Parent of Alternate Residence. In some cases, where the parties share physical custody equally, it is possible for neither parent to be named the Parent of Primary Residence.
Child support is calculated in accordance with a formula, which takes into consideration each parent’s income, whether imputed or actual, and the number of overnights spent with each parent. A credit is also given to the parent paying for the children’s health insurance coverage.
The laws regarding emancipation in the State of New Jersey are undergoing substantial changes. Pursuant to new laws going into effect in 2017, emancipation will be automatic unless the parent receiving child support is able to produce sufficient proof that the child is a full-time student.
The Parent of Primary Residence is unable to relocate out-of-State with the children without the express consent of the other parent or, absent that consent, permission by the Court. The standard used to determine whether relocation will be permissible varies depending on the physical custody arrangement between the parties.
Grandparents must prove that their absence from their grandchildren’s lives will be harmful to the children, a very difficult standard to overcome. Yet, grandparents often play a pivotal role in a child’s life. It is important to understand one’s rights when seeking grandparent visitation.
Abuse does not only have to be physical to warrant a restraining order. Emotional and financial abuse, as well as threats and harassment, may also constitute domestic violence. If you are the victim of domestic violence, seek help immediately and ensure that you have legal protection.
A prenuptial agreement must be in writing, signed by both parties, and must be accompanied by a statement of assets. Parties must be careful to exchange a full and fair disclosure of their financial circumstances in order to avoid the agreement being successfully challenged in the future.
An annulment may be granted on the following grounds: duress, fraud, bigamy, mental incapacity, impotence or inability to have children, or that one or both spouses were not of legal age to marry.