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Divorce Tips

Domestic Violence Orders - 52

Our Courts have rejected the suggestion that a one-year time period be engrafted onto New Jersey’s Domestic Violence Statute (N.J.S.A. 2C:25-29d) related to the duration of Final Restraining Orders. Such a determination is deferred for legislative action. The linchpin in any motion addressed to dismissal of a final restraining order read more

How to Locate the Best NJ Divorce Lawyer for You - 51

If divorce is looming, it is highly advisable that you consult with an experienced family law attorney in or about the county where the marital home is located. Representing yourself is permissible, but fraught with pitfalls. In selecting an attorney, you should look for someone who dedicates his or her read more

NJ’s Child Support Guidelines - 50

The premise of NJ’s Child Support Guidelines is that (1) child support is a continuous duty of both parents, (2) children are entitled to share in the current income of both parents, and (3) children should not be the economic victims of divorce or out-of-wedlock birth. The economic data and read more

Civility Between Divorcing Parents is Key - 49

Children have a paramount need to have functional rather than dysfunctional parents, who can civilly cooperate with each other and serve as positive role models for their children in the process. See Madison v, Davis., supra 438 N.J. Super at 45. For more information about your rights in divorce, please read more

Mid-Week Visitation - 48

As recently stated in an unpublished decision by Judge Jones from Ocean County, 1) A parenting schedule between divorced parents must reasonably consider a child’s best interests, including educational interests, and must account for each party’s responsibility to dutifully oversee their child’s academic obligations and schedule; 2) A non-custodial parent’s read more

Don’t Interfere with Other Parent’s Parenting - 47

Don’t take sides or take issue with the day-to-day decisions or actions made by the other parent, especially in front of the children. For more information about your rights in divorce, please contact Chuck Vuotto at cvuotto@starrgern.com or by phone at his Roseland office (973) 403-9200. You may also read read more

Interventions for Children Going Through Divorce - 46

“Current evidence suggests that the loss of contact with parents, economic difficulties, stress, parental adjustment and competence, and inter-parental conflict all contribute at least to some degree to the difficulties of children. Some new findings shift our attention from major problems to milder but important long-term painful memories and feelings read more

Determining Ability to Earn for Support Purposes - 45

“One of the strongest indicators of a party’s ability to earn is the salary, which he or she was recently earning, especially when a party has been unemployed for only a brief period of time… The courts have recognized that when parties suffer temporary physical setbacks the loss may not read more

Voluntary Unemployment and Support - 44

“A parent who voluntarily leaves the world of gainful employment for however a good reason, does not thereby foreclose inquiry into the need for child support and the responsibility for that parent to supply it.” Bencivenga v. Bencivenga, 254 N.J. Super 328, 331 (App. Div. 1992) For more information about read more

Imputation of Income and Support - 43

There is no functional difference between imputing income to the supporting spouse earned from employment vs. that earned from investment. In both instances, the supporting spouse is required to earn more from an asset, either his or her human capital in the form of employment or his or her investment read more

Support and Income Generated by Assets - 42

To the extent that income is generated by a dependent spouse’s inheritance or by any other asset, that income is crucial to the issue of that spouse’s ability to contribute. This is true whether the spouse chose to actually receive the income or whether, at his or her option, it read more

Conflict Hurts Children - 41

Dr. Robert Hughes, Jr., Ph.D. of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign wrote a paper on the impact of divorce on children. He concluded, in part, that children in high-conflict families, whether intact or divorced, tend to fare worse than children of parents that get along. Dr. Hughes also notes read more

Preparation and Divorce - 40

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” (Benjamin Franklin) For more information about your rights in divorce, please contact Chuck Vuotto at cvuotto@starrgern.com or by phone at his Roseland, NJ office (973) 403-9200. You may also read more articles on divorce at vuotto.com

Divorce and Fear - 39

I have always said that the biggest thing impacting how a divorce will proceed is FEAR. As Ghandi said, “the enemy is fear. We think it is hate, but it is fear.” Do your research, listen to your professionals and do your homework. The fear will usually subside. For more read more

Divorce and Anger - 38

Forgive people in your life, even those who are not sorry for their actions. Holding on to anger only hurts you, not them. Anger will have a direct impact on the course of your divorce action. Try your best to let it go. For more information about your rights in read more

Divorce is Not only an End But Also a Beginning - 37

Divorce is not only an end, but also a beginning. Remember, “in life, the things that go wrong are often the very things that lead to other things going right.” (Arianna Huffington). Don’t give up because of one bad chapter in your life. Keep going… your story doesn’t end here. read more

Preparing a Marital History - 36

In order to give your divorce attorney the information he or she needs, you should try to chronologically summarize all of the salient facts related to your relationship with your spouse. Although it may seem like a daunting task, you should chronologically address each of the following points: (a) length read more

Significant Others and Children - 35

Behave discreetly with other people in the children’s presence. For more information about your rights in divorce, please contact Chuck Vuotto at cvuotto@starrgern.com or by phone at his Roseland, NJ office (973) 403-9200. You may also read more articles on divorce at vuotto.com

Plan Before the Divorce - 34

Plan ahead for divorce. Remember, “it wasn’t raining when Noah built the ark.” (Howard Ruff) If you know that divorce is in your future, do your research, gather your information, summarize key facts and begin to prepare. For more information about your rights in divorce, please contact Chuck Vuotto at read more

Don’t Burden Children Going Through Divorce - 33

Refrain from burdening the children with parental worries, especially parental financial, career or social problems. For more information about your rights in divorce, please contact Chuck Vuotto at cvuotto@starrgern.com or by phone at his Roseland, NJ office (973) 403-9200. You may also read more articles on divorce at vuotto.com

Cool Off Before Reacting to Ex-Spouse - 32

Engage in a cooling off period before reacting to your spouses (or ex-spouses) upsetting communications. The worst thing you can do is to email/text back a nasty response hastily drafted that can be used against you later in the litigation. Sometimes the best reaction, is no reaction. For more information read more

Be Flexible in Visitation with Children - 31

Be reasonably flexible in rearranging dates and time with the children to support important extended family events or activities important to the children. For more information about your rights in divorce, please contact Chuck Vuotto at cvuotto@starrgern.com or by phone at his Roseland, NJ office (973) 403-9200. You may also read more

Review Your Divorce Lawyers Invoices - 30

Divorce can be expensive. However, the cost can be unnecessarily increased by not reviewing the invoices that you receive from your professionals upon receipt. Don’t just look at the balance owed. Critically review what work was done (assuming details are provided). If details of the professional services are not provided, read more

Calls With Children in Divorce - 29

Use discretion as to the time and frequency of phone calls to the children. For more information about your rights in divorce, please contact Chuck Vuotto at cvuotto@starrgern.com or by phone at his Roseland, NJ office (973) 403-9200. You may also read more articles on divorce at vuotto.com

Consistent and Predictable Roles in Child-Rearing - 28

Take a consistent and predictable role in the children’s life, using time with the children to strengthen a relationship with him/her. For more information about your rights in divorce, please contact Chuck Vuotto at cvuotto@starrgern.com or by phone at his Roseland, NJ office (973) 403-9200. You may also read more read more

Don’t Argue in Front of Children - 27

Refrain from fighting or arguing with the other parent in the presence of the children. For more information about your rights in divorce, please contact Chuck Vuotto at cvuotto@starrgern.com or by phone at his Roseland, NJ office (973) 403-9200. You may also read more articles on divorce at vuotto.com

Modifying Alimony - 26

As to modifying an alimony obligation, it is the public policy of New Jersey that the legal obligation of the supporting spouse is superseded and ends on the remarriage of the dependent spouse. In effect, the new marriage bond itself creates a change of circumstances that the Legislature deemed sufficiently read more

Joint Problem Solving in Divorce - 25

Present a reasoned, open, cooperative, approach to solving problems and explicitly acknowledge the other parent’s concerns in family discussions. For more information about your rights in divorce, please contact Chuck Vuotto at cvuotto@starrgern.com or by phone at his Roseland, NJ office (973) 403-9200. You may also read more articles on read more

Grandparent Visitation - 24

Grandparent visitation: Pursuant to Moriarty v. Bradt, 177 N.J. 84(2003), cert. denied, 540 U.S. 1177 (2004), the New Jersey Supreme Court concluded that the need to avoid harm to the child is “the only state interest warranting the implication of the State’s parens patriae jurisdiction to overcome the presumption in read more

Parenting Decisions - 23

Don’t take sides or take issue with the day-to-day decisions or actions made by the other parent, especially in front of the children. For more information about your rights in divorce, please contact Chuck Vuotto at cvuotto@starrgern.com or by phone at his Roseland, NJ office (973) 403-9200. You may also read more

Give Adequate Notice of Changes in Timesharing - 22

Give as much warning as possible to the other parent when requesting changes in schedules or plans. Except for emergencies, make changes in plans by mutual agreement with reasonable notice to the other parent. Punctually observe time schedules. The late parent should phone, leaving word as to the reason for read more

Can’t Bargain Away Child Support - 21

Refrain from attempting to bargain away child support for other things that results in a lessening of support due for a child "[T]he right to support belongs to the child. ... For this reason and because of the State's parens patriae interest in assuring a proper level of support for read more

Don’t Use Children as Messengers During Divorce - 20

When in the midst of divorce or thereafter, don’t use the children as messengers between you and your spouse or ex-spouse. For more information about your rights in divorce, please contact Chuck Vuotto at cvuotto@starrgern.com or by phone at his Roseland, NJ office (973) 403-9200. You may also read more read more

Child Support Ends Upon Emancipation - 19

Remember that "Emancipation of a child is reached when the fundamental dependent relationship between parent and child is concluded, the parent relinquishes the right to custody and is relieved of the burden of support, and the child is no longer entitled to support." Filippone v. Lee, 304 N.J. Super. 301, read more

Avoiding Harm to Children in Divorce - 18

Communicate with your spouse openly, honestly, and regularly to avoid misunderstandings which are harmful to the children, and to plan together as parents. For more information about your rights in divorce, please contact Chuck Vuotto at cvuotto@starrgern.com or by phone at his Roseland, NJ office (973) 403-9200. You may also read more

Arbitration of Divorce Matters - 17

Consider arbitration of your family law matter. The public policy of New Jersey favors arbitration. Arbitration is a process by which parties enter into a contract or agreement to have the issues in their dispute determined by a third party called an arbitrator or umpire. Arbitration is a method to read more

Encourage Love for the Other Parent in Divorce - 16

Provide your children with an emotional environment in which she/he is free to continue to love the other parent. Encourage a good feeling from the children about the other parent and his/her extended families. Encourage the children to remember the other parent on special occasions, allowing him/her to telephone on read more

How Proper Discovery Leads to Best Outcomes in Divorce - 15

Learn About the Tools of Discovery: Very often, one spouse does not have complete knowledge of the other party’s assets, liabilities, income or activities. That is when “discovery” comes into play. Essentially, “discovery” is organized information gathering. It can encompass that which is permitted by the Rules of Court or read more

Give Honest Answers to Children’s Questions About Divorce - 14

Children of divorcing parents have the right to honest and age appropriate answers to questions about the changing family without placing blame on either parent. For more information about your rights in divorce, please contact Chuck Vuotto at cvuotto@starrgern.com or by phone at his Roseland, NJ office (973) 403-9200. You read more

Factors That are Considered When Establishing Alimony and Child Support - 13

Summarize Your Education/Earnings & Employment Histories: There are many factors that are considered when establishing alimony and child support. These factors include, but are not limited to, the length of marriage, contributions to the marriage, age, health, as well as a myriad of other factors. Chief among these factors is read more

Don’t Involve Children in Divorce Disputes - 12

Children involved in the divorce process have the right not to be perceived as a source of argument between the parents and particularly to be a willing or an unwilling participant in arguments because they occur within his/her hearing. For more information about your rights in divorce, please contact Chuck read more

Equitable Distribution in Divorce - 11

List Assets & Liabilities:  A major part of the case will be the “equitable distribution” of marital property.  There are three main steps in the process of dividing marital property and debts in a divorce case:  (1) identify the property; (2) value the property; and (3) distribute the property.  This read more

Present a United Front to Children Going Through Divorce - 10

Remember that children have the right to be assured that the parents’ decision to divorce was not caused by anything in the children’s control. Once you’ve decided to divorce, try to speak to your children together and show them a united front so that they can see that, although you read more

The Best Outcome in Divorce Starts with Information on Gathering - 9

Gather Information & Documents: You can avoid many months of litigation and thousands of dollars by gathering and copying key financial records in advance including but not limited to: (a) tax returns (personal and business - typically past five years); (b) spending records (preferably three years of checking account statements, read more

Children’s Rights in Divorce - 8

Children whose parents are divorcing have the right to continue to express love, affection and respect for each parent without having to stifle that love because of fear or disapproval of the other parent and the right to be treated as an important human being, with unique feelings, ideas and read more

Identifying Goals and Issues for Best Divorce Results - 7

Identify Your Issues & List Your Goals (Wish List & Bottom Line): Once you have summarized your marital history to your attorney, identify your major issues (e.g., custody, time-sharing, alimony, child support, value of a business, hidden assets, personal injuries, etc.). For example, “I want joint legal custody; to be read more

Finding the Best Divorce Lawyer - 6

There are certain attributes that you should look for in a divorce attorney. Of course, these attributes may vary depending on your needs and goals. However, primarily, you should look for an attorney who has a number of the following qualifications and/or characteristics: (1) is certified by the Supreme Court read more

Children of Divorce - 5

Children of divorcing parties have the right to continuing care and guidance from both parents and to learn about and appreciate what is good in each parent. For more information about your rights in divorce, please contact Chuck Vuotto at cvuotto@starrgern.com or by phone at his Roseland, NJ office (973) read more

Marital Fault and Divorce - 4

With certain limited exceptions, courts do not usually consider who was at fault in the break up of the marriage when dealing with financial issues. Therefore, as hard as it may be, try not to focus on the reasons for the dissolution of the marriage. For more information about your read more

Marital Lifestyle and Alimony – Child Support - 3

Marital Lifestyle is a statutory factor for various aspects of a divorce including child support, alimony, and property division. You need to give the underlying information to your attorney so that he or she can effectively argue as to lifestyle to the extent relevant. Basically, explain how you live your read more

Children’s Feelings and Divorce - 2

Remember that children of divorcing parties have the right to a relaxed, secure and continuing relationship with both parents and to be able to experience regular and consistent contact with both parents. For more information about your rights in divorce, please contact Chuck Vuotto at cvuotto@starrgern.com or by phone at his read more

Divorce and Emotions - 1

Keep emotions in check. Fear and other emotional reactions to the breakup of a marriage, while totally understandable, can derail your ultimate goal of a fair, economical and expeditious resolution to your divorce. For more information about your rights in divorce, please contact Chuck Vuotto at cvuotto@starrgern.com or by phone read more