For many of us midnight on December 31st rings in new resolutions and a sense of excitement for the upcoming year.  In New Jersey this year the New Year will ring in new rights for adults that were adopted as children prior to August 1, 2015.  Significant changes in New Jersey’s adoption laws will now let adult adoptees request information from the State of New Jersey about their birth parents, including their original birth certificate. This information was not previously available to them if they were adopted in a closed adoption.  While this change in the law is wonderful news for those who are searching for answers about their birth and where they come from, it can be frightening for birth parents who believed their identity would never be revealed.  As with most family law issues there is fine balance to be reached in assuring that everyone is treated fairly.  For birth parents who do not wish for their identity to be revealed they have until December 31, 2016 to file forms with the State of New Jersey requesting no contact from the adopted child and redacting the child’s birth certificate to remove any information that identifies them as the birth parent.  If you or anyone in your family has questions about the upcoming changes in the adoption privacy rules and the record system for birth parents contact one of our experienced attorneys at IANDOLI & EDENS (908) 879-9499.

Are you prepared for the upcoming holidays? Who is hosting Thanksgiving this year? Who is making the turkey?  Who is making the pies?  Who is picking up grandma?  And where will the children be?

Yes, you read correctly. Where will the children be?  The holidays are stressful enough for intact families, but there is an additional stress for families of divorce.  Who will the children be with for Thanksgiving?  Who will the children be with for Hanukkah?  Who will the children be with for Christmas?   Where will the children be for any given holiday?  And for that matter, what is a holiday?

The answer is different for every family. Typically, parties who are already divorced have a detailed holiday schedule contained in their settlement agreement. The holiday schedule can be as detailed as the parties want and address any holiday the parties want.  For many people being able to take their children Trick or Treating on Halloween is just as important as eating pumpkin pie with them on Thanksgiving.  For divorced or separated families a detailed holiday schedule is essential to enjoying the season. The holidays are about spending time with friends and family; not about fighting over spending time with friends and family.

Unfortunately, some settlement agreements do not adequately address the holidays. Or perhaps the parties are newly separated and have not reached an agreement yet.  If you do not know where your children are supposed to be for the holidays contact one of our experienced attorneys at IANDOLI & EDENS (908) 879-9499 and we will help you come up with a plan that works for your family.

Ever wonder what a Confidentiality Agreement is? Or perhaps you have heard it called a Confidentiality Order or Protective Order. These documents are used in family law for many reasons. The broad purpose of these orders is to forbid both the attorneys and the litigants from releasing information that one or both parties do not want released. Johnny Depp is asking Amber Heard to sign a Confidentiality Agreement to keep their (his) financial documents from being accessible to the public, or more specifically, the media. Judges also often use Confidentiality or Protective Orders if they are disseminating psychological information regarding the parties or their children. Specifically in N.J., if DCP&P (formerly DYFS) issues a report on a family they have investigated, the Court will often not release these reports, or if they do, they will be released under a Confidentiality Order. Also in Family Court, if there is a forensic report about a business held by one of the parties, it is not uncommon for a Protective Order to be entered so that competitors cannot have access to private issues regarding the business. Family law attorneys regularly ask the Courts to enter these Orders. If you think you would benefit from having a Protective or Confidentiality Order in place, contact one of our experienced family law attorneys at IANDOLI & EDENS (908) 879-9499 to discuss your specific situation.

 

Domestic Violence is a serious problem. It cuts through all socioeconomic barriers, races, religions. Many people still think of it as “the problem of the poor”, but nothing could be farther from the truth. It affects so many different aspects of life, from gun control issues to substance abuse to loss of jobs to gender equality. Unfortunately, since Domestic Violence often occurs in private, the proceedings often come down to a “he said, she said” scenario in the Court. Do people make up false charges of abuse? Sometimes. Regrettably, in the case of Johnny Depp and Amber Heard, it’s being tried in the media. They were the only two present at the time of the alleged incident. No one knows for sure what happened but the two of them. If their case does go to trial, the Judge or Jury will hear the testimony and decide. If you are charged with Domestic Violence or a victim of Domestic Violence, contact one of our attorneys at IANDOLI & EDENS at (908) 879-9499.

 

 

In the recent case of Cathleen Quinn v. David J. Quinn, the Husband and Wife signed a Marital Settlement Agreement (MSA) that stated, in part, alimony would end with “Wife’s cohabitation.”  Wife lived with a man for over two years at which point her ex-husband filed to terminate alimony.   The lower Court only suspended alimony for the time period of the cohabitation as the Wife no longer cohabitated at the time of trial.  It did this because she was “entirely dependent on her alimony for her support.”  At the time of the divorce, the Husband earned almost ten times as much as the Wife.

On May 3, 2016, the NJ Supreme Court reversed this decision. It held that “An agreement to terminate alimony upon cohabitation, entered by fully informed parties, represented by independent counsel, and without any evidence of overreaching, fraud, or coercion, is enforceable.”  The majority of the Justices felt that with the clear language in the MSA calling for termination, it had to be enforced.

WHAT THIS MEANS FOR YOU: before you sign an MSA always make sure that you discuss all future possible circumstances with your attorney so that you know what your obligations/rights are and how they can change.  After the divorce, know that the Courts heavily favor following the MSA to the letter so if you need to enforce one of its clauses, you have a good chance of success upon filing a motion.

Sadly, it was just announced that the UK has issued travel warnings to their LGBT citizens against travelling to North Carolina and Mississippi.  As most people have heard, both these states have passed laws limiting the rights of the LGBT community.   Recently, Bruce Springsteen canceled a planned performance in North Carolina in protest.

Even in states without new laws, many fear reprisal at the workplace and elsewhere.  The Equality Act is a growing movement to pass Federal anti-discrimination laws.  Many people involved say the “not knowing” is devastating for themselves and their families.

For information regarding the family laws of the State of New Jersey, come for a free consultation  with one of the skilled attorneys at  IANDOLI  & EDENS; 908 879-9499.

As most of the world is aware, Madonna and Guy Ritchie are involved in a custody battle over their fifteen year old son, Rocco. As family lawyers, these kinds of disputes are some of the most heartbreaking.  The question for the Judge is how much weight to place on a child’s stated preference.  Obviously this is only applicable to older children, typically teenagers.  This poses the conundrum of why the child might be choosing one parent over the other.   Did Dad buy him or her an expensive sports car?  Are the rules at Mom’s much less rigid and therefore allow a teenager to spend free time on activities that may or may not be appropriate for them?   In N.J. the Courts look very carefully at the reasoning behind the child’s words.  NJRC %:8-1 gives a Judge the authority to interview a child “in camera”, meaning in the Judge’s private office.  The attorneys for the respective parents are allowed to submit questions to the Judge that they request be asked of the child.  The wording of these questions can have a substantial impact on the information the Judge takes away from the interview.

If you or someone you know becomes involved in this type of situation, call one of the experienced lawyers at IANDOLI & EDENS- 908 879 9499 for a fee consultation today.

 

Alimony has become an increasingly popular topic in New Jersey. Did you know that marital fault by one of the divorcing spouses is normally irrelevant to the alimony award calculation. Indeed, it is New Jersey law that alimony represents an economic right. Nevertheless, there are exceptions.

The first exception is when the marital fault the parties’ economic life.  Economic fault may be taken into consideration when calculating an alimony award.  

The second reason is when the fault constitutes such egregious conduct to a degree violates societal norms to the extent where continuing with the economic bond would “confound notions of simple justice.”  When the marital conduct is considered egregious, alimony may be denied altogether.

 

Call (908) 879-9499  to make an appointment today for a free consultation. You can also visit us on the web at http://www.iandoliedens.com.

 

 

An unpleasant topic, but one that is important to address. Going through a divorce is stressful. It is extremely common for people to become depressed over a divorce, and untreated depression is the number one cause for suicide. If you are going through a divorce, you need to get a strong support network in place.

Don’t shy away from confronting suicide. People believe that mentioning it might make a person start thinking about it. Researchers tell us there’s little risk of that. The quickest and most decisive way to deal with a risk of suicide is to ask about it and talk about it — directly.

Be proactive, consider therapy. Beginning therapy can be a big step toward being the healthiest version of yourself and living the best life possible—no matter what challenges you may be facing. Through therapy, you can change self-destructive behaviors and habits, resolve painful feelings, improve your relationships, and more.

You are not alone in facing life’s problems; many people are experiencing similar pains, difficulties, and worries, and many people are getting help and growing through therapy. Mental health concerns affect millions of people throughout the world and help is available.

New Jersey’s 24/7 Peer Support & Suicide Prevention Hotline

1-855-654-6735 NJ Hopeline

http://www.suicide.org/hotlines/new-jersey-suicide-hotlines.html

Iandoli and Edens can help take some of the burden of divorce off your shoulders. Let us guide you through the legal process and trust us to look out for your best interest. You are not alone. Call to make an appointment today for a free consultation. You can also visit us on the web at http://www.iandoliedens.com.

When going through a divorce or separation there are a multitude of sources to turn to for information.  Most of us turn to our friends and family.  After all, they are the core of our belief and trust.  Unfortunately, although they certainly have your best interest in their hearts, the information they may have may be skewed by horror stories of people they know, and perhaps more importantly their love for you and your children, and often your spouse.

The internet may be another source, but again, it is often the awfulness of the stories that hit the social media, with the true facts often obscured by sensationalism.

To learn what the law is in your state, and to hear what the options are in your situation, it is best to talk to an impartial Family Law attorney.  At Iandoli & Edens, we offer free consultations, where you can gather the information you need.  Knowing your rights can give you the power and decision-making knowledge for your individual situation.

To learn more, give IANDOLI & EDENS a call at 908-879-9499 and schedule your free consultation today.   You can also visit us on the web at www.iandoliedens.com.