You are currently browsing the monthly archive for September 2011.

Divorce can be difficult for many families – there is no doubt about that.  All too often, litigants may experience long, drawn-out, debates about who will keep the house, the cars and, certainly, the children.  Arguments can flare about the more mundane issues too such as who will acquire the pots and pans, the bedroom furniture, and yes, the wedding photo album and video.

Throw a family pet into the mix and a simple divorce can turn into a howling “cat fight.” 

Naturally, people develop a strong, almost human-like, affection for their pets.  After all, pet-owners are inclined to include their four-legged friend as a part of almost every family activity such as daily walks, family summer vacations and even the family-portrait Christmas cards.  Pet-lovers would undoubtedly affirm, while breaking up is hard to do, it is just as difficult to part with an animal you developed a strong bond with; a pet which has advanced nothing but robust loyalty and a deep love for you as well. 

A New Jersey Court is not inclined to examine custody when it is called to determine where and with whom Fido will live post-divorce.  Indeed, a pet parenting-time plan and a best interest evaluation are not considered – at least not for now.  A Court may analyze post-divorce pet ownership similar to the way it is obligated to divide real property such as furniture, cars or jewelry.  Consequently, considering which party paid for the pooch and who owned the animal prior to marriage will help the Court reach a decision. 

Thus, when it comes to your furry friend, you and your spouse should try to settle residential and visiting pet issues collectively and amicably, sans barking.  If you have a beloved pet and are facing a divorce, it is best to speak to an attorney about avoiding a costly and emotional debate with your spouse with regard to your pet post-divorce.  Contact one of the attorneys at Iandoli & Edens, LLC to assist you.

Please join us on November 15, 2011 from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the County College of Morris, Randolph Campus for our workshop entitled “Post-Matrimonial Relief – What to Do If Support Does Not Come Through or If Circumstances Change.”

To register for this FREE workshop, please call (973) 328-5025, or e-mail womenscenter@ccm.edu.

Please join us on November 8, 2011 from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the County College of Morris, Randolph Campus, Conference Room SCC 221, for our workshop regarding child support, custody, enforcement, parenting schedules and geographic limits.

To register for this FREE workshop, please call (973) 328-5025, or e-mail womenscenter@ccm.edu.

Please join us on October 18, 2011 from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the Morris Hills School of Adult and Continuing Education for our seminar entitled “Economic Considerations in Divorce.”

This 2-hour workshop will explore the factors affecting alimony, child support and distribution of assets and debt in separation and divorce.

To learn more about this seminar or the Morris Hills School of Adult and Continuing Education visit:

http://www.ssreg.com/morris/

Pre-registration and fee are required by theAdultSchool.  To register for this seminar please call the Morris Hills School of Adult and Continuing Education at (973) 664-2295.

            Did anyone ever think this country would go so far as to designate a National Unmarried and Single Americans Week?  Well it’s here and it’s this week.  So is it to be celebrated?  And if so, how? 

            We know there are plenty of people who throw divorce parties when their divorce is finalized.  There is even a specialty line of cakes for the occasion. 

            However, the real statistics show that unmarried people, both male and female tend to live, if not in poverty, struggling financially.  What both divorced and single people with children need to remember is that there are recourses through the court.

            Post Judgment litigation is for when a divorced man or woman finds that the Agreement that they may have worked long and hard at reaching is no longer working for them.  People lose jobs, medical insurance benefits; children grow and many things can change.

            Likewise, never married couples with children may find the need for court intervention to establish or reduce child support, or set up a viable parenting schedule for a child or children to grow up knowing both of his or her parents.

            At Iandoli & Edens, we represent clients in both Post Judgment actions and those who were never married.

            To speak to one of our highly skilled attorneys about your specific issue, please call IANDOLI & EDENS at (908) 879-9499.

On this, the 10th anniversary of the September 11th, 2001 terrorist attacks, there is much pain in remembrance.  There are also many stories of the lives of the people left behind – those who lost children, spouses, and especially of children who lost a parent.  These children range in age from nine (those who were not yet born when their parent was killed) to twenty seven.

One recurring theme in these stories is that of the children whose widowed mother or father remarried in the ten years since the attacks.  The tales are often heartwarming – a widow or widower of a terrible tragedy like 9/11 finding happiness again. 

The children who were left motherless or fatherless often were then adopted by their stepparent.  Stepparent adoptions are common in our country.  The process inNew Jerseyis much like any other adoption.  It gives both the parent and child the full rights and responsibilities as if the child were born to that parent.

In most cases, for a stepparent adoption to be granted, the birth parent must either be deceased, or relinquish parental rights.  The child’s remaining living parent must also agree for the adoption to take place.

For more information on stepparent adoptions, contact one of our adoption attorneys at (908) 879-9499.

Can your ex move with your children out of the State of New Jersey?

A father who is the parent of alternate residence might think that he has no say in the matter.  Clearly, his children’s relocation to another state would substantially change his ability to spend time with them.  But, what are his options?

To start, the law in New Jersey requires that the relocating parent either have the consent of the other parent to relocate or have the court’s approval.  This is true even in cases where the relocating parent is the parent of primary residence.  But what if the relocating parent simply leaves without doing either of the above?  At that point, the parent of alternate residence can file a motion seeking the children’s return as well as ask for other pertinent relief. 

Where consent has not been given, the court will consider several factors in making its decision.  These factors include, but are not limited to, the reasons for the move, the children’s relationship with the parent, educational needs, health needs, age and preference.  For more information regarding relocation and your parental rights, please call us at (908) 879-9499.

            People frequently ask why pensions, 401Ks and other retirement assets solely in an individual’s name are subject to being shared by the other spouse upon divorce.  The courts treat the retirement assets acquired during the marriage as a form of savings and therefore subject to being shared by the other spouse.  The portion of the pension, 401K or other retirement asset that accumulated during the marriage is subject to division.  There should also be discussion about other aspects of the benefit such as rights to cost of living adjustments, rights to name beneficiaries, etc.

            The division of a retirement asset usually requires a specific order called a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO).  While the process to obtain a QDRO usually takes some time, it is necessary to protect the parties.

            If you or your spouse has any retirement benefit you will want to speak to an attorney knowledgeable about the distribution of retirement benefits in a divorce.  Call Iandoli & Edens at 908-879-9499.

InNew Jersey, the general rule is that inheritances are considered separate property and not subject to division in the event of divorce. However, there are numerous exceptions to the general rule.

In the event of a divorce, inherited funds may be subject to division if it was comingled or if the bequeathed gift was converted for a marital use. For instance, placing inherited funds in a joint account, which draws interest, may warrant a division of the funds between you and your spouse. Furthermore, utilizing inherited funds for a shared marital purpose may also warrant a court to divide the resources between you and your spouse. Inherited property may also be subject to division in the event of a divorce if the property increased in value due to contribution from you and your spouse. Another example may occur if marital funds are utilized on a regular basis to maintain tax and maintenance payments in connection with an inherited property. These are just a few of the exceptions.

Finally, keep in mind that although an inheritance is separate property gifted to you, a court may consider your inherited wealth when determining support and equitable distribution issues such as the allocation of debt and assets and other issues.

If you received an inheritance, it is best to speak to an attorney about avoiding distribution of an inheritance with your spouse in the event of a divorce.  Contact one of the attorneys at Iandoli & Edens, LLC to assist you.