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Iandoli & Edens, LLC Donates to Chester Day!!

Date: May 11, 2013

Time: 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Look for our table near the Gazebo!!

Iandoli & Edens, LLC Donates to Chester Day!!

Date: May 11, 2013

Time: 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Look for our table near the Gazebo!!

Iandoli & Edens, LLC Donates to Chester Day!!

Date: May 11, 2013

Time: 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Look for our table near the Gazebo!!

In order to first understand what the same-sex debate is all about, one must first learn about the civil rights landmark case, Loving v. Virginia, 388 U.S. 1 (1967). It is a romantic story about an African/Native American woman, Mildred Loving, and a white man, Richard Loving, who happen to fall in love in the State of Virginia. (Trust me, you too will see the irony in the surname, “Loving.”) Since Virginia outlawed interracial marriage at the time, the couple wed in Washington D.C. However, upon their return to their home state of Virginia, the couple was prosecuted for marrying contrary to Virginia law and were essentially forced to leave the state.  Sad, right? (I know, we too see the irony in that Virginia is known as the “State for lovers”.) Well, things actually work out for this couple. The United State Supreme Court unanimously struck down the Virginia law for being unconstitutional in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment.

Ah yes, the Fourteenth Amendment. It’s an important one, alright. For one, the Equal Protection clause of our beloved Fourteenth Amendment states, “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall … deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” Deep, right?

So, I know what you are thinking. “What does this tale about two young lovers have to do with same-sex marriage?” The answer: A lot.  Those who support same-sex marriages argue that anti-same-sex marriage laws deny people the equal protection of the laws. Sound familiar? That was the same argument used in Loving. Of course, Loving was about interracial marriage and had nothing to do with a union as it pertained to sexual orientation.

Despite this however, there is no denying that there is a deep-established connection between loving and Loving. The Equal Protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment is not only relevant to the same-sex marriage debate, it is key. Perhaps Mildred Loving said it perfectly in 2007 when she was quoted stating:

 

I believe all Americans, no matter   their race, no matter their sex, no matter their sexual orientation, should   have that same freedom to marry… I am still not a political person, but I   am proud that Richard’s and my name is on a court case that can help reinforce   the love, the commitment, the fairness and the family that so many people,   black or white, young or old, gay or straight, seek in life. I support the   freedom to marry for all. That’s what Loving, and loving, are all about.

I mean, really; no one could have said it any better.

Iandoli & Edens, LLC is a law practice exclusively devoted to family related matters. If you have questions about same-sex marriage or any family related matters, talk to one of our attorneys. They are here to help you. Call 908.879.9499 today or click here www.iandoliedens.com to visit the Iandoli & Edens, LLC website for more information.

You have decided to move forward with a divorce and your spouse tells you that since he or she earned more money during the marriage, he or she will get custody of the children.  Is this correct?  What happens if you are awarded primary custody of your children and your former spouse remarries someone very wealthy making them more financially well off than you; will custody be transfer to your former spouse?

The family courts do not recognize the wealthier parent as necessarily the better parent.  When it comes to deciding issues of custody and parenting time, the courts must focus on the best interests of the children.  Factors such as which parent was the primary caregiver during the marriage, who takes the children to after school activities and doctor appointments,  who helps with homework and is more involved with the children’s education, are all things the courts consider in determining which parent better serves the needs of the children. These factors will be paramount over which parent can buy the most expensive gifts for the children.  Regarding home environment, the courts look to whether the parent can provide a clean, safe and stable home environment for the children.  It is not necessarily the bigger house that wins when the court is deciding custody. Remember when Britney Spears was ordered to relinquish custody of her two children to her ex-husband, former backup dancer, Kevin Federline.  The court felt that due to Spears’ irresponsible behavior, Federline was better able to serve the children’s needs.

Both parents will seldom be equal in their parenting skills or money available to them.  A court has to consider all relevant factors in determining the best interests of the children when matters of custody are at issue.  If you or someone you know has a custody issue, contact an attorney at Iandoli & Edens, LLC today at 908-879-9499.  We are here to help.

Often Pensions are in the name of one party of the other, but nonetheless pensions are deemed to be assets subject to equitable distribution. Eve if a pension was started prior to the marriage, usually one that portion of the pension acquired prior to the marriage is exempt.  The portion of the pension acquired during the marriage is usually subject to equitable distribution. Likewise, that portion of a pension acquired after a cut-off date for equitable distribution is exempt and usually will not be shared.

That is not to say that the martial portion of the pension cannot be used as a set off against another asset. Sometimes one party keeps his pr her pension and the other party keeps another asset or a greater amount of another asset.

To assist with your rights, contact an attorney at Iandoli & Edens, LLC at 908-879-9499.

Owning an asset prior to your marriage does not necessarily guarantee that the asset will be immune from division in the event of divorce.  Generally, when an asset is brought into a marriage, the asset is exempt from division, however, there are exceptions. For example, if a party uses his or her separate funds to purchase a residence in his or her name shortly before the marriage and the home is later used as the martial home, the purchase may be considered to be “in contemplation of the marriage” and therefore transformed into a marital asset.  This may be the case even if the home was titled in only the owner spouse’s name throughout the marriage. Also, a home purchased prior to marriage may become subject to distribution in the event of divorce if the property is maintained or improved with money or non-monetary contributions during the marriage.

 

Also, when added contributions or improvements made to pre-marital property during the marriage increase the value of the property, the appreciation in value may be considered as having been “acquired” during the marriage and therefore subject to distribution in the event of a divorce.  Similarly, an IRA, brokerage or retirement account acquired prior to the marriage may increase in value over the course of a marriage.  If the increase in value was a result of additional contributions to the IRA or other account, the increase would be considered acquired during the marriage and subject to distribution. However, if an account simply increases because of market conditions it is exempt.  Additionally, if an investment account owned prior to the marriage increases in value during the marriage and the increase is brought about solely through the efforts of the owner spouse, that value is not distributable. However, conversely, if the value was derived in part or whole from the efforts from the non-owner spouse, it may be subject to distribution.

 

Additionally, the commingling of pre-marital assets with joint assets acquired during the marriage may effectively transform an otherwise pre-marital asset into a marital asset subject to distribution.  For example, a spouse deposits pre-marital funds into a joint bank account with marital monies.  The separate funds have been commingled with the joint account monies and are now arguably subject to distribution.

 

A spouse with separate pre-marital property must therefore be cautious as to where the money is going to be deposited, how the funds are going to be used, and who is going to have access.  Otherwise, commingling of such funds can ultimately render it marital property subject to distribution in the event of divorce.   The best way to protect your interest in pre-marital assets is to enter into a pre-nuptial agreement that outlines each party’s right to retain his and her separate property owned prior to the marriage in the event of divorce.  Contact an attorney at Iandoli & Edens, LLC at 908-879-9499 to discuss your rights.

There is always something happening in Newark, New Jersey so I knew this morning would be no different.  I opened the heavy chamber doors and entered the Judge’s courtroom. Waiting for my case to be called, one could not sideswipe the fact that the courtroom was packed – like Kim Kardashian’s Louis Vuitton suitcase. The Judge was on the bench illuminating his vibrant personality – as always, he would not disappoint this crowd today. This particular brisk and sunny morning was notably more memorable than others. There were far more people sitting past the bar, which elevated interest right away to anyone who was fortunate enough to be a part of the audience.

At first, it appeared to be your usual cast of characters. There was the wife siting to the right. She was strikingly beautiful and appeared surprisingly composed. Her attorney, who sat immediately to her right, appeared relaxed, poised but noticeably bothered. There was an interpreter, repeating every word to the wife in Spanish. The interpreter whispered, “Es un regalo y nada mas.” Her attorney argued, “Judge, the father-in-law gave the parties the money. It was a gift, Judge. My client will not repay monies which will serve only to unjustly enrich the Defendant.”

The Judge’s eyebrows elevated far into his hairline. “Defendant certifies to this Court that the monies were a loan. He certifies he must repay this money to his father. Your client would, as a result, be unjustly enriched, counsel. This would not be a fair result, contrary to the objectives of the chancery division!”

To my left was the Husband; a robust young man, evidently upset and distraught. His hand met his head several times throughout the hearing; his forehead wrinkled with stress. He gawked at the Judge repeatedly as if to subliminally persuade the Judge he was right. Husband’s counsel was standing with his right arm raised towards the detailed vaulted ceiling, as to call the attention of the One above. A bit dramatic, he was most certainly effective. His theatrical gesture, revealing tone and three-piece Armani suit was fittingly convincing. “You see, Your Honor, the money could not have been a gift, it was a loan. Wife wants to benefit financially from this, Your Honor. She is being greedy. Pigs are greedy. Pigs get slaughtered.” I told you he was dramatic.

The Judge had heard enough. “Do you have a promissory note, signed by both parties? Do you have cancelled checks? Do you have proof of the interest paid or a portion of the base amount paid? No! You don’t! I have nothing before me to indicate this was a loan.”

Everyone in the room understood. This one was not going to be easy.

To complete the cast of characters, to the far left was an elder man, approximately in his late 60s. He had an interpreter lagging with a 15 second delay. The popular senior was allowed to intervene as a third party holding an interest in the outcome of the case. He sat up straight and had his sweaty palms grasped securely on his lap. He was holding onto the Judge’s every word. Next to him was his lawyer who commendably repeated, “It was a loan! It was a loan!”

The Judge continued, “Here is what I will do. I will order that the monies be held in trust for the benefit of the parties’ two year old son to be utilized towards his college degree.” Well, there’s a twist. I could almost hear an applause from the audience; but, then again, that might have just been me witnessing a judge vexing to do the right thing. How beautiful. “If there are any objections to this, I will hear them now.”

Fifteen seconds later, “Alguien en contra …” The elder man raised his hand as high as did the sassy lawyer. The interpreter appealed, “I object. It was a loan and I want to be repaid.”

The Judge sighed and shook his head. He ordered a hearing. The wife and the husband would be required to spend thousands of dollars on a mini-trial for what could have been easily prevented with a simple document evidencing the intent of the parties.

Distinguishing whether monies were intended to be a gift or a loan can be costly to both parties. We can help you gather the information you need to prove your case. Contact an attorney at Iandoli & Edens, LLC to learn your rights. We are here to help. 908-879-9499.

            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.

             Only you have the answer to this question.  For some spouses, it is a question easily answered.  But for others, it is complicated by shifting emotions, intricate finances, and the concern about the overall affect it will have on the family.

            How do you make such a vital decision?  Should you consult with your therapist?  Should you look to your priest, rabbi, or spiritual advisor for guidance?  Perhaps your family and friends have the answer or perhaps they are too entangled in your day-to-day experiences to be suitably objective.  At times, it may feel as though you have nowhere to turn and no one to give you the answers that you so desperately need. 

            A family law attorney cannot tell you what to do or give you advice about your relationship. However, what a family law attorney can do is far more valuable to you in the long run.  You need to know your rights. You need to know what obstacles you would face if you pursued a divorce today as opposed to years from now. Is it worth the financial risk if you give your spouse one more chance?  Maybe you want custody of your children.  You need to know your rights concerning custody and visitation.  The information that you receive from a family law attorney will guide you in the direction that is right for you.

          For more information, please call us at (908) 879-9499.

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