closeup of a marriage prenuptial agreementDonald Trump has just been sworn in as our 45th President, making Melania Trump the First Lady.  I am sure no one is surprised that upon their marriage in 2005, they signed a Prenuptial Agreement.  In fact, President Trump has been quoted as saying if she won’t sign a prenup, she’s not the wife for you.

So, are Prenuptial Agreements only for the wealthy and famous?  Not necessarily.  There are many reasons a couple may decide they want to prepare and sign a Prenuptial Agreement before they marry.  Often, it’s a second marriage and if there are children of a first marriage, they want to protect them.  In other scenarios, there is a family held business, or one of the couple is caring financially for an ill relative.

To learn more of the benefits and pitfalls of a Prenuptial Agreement, call IANDOLI & EDENS at 908 879 9499 for a free consultation with one of our experienced matrimonial attorneys.

Every day we read about the latest celebrity breakup. Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have been especially active in the headlines recently.  Their divorce is especially difficult and sensitive because they are parents to young children.  Children who most likely had no say in the divorce itself or the added attention that it has brought to their already famous family.  We were happy to read the headline this week that Brad and Angelina are going to put up a “united front” in their divorce and are agreeing to seal sensitive records relating to their children.  Children and their protection should always be the primary goal of all the adults involved in a divorce – from parents, to attorneys, to the Judge.  It does not matter who you are, be it a Hollywood celeb or an average Joe, at the end of the day you are a parent and that bond will continue. Part of a successful divorce is not just ending the marriage, but building a plan for the future. If you have questions about the divorce process please contact one of our experienced attorneys at IANDOLI & EDENS (908) 879-9499.

http://www.eonline.com/news/821109/brad-pitt-and-angelina-jolie-put-on-a-united-front-amid-divorce

 

 

 

new-year-resolutionLike most New Year’s Resolutions accomplishing the goal of getting a divorce is challenging. Both emotionally and financially.  Much like losing weight successfully a successful divorce is not accomplished overnight but through careful planning and attention to detail.   While moving forward with a divorce may be the ultimate goal many people have no idea where to start.  For example:  Does your spouse have any idea this is your New Year’s Resolution?  If not, how do you break the news?  If you have children, do you have a plan as to who will have custody?  Do you have a list of all of your assets?  Equally important, do you have a list of all of your debts?  Have you considered how you are going to reach your goal?  Through mediation or litigation?  These questions are just the beginning.  If you have questions about the divorce process please contact one of our experienced attorneys at IANDOLI & EDENS (908) 879-9499.

The headlines this last week of 2016 are full of unexpected deaths, most notably Carrie Fisher and George Michael. Both were taken far too young and our deepest condolences go out to their family, friends and fans.

Unfortunately, as tragic as these deaths are, unexpected death is not uncommon. Compounding the tragedy is that often people who die young or unexpectedly do not have an Estate Plan; or even a Last Will and Testament.  This leaves the survivors struggling not only with the grief of losing a loved one, but the very real problems that death brings.  Sometimes people believe they do not need a Will because they do not own anything of value.  This is not the case.  Even the most humble of estates have difficult questions that need to be answered.  It might be as straightforward as: Where does your loved one want to be buried?  Or as complicated as:  Who is going to finish raising their child?  No one wants to think about dying, but planning for the unexpected by having a Last Will and Testament can be one of the best gifts you can give to your friends and family.

If you want more information about estate planning contact one of our attorneys at IANDOLI & EDENS (908) 879-9499 and we will help you come up with a plan that works for your family.

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.