Blogs, News and Events

Common Adoption Types in New Jersey


There are three common types of adoption in New Jersey.  Private adoption, grandparent or family member adoption, and step-parent adoption. 

Private adoptions usually take place through an agency, the birthparents and the prospective parents.  Adoptions can be open, semi-open, or closed.  This describes the contact the adoptive family has with the birthparent(s) and whether the transfer of the child goes to the agency first before being placed or is placed directly from the birthparents to the adoptive parents with agency supervision.

Families or individuals looking to make a forever home for a child have to proceed through various steps and an evaluation called a home study in order to become adoptive parents.  New Jersey requires all adoptions have a home study. A home study is an evaluation of the adoptive applicant’s potential to be a suitable parent for a child.  The home study includes various interviews with the family, a home visit, and joint intervie

Custody and Co-Parenting Tips for Back to School


The new school year is here.  For many families, this means organizing calendars, setting up school activities, and parent-teacher conferences.  When a child’s parents no longer live together and the parents are either separated or divorced, the challenges for back to school can become exponentially more complex.  Below are a few tips that can make this time of year less challenging.

Download A Co-Parenting App

In a previous blog posting, we discussed and reviewed various apps made specifically for parents who live apart and must co-parent.  These smartphone apps help with communication, scheduling, medical appointments, and keeping your child’s day to day activities in order.

Keep in Mind the Big Picture

When co-parenting, the two options are either the parents agree, or they must return to court and seek assistance with the judge.  Parenting is typically set out in Settlement Agreements under custody and parenting time.  Life changes and o

Important and Unique Issues to Consider in a Military Divorce


The honorable men and women who serve in our armed forces also run into various problems related to their service.  Some of these issues get less press than Post-Traumatic Stress (PTSD) or the failing veteran’s system to provide for their healthcare.  When it comes to divorce and child support, they have unique issues to be addressed.

Child Support

Those who serve in our military do not receive pay in the same way that most Americans do via a bi-weekly paystub followed by a year end W-2.  The military receive what is called basic pay, which is taxable by the federal government.  However, they also receive special untaxed income called unearned income under the IRS tax code.  Common examples are Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH), Overseas Housing Allowance (OHA), and Basic Allowance for Subsistence (BAS). These are military terms for free meals and housing that are offered to military personnel.  

Divorced Families and Summertime


Summer vacation is difficult to plan when you are dealing with separation and divorce. Mix in work, camp, and sports and before you know it, you are dealing with smaller windows of time and schedule limitations. Keeping your special time for summer vacation fun is the most important thing of all. Here is the key: Be mindful of all parties and be open minded to all ideas.

Your children are out of school and all that matters to them is having fun. They want to be with their friends and not be split up by parents who don’t get along. They want to be busy and active, yet love to sleep and relax. Below are a few helpful hints:

Schedule your time wisely

Being prepared is half the battle. During the days when you don’t have your children, keep up with your housework so that when you do have them you can have total quality time. If you have conflicting schedules with step children and other parents, try to adjust your schedule so that you can all get more time to

Celebrities Are Human Too- Celebrity Custody Wars


It only takes a moment to be reminded that celebrities and sports stars are as human as the rest of us and go through the same ups and downs that we all do.  Despite the money and power celebrities have at their fingertips, Steve Jobs famously wore the same simple turtle neck, tennis shoes and jeans the everyday day of his life. Unless you have been living under a rock, you know Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin are both facing time in a federal penitentiary for fraud.  And like the rest of us, celebrities have vicious and ugly custody battles over their children.

If a couple cannot effectively co-parent following a break-up, then lawyers and courts become involved in making decisions for them.  Many times, if a judge must make a decision, neither party will be happy with the outcome.

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have six children together. For years they seemed like the quintessential happy family, wit

Custody, Child Support and Co-Parenting Apps


BLOG Post for May 1, 2019

Parenting children is a tough task. When adding the emotional baggage that divorce or separation can bring, continued communication between parents for the child’s sake can seem impossible.  Thankfully, online and smartphone app stores offer tools to help parents who are faced with difficult issues that arise from a divorce or separation, including paying and receiving child support, parenting visitation, and general communication. Some of these apps are free while others come at a monthly or one-time cost.
Below are some of the most popular apps found on your smartphone or on the web.

Alimentor 1 & 2- Child Custody Log
Cost: Free 30-day trial/ $1.99 or $2.99 (premium)
Rating: 4.8/5
Platform:  iOS
Alimentor is a custody tool for divorced or separated parents to determine

The 5 types of Spousal Support in New Jersey


The 5 types of Spousal Support in New Jersey

Did you know that New Jersey has five types of spousal support (alimony)? Be sure to consult with your attorney to decide on the one that is best for you and your family.

  • REHABILITATIVE ALIMONY is a short-term monetary award that allows a spouse to go back to school or obtain training to re-enter the workforce.
  • LIMITED DURATION ALIMONY is paid for a set duration of time and is based upon the idea that the supported spouse will use this time to seek job training, education, and ultimately secure gainful employment and financial independence.
  • OPEN DURATION ALIMONY is awarded until such time that the supported party remarries or passes away, and is not dependent on that party securing financial independence. However, open duration alimony can only be awarded for marriages which last longer than 20 years, unless there are exceptional circumstances.

High Conflict divorce and school counseling


School Counselors and Divorce

How to get aid in helping children stuck between high-conflict divorcing parents and school.

Behavioral and emotional problems in children are often seen in high-conflict divorce situations. Children with intense conflict are stressed and deal with anxiety in many ways. They feel insecure and afraid. Insecurity can cause growth and developmental issues within. The behavior signs can be shame and guilt, anger and aggression or withdrawing from teachers and friends. Signs are often seen in grades and social habits— on the playground and overall performance. Many children withdraw and/or get angry. School counselors are there to help children with family matters when it affects their behavior in school.

There are various signs a student may exhibit who is having difficulty with a divorce at home. Trained school counselors can watch for parents who tell the children false information or use the children as

Moving a Child Out of State in New Jersey


New Jersey law prohibits a parent of a child who is divorced or separated from  removing a child who is a living in New Jersey, or who has resided in the state for five or more years, without the consent of the noncustodial parent or a Court Order.

When is Moving a Child out of State Allowed?

If the non-custodial parent will not agree to the move, then the custodial parent needs to apply to the Superior Court for an Order to permit removing the child from the state. The parent with custody must prove in good faith the reason for the move and that moving will not hurt the child or the relationship with the other parent. If the non-custodial parent disagrees, The Court will decide whether to permit the removal by the following factors:

  • The custodial parent’s reasons moving the child/children.
  • The objection to the move and reasons why they should not move.
  • The past history of both parent’s behavior.

Did you know that child emancipation in New Jersey takes place at age 19, not 18?


When is a child emancipated?
Recent New Jersey legislation has moved the emancipation age up form 18 years old to 19 years old. This is the age when child support may end. However specific instances will require the continued support of the child by the parents, such as full-time college, a disability, or a court order. However, a parent may request a continuation of child support up to age 23.

The 2017 NJ child support emancipation laws provide that a child support obligation ends when a child marries, dies, enters military service, or reaches age 19; however, a parent of a child approaching the age of emancipation in NJ may request that the obligor continue to pay child support beyond that age. A child support obligation may be continued beyond the child’s 19th birthday if any of the following apply:

• A court order specifies another age for terminating child support but not beyond the child’s 23rd birthday.