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NJ Family Legal Blog Pertinent Information As It Relates To New Jersey Family Laws

Category Archives: Equitable Distribution

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All Apologies and the Distribution of a Famous Guitar

Posted in Divorce, Equitable Distribution, Estate and Trust Issues, Interspousal Agreements

Perhaps Kurt Cobain knew when writing the song “All Apologies” that one day his daughter would be embroiled in a nasty divorce battle.  While the lyrics, “Married, Buried, Married, Buried”, may not sound uplifting, they are undeniably classic Nirvana.  Fans of the band would largely agree that the most well known live performance of the song was the… Continue Reading

Champagne Taste on a Beer Budget: How One Judge Determined Alimony for an Overspending Couple

Posted in Alimony, Child Support, Divorce, Equitable Distribution, Modification, Practice Issues

I’m not usually one to place a lot of stock in celebrity gossip, but I couldn’t help but take notice of the fact that it has been rumored that Amber Heard’s monthly income is $10,000, yet she spends $44,000 a month on shopping, dining out and vacations. Her ask for spousal support: $50,000 per month,… Continue Reading

Watch Out: Judges Start Getting Creative with Non-Complying Litigants and Obstructers

Posted in Alimony, Child Support, Counsel Fee Awards, Custody, Divorce, Equitable Distribution, Interspousal Agreements, Practice Issues

If I’ve heard it once, I’ve heard it a million times: “why don’t judges enforce their own orders or take hard lines against obstructers?” Many times, litigants feel powerless. Powerless to change anything; powerless to have courts take a firm position in favor of those aggrieved; and, powerless to be heard. Clients and attorneys alike… Continue Reading

How New Jersey’s New Emancipation Statute May Affect Graduate School Contribution

Posted in Child Support, College, Custody, Divorce, Equitable Distribution, Modification, Mulcahey v. Melici, Practice Issues, Property Settlement Agreements

With summer just beginning, many people have visions of swimming pools, beaches and family vacations. Others in New Jersey have visions of Sallie Mae, tuition bills and book fees. After four years of what has become obligatory college contribution pursuant to the mandates of Newburgh v. Arrigo, many parents in the state are then faced… Continue Reading

Divorcing from Your Spouse’s Student Loan Debt

Posted in Equitable Distribution, Practice Issues

I recently came across an article, Getting Financially Naked with Your Partner, by Erin Lowry, that got me thinking about a question that is bound to arise more and more in this practice.  Millennials, as a generation, are beset by student loan debt at the highest levels in history.  As they start marrying and, as a corollary, divorcing, a… Continue Reading

The Importance of a Credit Score

Posted in Equitable Distribution, Interspousal Agreements, Other, Property Settlement Agreements

Lawyers and litigants alike have long understood the importance of maintaining a good credit rating before, during, and after the divorce. As the parties, particularly one who has not had significant employment during the marriage know, a positive credit rating is critical to establish a new residence, purchase vehicles, and start a new, single life.… Continue Reading

“Conscious Uncoupling”: An Ode to a Mediated Divorce

Posted in Alimony, Child Support, Custody, Divorce, Equitable Distribution, Mediation/Arbitration, Practice Issues, Privacy and Confidentiality, Property Settlement Agreements

As a lover of all things Coldplay, I was sad to hear that lead singer Chris Martin and his wife of more than 10 years, Gwyneth Paltrow, were divorcing. Gwyneth Paltrow announced the separation on her website Goop.com and used the term “conscious uncoupling” to describe their approach to divorce.  Although the term had been originally… Continue Reading

Beware the Divorce Litigant Who is Watering the Money Tree With The Tears From Cries of Poverty

Posted in Alimony, Child Support, Counsel Fee Awards, Equitable Distribution, Practice Issues

Often, cases are given nicknames, sometimes by judges and law clerks, and sometimes by the attorneys.  Sometimes the nicknames come from who the people are – for instance, a case we had several years ago where both parties were models became the “model case” at the courthouse.  Sometimes, the names come from something that one or both… Continue Reading

Marriage Is an “Adaptive Economic and Social Partnership”; Even After You Have Been Divorced for 19 Years. How Retirement Impacts Present Alimony Obligations.

Posted in Alimony, Equitable Distribution, Mediation/Arbitration

In the recent matter of Perreault v. Perreault, P.P. and R.P. were divorced in 1996, after 22 years of marriage. Following a hearing, the Court ordered R.P. to pay permanent alimony in the amount of $500.00 per week. Neither the April 29, 1996 Final Judgment of Divorce, nor the August 7, 1996 Order provided that alimony… Continue Reading

New York Focus – The Exclusive Use and Occupancy of the Marital Residence, Pendente Lite

Posted in Custody, Divorce, Domestic Violence, Equitable Distribution

While our blog has focused exclusively on New Jersey family law since its inception almost 8 years ago (yes, it has been that long), we also focus our practice on New York family law.  We do not (yet) have a Fox New York-specific family law blog, so this blog will serve as a testing ground and… Continue Reading

Destruction of Jointly-Owned Property Constitutes Predicate Act of Criminal Mischief; But What is "Jointly-Owned Property"?

Posted in Domestic Violence, Equitable Distribution

On September 9, 2015, the Appellate Division determined in  a reported (precedential) decision, N.T.B. v. D.D.B. (A-4542-13T2), that a spouse’s destruction of a door within the couple’s jointly-owned marital home constitutes the predicate act of “criminal mischief,” pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2C:17-3, thereby supporting a finding of an act of domestic violence. Background The parties, husband,… Continue Reading

How to divide an Island and other wedding gift questions

Posted in Equitable Distribution, Practice Issues, Property Settlement Agreements

The BBC has recently reported that Cristiano Ronoldo, the soccer superstar, has given his agent a Greek Island for a wedding gift. While a Greek island may not be the typical wedding gift for most couples, the question of how the wedding gifts are divided in the event of a divorce certainly comes up often.… Continue Reading

Marry Her Anyway? No Matter What They Say? Well, It May End In Annulment Anyway

Posted in Civil Unions and Domestic Partnerships, Divorce, Equitable Distribution, Interspousal Agreements, Practice Issues, Property Settlement Agreements

Romeo and Juliet, Sir Lancelot and Guinevere, Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark – for some of these star-crossed lovers, their journeys ended with hemlock, in exile, or…well…no spoilers.  For Easton and Mercer, their romance ended with an annulment on the grounds of equitable fraud in a lengthy decision delivered by Judge Jones in Ocean County… Continue Reading

I is for Independence: The divorce is over and so now what?

Posted in Divorce, Equitable Distribution, Estate and Trust Issues, Other

You’re at the Courthouse and your attorney has handed you for your final divorce documents.  It may be as a result of a negotiated settlement, or it may be as the result of a judge’s decision, but you are a single, independent person again.   But the end of the divorce is not exactly there yet.… Continue Reading


Posted in Equitable Distribution, Interspousal Agreements

As matrimonial lawyers, we often come across cases involving a pension that is subject to equitable distribution.  While New Jersey’s equitable distribution statute involves several factors for consideration in dividing assets, the most common way by which a pension is divided is, in legal speak, “50/50 of the marital portion.”  On its face, that seems… Continue Reading


Posted in Alimony, Divorce, Equitable Distribution, Practice Issues

When meeting with a new client whose spouse has cheated on them, the anger, sadness, sense of loss and betrayal is often palpable.  They are quite often resolute that they can never get over their spouse’s indiscretion (though referring to it as an indiscretion seems to minimize it from the victim’s perspective), and proceeding to… Continue Reading

New Years Resolutions: How to Be a Good Divorce Client

Posted in Alimony, Child Support, Divorce, Equitable Distribution, Interspousal Agreements

In the spirit of New Years resolutions, I thought I would give my top 10 resolutions on how to be a good divorce client. 1.         Give me the information I am asking for in a timely manner.  I realize your time is valuable. I realize that it takes a significant amount of time to compile… Continue Reading


Posted in Equitable Distribution, Practice Issues

Inevitably, when there is a business to value as part of a divorce, the valuation experts will ask for buy/sell and/or shareholders agreements.  I often wonder why because quite often, you really don’t see much discussion about these agreements in the valuation reports.  Moroever, since Brown v. Brown changed the landscape, did away with discounts… Continue Reading


Posted in Equitable Distribution, Practice Issues

You’re wealthy and entitled to a big settlement but does that mean that it will be easy to get your share of equitable distribution?  When all of the assets are valued, you are worth $2,000,000, $10,000,000, $25,000,000, $9 billion.  In many cases. the issue is less about the amount of the award of equitable distribution… Continue Reading