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
On October 28, 2010, the Appellate Division issued a very interesting opinion in the case of Holden v. Holden. While I will be doing another blog on the aspect of the case dealing with child support when the parties’ incomes exceed the Child Support Guidelines, this blog deals with an interesting decision regarding determination of…
When determining an alimony award, New Jersey courts look at a variety of factors that are listed under N.J.S.A. 2A:34-23(b). At the very top of that list is "The actual need and ability of the parties to pay." Similarly, when determining child support, one factor that courts in this State consider is "All sources of income and assets of each parent." When determining a payor spouse’s income, courts will consider both the supporting spouse’s present earnings and potential earning capacity.
The question becomes more complicated when the payor spouse owns his or her own business. Oftentimes tax returns do not tell the whole story and cannot be relied upon as the sole source for rendering an income determination. For instance, that spouse may have a bank account under the business name, but uses it nevertheless for personal expenses. Oftentimes such personal expenses are not accounted for on a tax return as income and it then becomes a matter of determining what the actual income level is. Another example may involve the spouse being reimbursed through the business for personal travel expenses.