Mahwah Divorce Attorneys

Matt Levitsky, an associate in our Montgomery County, Pennsylvania office wrote a guest blog for our fir’s Pennsylvania Family Law Blog entitled "Who Gets to Claim the child if there is 50/50 Custody?"

Matt’s post talks about the four prong test and the fact that at the end of the day, all other things being equal, the exemption would normally go to the parent with the higher adjusted gross income (AGI).  The piece also has an interesting discussion on whether a step-parent’s income is included in the AGI test.  I note that Sandra Fava has previously addressed the issue of the allocation of the dependency exemptions, in general, on this blog.

While this is an interesting technical discussion, often it does not come into play in post-divorce scenarios in New Jersey because, either the parties agree upon the allocation of exemptions (most often, blindly alternating it if there is an odd number of children or splitting them if there is an even number of children – whether this makes sense or not will be the subject of another blog post in the future) or a judge will simply allocate the exemptions in a similar fashion, regardless of what the IRS code would provide. 

In any event, Matt’s post was interesting reading and provides some guidance about what the proper result is when there is no agreement of the parties or decision by a court.

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Eric Solotoff is the editor of the New Jersey Family Legal Blog and the Co-Chair of the Family Law Practice Group of Fox Rothschild LLP. Certified by the Supreme Court of New Jersey as a Matrimonial Lawyer and a Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Attorneys, Eric practices in Fox Rothschild’s Roseland, New Jersey office though he practices throughout New Jersey. You can reach Eric at (973)994-7501, or esolotoff@foxrothschild.com.

Keeping with our theme of custody and parenting related blog posts this weekend, I recommend that you read  Aaron Weems‘, an associate in our Bucks County office and editor of our Pennsylvania Family Law Blog recently post on that blog entitled "Handling the Holidays."

Family lawyers, judges, parent coordinators often don’t look forward to holiday seasons because with them come often needless and petty disputes over holiday time.  Aaron’s blog provides an interesting perspective on this.  Parents should want their children to remember holidays for the good times, not because their parents put them in the middle of such disputes.  More importantly, the children should not look towards upcoming holidays with dread, wondering if their parents are going to fight about them again.

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Eric Solotoff is the editor of the New Jersey Family Legal Blog and the Co-Chair of the Family Law Practice Group of Fox Rothschild LLP. Certified by the Supreme Court of New Jersey as a Matrimonial Lawyer and a Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Attorneys, Eric practices in Fox Rothschild’s Roseland, New Jersey office though he practices throughout New Jersey. You can reach Eric at (973)994-7501, or esolotoff@foxrothschild.com.

 

In January 2010, on his way out of office, Governor Corzine signed a bill requiring palimony agreements to be in writing.  We previously blogged on the enactment of that law.  The question that arose is whether the bill was prospective in nature or whether it applied retroactively.  At a seminar I attended in May, I heard a judge say that the policy at that time was to only allow cases to proceed if they had been filed before the enactment of the statute.  Conversely, even if the palimony promise had been made pre-statute, if the law suit was not filed, it would be dismissed.

As noted on the front page of the July 19, 2010 New Jersey Law Journal, there are several motions now pending in the Appellate Division, including one filed by this firm, addressing whether there should be retroactive application of the statute.  A judge in Atlantic County has held that the statute should be retroactively applied.  Judges in Monmouth and Somerset Counties came to the opposite conclusion.

When the issue is resolved one way or another, we will update this blog.

Recently, I posted a blog entry on the phenomena of the New Years resolution divorce.  Apparently, I am not alone in thinking about this topic at this time of year as my article was quoted in one written by Tony Bertolino who is a Texas attorney.

Whether this is from the sadness many people experience over the holidays or the desire for a fresh start or a better life, it is sadly real. 

Recently I blogged on developments in the debate of same sex civil unions and marriage in New Jersey.  To read that entry click here.  The New Jersey Star Ledger along with other media outlets have reported that the vote on the bill in the New Jersey Senate to approve gay marriage, scheduled for Thursday, December 10, 2009, has been postponed. Instead, the bill approving gay marriage will now be put before the Assembly Judiciary Committee for debate. Opponents of the bill are calling this a retreat by supporters of the bill. To read a recent Rutgers University Eagleton Institute of Politics report on religious supporters and opponents click here.  Like the federal government, a bill must be voted on and pass by both the Assembly (House of Representatives in the Federal Government) and Senate, before it is sent to the governor for him to sign or veto. Usually if a bill does not have enough votes to pass, the Senator who introduced the bill, in this case Senators Ray Lesniak (D-Union) and Loretta Weinberg (D-Bergen), will not put it up to be voted on. In this case the Star Leger is reporting that the bill is supported publicly by only 13 Senators, with 18 publicly opposing the bill, and the remaining 9 are undecided or not stating their positions. With only a couple of weeks left in the Corzine administration, it is now or never for supporters of the same-sex marriage bill. Governor-elect Christopher Christie, who is opposed to same-sex marriage, has already stated that he will veto any same-sex marriage bill. These next couple of weeks will determine if the Garden State will allow same-sex marriage ……….stay tuned.