Fox Rothschild’s New Jersey Family Law Legal Blog welcomes Noah B. Rosenfarb, CPA, an Accountant and Holistic Wealth Advisor with Freedom Divorce Advisors, a financial advising company designed to aid women in securing their financial future post-divorce, as a guest blogger. 

Noah’s articles and insights are particularly relevant with the message and content of our firm’s blog, and, having worked with him on several occasions, we know that he will provide invaluable insights to our readers.  With that being said, I provide below the text of an article Noah recently wrote about using retirement assets to satisfy financial obligations resulting from divorce, and tips to avoid early withdrawal penalties associated with doing so.Continue Reading Retirement Plan Assets To Fund Post-Divorce Obligations: Strategies To Avoid Early Withdrawal Penalties

Throughout the course of this blog’s existence in the family law blogosphere, we have cautioned and advised on the pitfalls of failing to timely divide retirement assets.  An entry addressing this issue dating back almost two years can be found here, only showing how this important issue is one that divorcing parties often do not consider, but are faced with after the divorce is finalized.  How about on the flip-side of the coin, so to speak?  For the party whose retirement asset is to be divided, what is "fair and equitable" for equitable distribution as to when the asset should be divided and at what value?

The Appellate Division recently addressed this issue in the matter of Ejiofor v. Ejiofor, where it reversed and remanded a trial court’s decision for a determination of the current value of the husband’s share of the wife’s retirement accounts. Continue Reading DIVISION OF RETIREMENT ASSETS – WHAT IS FAIR AND EQUITABLE?

When lawyers say you should never represent yourself, even in so called, “simple” cases,  they are often accused of being greedy, driving up fees, and unwilling to acknowledge that there are smart people out there that are capable of working out the terms of a settlement.  I have recently been involved in a case which has been really bothering me. It is the perfect example of an intelligent, thoughtful, detailed oriented individual who believed he knew what he was agreeing to twenty three years ago when he was divorced and now finds himself in a position where a trial court has interpreted his divorce settlement agreement far differently than he did back then.

 In my case, my client did not have an attorney at the time that he was divorced .  He and his wife were able to reach an amicable agreement as to the terms of their divorce and she hired a layer to draft the agreement and put the divorce through.  When they got the issue of my client’s retirement benefits, he agreed to language which he thought would limit his ex-wife’s share of his retirement. Unfortunately, he did not have his own counsel to inform him of what is often referred to the “marital foundation” theory, which essentially means that as a result of the foundation that is built in the early part of employment ( which usually occurs during the marriage), a former spouse will be entitled to the benefit of  some post marital efforts.


Usually, a former spouse’s entitlement to a retiree’s pension is calculated by use of what is known as a “coverture” fraction. In its simplest form, the coverture fraction is one in which the numerator is the number of years or months that the employee worked during the marriage and the denominator is the total number of months or years worked. That fraction is then multiplied by the percentage of which the former spouse is entitled ( usually 50%). The resulting number is the actual percentage of the pension payment that the former spouse will receive.  This fraction is used for several reasons. First, as I have previously stated, the theory is that during the marriage, a foundation is built which allows the working spouse to advance in later years. Second is the reality that this is a mathematical way to segregate out the marital portion. It is not, however, a perfect science given the way that the majority of pensions are calculated.  The end result is often that the former spouse shares to some extent in a pension benefit that is calculated based upon a higher salary which was earned after the divorce.

 Continue Reading Please, Please, Please, Get a Lawyer

Most people are overwhelmed during the process of a divorce.  Stress and emotions run high, there are the added time constraints of the court and the daunting tasks of discovery, court mandated appearances and either a trial or coming to a final resolution.  When the judge signs off on the final judgment of divorce a great weight can be lifted and its easy to feel that the process is over.

Oftentimes, this is not the case.  What has been referred to as ‘loose ends’ can easily be overlooked and forgotten.  A perfect example is the finalization and submission of Qualified Domestic Relations Order (“QDRO”) to plan administrators for the division of qualified and some times non-qualified retirement plans and benefits.  I have previously blogged on this issue.  To read those entries, click here and here.Continue Reading Divide Those Retirement Assets