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Essex County Divorce Law Blog

New Jersey QDROs can ensure support debts are paid

Broken promises can contribute to the end of a marriage. Agreements violated after an Essex County divorce can be devastating, especially when an ex-spouse fails to live up to commitments for child or spousal support. Efforts to get a non-paying spouse to comply with a settlement can cost hard-to-come-by time and money.

New Jersey spouses may not know that a Qualified Domestic Relations Order can help secure support payments. QDROs are court orders that permit someone other than an account holder to receive retirement plan benefits. QDROs traditionally have been employed to split pension benefits during divorce, but they also may be used as backup, should an ex stop making support payments.

Alimony commission proposed to study, propose New Jersey reform

Family laws around the country are under reform and it's possible some of the changes will be incorporated into New Jersey statutes. An assemblyman drafted legislation that would force the state to take a closer look at the way family courts handle alimony awards. The legislation calls for the creation of a Blue Ribbon Commission.

Under the proposal, an 11-member group would have one year to study alimony laws here and in other states, make comparisons, report findings and suggest solutions. The lawmaker behind the commission idea introduced a related reform bill during the last session that cleared the Assembly but failed in the Senate.

Medical marijuana user wins child custody in appeal

The New Jersey Medicinal Marijuana Program is limited and Governor Chris Christie has promised to keep it that way, according to a recent Lehigh Valley Live report. Despite the governor's concerns, several states have moved forward to relax marijuana laws and approve the drug for medicinal use.

Parental use of medical marijuana has become an issue in some child custody cases, including a West Coast state where even the drug's recreational use is now legal.

Pension account division during a New Jersey divorce

Essex County spouses may believe retirement accounts are the sole property of individuals who place savings in them. After all, the savings come from money you earn as an individual. You may be surprised to learn that couples who divorce have rights to a portion of one another's retirement assets, at least funds accumulated between the beginning and end of a marriage.

Pension plans are marital assets, no matter which spouse is the account holder. According to New Jersey's equitable distribution laws, spouses must divide property fairly. Pension division may be avoided, when couples opt to substitute other assets in a divorce settlement in place of retirement accounts proceeds.

Getting an emotional grip helps in Essex County divorce

People outside a broken relationship can be more objective than Essex County spouses going through a marital breakup. After all, outsiders aren't exposed directly to the inner turmoil of unhappy spouses.

Time and again, financial and legal advisers have cautioned divorcing spouses to think practically. Professional advice to curb emotions isn't meant to diminish what spouses feel but to help clients gain perspective. Former spouses are bound to the choices they make about property division, support and child custody long after hard feelings fade.

Prenuptial agreement protects Hilary Duff spouse's fortune

Wills are designed to make sure the heirs receive the property you agree to give them when you die. Estate planning documents and prenuptial agreements anticipate negative events, one guaranteed and the other a possibility. Death triggers a will, while divorce activates an Essex County prenuptial contract.

One-time star of the Disney Channel's children's show "Lizzie McGuire," actress Hilary Duff, has separated from Mike Comri, her Canadian husband of just over three years. The parents of a 3-year-old boy are wealthier than many people realize.

Wife wants $10 million for spouse, New Jersey mistress scam

A survey released by the U.S. Census Bureau in 2011 showed New Jersey had fewer divorced adults than any other state. Just nine percent of state residents surveyed were divorced, compared to the near-15 percent rate in the state with the highest rate.

While marital satisfaction among our neighbors in Essex County seems to be the trend, we know divorce is a real possibility for any married couple. Solutions to unhappy marital circumstances vary. In the majority of cases, spouses choose to end a marriage through traditional litigation but there are other methods including annulment for fraud.

26-year Spitzer marriage finished; divorce announced

The more an Essex County couple has invested or accumulated during marriage, the more complicated putting an end to it can be. Wealth and fame magnify all the issues in divorce, like child custody and property division.

Every unguarded emotion, dispute or comment can attract press coverage. The stakes are high and visible. A divorce is stressful, even when the media doesn't care about it. When reporters get involved, a private matter becomes a public spectacle.

Estranged dad leaps, dies after tossing New Jersey son off roof

Disagreements can force Essex spouses apart and often those disputes carry through beyond divorce. Ideally, divorcing parents can work out an amicable child custody arrangement, including legal and physical custody issues, without the help of a family court. Some parents are so far apart on a solution, a judge must step in to resolve the matter.

A woman moved to New Jersey last year with her young son, after separating from her husband and a two-year marriage. The wife obtained an order of protection after she said her husband threatened her. The father was allowed to see his son during the separation, but the visits were conducted in pre-arranged "institutional settings."

New Jersey divorced parents: Donít move without permission

New Jersey parents sometimes have to pack up and move to take advantage of personal or career opportunities. That's no problem when parents live together, but add separate residences into the mix and the result can be an Essex County child custody dispute.

Parents can live anywhere they'd like. Family courts care where children reside and whether their lives are stable and happy. A judge can deny parental relocation, even when a move is within the state.

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Essex County Divorce Blog