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Divorce Law

What Are My Obligations Toward My Adult Child’s College Expenses?
  • By: Eric Hannum, Esq.
  • Published: July 6, 2015

Whether you are required to help your child pay for his or her college expenses can depend on the following factors: If you are divorced If your child is currently considered to be a dependent Your other financial obligations College is expensive and very few young adults are financially capable of paying their way through college. Most rely on their families, scholarships, private and public loans, or a combination of these to finance their post-secondary education. But can you be legally required to help your adult child with his or her college costs? The answer is yes. In a recent case, a New Jersey college student brought her parents to court over her tuition bill to Temple University. Your Divorce Can Affect Your Obligation To Pay One of the factors that the court considers when determining whether a parent should…Read More

Pet Custody For Divorcing Couples
  • By: Eric Hannum, Esq.
  • Published: June 29, 2015

Pets are part of the family. Many New Jersey couples treat their pets like their children, regardless of whether they have human children or not. This leads many couples to question how custody of their pets will be determined during a divorce. There is no law in place regarding pet custody in New Jersey. In previous decades, pets were treated as pieces of personal property during the divorce process and subject to the division factors included in New Jersey’s property division statute. Today, with changed attitudes toward the pet’s role within a family in place, New Jersey divorce courts are more likely to determine custody of a couple’s pet similarly to how they determine custody for children. Although certain factors that are applied to children, such as personal and educational needs, are not present when determining where a dog or…Read More

Divorce After Fifty: Issues to Consider and “Gray Divorce”
  • By: Eric Hannum, Esq.
  • Published: June 26, 2015

Divorces among mature adults, those over the age of fifty, are becoming more common than they have ever been in the past. These divorces are sometimes known as “gray divorce” and are often accompanied by challenges that younger divorcing couples do not face. One of the biggest dividing factors in these divorces is one or both spouse’s retirement. Retiring from a career after two, three, or even more decades in the workforce is one of the greatest lifestyle changes that occur in one’s lifetime. Friction, misunderstandings, and previously-ignored interpersonal issues can be magnified after a retirement, sometimes driving couples to divorce. Consider the following issues and talk about them with your spouse before either of you retire. By acknowledging any issues that may arise, you can prepare yourselves to handle them. Consider speaking with a licensed relationship counselor about these…Read More

Who Gets The Shore House? Handling Multiple Real Estate Properties In A New Jersey Divorce
  • By: Eric Hannum, Esq.
  • Published: June 25, 2015

Having a shore house and spending summers by the beach is a tradition many New Jersey families cherish. But when a couple divorces, the shore house can become a point of contention. Like all other property, including the family’s full-time home, a vacation house is a significant investment and may constitute a large portion of a married couple’s marital property. In New Jersey, a divorcing couple’s property is divided according to a principle known as equitable distribution, where numerous factors are considered when determining each partner’s needs and contributions to the couple’s total shared property. It is important to note that property division applies only to a couple’s marital property, and not their singly-held pieces of property. Marital property is the property that the couple acquired through their shared buying power during their marriage. Examples of this include their home…Read More

I Lost my Job. How Can I Modify my Child Support Agreement?
  • By: Eric Hannum, Esq.
  • Published: June 24, 2015

Losing your job can launch you and your family into world of uncertainty. When the weeks you have been out of work turn into months, reaching a year or longer, you could find yourself struggling with making all of your monthly payments. If this is the case, consider filing a motion with the court to modify your child support obligation. It is on the parent experiencing the financial hardship to file for a modification. If the court approves of the motion, the parent then must prove that it is necessary by providing the court with all relevant information about his or her current financial situation. The child’s other parent must provide information about his or her financial status as well. The court, in making the decision to modify a parent’s child support agreement, also considers all other relevant information to…Read More

How Is A Small Business Divided In A New Jersey Divorce?
  • By: Eric Hannum, Esq.
  • Published: June 19, 2015

Thousands of New Jersey couples successfully own and operate small businesses as their main source of income. In thousands more cases, individuals operate their own businesses while their spouses work traditional jobs or take on homemaking roles. In others yet, the small business contributes only a small part of the couple’s total household income. No matter how a small business figures into your family’s finances, it will need to be divided between you and your spouse if you decide to divorce. How your business is divided depends on your plan for it following the divorce. Talk to your spouse about your business’ future before you begin the process of dividing your assets. Selling the business, continuing to operate it jointly, or one partner buying out the other’s interest and continuing to run the business singly are all valid, possible futures…Read More

Continuing Child Support Past Age Eighteen For Young Adults With Special Needs
  • By: Eric Hannum, Esq.
  • Published: June 18, 2015

In the United States, a child reaches the age of majority on his or her eighteenth birthday. This means that he or she is a legal adult. Although many parents voluntarily continue to provide for their child at and beyond age eighteen, child support orders are generally designed to end at this age because the young adult is old enough to work full time and provide for him or herself. But what about young adults who suffer from significant mental or physical disabilities that prevent them from providing for themselves? If you are a parent of a special needs child, you may stipulate in your child support agreement that your spouse continue making payments for him or her after he or she becomes an adult. In fact, if you do not include this requirement in your child support agreement, the…Read More

How To Talk To Your Child About Divorce
  • By: Eric Hannum, Esq.
  • Published: June 16, 2015

Divorce is often a difficult topic to discuss with anybody. When your conversation partner is your child, the discussion only becomes more difficult. You might find yourself struggling to find the right way to tell your child that you are ending your relationship with his or her other parent and that one or both of you will be leaving the family home. Although you might feel anxiety about starting this discussion and catch yourself delaying it again and again, you need to have it with your child. Take the following into consideration when you decide to begin this series of discussions with your child. Do not think that talking to him or her about divorce is a one-time lecture – the healthiest, most productive way to talk to your child about any difficult topic is to make it a recurring…Read More

The Types of Alimony Agreements Available to New Jersey Couples
  • By: Eric Hannum, Esq.
  • Published: June 15, 2015

In 2014, New Jersey’s alimony laws when through an overhaul. The changes included in this bill modernized the current laws, taking into consideration the realities that couples today face, such as dual-income households and cohabitation with a new partner after a divorce without marrying the new partner. Alimony is far more complicated than one spouse simply making payments to his or her former partner for the rest of their lives. There are multiple types of alimony agreements available, each tailored to specific needs that couples face. In essence, alimony is designed to make the transition from married life to single life easier on the spouse who earned less money during the marriage, generally because he or she opted to leave the workforce to focus on the couple’s children and household. The following four types of alimony are available for New…Read More

Seeking A Prenuptial Agreement For Your Second Or Subsequent Marriage
  • By: Eric Hannum, Esq.
  • Published: June 12, 2015

As an individual with assets, you need to protect your right to those assets. One way you can do this is by signing a prenuptial agreement before getting married. Although it may seem unromantic or defeatist to sign this type of agreement, the truth is that is provides a framework for the division of your assets if you and your spouse choose to divorce. A prenuptial agreement can also be used to ensure that your children from any previous relationships and even previous spouses receive part of your estate following your death. This is why prenuptial agreements are especially popular with individuals entering their second or subsequent marriages – without such an agreement in place, one’s current spouse may take control of his or her estate after his or her death. A prenuptial agreement is a way to protect your…Read More

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