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Divorce Law

When Mediation Is Not The Right Choice For Your Divorce
  • By: Eric Hannum, Esq.
  • Published: June 11, 2015

Although mediation can have great benefits for divorcing couples such as lower costs and a greater control over the settlement than a couple has with divorce litigation, it is not the ideal solution for every couple. Before choosing how to divorce, talk to your attorney about your options. Some couples have the freedom to choose whether they want to divorce through mediation, collaborative law, or litigation and others are required by the court to take one of these routes before exploring another. If you have the choice, consider your marriage’s unique circumstances and how they can affect your settlement depending on the method you choose. Choosing mediation, like other choices related to your marriage and divorce, is a deeply personal decision. If you have the choice to mediate but feel it is not right for you, do not allow yourself to be…Read More

Why Mediation Could Be The Right Divorce Solution For You
  • By: Eric Hannum, Esq.
  • Published: June 10, 2015

If you are facing an upcoming divorce, the process of going to court to determine your settlement can be daunting. You will have to divide your shared property, determine if you or your spouse may receive alimony payments, and if you have children, their custody and support agreements as part of your divorce settlement. Amid the stress of having to work through these issues in court, you are also facing high lawyer’s fees. But there is a better way to divorce. Your marriage does not have to end in a vicious courtroom battle – it can be calmly dismantled in the comfort of a mediator’s office. This process is known as mediation. By choosing to divorce through mediation, you can save yourself the time, money, and stress associated with traditional divorce litigation. The Mediation Process When a couple chooses to divorce…Read More

How to Recognize Domestic Violence in Your Relationship and How to Get Out
  • By: Eric Hannum, Esq.
  • Published: June 9, 2015

When you see an individual berating his or her partner in public or hear stories about people staying with their abusers for years or decades, living through routine beatings, you might find yourself shaking your head and wondering how a victim can allow him or herself to stay in that relationship. The truth is, most victims do not realize that they are being abused. One of the greatest hallmarks of domestic violence is denial, or the feeling among both the victim and the abuser that their relationship is perfectly normal. Domestic violence can be physical, emotional, sexual, or financial. It can include any act committed against a romantic partner or household member that exerts control over him or her. In New Jersey, domestic violence is defined by N.J.S.A. 2C:25-19(d). It can be extremely difficult to recognize domestic violence in your relationship…Read More

Don’t Overlook Closing Costs When Selling Your New Jersey Home Due To Divorce
  • By: Eric Hannum, Esq.
  • Published: June 1, 2015

When you get an offer on your home for sale, you’ll probably find yourself doing a mental calculation of the real estate commission you’ll need to pay, based on the specific price offered. And if you’re like most sellers, you may inadvertently overlook another significant expense of closing the sale on your home. The additional expense you may overlook is the buyer’s closing costs, which can be expensive. A quick look at Bankrate.com provided estimated mortgage origination costs for a $200K loan in New Jersey. Including third-party fees on the $200K mortgage with a 20% ($40K) down payment, the buyer’s closing costs were estimated at $2,625. It’s become increasingly common for real estate agents to write sales agreements including the buyers’ closing costs as the sellers’ responsibility. While it’s not really the sellers’ obligation to help the buyer pay for…Read More

New Jersey Divorce And Child Custody Mediation Options
  • By: Eric Hannum, Esq.
  • Published: May 29, 2015

One of your options to control the outcomes in New Jersey divorce and child custody matters is use of mediation procedures. Mediation allows both parties, both parents to state their preferences and to come to an agreement outside a courtroom. Some typical issues that can be resolved through mediation include: 1) living arrangements for the children, 2) childcare choices and expenses, 3) non-custodial parent and grandparent visitation, 4) education choices and expenses, and 5) medical choices and expenses. Since these issues tend to involve both emotional and financial aspects, having an experienced family lawyer representing you in your mediation process can bring better results for you and your children in the long run. New Jersey state laws and prior court decisions influence mediations as well as court proceedings, establishing the rights of both spouses in a divorce matter, and also…Read More

Understanding the New Jersey Divorce Process
  • By: Eric Hannum, Esq.
  • Published: May 28, 2015

It’s possible you’ve heard plenty of stories from other people about the New Jersey divorce process. And maybe you’re thinking you have a pretty good idea how things are likely to work out for you in a divorce proceeding, too. But there are too many areas where your circumstances may differ from others, and your story may lead to a completely different outcome. Sometimes couples in New Jersey think that the only issue may be child custody if there are children involved in the divorce. But many other issues become important in the course of a divorce, either in a formal mediation process or eventually in court. Here are some examples you might want to consider now: Prenuptial agreements Alimony or spousal support Grandparent rights Private school tuition Medical, dental and eyesight expenses Business assets Vacation property Debt and possible…Read More

Divorced Parents: Who Pays College Tuition?
  • By: Eric Hannum, Esq.
  • Published: May 27, 2015

New Jersey courts generally view a college education as a necessity, and the cost of college as the responsibility of the parents, not the student. Parents who are seeking a divorce when their child is in college or entering college may be able to have the same court deal with the issue of who pays college tuition at the time of their divorce. If their children are much younger and not yet ready for college the divorce judge may anticipate the cost of college tuition and stipulate how it shall be paid in the future. Children who are already attending college are rarely granted emancipation on the motion of a parent during a divorce, possibly attempting to avoid the responsibility to continue paying college tuition. But New Jersey divorce courts will consider a number of factors when making a determination…Read More

The Family Case Information Statement Explained
  • By: Eric Hannum, Esq.
  • Published: May 26, 2015

The Family Case Information Statement (CIS) is a document that gets filed with the County Clerk at the time your contested family action begins. It is basically a summary of important information for the court’s purposes during the course of litigation, and it must be kept current whenever information changes. The CIS consists of six separate parts, and each part requires a thorough understanding in order to be completed accurately. For most litigants filing or answering a petition for divorce, or subsequent actions involving child support, alimony, or equitable distribution of real or personal property, the CIS represents a significant investment of their personal attention, as well as their lawyer’s time. Here are the parts of the CIS in New Jersey: Case Information – the parties’ names and dates, including those of the children of the marriage Miscellaneous Information –…Read More

Stepparent Rights And Obligations In New Jersey
  • By: Eric Hannum, Esq.
  • Published: May 26, 2015

Stepparents have one of the toughest jobs in the world. Stepping into the shoes of a child’s parent, even if it’s only part-time, is basically an impossible task. Children of any age who have a relationship with each of their birth parents have to find different role for a stepparent in their lives. Naturally, they aren’t conscious of the underlying complexity of another semi-parental relationship, but you are, as the stepparent. Starting and managing a stepparent relationship is tough enough, but ending it can be even more difficult to navigate in terms of the feelings and the legal issues involved. Sadly, when there’s a divorce involving a stepparent the best interests of the stepchildren are not often top-of-mind for the birth parent or the stepparent. Nobody usually has a sharp focus on continuity of relationship, and that includes the divorce…Read More

Domestic Violence Issues in New Jersey: What Does “Domestic” Mean?
  • By: Eric Hannum, Esq.
  • Published: May 19, 2015

If you or a family member is suffering in an abusive relationship with someone close to you, it’s important to understand the meaning of the word “domestic” in the common legal phrase, “domestic violence.” In the state of New Jersey, The Prevention of Domestic Violence Act protects people who are 18 years of age or older, or those who have become emancipated under the age of 18 as a result of marriage, military service, pregnancy, parenting, or emancipated by court order for some other reason. In other words, domestic violence does not cover children who are abused. They are covered under separate laws. The Prevention of Domestic Violence Act is designed to protect adults. And the word “domestic,” for the purposes of this law, refers to someone who is or has been close to you, such as a current spouse…Read More

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