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New Jersey Divorce Lawyers

Representation for the Most Difficult Family Law Situations

Based in Springfield, New Jersey, the Law Offices of James P. Yudes, P.C. exclusively practices family law. This allows our accomplished legal team to provide our clients with focused representation on every complicated detail on each case we take. When you are facing a complex and confusing family law situation, having a dedicated and experienced law firm on your side can make all the difference. Our team has been and continues to be extremely to be influential in developing how many divorce cases are handled in the State of New Jersey.

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We Literally Wrote the Book on Family Law

Author of the Yudes Family Law Citator
Every year, our team at the Law Offices of James P. Yudes, P.C. publishes this book summarizing the most important family law cases all the way back to 1947. Our legal team contributes to the book annually and to the award-winning lecture series that can help family lawyers in New Jersey gain a better understanding of the most recent family law cases. The reputation our firm and attorneys have earned with clients, legal professionals, and the courts is evidenced by the fact that Mr. Yudes was asked to be the Family Law Coordinator for newly appointed New Jersey judges in 1999. When you are facing a divorce or family law scenario that is difficult and complex, turn to the celebrated family law attorneys here at the Law Offices of James P. Yudes, P.C.

Types of Custody

When addressing the status of children of separated or divorcing parents, the law talks in terms of "custody". However, the law differentiates between two components of custody - residential custody and legal custody. Residential custody generally refers to the extent a child will live with or spend time with either parent. This is what most people think of when they hear the term custody. The second component, legal custody, deals with the extent each parent has the right to participate or be involved in major decisions affecting the health, education, safety and general welfare of the child. Our law declares that it is the public policy of New Jersey to assure that minor children have frequent and continuing contact with both parents after the parents have separated or dissolved their marriage, and that it is in the public interest to encourage parents to share the rights and responsibilities of child rearing in order to effect this policy. Our law further provides that in any proceeding involving the custody of a minor child, the rights of both parents shall be equal.

Custody Visitation Rights

When parties divorce, there are generally two sets of issues that need to be dealt with - the money and the children. The objective is to determine what is there, how much someone does or should earn, what things are worth, and then to allocate income, assets or debt in a manner which is most fair and equitable applying the facts to the applicable law. There is an entirely different set of dynamics when there are children involved. Money is fungible, children are not. Now that the parents are splitting up, decisions over how the children will be raised, with whom, how much time they will spend with each parent and the nature and quality of that relationship should not be treated as a business-like decision, but ones that both parents believe are in the children's best interest. Indeed, the "best interest of the child" is the touchstone standard governing the law when it comes to determinations regarding children. Obviously, the goal should be to try and work out issues concerning the children without involving the courts; however, if the parties are unable to resolve these issues between themselves, the courts of this state are charged to do so exercising their parens patriae jurisdiction.

Beyond anything, each parent should offer their children assurance, support and love. Again, the goal is for both parents to put aside their differences and to resolve the issues concerning their children and their future guided by notions of what is truly in the best interest. Indeed, the courts offer multiple opportunities to facilitate this in hopes of avoiding the court having to decide and impose its own notions of what is in the children's best interest in a given case.

Child Support

Every child is entitled to be financially supported by each of his/her parents. It is also imperative to understand that the right to child support is the right of the child and not the parent who receives the child support on that child's behalf. Accordingly, parents are very much limited and restricted in what they can agree to with regards to child support because it is not their right that they are dealing with. In the State of New Jersey, child support is denied primarily based upon the Child Support Guidelines. The Child Support Guidelines are premised upon the theory that child support is determined in proportion to each parent's income as well as the child's needs. In many instances, the parents and the courts work together smoothly to ensure children receive adequate support.

Determining Alimony

In awarding alimony, the family courts still have some amount of discretion. The Supreme Court has established specific guidelines and a formula for calculating child support, but there is no specific calculation to be made when it comes to calculating the amount of alimony. New Jersey has case law and an alimony statute that requires the courts to consider specific factors when calculating alimony, so there are some guidelines and objective standards for the courts to consider, but there is no specific formula for the family court to calculate alimony.

In general, New Jersey case law states that the court must consider the marital lifestyle, the supporting spouse's ability to pay, and the dependent spouse's ability to contribute to his or her own needs. Neither party is more entitled to the marital lifestyle than the other, and the court is to consider the fact that the parties are going to be living in separate households and that there will be an increase in living expenses on the ability of both parties to maintain a lifestyle reasonably comparable to the marital lifestyle.

Equitable Distribution

The distribution of marital assets is oftentimes both hotly debated and emotionally charged, for obvious reasons, when it comes time to do so during divorce litigation. The division of the marital property includes a host of complicated factors and it can prove quite difficult to determine what is to be distributed, who it is to be distributed to, etc.

The State of New Jersey recognizes marriage as an economic partnership which means that the courts here acknowledge that each party expended efforts, both financial and non-financial, to acquire what is now considered the marital estate. Each spouse is entitled to a share of the marital property. The equitable distribution, which does not always mean equal distribution, is dependent upon a number of statutory factors.

Pre-Nuptial Agreements

A pre-nuptial agreement is one made prior to the parties' marriage. It disposes of property and alimony rights to a spouse in the event that a marriage should fail and is based upon what each party is bringing in to the marriage. Normally, the intent of a pre-nuptial agreement is to deny a spouse an interest in assets held in the full name of the other at the time of the marriage. By executing an agreement, the parties have agreed not to allow the court to resolve questions of alimony and equitable distribution. Such agreements are enforceable provided that there is full disclosure by both parties as to their financial conditions, including assets and income. The courts will also make sure there is no fraud or duress in the execution of the agreement.

New Jersey Divorce and Family Lawyer Blog
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