Articles Tagged with modification

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Nothing is more precious to us than our children. The Supreme Court of the United States has established the right to know one’s children as a fundamental Constitutional right. In New Jersey the9-08-3-300x225 right to know and raise one’s children is firmly entrenched in statutory and case law.  In our mobile society the right to know one’s children post-divorce has often come in conflict with the post-divorce business or social needs of the parents.  New Jersey, like many North Eastern states, has a highly transient population who has come here for business or personal reasons and may find business or social needs more compelling than identity to the State as home. When parents of children feel compelled to move, there is often contention over the impact of such a move on custody of the children.

We call these matters Relocation cases and it is not surprising that these matters can be hotly contested.  Over time, the New Jersey Supreme Court established a standard called the Baures standard (created in the case of Baures v. Lewis, 167 N.J. 91 (2001)) to control how such matters were to proceed when the “primary physical custodian” of the children sought to relocate outside of the state of New Jersey.  Simply put, under Baures if the custodial parent could establish that he or she has a “good faith”  basis for the move and the move was not inimical to the child’s best interest, the burden of proof would then shift to the non-moving, noncustodial parent to prove why the move should not occur. The burden of evidence needed to stop such a move once the prima facia case was established by the custodial parent was nearly impossible.

Recently, we reported on an Appellate Division decision in the case of Bisbing v Bisbing, 445 N.J. Super. 207 (App.Div. 2016),  in which a wife who negotiated a custody agreement with her former husband that allowed for relocation within months of the divorce judgment sought to relocate with the children to another state.  The Appellate Division reversed the trial court decision which applied the Bauer standard, reasoning that if the Wife had perpetrated a fraud on the Husband by allowing the Wife primary physical custody of the children and agreeing to the Bauer standard while the Wife knew that she was moving, then the Bauer standard had to be supplanted by a more stringent “best interest of the child” standard.   Hence, the Appellate Division established two standards for relocation, one applicable to cases in which there was no fraud, and then a higher standard when there was fraud when the original custody agreement was established.

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I was at a social event recently. A woman attending that event, after learning that I was a divorce attorney, came up to me. She told me that her ex-husband had just filed court papers seeking to modify or terminate her alimony payments. With indignation in her voice she explained that “He can’t do that because I have permanent alimony!” It was obvious that this person had taken the word “permanent” literally, and believed that her alimony rights were forever immutable. She seemed genuinely shocked when I explained, without getting into the details of her case, that even “permanent” alimony may be modified or terminated upon a showing of a substantial change in circumstances. Continue reading

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In Mills v. Mills, 447 N.J. Super. 79 (Ch. Div. 2016), the family court was confronted with the issue of whether the defendant (payor spouse) should receive a reduction in his alimony obligation3e728f0b3d0e026b62a8cb4b38918e95 upon the loss of long-term employment and his subsequent hire at a new job – at a significantly lower salary. Continue reading

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In September 2014, the New Jersey Legislature amended this State’s statute on alimony.   Among thefile0001270953716 changes that the new alimony statute contains was a provision related to retirement.    The addition that the Legislature made to the alimony statute to include a provision for alimony is lengthy.  N.J.S.A. 2A:34-23(j) now provides that alimony may be modified or terminated “upon the prospective or actual retirement of the obligor.”   Continue reading

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We have written previously about issues of cohabitation and it’s impact on the right and obligation to receive and pay alimony. We have also written about the courts’ attitudes towards the file0001849487704enforcement of Property Settlement Agreements. On May 3, 2016 the Supreme Court of New Jersey in the matter of Quinn -v- Quinn, — NJ — (2016) [(A-5-14) (074411)], addressed the issue of enforcing terms of a Property Settlement Agreement involving the effect of cohabitation on provisions dealing with alimony in the matter. In this matter the parties, who were married in 1983, entered into a Property Settlement Agreement in 2006 providing that upon the Wife’s cohabitation, per case or statutory law, her alimony would terminate. Continue reading

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In New Jersey, it is well established that both parties have an obligation to support their children financially.  Accordingly, child support obligations are one of the primary issues dealt with when a marriage or relationship ends between people who have children, whether it be my consensual agreement or court order. However, the amount of child support due may be subject to a later modification.  After the entry of a child support obligation, there are a number situations or circumstances that can occur that might warrant a later termination of modification of that child support obligation, including but not nearly limited to the following: the child’s emancipation, a change in the child’s needs, the involuntary loss of income to one of the parents, or a substantial increase in the income of either parent. Continue reading

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Previously we have written about the 2014 modifications to N.J.S.A. 2A:34-23 which dramatically changed the law in New Jersey as it relates to alimony. As outlined in that blog, the statute not only eliminated permanent alimony as a judicial option but clarified the law as it related to the impact of: cohabitation, retirement and loss of employment on alimony. The effective date of that statute is September 10, 2014. The bar has been awaiting cases dealing with the new alimony statute’s impact on new matters as well as how it would apply to matters resolved prior to its effective date. Continue reading

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file00030973702My colleagues and I have previously written on the topic of Domestic Violence, Temporary Restraining Orders (TRO), and Final Rrestraining Orders (FRO).  Specifically, I have previously written on the subject matter of contempt proceedings where the Defendant in a domestic violence action can be held in contempt for violation of either a TRO or FRO.  Continue reading

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CalculatorOn December 18, 2013 the New Jersey Appellate Division published an opinion in the matter of Harte v. Hand. In the opinion, the Appellate Division addressed the issue of how to properly calculate child support on behalf of children of multiple families. Continue reading

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courtIn July I wrote a blog explaining Assembly Bill A3909.  This Bill, loosely based on a Statute enacted in Massachusetts, affected a broad range alimony reform.  Continue reading