Unfortunately, the need for good legal representation doesn’t always stop when your New Jersey divorce is final.
People don’t always do what they agree to do. Whether it’s falling behind on alimony or child support–not following the agreed upon custody and parenting time plan–failing to put a house up for sale-or any number of other things that were ordered-problems often develop.
Whatever the post-divorce issue, the answers frequently aren’t simple. Trying to resolve those issues requires not only a thorough knowledge of New Jersey divorce law but also-more often than not-an ability to think “outside the box” and come up with practical solutions. A good New Jersey Divorce Law Firm can help you address those problems.
Motions to Enforce Litigant’s Rights
All too frequently, one party to a New Jersey divorce fails to abide by one or more terms of the Judgment of Divorce, and the other party must file a Motion to force the other party to comply.
That type of application is called a “Motion to Enforce Litigant’s Rights.” Although it may seem simple and straightforward, that Motion must be carefully drafted and include all necessary attachments, in order to insure the best chances of success. Except in rare cases, the Motion to Enforce Litigant’s Rights should include a request that the defaulting party be responsible to reimburse all of the legal fees and costs that the non-defaulting party incurs in making the Motion and obtaining the Court Order.
Motions to Modify or Terminate Alimony or Child Support
Very often, circumstances change significantly after a divorce, and one of the parties must file a Motion to modify or terminate alimony or child support. Either an increase or a decrease can be requested, depending on the circumstances. New Jersey Family Court Judges have very broad discretion in deciding whether and to what extent those Motions should be granted, and their Decisions are seldom reversed on appeal. Therefore, it is crucial that the initial presentation to the Court be as clear, concise and complete as possible.
Motions to Allocate Responsibility for Children’s College Costs
The third common post-judgment issue in New Jersey is the allocation of responsibility between divorced parents for their children’s college costs. Many parents who divorce when their children are young address the college payment issue at that time by simply stating that they will try to reach an agreement when and if each child is ready to go to college. Deferring the need to come to an agreement is a natural inclination, because each parent’s financial circumstances may then be very different than at the time of the divorce.
At the same time, putting a framework in place at the time of the divorce for the payment of future college costs is never a bad idea, especially in light of the financial hardships which the a New Jersey Court’s Post-Judgment Decision may place on one or both parents.
I would definitely refer someone to Salvaggio Law Group LLC. I work with many attorneys as part of my profession and found them to be talented, well versed in the law, and good negotiators who ensured that a fair and reasonable outcome was achi...Read More
I would definitely refer someone to Salvaggio Law Group LLC. I work with many attorneys as part of my profession and found them to be talented, well versed in the law, and good negotiators who ensured that a fair and reasonable outcome was achieved. They were always better prepared and more knowledgeable than the other side's attorney. They also showed me how I could save time and legal fees by doing a lot of the documentation work myself. All of my calls and e-mails to Salvaggio Law Group were promptly addressed, and their interactions with me were always very professional and courteous.Read Less
I would definitely refer someone to Salvaggio Law Group LLC. I work with many attorneys as part of my profession and found them to be talented, well versed in the law, and good negotiators who ensured that a fair and reasonable outcome was achi...
I hired Salvaggio Law Group to represent me after my ex-wife filled a post-judgement motion. Salvaggio Law Group was able to draw quick closure to what would have otherwise been a financially and emotionally costly and drawn out endeavor with a...Read More
I hired Salvaggio Law Group to represent me after my ex-wife filled a post-judgement motion. Salvaggio Law Group was able to draw quick closure to what would have otherwise been a financially and emotionally costly and drawn out endeavor with a rather unreasonable opponent. I couldn’t be more pleased with the manner in which Salvaggio Law Group addressed the post-judgement motion and ultimately got to a favorable outcome. I found the Salvaggio Law Group Team to be professional, knowledgeable, talented and most importantly aligned with what was important to me through this process. I would recommend Salvaggio Law Group to anyone wrestling with the difficulties of divorce and in need of competent and capable representation.Read Less
I hired Salvaggio Law Group to represent me after my ex-wife filled a post-judgement motion. Salvaggio Law Group was able to draw quick closure to what would have otherwise been a financially and emotionally costly and drawn out endeavor with a...
Frequently Asked Questions on Post-Divorce Issues
What Must be Shown in Order to Modify or Terminate Alimony or Child Support in New Jersey?
Under New Jersey family law, alimony automatically terminates upon the death of either party. Permanent alimony and term alimony also terminate automatically upon the remarriage of the recipient party.
Child support, of course, automatically terminates upon the death of the child or the parent who is paying the child support. Under New Jersey family law, child support also terminates upon the child’s “emancipation.” which occurs when the child has moved beyond the sphere of influence and responsibility exercised by a parent and obtained an independent status.
In all other situations, New Jersey family law requires a showing of “changed circumstances.”
There are many different events which may qualify as “changed circumstances” giving rise to the right to file a Motion to modify or terminate alimony. Those circumstances include, among other things:
- A substantial change in either party’s income.
- An adverse health condition.
- Cohabitation by the party receiving alimony.
- Retirement of the party paying alimony.
- Either party’s receipt of a substantial inheritance.
Some of the same events which may trigger modification of alimony may also justify a change in child support. Other events which may affect child support include, among other things:
- If either parent has another child from a new relationship.
- Increased needs of the child.
- Changes in parenting time.
- Income earned by the child.
- The child’s education costs.
Each Application Must be Decided on its Own Merits
New Jersey Family Courts evaluate each “changed circumstances” application on its own merits. There are no hard and fast rules on exactly what is required to make the requisite “changed circumstances” showing which will justify the modification or termination of alimony or child support. Therefore, it is extremely important that you retain a New Jersey family law firm which has a great deal of experience in these types of applications and knows how to best present your case.
Financially Capable Parents Must Contribute to College Costs
With very limited exceptions, parents in New Jersey are obligated to contribute to the higher education of their children, if those children are qualified students and the parents are financially capable of doing so.
Allocation of Responsibility Between Parents
In allocating that obligation between the parents, New Jersey family courts consider 12 different factors:
- Whether the parent, if still living with the child, would have contributed toward the costs of the requested higher education;
- The effect of the background values and goals of the parent on the reasonableness of the expectation of the child for higher education;
- The amount of the contribution sought by the child for the cost of higher education; The ability of the parent to pay that cost;
- The relationship of the requested contribution to the kind of school or course of study sought by the child;
- The financial resources of both parents;
- The commitment to and aptitude of the child for the requested education;
- The financial resources of the child, including assets owned individually or held in custodianship or trust;
- The ability of the child to earn income during the school year or on vacation;
- The availability of financial aid in the form of college grants and loans;
- The child’s relationship to the paying parent, including mutual affection and shared goals as well as responsiveness to parental advice and guidance; and
- The relationship of the education requested to any prior training and to the overall long-range goals of the child.
Payment of college expenses is just one part of a parent’s child support obligation, which continues until the child is emancipated. It is extremely important that, if you have a dispute regarding payment of a child’s college expenses, you retain a New Jersey family law firm which has a great deal of experience with in these types of issues and knows how to best present your case.
Can I Change my Alimony or Child Support Obligation?
In this economy, nothing is certain. As such, a common question from recently divorced individuals involves whether there is a way for adjusting alimony or child support obligation payments once it has been set by the court. The unfortunate reality is that people sometimes lose their jobs. Sometimes they become injured. Sometimes circumstances arise that make it impossible to pay all or any alimony or child support. These situations may be intimidating, but they occur frequently enough that the law can accommodate them.
New Jersey law recognizes that financial support obligations are modifiable if there is a financial change in circumstance that warrants such an adjustment. Such changes in circumstances include the loss of one’s job, the sudden inability to work, or an increase in the recipient ex-spouse’s income. If a divorced person loses her or his job, and after months of trying to find a new one, the only job available pays far less than the previous job did, the spouse may be entitled to a reduction in support payments. If a divorcé or divorcée becomes disabled and is no longer able to work, and if he or she can prove this inability to work with medical evidence, the individual may be entitled to a reduction in support. If one’s former spouse is now making significantly more money than he or she made at the time of the divorce, a reduction in support may be indicated, as alimony and child support can be based on the recipient spouse’s lower income. If the alimony recipient has begun cohabiting with a new romantic partner, the supporting party may be entitled to modify or even terminate alimony. Though it can be a difficult and time-consuming process, the court does order relief to people who need it.
Circumstances change significantly after a divorce, and if you need help adjusting alimony or child support payments need to be adjusted, one of the parties must file a motion to modify or terminate the payments. Either an increase or a decrease can be requested, depending on the situation. New Jersey judges have broad discretion in deciding whether and to what extent those motions should be granted, and their decisions are seldom reversed on appeal. Therefore, it is crucial that the initial presentation to the court be as clear and concise as possible.
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