Category: Divorce

Temporary Divorce Agreement Lawyer Monmouth County NJ

Temporary Divorce Agreement Lawyer Monmouth County NJBefore any divorce can be finalized in New Jersey, agreements will need to be reached regarding the key issues of child custody and visitation, child support, alimony, and the division of marital assets and debt. However, in many situations it may be necessary to create temporary agreements for some of these issues during the divorce itself, before final agreements can be reached.

These temporary divorce agreements are legally referred to as “pendente lite agreements”, and in today’s article, we will discuss how and when pendente lite agreements can be requested, how they work, and whether or not they will affect the final divorce settlement agreement.

Temporary Child Support Lawyer Asbury Park NJ

The first type of pendente lite agreement we will discuss today is that of a temporary child support agreement. It is important that both parents of a child support their financial needs, in fact, they are required to do so thanks to the New Jersey Child Support Guidelines.

However, many divorces can take several months to resolve, and during this time the expenses associated with raising and caring for a child will not be addressed by a child support agreement until such time that the divorce is finalized. It is during this time that a parent can request a temporary child support agreement, and arrange for their child’s financial needs to be addressed during the divorce process itself.

Temporary child support agreements are based on the same guidelines as a final child support agreement, you can use the NJ Child Support Guidelines calculator to obtain a rough estimate of how much you may be expected to pay, or receive, in terms of either a final child support agreement, or a temporary child support agreement.

Temporary Child Custody Attorney Jackson NJ

Just as with temporary child support, it is also possible to create a child custody and visitation agreement for you and your co-parent during the divorce process itself. Creating a temporary child custody agreement can be important especially when one spouse or the other wishes to move out of the family home during the divorce process. Without a temporary custody agreement in place, leaving the home can establish the precedent that one parent plays a more “parental” role in the lives of their children than the other, and can affect the final child custody agreement.

Alternatively, some parents simply wish for there to be a written agreement in place which clearly outlines a visitation schedule so that there are no arguments, confusion, or need for conflict when it comes to a visitation schedule.

Whatever the case may be, either parent during a divorce may request a temporary child custody hearing. Temporary child custody is determined based on the same factors as any child custody hearing, namely the child’s best interests. Importantly, the terms of a temporary child custody agreement will not affect the final child custody agreement (they are decided independently of each other). However, a temporary child custody agreement can give parents a strong indication of what the courts may decide should it be left to them to decide the final child custody agreement, and may encourage the parents to seek a resolution without litigation.

Temporary Alimony Lawyer Wall NJ

Finally, spousal support can also be requested during the divorce process itself, before a final alimony agreement is reached.

When one spouse has been traditionally financially reliant on another, they can usually expect to continue to receive financial support for some time after the divorce through an alimony agreement. However, until the divorce is finalized, that same spouse may not be able to pay for their living expenses. When this is the case, and the divorcing couple is unable to reach their own agreement regarding financial support during the divorce process, a temporary alimony hearing can be requested.

If you are in need of financial support during your divorce, or are facing a request for temporary alimony during divorce, an experienced Wall NJ alimony lawyer can help you to secure an alimony agreement which accurately reflects your marriage’s finances, and your own individual financial needs moving forward.

Contact a Sea Girt Divorce Attorney Today

At the Bronzino Law Firm, we have extensive experience helping our clients and their families to resolve their divorce in a fair, accurate, and efficient manner in towns across Ocean and Monmouth County, including Wall, Jackson, Asbury Park, Toms River, Point Pleasant, Neptune, Sea Girt, Manasquan, Spring Lake, and the surrounding communities.

Attorney Peter J. Bronzino strongly believes in providing each of his clients with highly attentive and effective legal counsel. By listening closely to the needs, concerns, and unique situations of our clients, our firm believes we can best work to secure the type of resolutions which meet those same needs and concerns.

To speak with Peter Bronzino and our legal team today in a free and confidential consultation regarding your divorce or any kind of temporary divorce agreement matter, and how we can help you, please contact us online, or through either our Sea Girt office or our Brick office at (732) 812-3102.

Brick Contested and Uncontested Divorce AttorneyFollowing up on our article from last week regarding contested divorces, today we will discuss when your divorce may be considered “uncontested”, what exactly that means for you, and how the uncontested divorce process works.

Uncontested Divorce in Ocean County, NJ

When a spouse files the initial divorce complaint, the other spouse is given thirty-five (35) days to respond to the initial complaint. Should they choose to respond to the divorce complaint, their divorce will become “contested”, meaning the two parties and their Ocean County divorce attorneys will need to negotiate and decide final terms for their divorce settlement agreement, including child custody, child support, alimony, and the division of marital assets.

However, there are circumstances in which the parties may have already agreed to these various divorce issues prior to the filing of the divorce. If this is the case, the person receiving the divorce complaint can choose to not respond to the complaint, causing the divorce to be considered “uncontested”.

This would mean that the divorce is placed on an expedited legal track, and pending a judge’s approval of the divorce settlement agreement the couple already has in place, their divorce would be granted and finalized in a much shorter timeline than a contested divorce.

Should I Contest My Divorce? Jackson Divorce Lawyer

As attractive as an expedited divorce process can seem to many, settling your divorce based on the terms you and your spouse have decided without legal counsel is extremely risky, for both parties.

Divorce settlement agreements impact almost every aspect of your life moving forward, including your rights as a parent, the marital assets you retain, the long-term financial impacts of retaining (or not retaining) those same assets, and even your financial obligations moving forward in terms of spousal support and child support.

This is why, if you are planning to proceed with an uncontested divorce, it is highly recommended that you at least speak with an experienced Jackson divorce lawyer before the 35 day window has expired. As much as you may not want to embroil yourself and your family in a legal battle, the fact of the matter is that it is MUCH easier to negotiate the terms of your divorce settlement agreement now than it is to file for an appeal or modification after-the-fact should you realize that the agreement you signed does not actually account for your unique needs or concerns, or is unfair or unreasonable to you in some manner.

Alternative Options for an Uncontested Divorce Process, Spring Lake Divorce Attorney

Beyond the substantial risks you run in not initially contesting your divorce (i.e. not securing divorce settlements which are fair and reasonable), it is important to keep in mind that even if a divorce is contested, there are still opportunities for that same contested divorce to later be considered uncontested, and thus placed on the expedited legal track.

For example, couples are given a pre-trial negotiation period in which they and their Spring Lake divorce attorneys can attempt to come to an agreement for the key divorce issues of child custody, child support, alimony, and the division of assets. It is only when these pre-trial negotiations fail that your divorce will need to go to an actual courtroom, and have these various issues heard and decided by a judge.

Should you and your attorney be able to work out a fair divorce settlement agreement which both parties can agree to during this negotiation period, your divorce can then still be considered “uncontested”, and pushed through the legal system to completion in an expedited manner.

Contact A Brick Uncontested and Contested Divorce Attorney Today

The bottom line is that even if you are interested in resolving your divorce as quickly as possible, there are still ways to do so without running the extreme risk of not contesting your divorce when the initial complaint is filed.

Regardless of whichever method you choose to use, it is highly recommended that you speak with experienced legal counsel before signing documents which have the potential to impact your parental, legal, and financial life for years to come.

At The Bronzino Law Firm, our legal team has extensive experience helping our clients to resolve their divorce in a fair, effective, and efficient manner in towns across Ocean County and Monmouth County, including Toms River, Point Pleasant, Spring Lake, Jackson, Howell, Sea Girt, Brick, and more.

To speak with Attorney Peter Bronzino and our legal team today in a free and confidential consultation regarding your divorce, any needs or concerns you may have regarding a specific area of your divorce, or simply just to obtain a better understanding of whether or not you should actually contest your divorce, please contact us online, or through our Brick, NJ office at (732) 812-3102.

Spring Lake NJ Divorce AttorneyWhen you are beginning the divorce process, one of the first things that you should most likely do is to hire a divorce attorney. This process can often involve meeting with several different attorneys until you find one that you feel comfortable with, and whom you believe can best represent your unique needs and concerns in the key divorce areas of child custody, child support, alimony, and marital asset division.

However, rather than simply meeting with a prospective divorce attorney and seeing what happens, it is often much better if you can be prepared with several questions to ask your potential divorce attorney, questions which will give you insights into the type of divorce attorney you are hiring, how they plan to handle your divorce, and what kind of payment structure will be put into place.

“What Experience Do You Have Handling Similar Situations and Divorce Matters?”

Spring Lake Divorce Attorney

First and foremost, the experience that your Spring Lake divorce attorney has does matter, and can go a long way towards successfully and effectively resolving your divorce.

Although every family’s situation and needs are different, if your divorce attorney has experience handling divorces with similar concerns or situations, in the areas most important to you, this experience can go a long way towards informing you more accurately of your options, and resolving your divorce in ways which most accurately reflect your unique needs, concerns, and goals.

So, when you meet with your divorce attorney, be sure to ask them what kind of experience they have handling cases and situations similar to your own.

“What Will Be Your Approach to Resolving My Divorce and Its Related Issues?”

Toms River Divorce Lawyer

Each lawyer and law firm will have their own way of approaching and resolving the cases they handle. When it comes to family law and divorce, much of the way in which your attorney will approach your case depends on the specifics of your situation.

For example, how willing are you to compromise on certain matters? How willing is your current spouse? If your attorney doesn’t ask you these questions in response to your own, chances are they will not provide you with the attentive and effective service that you deserve.

“How Much Will My Divorce Cost?”

Point Pleasant Divorce and Family Law Attorney

Finally of course, if you are interested in retaining the services of the attorney you are speaking with, you will want to ask them about the cost of their sercvices, and the projeted cost of your divorce.

In our article from several weeks ago, we discussed this particular aspect of hiring a divorce attorney in great depth. Part of what we discussed was the difference between flat-fee payments made to divorce attorneys and retainer fee agreements, so please view that article for more information.

The bottom line, however, is that a truly effective divorce attorney will not be able to give you a definitive number when it comes to the cost of your divorce. Rather, you should look for a divorce attorney who seeks to gain a thorough understanding of your situation, the desired outcomes of both you are your spouse, how those outcomes match-up and/or conflict, and who can give you a sound estimate for the cost of your divorce based on those factors.

Contact An Ocean County Divorce Attorney Today

At The Bronzino Law Firm, we have extensive experience favorably and effectively resolving divorce and family law issues of all kinds for clients in towns across New Jersey, Ocean County, and Monmouth County, including Spring Lake, Point Pleasant, Toms River, Brick, Jackson, Howell, Middleton, Sea Girt, Wall, and more.

Attorney Peter Bronzino strongly believes in keeping each of his clients highly informed and involved throughout the legal process, and further believes that by listening closely to the unique needs, concerns, and situations of his clients, he can better work to achieve the types of resolutions which best meet those same needs and concerns.

To speak with Peter Bronzino and our legal team today in a free and confidential consultation regarding your divorce, any of its related issues of child support, child custody, alimony, and the division of assets, any kind of post-divorce modification or enforcement matter, or any other kind of family law issue you may be facing, please contact us online, or through our Brick, NJ office at (732) 812-3102.

Brick NJ Divorce and Marital Debt Lawyer

As more and more Americans use debt to pay for their expenses both large and small, the question of “what happens to debt during divorce?” becomes more and more relevant to anyone going through a divorce in New Jersey.

While debt is treated much the same way by the courts as other marital assets when it comes to the equitable distribution process, credit card companies and certain other lenders are not bound by court orders regarding the division of debt. This makes it that much more important that you speak with your Ocean County divorce attorney regarding how to best divide your debt during divorce, and how to ensure that you are protected financially moving forward.

Marital Debt and Individual Debt, Point Pleasant Division of Assets Attorney

The first step in dividing debt during any divorce is to determine which debts belong to the marriage, and which debts are individually owned by the parties. However, this process is not as simple as saying “this debt is solely in your name, therefore that debt is not marital”.

Many times, while one party or the other may have used a credit card which was in their name to make a purchase, if that purchase was made in order to provide some necessity for the family, then that debt will most likely also be considered a marital debt even though it is in the name of a single individual. So if one spouse puts the month’s groceries on their private credit card, if that debt still exists at the time of the divorce, it will most likely be considered a marital debt, making both parties equally liable for its payment.

When deciding which debts are marital debts, and which debts are individually owned debts, it is important that you work with a Point Pleasant division of assets attorney who has experience handling complex financial matters during divorce so that you can better understand your unique situation, how your debts can affect your divorce settlement agreements, and to help you ultimately secure  a fair division of assets agreement which protects your interests, and allows you to set the foundation for a successful financial future.

Why You Should Pay Off Marital Debts During Your Ocean County Divorce

Once you and your attorney have identified all marital debts, you could then theoretically begin the process of dividing them between you and your spouse. Critically however, credit card companies and certain other lenders are not bound by any court ordered or court approved division of asset agreement, meaning as long as the debt was originally incurred in the name of both parties, those lenders are free to go after both parties for repayment of that debt, even if one party or the other has expressly been given responsibility for that debt as part of their divorce settlement agreement.

In other words, even though your former spouse has agreed to repay some portion of your joint-credit card debt (most likely in exchange for some other asset of roughly equal value), there is nothing stopping the credit card company from hold you responsible for that debt, potentially ruining your own credit card score over debt which you didn’t expect to have to repay.

For this reason, financially savvy divorce attorneys will usually recommend that divorcing couples pay off as much jointly incurred debt as possible in order to avoid exactly this kind of situation. While this many not always be possible, it is still highly recommended that you discuss all of your options for paying off marital debt with your Ocean County divorce attorney before agreeing to a division of asset settlement which may leave you unexpectedly financially vulnerable moving forward.

Contact A Brick, NJ Divorce and Marital Debt Lawyer Today

At the Bronzino Law Firm, we have extensive experience helping our clients to fairly and equitably divide all marital assets and debts during divorce in towns across New Jersey and Ocean County, including Point Pleasant, Toms River, Spring Lake, Sea Girt, Jackson, Wall, and Brick.

Attorney Peter Bronzino firmly believes in working closely with each of his clients, and that by keeping them highly informed and involved throughout the legal process, he can better work to achieve the results that best meet the needs and concerns of his clients and their family’s unique situations.

To speak with Peter Bronzino and our legal team today in a free and confidential consultation regarding your divorce, your unique needs or concerns when it comes to how to divide marital debt during divorce, or any other family law or divorce related issue such as a child custody matter, child support, or alimony, please contact us online, or through our Brick, NJ office at (732) 812-3102.

Leaving the Home During Divorce and Your Child Custody Agreement, Toms River Temporary Custody LawyerLiving with a spouse whom you are in the process of divorcing can be extremely difficult for many reasons, even in the most amicable of situations. In more contested divorces, leaving the home you share with your spouse and possibly your children may be the best thing for every party involved.

However, unless you are concerned about incidents of domestic violence or abuse, it is highly recommended that you speak with an experienced Ocean County divorce lawyer before actually leaving your home during a divorce, as this decision may have ramifications down the line in terms of your final child custody agreement as well as potential financial ramifications.

Leaving the Home During Divorce and Your Child Custody Agreement, Toms River Temporary Custody Lawyer

By leaving the family home, you may be establishing the precedent that your spouse is the primary caretaker of your children. Once this precedent is established, it can be difficult to convince a family court to breakup the stability that your children have grown accustomed to with this new arrangement, meaning you may not get the kind of parenting time or child custody that you really want.

However, if before leaving your home, you and your Toms River temporary custody lawyer file a motion requesting a temporary child custody hearing, you can establish a more balanced parenting time schedule during your divorce itself, thereby protecting your parental rights when it comes time to decide a final child custody and visitation agreement.

While temporary custody agreements are not taken into consideration when determining a divorce’s child custody agreement, the mere fact that you have established a more balanced parenting routine throughout the divorce process will go a long way towards ensuring you and your spouse are on equal footing when making these final agreements.

Financial Considerations for Leaving Your Home during Divorce, Spring Lake Divorce Attorney

While leaving your family home will not impact your marital rights to equitable distribution of your home, or any other jointly owned asset, it can have certain financial consequences which bear consideration before making a decision one way or another.

One such consideration is the cost of maintaining two different residences, and what assets you use to pay for this added cost. For example, if you have been traditionally dependent on your spouse for financial support, you may wish to file for temporary alimony during your divorce before an alimony agreement can be reached in order to help you cover this new expense.

Conversely, if you will pay for the expenses associated with this new residence, will you do so with marital assets, or your own individual assets? If you are using a joint bank account for example to pay your rent, you may have to “pay back” this money in your final division of asset agreement.

For a better understanding of how you can pay for the expense of a new residence during your divorce so that you can leave the marital home, and the various options and considerations that comes along with such a decision, call our office to discuss your unique situation in a free and confidential consultation today.

Domestic Violence and Divorce Attorney, Jackson NJ

So while it is certainly a good idea to contact a lawyer before leaving the family home during your divorce to discuss your options regarding child custody and finances, when it comes to domestic violence and abuse, securing the safety and health of you and your children take priority.

This means leaving the family home, and then taking legal action. In situations where incidents of domestic violence or abuse have occurred, a temporary restraining order (TRO) can very easily be obtained, and in many cases a TRO will state that the abuser needs to leave the home (even if the home is solely in the abuser’s name), allowing you and your children to return to the family home. Of course, you will most likely want to consult with an attorney regarding your final restraining order hearing, but in the short-term a temporary restraining order is a great way to protect the health and safety of you and your children.

However, if you leave your home because of domestic violence or abuse, but then take no legal action, you will face the same consequences to your final divorce settlement agreements listed in the sections of above as their is no legal proof of the abuse or violence. Even more importantly, if you leave your family home during divorce and take your children with you due to domestic violence issues, and subsequently do not take legal action, you can be charged with kidnapping, a criminal offense which can very negatively impact your life in a variety of ways!

Contact A Brick, NJ Divorce and Family Law Firm Today

At Bronzino Law Firm, we have extensive experience helping our clients to successfully navigate the entire divorce process, and reach fair and favorable child custody, child support, alimony, and marital asset division settlements in towns across New Jersey, Ocean County, and Monmouth County.

Attorney Peter Bronzino strongly believes in working closely with each of his clients, and further believes that by doing so, he can achieve the kinds of resolutions which most accurately reflect the unique needs and concerns of his clients, and their families.

To speak with Peter Bronzino and our legal team today in a free and confidential consultation regarding your divorce, your options for protecting yourself legally and financially when leaving the family home during the divorce process, any kind of domestic violence or restraining order matter, or any other divorce or family law issue you may be facing, please contact us online, or through our Brick, NJ office at (732) 812-3102.

Ocean County NJ Divorce AttorneyOne of the most commonly asked question by our Ocean and Monmouth County divorce clients is how much we think their divorce will cost. Understandably, this is a very real concern for many people beginning the divorce process, but unfortunately there is no easy answer to this question.

Unlike personal injury law, in which attorneys frequently work on a “contingency fee” basis, NJ Court Rules prevent divorce attorneys from doing the same. This means that your Ocean County divorce lawyer will instead need to charge you based on the time they spend helping you to resolve your divorce.

Since time is the primary determining factor when it comes to how much your divorce will cost, this article will discuss the different elements of your divorce which will determine how long it will take to resolve, by which you may be able to make a rough estimate for how long you can expect your divorce to take, and how much you may be able to expect your divorce to cost.

Spring Lake, NJ Divorce Lawyer and “Your Family’s Assets and Finances”

One of the most important factors when it comes to your divorce’s timeline is the complexity of your family’s assets and finances. Things like family owned businesses or private business enterprises are extremely complex financial entities, and the law requires that these assets be fully and accurately valued, and then divided in a fair manner (known legally as ‘equitable distribution’). The more complex the assets, the more work will need to be done as part of this two-part equitable distribution process, and this includes everything from homes, properties, debt, and even retirement funds such as a 401k.

You and your Spring Lake divorce lawyer will need to determine exactly how much the business, property, or other asset is worth, and then further determine whether or not you and your spouse want to divide different parts of the business or asset in question, or whether one of you wishes to retain complete ownership of the business, property, or asset, and what that party will need to offer in exchange for this sole ownership.

The bottom line, the more complex your family’s assets, the more time it will take to value, and later divide, those same assets.

Point Pleasant, NJ Divorce Attorney and “The Reasonableness of Your Positions”

Another important determining factor is that of you and your spouse’s positions and desired outcomes, and the reasonableness of those positions and desired outcomes. In simpler terms, if your spouse and their divorce attorney’s original bargaining positions are such that agreeing to them would be extremely unfair to you, either in the short-term or in the long-term, it can take a longer time to ultimately reach fairer agreements than if they had taken a more reasonable position from the get-go.

Conversely, if your own positions are something that your spouse simply cannot agree to, the same considerations would apply. In short, the initial positions and desires of you and your spouse, and their reasonableness and fairness to the other party will go a long way in determining how long it will take to resolve divorce issues like child custody, child support, alimony, and the division of assets.

Monmouth County, NJ Divorce Lawyer and “Negotiation versus Litigation”

Divorce agreements like child custody, child support, alimony, and marital asset division all have the potential to be negotiated outside of a court room, without requiring court intervention to make final decisions in any of these areas.

However, anytime you are unable to find acceptable resolutions to these issues through negotiation, you, your Monmouth County divorce lawyer, your spouse, and their divorce attorney will need to present all of the facts (as each side sees them) to a judge, and also present evidence arguing for a certain position or resolution to these issues to the judge. Not only can these things take time to actually do, you will also have to wait for open court dates in order for these positions and findings to be presented to a judge, and this process can easily last months.

The more you and your spouse are able to negotiate the various issues related to your final divorce settlement agreement, rather than having to rely on a judge to decide them for you, the quicker your divorce will be resolved.

Toms River, NJ Divorce Attorney and “Good Faith Actions and Willingness to Cooperate”

Finally, and perhaps most importantly of all, the good faith conduct of you and your spouse and your willingness to cooperate and find fair middle-ground solutions for the various aspects of your divorce aspect agreement will go a long way in determining how long your divorce takes to resolve. This ties in to our section above regarding how successful your negotiations are, and to what extent court intervention is required, but also goes much deeper than this particular aspect.

As sad as it is to say, many individuals purposely try to hide assets, or try to hide the full value of certain assets in order to obtain more favorable agreements in areas like child support, alimony, and especially, the division of assets. This is known as “acting in bad faith”, whereas acting in “good faith” would mean each party willingly shares full and accurate financial information, and doesn’t purposely try to find advantages by obscuring, hiding, or otherwise manipulating the facts.

However, if you and your spouse share the goal of quickly and efficiently resolving your divorce, and acting in a good faith manner towards one another, this kind of attitude can prevent many of the conflicts and necessary legal actions (such as compelling one party to fully disclose specific financial information) that can arise during the divorce process. The more you and your spouse cooperate and act in good faith, the quicker your divorce can be ultimately resolved.

Contact An Ocean County Divorce Attorney Today

The bottom line is that any attorney who gives you an exact price for your divorce at the outset of the process is taking the risk that the divorce will take longer to resolve than they originally expected, leaving them in the position of essentially “working for free”. Not only is this a risk to the attorney who charges a flat fee, it is a risk to the person who hires that attorney, as chances are once that initial fee has been “worked”, you will no longer really be getting the full and effective legal representation that you deserve during your divorce process. Instead, most divorce attorneys will charge an upfront “retainer fee”, and then either subtract or add to this fee once your divorce has been resolved and it is clear exactly how much time it took.

At Bronzino Law Firm, we have extensive experience helping clients to fairly, effectively, and efficiently resolve their divorce and its related issues of child custody, child support, alimony, and martial asset division in towns across Ocean County and Monmouth County, including Spring Lake, Toms River, Point Pleasant, Middletown, Sea Girt, Brick, Jackson, and Howell.

Attorney Peter Bronzino strongly believes in working closely with each of his clients, and believes that by listening closely to their unique needs and concerns in whatever legal matter they are facing, he can more effectively work to find resolutions which accurately reflect those same needs and concerns. And while we cannot tell you exactly how much your divorce will cost, we can tell you that the smaller size of our law firm allows us to charge our clients fair and reasonable rates for our services, and further allows us to provide attentive service to each and every one of our clients.

To speak with our office and Peter Bronzino today in a free and confidential consultation regarding your divorce and any specific needs or concerns you may have regarding the many issues associated with any divorce, and how exactly we can help you to resolve them, please contact us online, or through our Brick, NJ office at (732) 812-3102.

Ocean County NJ Divorce LawyerConsidering the close relationship that many people develop with their pet, it is no surprise that pet custody is quickly becoming one of the most contentious issues to be decided during a divorce.

Part of this difficulty stems from the fact that often times, both parties of a marriage develop close relationships with a pet, and are concerned about maintaining this relationship after their divorce. The other part of this difficulty arises from how the law views pets, and how this viewpoint affects how a judge will rule when it comes to determining custody of a dog, cat, or any other kind of pet after a divorce.

Pet Ownership and Pet Custody, Ocean County Divorce Lawyer

As previously noted, one of the primary causes of conflict over pet custody during a divorce stems from how the law views pets, and what that means for how a judge will rule if it is left to them to decide this particular issue.

Even though you probably feel as though your pet is a member of your family, the law unfortunately views pets solely as property. This means that, if left to a judge to decide pet custody during your divorce, they will award custody of your pet based only upon which party originally purchased the pet, or which party traditionally paid for its expenses such as food and veterinarian expenses.

Sadly, a judge will not care which party the pet seems to prefer, or which party has a closer relationship with the pet. However, this does not mean that you are without options if you were not the original owner of the pet, but want to maintain your relationship with your pet after your divorce.

Options for Securing Pet Custody During a Divorce, Point Pleasant Divorce Attorney

So while the law will view pets as property, and thus will award custody to the “on-paper” owner of the pet, or the party who traditionally paid for most of its expenses, that doesn’t mean you have to leave the ultimate pet custody decision to the judge.

Just like other divorce issues such as child custody, alimony, and the division of assets, along with the help of an experienced Point Pleasant divorce attorney you may be able to negotiate for custody of your pet by giving concessions in other areas of your final divorce settlement agreement. Of course, these negotiations depend a great deal upon the skill of your divorce attorney, and how much you are willing to conceded in exchange for securing the custody of a pet.

Alternatively, some divorcing couples have found success with a “shared custody” arrangement when it comes to their pet by taking turns hosting the pet in their home. While such an arrangement may not work for every couple, or for every pet, it is a pet custody solution which has proven effective in the past.

Finally, as funny as it may sound, many couples are now creating “pet prenuptials”, or adding terms regarding pet custody in the event of divorce to their prenuptial agreement. Prenuptial agreements are designed specifically to address the issues of separate versus marital property, and often contain terms for how certain jointly owned assets should be divided in the event of a divorce. As with any prenuptial agreement, by including terms regarding the custody of a pet within your prenuptial agreement, you and your partner can save a great deal of time, stress, and expense if your marriage should end in divorce.

Contact A Brick Divorce and Pet Custody Attorney Today

At Bronzino Law Firm, we have extensive experience helping clients to resolve their divorce and all of its related issues of child support, child custody, alimony, division of assets, and even pet custody in towns across New Jersey and Ocean and Monmouth Counties, including Toms River, Point Pleasant, Spring Lake, Sea Girt, Wall Howell, and Brick.

Attorney Peter Bronzino strongly believes in keeping each of his clients highly informed and involved throughout the legal process, and further believes that by doing so, he can better work to achieve the resolution which most accurately reflects his clients’ unique needs, concerns, and situation.

To speak with our firm and Peter Bronzino in a free and confidential consultation regarding your divorce, any issues you may have regarding a specific divorce settlement, or your rights and options when it comes to retaining custody of a pet after your divorce, please contact us online, or through our Brick, NJ office at (732) 812-3102.

Ocean County NJ Alimony and Spousal Support AttorneyAlimony, sometimes referred to as spousal support, is often one of the most important, and contentious, issues that will need to be decided during any Ocean County divorce. In general, alimony is designed to help one spouse who has traditionally been financially dependent on the other to maintain their standard of living after their divorce, and in many cases help them achieve financial independence.

While there are specific factors which any family law court will consider when determining an alimony settlement, these factors offer a rough guideline at best, and your alimony settlement will often depend upon the evidence and arguments that your Ocean County alimony attorney can present. However, thanks to the update to the New Jersey alimony statute, alimony settlements now cannot be awarded for a time period greater than the duration of the marriage. So if your marriage lasted 5 years, chances are your alimony settlement will last 5 years, or less.

With that being said, it is important to understand that their are several different types of alimony in New Jersey, and depending on the circumstances of your marriage, either one or several of these different types of alimony may be awarded during your divorce settlement negotiations.

Temporary Alimony Lawyer Toms River, NJ

The first type of alimony is that of temporary alimony. Temporary alimony is designed to help a dependent spouse cover their living expenses during their divorce proceedings, before a final alimony settlement has been reached.

Temporary alimony is awarded based upon the same circumstances that any alimony settlement is awarded, and for more information regarding how to secure temporary alimony, or when and how it may be awarded, please view our temporary alimony page.

Limited Duration Alimony Attorney Point Pleasant, NJ

The second type of spousal support that may be awarded during your divorce is that of “limited duration alimony”. As its name suggests, limited duration alimony is paid for a set duration of time, and is based upon the idea that the supported spouse will use this time to seek job training, education, and ultimately secure gainful employment and financial independence.

Limited duration alimony can either be awarded for a specific period of time, for example two years, or with the provision that it will be paid until such time that the supported spouse secures financial independence. When determining exactly what this time-frame will be, and the conditions for when limited duration alimony payments will end, it is important to work with an experienced Point Pleasant alimony attorney in order to assess exactly what kind of limited duration alimony makes the most sense in your specific situation.

Finally, limited duration alimony can be modified in various circumstances, including when the supported spouse remarries, when they secure gainful employment, or in the case that they are not taking the actions required of them towards becoming financially independent.

Open Duration Spousal Support Lawyer Sea Girt, NJ

Unlike limited duration alimony, open duration alimony is awarded until such time that the supported party remarries or passes away, and is not dependent on that party securing financial independence. However, open duration alimony can only be awarded for marriages which lasted longer than 20 years, unless there are exceptional circumstances.

When deciding whether or not a financially dependent spouse should be awarded open duration spousal support or limited duration spousal support, many factors will need to be taken into consideration, and having an experienced Sea Girt spousal support attorney on your side during this process can be of enormous benefit.

Rehabilitative Alimony Attorney Wall, NJ

So while limited duration alimony is contingent upon the supported spouse becoming financially independent, many times that spouse will require financial assistance in order to do so. This is where rehabilitative alimony comes into play.

Rehabilitative alimony is designed to help a financially dependent spouse meet the costs of the education and/or job training necessary to securing gainful employment, and goes above and beyond simply helping that party meet their financial obligations after a divorce.

Reimbursement Alimony Lawyer Jackson, NJ

Finally, while perhaps the least common type of alimony awarded during any Ocean County divorce, reimbursement alimony may come into play in situations where one spouse made financial contributions or personal sacrifices towards the advancement of their partner’s career opportunities, but never had the chance to enjoy the fruits of those sacrifices.

One common example of this is when one spouse helps another secure a degree of some kind, but the couple then divorces before the additional income of that higher education could impact the marriage’s finances, or its expense could be repaid.

Reimbursement alimony is not about supporting one spouse financially, rather it is awarded in order to repay a spouse who made contributions to the other spouse’s career. Reimbursement alimony is generally calculated based upon the contributions made by one spouse towards the other’s education, and includes household expenses, education expenses, school travel costs, and any other contributions made towards the the obtaining of the degree or license in question.

Contact An Ocean County Alimony and Spousal Support Attorney Today

At Bronzino Law Firm, our family law team has extensive experience securing alimony settlements which accurately reflect our client’s needs, marital contributions, and financial obligations, and protect their financial security and stability in towns across Ocean County and Monmouth County, including Toms River, Point Pleasant, Sea Girt, Wall, Brick, and Jackson.

Attorney Peter Bronzino believes that by working closely with each of his clients, and keeping them highly informed and involved throughout the legal process, he can better understand each of his client’s unique needs and concerns, and work towards securing the resolution which best meets those specific needs and concerns. In addition, the smaller size of our law firm means that we are prepared to provide you with attentive and effective legal counsel, while at the same time charging fair and reasonable rates for our services.

To speak with Peter Bronzino and our family law team today in a free and confidential consultation regarding your divorce, your spousal support agreement, or a modification to your alimony settlement, please contact us online, or through our Brick, NJ office at (732) 812-3102.

Ocean County NJ Relocation AttorneyOn August 6th, 2017, the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled on the case of Bisbing v Bisbing. As an outcome of their ruling, the NJ Supreme Court has overturned 20 years of prior case law regarding how child relocation requests and hearings are handled. This ruling is extremely important for any parent who is considering an out-of-state relocation with their children, or a parent facing a pending relocation of a former spouse and their children.

Let’s take a closer look at the ruling, and how exactly NJ relocation laws have changed as a result.

 

The Case of Bisbing v Bisbing

Ocean County Relocation Attorney

In the case which has established a drastically changed precedent for how child relocation requests are decided, father Glenn Bisbing and mother Jamie Bisbing settled their divorce and resulting child custody agreement in such a way that gave Jamie the designation of “parent of primary residence”. To Glenn, this seemed like a minor detail, as this designation is primarily used to determine the physical address of the children for things like what school district they will attend, where official letters and documents relating to their children will be sent, and which parent will be receiving any child support payments if applicable.

As a concession to this designation, Glenn asked that they include language in their divorce settlement agreement outlining their understanding that Jamie would not relocate with the children after their divorce, as Glenn shared roughly equal parenting time of the children, and wished to continue to play an active role in their lives. However, less than a year after their divorce was finalized, Jamie filed a request with the family court for approval of her planned relocation to Utah, and for permission to bring her children with her.

As this relocation was considered to be “in good faith” due to the fact that the requested relocation was in order for Jamie to marry a Utah man she had begun to date, the relocation case law of the time, outlined in Baures v Lewis, was such that anything that was in the best interests of the parent of primary custody was considered to be also in the best interests of the children. In other words, the best interests of the children were not truly evaluated, and as long as parents with primary custody could show that a relocation was in their best interests, the other parent couldn’t contest their relocation, and the relocation of their children.

After filing several motions and appeals, Glenn’s cries for help arrived on the desk of the New Jersey Supreme Court.

 

The NJ Supreme Court’s Findings and Ruling in Bisbing v Bisbing

Child Relocation and Removal Lawyer Toms River, NJ

Now at the highest levels of family court in New Jersey, Glenn presented his case. He argued that his former wife acted in bad faith when signing their initial child custody agreement, as she knew that if she secured the designation of parent of primary custody, she could later relocate with their children without Glenn legally being able to contest the relocation based on the best interests of their children. Furthermore, Glenn contested that the current legal standard for determining relocation and removal requests is against the stated intent of the courts acknowledging both parent’s rights in custody matters, as well as ultimately ruling in the best interests of the children.

The issues being discussed and decided in this case were so important that the New Jersey State Bar Association was asked to share their opinions on the matter in what is known as an “amicus curiae brief”. As part of its brief, the Bar Association urged the NJ Supreme Court to overturn the current relocation laws and standards, as it believed parents should not forfeit their rights to seek a judicial ruling on child custody simply due to the type of child custody that was awarded to either parent during the divorce.

Taking all this into consideration, the NJ Supreme Court ultimately ruled in Glenn’s favor, acknowledging that the old case law failed to achieve its intended result, that being a focus on the best interests of the children involved in a removal request. The NJ Supreme Court also stated that the old standard has lead to a litany of custody disputes involving bad faith accusations, unnecessarily exhaustive litigation over custody matters, and a history of desperate and failed attempts by non-custodial parents to prevent their children from being relocated out of the state of New Jersey.

 

What Does this Mean for My NJ Child Custody and Relocation Rights?

Out-of-State Relocation Attorney Spring Lake, NJ

Thanks to the decision in Bisbing v Bisbing, all out-of-state relocation requests and hearings will be decided on what the presiding court believes is in the best interests of the children, regardless of the type of custody either parent has.

This means that if the parent who is requesting relocation with their children can show that they have good cause for said relocation, the courts will consider the relocation request the same way they would a child custody modification. In a child custody modification hearing, the courts will perform an exhaustive “best interest analysis” as outlined in N.J.S.A. 9:4-2and based on the results of this analysis and whichever location the court believes can better support the needs and interests of the children, award one parent or the other primary child custody while establishing a new visitation schedule for the children with whichever parent is not ultimately awarded primary custody.

If you are considering relocating with your children out-of-state, or are a parent facing a potential relocation request of a former spouse and your children, it is critical that you retain the counsel of an experienced Ocean County child custody attorney. Your attorney can help you ensure that your rights as a parent are properly presented and protected throughout the relocation hearing, and also ensure that the best interest analysis gives the proper weight and consideration to the fact that you play an active and positive role in your children’s lives, and that the best interests of your children are closely tied to the maintenance of this relationship.

 

Contact An Ocean County Relocation Attorney Today

At Bronzino Law Firm, we have extensive experience handling child custody and relocation/removal matters of all kinds across Spring Lake, Point Pleasant, Toms River, Wall, Ocean County, and throughout New Jersey.

Attorney Peter Bronzino believes in working closely with all of his clients, and that by keeping them highly informed and involved throughout the legal process, he can better understand their specific needs and concerns in any legal matter, and better work towards securing the resolution that best meets those specific needs. Our firm is up-to-date on all the latest changes to New Jersey family law, including how exactly the NJ Supreme Court in Bisbing v Bisbing can and will affect all child relocation requests in New Jersey moving forward.

To schedule a free and confidential consultation with our firm and Peter Bronzino today regarding your divorce, child custody, or relocation needs, concerns, and potential legal options, please contact us online, or through our Brick, NJ office at (732) 812-3102.

Bird's Nest Child Custody Arrangements Ocean County NJOne of the most difficult issues to decide during any Ocean County divorce or legal relationship dissolution is that of child custody and parenting time. Often, both parents want to play an active role in the lives of their children, and while a shared custody 50/50 arrangement may be the fairest thing for the parents, it can often be difficult for the children involved to constantly move back and forth between the homes of their parents.

However, there is a type of child custody arrangement that has been growing in popularity which addresses this issue specifically. Known as “nesting arrangements” or “bird’s nest custody”, this type of child custody allows both parents frequent and regular access to their children, while importantly maintaining the stability of the children’s lives.

 

What is a Nesting Arrangement in Ocean County?

In a nesting arrangement, divorced parents take turns living in the home of their children, referred to as “the nest”. This regular arrival and departure of the parents form a single home is what inspired the name of bird’s nest custody, as it is akin to “birds alighting and departing the nest”, a quote from a Psychology Today article on the topic of nesting arrangements.

Bird’s nest custody has the obvious benefit of maintaining only a single household for the children, preventing the complications, difficulties, and disruption more standard shared parenting time agreements can cause to the lives of the children. However, bird’s nest custody presents obvious complications for the parents involved, and probably won’t work in every situation.

 

Requirements for Bird’s Nest Custody in Ocean County

In order for a bird’s nest custody arrangement to be successful, parents will need to meet several important requirements.

  1. Willingness to Cooperate – As a nesting arrangement will greatly increase the need for parents to work together, i.e. plan for expenses, create schedules, discuss the daily lives and needs of their children, parents who enter into a nesting arrangement will need to be able to set aside your differences, and accept the fact that nesting arrangements are in the best interests of your children, and not necessarily your own.
  2. Sufficient Financial Resources – Nesting arrangements tend to be more expensive than typical shared custody arrangements since parents will need to support the expense of “the nest”, as well as private residences for each parent for when they are not living in the nest. While some parents opt to alternate between a single shared private residence and the nest, this arrangement poses obvious complications for a divorced couple.
  3. Clearly Defined Schedules – Parents opting for bird’s nest custody will need to make sure that they have a clearly defined schedule for when each parent will be residing in the nest, and also respect that schedule and the other parent’s agreed-upon parenting time. If one parent regularly infringes upon the other parent’s parenting time by arriving unannounced, or calling the home frequently for updates, it can cause a great deal of strain on the nesting arrangment.
  4. Clearly Defined Boundaries – It has also been found that most successful nesting homes have a private space for each parent when they are in residence. While nesting arrangments are beneficial to the children, they are sometimes difficult for the parents, so having a private and personal space for each parent in the nesting home can be important to their comfort with the arrangement.

 

Nesting Arrangements in an Ocean County Divorce

While some family law courts will order temporary nesting arrangements during a divorce, for example to give both parents time to sell the family residence and find residences of their own, permanent nesting arrangements will almost never be ordered by the courts, as they recognize the many difficulties they can pose to parents whose relationship may not support the success of such an arrangement.

Instead, parents who are interested in bird’s nest custody must voluntarily and mutually agree to such an arrangement. If you believe you can financially support a nesting arrangement, and work with your former spouse in a healthy manner focused on the best interests of your children, then bird’s nest custody can be a potentially very positive arrangement for you and your children. Speak with your Ocean County divorce attorney about your options regarding drafting, and securing, a bird’s nest custody agreement.

 

Contact an Ocean County Child Custody Attorney Today

At Bronzino Law Firm, we have extensive experience helping clients across Spring Lake, Toms River, Point Pleasant, Brick, and the greater Ocean County area to successfully resolve their divorce and related issues like child custody, child support, alimony, and division of assets and debt.

Attorney Peter Bronzino strongly believes that by keeping each of his clients highly informed and involved throughout the legal process, he can better understand their unique needs and concerns, and work towards securing a resolution which best takes those needs and concerns into account. The smaller size of our firm allows us to develop personal and attentive relationships with each of our clients, while charging fair and reasonable rates for our services.

To speak with our firm today in a free and confidential consultation regarding your divorce, your child custody and parenting time agreement, or whether or not bird’s nest custody may work for your family, please contact us online, or through our Brick, NJ office at (732) 812-3102.