Category: Child Support

Tax Issues in Divorce Attorney Monmouth and Ocean County NJ

Frequently, couples filing for divorce rarely consider the tax implications and changes in their filings after the divorce is settled.

Divorce Attorney Discussing Tax-Related Issues Monmouth and Ocean County NJHow will alimony change your tax situation? Can both couples claim the children as dependents? When do you have to stop filing jointly? Does sale or equitable distribution of the assets change the amount of taxes to be paid? It is a complex process that requires expertise and knowledge of the changing laws in order to meet your needs and specific situation.

HOW DOES ALIMONY AFFECT MY TAXABLE INCOME?

A major change that came out of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is a new tax rule that applies to alimony orders put in place on or after January 1, 2019. Before, the spouse required to pay alimony could deduct payment amounts from their income taxes. The spouse who received alimony had to claim it as income. Couples who divorced prior to 2019 are not included due to what is known as a grandfather clause which creates an exemption based on circumstances that existed previously.

Under new tax rules applied to new orders, alimony payors can no longer claim the deduction; alimony payments remain part of the taxable income. Spouses who receive alimony are not required to claim it as income because that would mean the amount of alimony would be taxed twice, both from the payee and the recipient.

Unfortunately, this new law can affect the way alimony is negotiated making the divorce process more complicated than ever before.  Lump-sum payments of alimony rather than monthly payments are becoming more popular considering the new tax laws.  Negotiating marital assets is another way to handle the present tax situation.  For spouses who receive alimony, any plan must be subject to great scrutiny to ensure their financial security will be safeguarded.

CAN BOTH PARTIES CLAIM CHILDREN AS DEPENDENTS?

CAN BOTH PARTIES CLAIM CHILDREN AS DEPENDENTS?After a divorce complaint is filed, the court may require one spouse to interim support, to maintain as much financial stability as possible during the divorce litigation.  When the court orders this interim support, the judge may not specify that as being for the spouse or the children.  Unless the judge indicates that the interim support is non-taxable, if the recipient spouse does not file a joint income tax return, that interim support received is taxable.

Child support payments determined at the time a divorce is granted are not considered income taxable to the parent who is receiving them, nor the parent paying child support is able to deduct those payments on his or her tax return.

Post-divorce the litigants may have a dispute over deductions or exemptions.  The parent with primary residential custody may claim the children as exemptions on his/her income tax return.   In a settlement, the parties may agree to share the exemptions or alternate them in some way. That agreement should be placed in writing to insure adherence by both parties.

WHEN SHOULD A SEPARATED COUPLE STOP FILING JOINTLY?

This is often a point of contention during divorce litigation when the parties are in the middle of litigation still at tax time.  Should they file jointly?  Should they tile separately?

Your marital status as of December 31 of the tax filing year will determine your filing status for that year. If your divorce is finalized by that date, you must file separately. If that is not the case, and one spouse wants to file a joint income tax return to be able to take advantage of the tax deductions available to married persons filing jointly, that spouse may make an application to the court to either obligate the other spouse to sign a joint income tax return or to have that spouse bear the financial consequence of not signing a joint tax return.   The party seeking to file jointly would have to provide the court with a mock-up of how the returns would appear based on filing a tax return jointly and individually. The spouse objecting to filing a joint return would need to have a reasonable explanation for not wanting to file a joint tax return.

One good reason for not wanting to file a joint income tax return occurs when the other spouse is self-employed or the recipient of a large settlement or inheritance and is manipulating his or her income for tax purposes. Also, as alimony and child support are based on income, filing a report with a lesser amount could be a way to decrease spousal financial obligations.  By filing jointly, the couple could be charged with tax fraud rather than the one spouse who was dishonest in his/her claim.

What Are Tax Considerations for Selling Assets to Distribute in a Divorce?

Wall Township Divorce Lawyer Help You Explore different scenarios related to taxesSome spouses who are divorcing might desire or be forced to sell assets in order to equitably distribute assets acquired during the marriage.  There are serious tax implications to be considered. If a home or other real estate is being sold, there may be capital gains on the sale that must be allocated.  Any stocks or bonds cashed in are also subject to taxation.  Retirement money and 401K’s are distributed equitably and will be charged penalties for restructuring.  In some cases, a capital gains tax is applied so it is important to include them in the tax plan of the divorce settlement.

Wall Township Divorce Lawyer Help You Explore different scenarios related to taxes

Divorce can be stressful, painful, even scary sometimes, but it need not be your burden alone.  There are empathetic, top-notch attorneys with the experience and knowledge to guide you through this difficult time.  If you would like more information, please visit our online form or call us at  (732) 812-3102 to learn more about your options.

Understanding Prenuptial Agreements in Monmouth and Ocean County NJ

Read on to learn what a prenuptial agreement is, why it is used, and myths about prenups that may impact your premarital decisions.

Prenuptial Agreements: Fact and FictionPrenuptial agreements have gotten a bad name in modern culture because it appears to be a death sentence for a marriage – before the marriage has even begun. This is not the case. A prenuptial agreement serves many purposes, and its use is not solely to ensure that, in the case of a separation, each party will walk away with pre-determined assets still in their possession.

What is a prenuptial agreement?

A prenuptial agreement, or ‘prenup,’ is a legal contract a couple enters into before joining together in marriage or civil union that provides them with certain controls in their marital legal rights, whether the marriage ends in death or divorce. New Jersey law sets certain legal precedents regarding the rights of a spouse in the case of separation by death or divorce, including division of assets, the right to seek alimony, and fair distribution of the estate of the spouse. A prenuptial agreement, however, can supersede those precedents

Prenups provide legal rights to couples regarding more than simply division of assets, however. Read on to learn some common myths about what a prenup is – and isn’t, and the reality of prenuptial agreement.

Myths about prenups

Fact or Fiction? The existence of a prenuptial agreement means the marriage will end up failing

This is, of course, fiction. There are many reasons a prenuptial agreement is a wise contract into which to enter, and fearing for the worst is rarely one of them. According to Business Insider, there is no conclusive evidence that the presence of a prenup results in a higher divorce rate.

Fact or Fiction? Only people with lots of money enter into prenuptial agreements

Only people with lots of money enter into prenuptial agreementsThis, too, is fiction. Because the legal rights addressed in a prenup cover more than the division of assets, they are not all about big money. Prenups include legally-binding agreements from whether a spouse will be legally entitled to alimony payments in the case of a divorce to who will get the pets. They can outline how assets will be separated amongst any children and how shared debt will be handled. Because a marriage or civil union is a business partnership, a prenup acknowledges the many financial and non-financial assets to be considered in a partnership, and upon its termination.

Fact or Fiction? New Jersey prenups can include child custody arrangements in the case of divorce

This is false. The New Jersey Superior Court: Family Part holds children at the central consideration in all divorce and custody arrangements. Because the court uses this ‘best interest of the child’ standard, they must take into account the living situation each parent would offer the child at the time of the divorce, no sooner. The inclusion of a child custody arrangement in a prenuptial agreement would be invalidated by a judge.

Fact or Fiction: A prenup can be drawn up and signed without a lawyer in New Jersey.

This is factual. New Jersey law mandates that prenuptial agreements must be in writing and signed by both spouses, and included an attached statement of the assets addressed in the agreement. While New Jersey couples are encouraged to seek the support of an experienced family law attorney before submitting a prenuptial agreement to the State, it is not legally required. If one spouse hires an attorney and the other does not, a statement of acknowledgment and consent to not having an attorney must be filed as part of the prenuptial agreement. After the entry of a prenuptial agreement into law, it can only be amended or nullified with signatures from both spouses.

Fact or Fiction: If you decide later that you want legal right over your assets after you get married, you can simply sign a post-nuptial agreement.

Get in touch with a Wall Township Prenuptial Attorney TodayEasy there! It is not as easy to protect your assets after you get married as that. Any assets that you have accrued between your marriage and the time you decide to arrange a postnuptial agreement are considered marital assets, and as such, they are shared equally. The process of determining what assets will remain with whom will likely require the support of an attorney, and open communication and amiability between spouses.

Get in touch with a Wall Township Prenuptial Agreement and Family Law Attorney Today

At Bronzino Law Firm, our experienced attorneys support clients in Point Pleasant, Brick, Wall, Sea Girt, Spring Lake, and the greater Ocean and Monmouth County Areas in their marriage and family arrangements, including prenuptial agreements.

To schedule a consultation today with a member of our team regarding your prenuptial agreement, please fill out our online form or call us at  (732) 812-3102 to discuss more details about your case.

Separation and Parenting Time Support When Raising a Teenager

Instructing parents going through separation or divorce while raising a teenager in Spring Lake, Brick, and all of Eastern New Jersey

Separation and Parenting Time Support When Raising a TeenagerSeparation from a spouse can upend even the most together person. In addition to all of the legal considerations and steps that must be taken to finalize the divorce and fairly distribute marital assets, one must tend to their own emotional, physical, and mental health – all of which can be upended by such a stark transition.

This is simply the personal process; add children to the mix, and the process of divorce is an experience that can shift family dynamics, and not just for the better. When you are divorcing and there is a child involved, it is imperative that you keep their stability and wellbeing at the center of all consideration. When the child is a pre-teen or teen, there are additional hurdles to maintaining stability, especially emotional. Anyone who has or has ever been a teenager knows that drama is a byproduct. The following considerations will help you navigate separation from a spouse while strengthening your bond with your teenager.

Seek the support of a parenting counselor

Committing to seek the support of a New Jersey parenting counselor with your ex can make the road to stability for you both – and your teenager – a much smoother process. A parenting counselor is trained in developing systems and norms with separated parents that ground co-parenting in common goals, visions, and routines. The parenting counselor is not there to discuss why you separated, though they will be able to help facilitate discussions regarding differences of opinion about how to raise the child. A parenting counselor is there to offer practical support while keeping a child-centric, age-appropriate focus for the co-parenting planning.

Set up shared systems and routines

Set up shared systems and routinesHaving shared systems in place is key to a stable environment for a teen splitting time between parents. Shifts in hormones, as well as the drama and stress that today’s teens face, in addition to the divorce, make for trying atmosphere within and around them. Have as many grounded routines as possible in place in both homes, so your teen feels a sense of consistency and safety despite an inwardly turbulent experience. As part of your custody arrangement, you will develop a parenting time agreement with your former spouse. Be as detailed as possible about arrangements for co-parenting, and be willing to update it as you try it on and get a feel for what works – and what doesn’t work – for your teen and you both.

When common systems are in place, it makes it easier for you as a parent to check in with your teen about how their time with their other parent was, as you have a frame of reference and a sense of understanding of what your child’s day-to-day flow is like.

Communication is a key component

During the time following a divorce – and the entirety of a child’s teen years – communication can be the last thing you want to engage in. This time, however, is the most important time to be in open and compassionate communication with your ex and child. Remember that you and your ex are now partners in raising your child; as such, focus communication around how to make the process of co-parenting more smooth. Consider the relationship one of the colleagues, and brainstorm ways to make co-parenting more streamlined and your teen’s emotional, mental, and physical health more robust.

If communication with your ex is difficult because of a trying divorce, remember the principles of Nonviolent Communication:

  1. Use “I” statements, sharing how you feel (I feel calmed…)
  2. Be specific about behaviors or actions that you perceive to be helpful or unhelpful to your capacity to support your teen the most effective possible (…when I see you take initiative on scheduling transportation.)
  3. Open up and let your ex know how you would like to feel (I would like to feel this calm regarding weekend visits…
  4. Make specific and measurable requests (…could you please suggest one specific time on Saturday mornings for a drop off each week?)

Ultimately, your former spouse and you are on the same team. Regardless of what has caused the separation, remember that you can come together to ensure the wellbeing of your teen at this important time in their growth and development into a kind, capable young adult.

Seek advice from an experienced Brick NJ Divorce, Custody, Support, and Family Law Attorney today

At Peter J. Bronzino, our attorneys support clients across Toms River, Wall, Point Pleasant, Asbury Park, Spring Lake, Brick, and all of Eastern New Jersey in their custody arrangements and the development of parenting time agreements.

To schedule a consultation with a member of our team regarding your co-parenting arrangement, please contact us online or through our Brick offices at (732) 812-3102.

Brick and Sea Girt NJ Same-sex Divorce Attorneys

Monmouth and Ocean County Divorce Lawyers discuss potential roadblocks that divorcing same-sex spouses may come across

Brick and Sea Girt NJ Same-sex Divorce AttorneysGoing through a divorce is difficult for anyone involved. It comes with emotional, mental, physical, and financial stress that can turn your world upside down. Often, there are complicating factors that make a divorce even more difficult to navigate, such as when children are involved. Another example is two spouses of same-sex divorcing. Their stresses may be augmented due to a few additional complications in the process.

Dividing Assets Prior to Legalization of Same Sex Marriage

One of the most difficult hurdles that many divorcing same-sex couples in New Jersey face is the division of their assets. New Jersey legalized same-sex marriage in 2013, relatively recently for many LGBTQ couples. Couples who have a longstanding relationship and many shared assets accumulated over the years will have a harder time legally dividing those assets, as their union was not recognized until their marriage was legalized in 2013 or later. As CNBC noted in its 2017 report “Same-Sex Divorce Poses Complications for Some Splitting Couples,” court systems don’t have a standard method of determining how assets are split from a couple that has been together for longer than their legal recognition. According to the report, some courts may accept, given proof, that the relationship functioned at the status of marriage, albeit unofficial, before the passage of the 2013 Garden State Equality Law. In such a case, the judge may consider all assets acquired since then shared assets. This certainly isn’t the standard, so a divorce involving a long-term relationship that has only been legalized in the last few years could mean a dependent spouse losing entitlement to many of the ‘shared’ assets.

State-to-State Discrepancies in Same Sex Marriage Law

States have dealt with the issue of same-sex marriage differently from state to state over the past decades. Until the Defense of Marriage Act was found unconstitutional by the Supreme Court and repealed in 2013, determining that the federal government cannot discriminate against a gay, lesbian, or queer couple for the purposes of federal legal rights and protections, same-sex couples have had to navigate their relationships differently. Even after DOMA was overturned, it took years for many states to legalize same-sex marriage, though domestic partnerships may have been legally recognized. Until 2015, when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled same-sex marriage legal in all 50 states in Obergefell vs. Hodges, couples who moved between states over the course of their relationship or were in states in which domestic partnership – or nothing – was legal had to live between blurred lines in the recognition of their union.

State-to-State DiscrepanciesAccording to Forbes, one of the main difficulties same-sex couples face is that before the DOMA was repealed, many couples obtained the legal status of a domestic partnership. After the repeal, some states automatically converted domestic partnerships to marriages. However, some did not. This means that upon divorce, some couples have to terminate the marriage and terminate the domestic partnership.

The complications that a long-term, interstate relationship can add to a divorce are many, though they can be navigated and resolved with the support of a skilled divorce attorney who is knowledgeable in the state and federal legal timeline of marriage law before the federal blanket legalization of same-sex marriage in 2015.

When children are involved

As with any divorce, the inclusion of a child complicates matters. This is especially the case if the child was adopted before the marriage was legalized in New Jersey. The parent who has legal guardianship rights of the adopted child may receive custodial rights in a divorce if, at the time of adoption, the couple was not married.

If one member of the couple is the biological parent of the child, they will likely be granted custodial rights unless the other parent has undergone the process of adoption. This means that the other spouse is not required to pay child support after a divorce, though they may also not have custodial or even visitation rights after the divorce if there is no legal relationship between spouse and child. In order to have custodial rights or visitation rights – and pay child support, the spouse must have adopted or taken steps to adopt, or have obtained a parentage judgment.

CONTACT A BRICK, NJ SAME SEX DIVORCE ATTORNEY

At Bronzino Law, LLC, our team of divorce attorneys serves clients across Monmouth County and Ocean County towns including Neptune, Manasquan, Point Pleasant, Toms River, Brick, Asbury Park, Wall and more in all divorce and child custody matters.

Feel free to call our Brick or Sea Girt Bronzino Law, LLC office at (732) 812-3102  for a free and confidential virtual consultation today to discuss your specific situation when it comes to any kind of divorce or family law matter.

COVID-19 “Shelter-in-Place” Divorce Attorney Monmouth and Ocean County NJ

Brick and Seagirt Divorce Attorneys helping clients prepare for a post-pandemic and post-divorce life they deserve.

COVID-19 “Shelter-in-Place” Divorce Attorney Monmouth and Ocean County NJFor people considering or in the process of divorce litigation, civil union dissolution, or filing for separation, the COVID-19 pandemic and “shelter-in-place” order may be the tipping point in their already stressful marriage. Whereas work, school, or other activities meant the possibility to avoid one’s spouse or partner, working and e-learning from home means once less-frequent activities, like cooking dinner together or sharing the same space for 24 hours has significantly impacted the day-to-day living situation of many New Jersey couples.

Though some couples may consider isolation or self-quarantine as a period in which to create greater family dynamics, reevaluate their marital values or work on their relationship intimacy, many others have become more committed to ending their marital union, as what may have previously been trivial matters escalate to incidents of increased tension and in the worse cases, domestic violence.

The uncertainty of the current COVID19/Corona virus situation and physical distancing means that the attorneys at The Bronzino Law, LLC are prepared to provide legal services in a safe, secure, confidential, and convenient way without compromising on quality. Our lawyers will fight to protect your rights and are ready to arrange convenient, free virtual consultation meetings via Skype, WhatsApp video, FaceTime, Zoom, or Google Hangout to discuss how we can best support you and meet your legal needs.

The Bronzino Law Firm manages all divorce-related matters, including child support, child custody, division of assets, alimony and spousal support, and post-divorce modifications for clients across Ocean County and Monmouth County.

Contact us online or call us at (732) 812-3102 to arrange a free virtual legal consultation from the comfort of your home or office, and with the convenience of your smartphone, laptop, or tablet. The Bronzino Law Firm, LLC, is prepared to protect your rights and answer your legal questions or family lawrelated issues.

8 Things to do for your Divorce During the Corona Pandemic

Here are some positive and actionable ideas, which are also a productive use of your time as you prepare for your NJ divorce.

  1. Collect the financial documents and paperwork necessary for the full financial disclosures, which are vital to the divorce process and are necessary before reaching any financial agreements related to child support, child custody, alimony and spousal support, and the equitable division of assets.
  2. Conduct a lifestyle analysis to realistically determine what your future post-divorce housing and budget may be like.
  3. Practice self-care, exercise, protect your mental health and document your expectations for your post-divorce life and that of your children or pets if you have any. Write down your ideal living or co-parenting situation and the kind of future you envision for yourself.
  4. 8 Things to do for your Divorce During the Corona PandemicIf you have children, focus on protecting your child’s emotional and psychological well-being by providing a positive family atmosphere, keeping them calm and busy, and planning fun activities (i.e., watching online tutorials for cooking, exercise/dancing, music, arts & crafts, etc.).
  5. Take the opportunity to declutter your home and organize your things. Identify items or assets which are truly important to you and those that you are prepared to donate or throw away.
  6. Avoid hostile conversations with your spouse, and if there are children present, aggressive confrontations that could escalate growing familial unease and tension.
  7. Take a positive daily inventory, acknowledging what you learned or are grateful for. It will help put your day in perspective and balance out some of the negative or depressing thoughts you may have.
  8. Educate yourself. Whether it is online free language classes or apps, youtube tutorials, or skills-based technology programs, invest time in improving your future professional and personal development opportunities.

Isolation and the related feelings surrounding it may not be easy, but knowing that it won’t be forever can help you remain positive, keep an open mind, and maintain patient heart. By effectively managing your time under the current situation, you are preparing to live the post-pandemic and post-divorce life you deserve.

Dealing with Divorce and COVID-19? Contact an Ocean and Monmouth County Divorce Attorney Today

The Family Law attorney Peter J. Bronzino has extensive experience helping clients with all divorce-related matters across Ocean and Monmouth County towns, including Toms River, Brick, Point Pleasant, Manasquan, and across the Jersey Shore.

At our law firm, we get to know the people we represent, determine what is most important to them in the divorce, then work with them to develop a strategy designed to meet their individual goals and needs.

Contact us online or call us at (732) 812-3102 to arrange a safe, secure, confidential, convenient, and free virtual legal consultation.

Life After Divorce: Tips from Monmouth and Ocean County Family Lawyers

Divorce Attorneys Guiding Clients through the Post Divorce Process in Brick, Sea Girt, Wall, Toms River and across the Jersey Shore

Life After Divorce Discussed by Monmouth and Ocean County Family LawyersDivorce is an emotionally, mentally, and financially stressful time that can wreak havoc on the life of you and your family. Heart-wrenching considerations and actions litter the process, from making the decision to divorce instead of reconcile, to determining best next steps for yourself and your family, to engaging with attorneys representing you and your spouse and attempting to care for your emotional health as you parse through logistics of splitting the marital assets and determining child custody arrangements. Following the legal proceedings that result in a finalized divorce, when the majority of the mental and financial groundwork has been laid and it’s time to put it into practice, the emotional work of integrating this new change into your life really begins.

During the course of the divorce process and after, it is essential that you take your personal health into account and prioritize activities and routines that support your physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing. Below is a list of ways to support you through the divorce and post-separation process, setting you up for an aligned path forward to your happiest future.

Staying Healthy After Divorce

Listen to your body

  • It has often been said that your body keeps the score. We don’t often realize that our consistent states of mind and emotion affect our biochemistry, including our hormones, our muscles, and our nervous system. When we experience stress in our lives, an ancient part of the brain called the amygdala, which is responsible for ensuring our survival and initiates the fight-or-flight stress response, is activated. This means that when we feel stressed, our body receives directives to be on guard for a life-threatening situation. We move through the world as if we are about to be attacked by a bear, and our bodies take on a chronic state of muscle tension, elevated stress hormones like cortisol flooding our system, and digestive and reproductive imbalance.
  • Getting into the habit of listening to your body and checking for symptoms of stress like tight shoulders or jaw, constipation or diarrhea, or headache can point to the need to take a step back and rest.

Rest more than usual

  • Getting eight hours of sleep per night is a long-held doctor’s recommendation that few of us follow in this day and age. However, because of the elevated levels of the stress hormone cortisol that almost certainly accompanies divorce proceedings in all of its stages, the body needs extra time to recover its parasympathetic state of rest and digest.

Feel, from above

  • Emotions are energy in motion. When we are triggered by intense emotion, our thoughts often immediately go to a story that matches the ‘reason’ for that emotion. The thoughts, then,
    generate a biochemical response that creates more of the same feeling, which encourages the thoughts, and off we go into a hamster wheel of downward spiraling distress. Waves of emotion after divorce are inevitable, as your whole being releases what no longer serves it and creates space for a new life. When an intense feeling comes, tune into your breath to stay present with right here and now, resisting the urge to follow the story that arises.
  • Feel the physical sensation of the emotion and the sensation of the breath moving through it, as if you are a curious child witnessing something in nature that you’ve never before experienced.

Eat the rainbow

  • Getting a vast array of nutrients through the form of a plant-based diet will help keep the body clean and detoxified, which can help detox your emotional and mental states, too. Drinking tons of water is also essential.

Move-in nature

  • Spending time with the elements is an ancient and wise practice. Tapping into the profound simplicity of the earth helps put your conflicts into a larger perspective and creates space for new inspiration and ideas to come through to you.
  • Exercising your body, also, is crucial at this time and reduces stress and inflammation while oxygenating the muscles and tissues to build strength, flexibility, and stamina on all levels.

Find community

  • As you move toward your new, more highly aligned life, surround yourself with people who are a positive and healthy influence on you. Seek the support of a New Jersey certified therapist if you need help processing the old relationship or separation, and then step fully into the path ahead with your chosen family.

Consult with a Wall Township Divorce Lawyer Today and Discuss Your Post Divorce Life Plans

At Bronzino Law Firm, our team of divorce attorneys supports our clients across Brick, Wall, Sea Girt, Spring Lake, and the greater Ocean and Monmouth County Areas in their transition to a new life initiated by a divorce.

Our approach is centered on facilitating a smooth and amicable divorce proceeding so our clients can focus on aligning themselves with their future, knowing that they are structurally and financially set up for success.

To speak to a member of our team about your divorce, please visit our online form or call us at  (732) 812-3102 to learn more about your options.

College Tuition and Divorce Lawyers Sea Girt and Brick NJ

New Jersey law stipulates that both parents are legally obliged to share the cost of college tuition for their child.

College Tuition and Divorce Lawyers Sea Girt and Brick NJThere are many things to consider when going through the process of divorce. In addition to navigating the splitting of assets and tending to the emotional and financial upheaval that the end of a partnership can immediately cause, one must consider long-term agreements between the separating spouses, including alimony and child custody payments. When children are involved in a divorce, the skilled support of a divorce attorney is essential, because they ensure that the financial well being of their clients and the highest benefit of the children are protected in a divorce. This includes coming to an agreement on a fair division of college expenses for their children, no matter how young the children are at the time of divorce. So how is college tuition cost split in a divorce?

New Jersey law stipulates that both parents are legally obliged to share the cost of college tuition for their child. This includes the responsibility to share both the base tuition and any additional room, board, and material costs. A spouse’s financial capacity will determine what their required contribution will be; if they are able to work at all, they will be required to contribute.

Many New Jersey parents wonder why there is a legal requirement that parents must support a child in college when the legal age of emancipation in New Jersey is 19 years old. In February 2017, New Jersey clarified its laws on emancipation of a minor to state that a child is considered legally emancipated at the age of 19 unless

  • they require continued support from a parent due to a documented mental or physical disability
  • they are still attending high school or a technical school, or they are enrolled full-time in a university undergraduate or graduate program
  • there is an existing court-ordered child support agreement that specifies a different age

Given the above, New Jersey courts will hold you as a parent accountable for financially supporting your dependent child through college according to a fair child support arrangement with your spouse. When the child turns 23, parents are no longer legally obliged to support their financial needs.

How is financial responsibility determined?

How is financial responsibility determined?Legal financial responsibility for tuition and college support costs are generally determined during the divorce proceedings and are based on each spouse’s current income and projected income at the time the child will be in college. Because college tuition obligations are separate from child support obligations, they require an additional process with the support of each spouse’s divorce attorney. This process is often much more nuanced than the assets splitting and other divorce proceedings, and the legally binding agreement is often drawn up out of court with divorce attorneys or a mediator. When the college tuition support agreement is finalized within the court system, the judge takes into consideration the following factors:

  • the amount needed for a child’s college tuition and room/board
  • each parent’s financial capacity to cover said costs
  • the financial resources of each parent in general
  • any financial resources of the child, in the form of trust, etc.
  • the availability of financial aid in the form of scholarships, grants, or loans

If parents have the financial capacity to contribute to the child’s higher education, New Jersey courts will almost definitely require them to do so. Other more nuanced factors such as the family’s educational history that may point to their view of higher education as a cornerstone of a healthy, successful adulthood may sway a judge to order that they contribute.

Before considering contributions, a judge will look to whether the parents have set up a custodial account that is specifically designed to house higher education costs and paid into over the course of the child’s youth. In the case that there is one, the judge will assume that those funds will be drawn from first before determining contribution requirements.

Because New Jersey is a progressive state as it relates to the higher education of its younger citizens, it is generally difficult for parents to evade solid contributions. In the case that a divorced spouse has become estranged from their child due to forceful removal – for example, the other spouse refusing visitation despite efforts, they may have a stronger case in court to lessen the financial contribution they are required to make, shifting the responsibility of tuition coverage to the custodial parent.

Consult a Family Law Attorney with Offices in Brick and Sea Girt NJ

Peter J. Bronzino, our divorce attorney is experienced in guiding the divorce and custody proceedings of our clients Asbury Park, Spring Lake, Brick, and all of Eastern New Jersey in all related matters.

Our direct approach handles communication with all involved parties and represents the best interests of our clients and their children for an amicable separation, so our clients can orient themselves toward their future.

To connect with an experienced member of our firm today regarding your divorce, please contact us online or through our Brick offices at (732) 812-3102.

Brick NJ Divorce Attorneys identify and fight for what is important to you

Educating Clients in financial issues throughout Ocean County towns such as Toms River, Wall, Point Pleasant, Asbury Park, Spring Lake, Brick, and all of Eastern New Jersey

Brick NJ Divorce Attorneys identify and fight for what is important to youAlthough not always expected, divorce or civil union dissolutions are more acceptable today than in the past, but when deciding child custody, child support, distribution of marital property, or alimony things can become more complicated. Some things are easily negotiable, and other things just aren’t. That’s why it’s a good idea to speak with an experienced family law attorney before you enter into negotiations with your spouse or partner. That way you’re aware and better prepared as to what your negotiating points and areas of compromise are.

Divorce can significantly impact your physical, psychological, and emotional well-being and fighting for certain assets may end up end costing more than they’re worth in legal fees.

Creating a foundation for a property settlement agreement generally means you have some flexibility, and you and your legal counsel can negotiate various creative solutions designed to specifically address your unique needs and those of your children if you have any. At the end of the day, some things just aren’t all that negotiable, and it’s worth considering which efforts are worth your time, money, and energy.

If you are considering a divorce, or are currently going through a divorce, look no further than the Bronzino Law Firm. We handle all family law and divorce-related matters, including post-divorce modifications for clients across Ocean County and Monmouth County.

For many Ocean County and Monmouth County residents, Attorney Peter J. Bronzino has been that dependable and tenacious advisor. Peter Bronzino personally handles all divorce case, prides himself on keeping his clients informed and involved in all matters, and is ready and willing to speak with you however is most convenient including e-meetings and Facetime.

Call our Brick or Sea Girt office at (732) 812-3102 to discuss your unique needs, concerns, and situation when it comes to any kind of divorce matter in a free and confidential consultation today.

9 Things Worth Fighting For When You Divorce

Is it worth it? The True Cost of a Contested Divorce

A contested divorce – where the spouses disagree on the settlement terms or the divorce itself – can cost you tens of thousands of dollars. Your legal counsel can provide useful insight about the value of the items in question, and if it’s necessary to go to court over them. Their insight is designed to guide you through your divorce as quickly and inexpensively as possible.

Contact an Ocean and Monmouth County Divorce Attorney Today

As you can see, there are a great many issues to decide, and if necessary, fight for when settling a divorce. Even in an uncontentious or uncontested divorce, the sheer amount of paperwork, court document filings, and procedures to follow can be overwhelming, especially if you are working a full-time job.

Family Law attorney Peter J. Bronzino has extensive experience helping clients with all divorce-related matters across Ocean County, NJ including Brick, Jackson, Toms River, Wall, Ashbury Park, and Point Pleasant.

Our experienced full-service New Jersey law firm does not offer a one-size-fits-all-divorce strategy. Instead, we get to know the people we represent, determine what is most important to them in the divorce, then work with them to develop a strategy designed to meet their individual goals and needs.

With experience handling high-net-worth divorces involving the division of family-owned businesses and properties as well as diverse investment portfolios, Peter Bronzino has the experience and legal knowledge necessary to help you with any divorce issue.

To schedule a free consultation regarding your divorce or post-divorce modification issue, please contact us online or through our Brick, NJ offices today at (732) 812-3102.

Impact of a New Child on a Child Support Payment Monmouth and Ocean County NJ

Educating Parents on Child Support Relates Issues in Monmouth and Ocean County towns such as Toms River, Wall, Point Pleasant, Asbury Park, Spring Lake, Brick, and all of Eastern New Jersey

Impact of a New Child on a Child Support Payment Monmouth and Ocean County NJThe process of divorce is a multifaceted matter, and ensuring that any children involved in the divorce are taken care of throughout their youth is of primary concern to parents, attorneys, and the court during proceedings. During a child custody hearing, when one parent legally takes sole custody or parents share custody, the non-primary caregiver is required to pay child support. These funds ensure that the financial needs of the child, such as food, shelter, education, etc, are met, and that the custodial parent does not bear the full financial burden of raising their child. Child support is an integral part of any divorce proceeding, and if a legal separation involves children, the needs of the child will be held as the highest priority in the eyes of the court.

How is the child support amount figured?

Monthly child support payments, otherwise known as alimony, varies based on numerous factors. One such factor is how many children are involved in the divorce, as well as other children who are children of either of the parents. A judge takes into consideration the incomes of each of the parents to determine what funds would maintain the child’s lifestyle as if the parents were still together. New partner incomes are not taken into consideration during the proceedings. Other considerations that determine how much a child support payment will include whether the parents are filing for sole or shared custody, what percentage of the time children will be with each parent, and any other past child support agreements the parents are involved in.

How is child support paid in Monmouth and Ocean County NJ?

How is child support paid?After child support is determined, the person required to pay child support, called an obligor, is legally bound to make all court-ordered payments until the end of the court order, or until the New Jersey Family Court has determined the end of payments upon the filing of a request for modification of payment.

Payments are made through the New Jersey Family Support Payment Center, not directly to the child nor to the custodial parent. This could happen in the form of direct deposit or monthly checks. It is essential that payments are received on time, because in the absence of a payment, a lien is made against the obligor’s property, potentially affecting their credit or capacity to sell their property.

Can the amount of child support payments change in New Jersey?

Yes. New Jersey courts recommend that child support court order be reviewed and perhaps revised every two years because the child support agreement can change based on the needs of the child and changing circumstances in the financial life of one or both of the parents. If the custodial parent, for example, is laid off, they can petition for a review of the court order to increase child support payments.

As of February 1, 2017, child support payments automatically cease when the child turns 19, according to the New Jersey Department of Human Services. A parent may apply in the court to end support payments before the child turns 19, or even extend payments.

Does child support decrease when either party has a new child based on NJ Family Law?

If the parent paying child support starts a family or has a child with a new partner, they can apply for a deduction to the monthly child support amount they are legally required to pay. New Jersey Human Services Child Support Guidelines state that, because the addition of a new child to the family will mean financial changes, that parent will now be eligible for an Other Dependent Deduction. An Other Dependent Deduction takes into account the apportionment of a parent’s finances for all of their children; as such, as one’s family grows, their child support payments may decrease.

Does child support decrease when either party has a new child based on NJ Family Law?If you have welcomed additional children to your family and would like to apply for a modification of your child support agreement, you can apply with the New Jersey Family Court. Application for the modification due to changes in your income or changes in the child’s needs will be reviewed by the court. It is important to have an experienced attorney to support this process to ensure that your application clearly and extensively outlines your changing needs so that you receive the full extent of your request.

 

Consult a Child Support Attorney to guide you with any modification related issues you are facing

At Peter J. Bronzino Law Firm, our divorce attorneys are experienced in supporting our clients and their children across Toms River, Wall, Point Pleasant, Asbury Park in all divorce and custody matters.

To schedule a confidential case assessment with our firm today regarding your divorce and custody agreement,  please contact us online or through our Brick offices at (732) 812-3102.

Can I request payment of attorneys fees due to unpaid alimony or child support?

Assisting clients facing alimony or child support related issues in Brick, Sea Girt, Wall, Toms River, Spring Lake, Manasquan, and across Monmouth and Ocean County

Can I request payment of attorneys fees due to unpaid alimony or child support in Monmouth County NJ? New Jersey Statute 2A:34-23(b) outlines clearly when alimony will be awarded to an ex-spouse. Both child support and spousal support, alimony, are usually contentious issues. However, New Jersey family law courts try to be as fair as possible when addressing these topics.  Despite this, it is not uncommon for these orders to not be fully complied with by the paying spouse. In such cases, it may be necessary to bring this failure before the court in order to seek a remedy.  Those who find themselves in this situation often wonder if they can include the cost of the attorney fees incurred while seeking the enforcement of an existing order as part of the judgment. In short, yes you can.

Known as a motion to enforce litigant’s rights and is an application to the court for the purpose of getting the court to issue an order requiring the other party to comply with a previous order. In order to do this, you must have already obtained a judgment against the other party, and you must have proof that the other party failed to comply with the terms of the order.

Steps to take after obtaining a judgement requiring other party to comply with previous order…

Notice of motion to enforce litigant’s rights

  • First, you must fill out a notice of motion to enforce litigant’s rights as well as a certification in support of the same motion. You must also partially fill out an order to enforce litigant’s rights for the judge approve, and make 3 copies of all the completed forms.

Mail the originals to the court

  • Next, you will need to mail the originals to the court with a $25 filing fee. You will then receive a motion date and time.

Wait ten days for a response

  • Once you have received a signed order to enforce litigant’s rights you must wait ten days, and if the other party still does not comply with the order, you will be within your rights to obtain a warrant for arrest.

Tomasso-Addeo v. Addeo awarded attorneys fees in 2014

In the case of Tomasso-Addeo v. Addeo, the Family Part court of Somerset County conducted an oral argument on September 26, 2014. In this case, the wife was seeking enforcement of an existing alimony and child support arrangement as well as legal fees associated with the enforcement.  After oral argument, the Family Part court issued an order that required the husband to compensate the wife for counsel fees in the amount of $3,445. The Family Part had found that the husband had violated his ex-wife’s rights by failing to abide by his support obligations as agreed to in the marital settlement agreement. Moreover, the motion judge found that he had generally failed to pay his support obligations on time and was often delinquent in his spousal support debt. He had also refused to communicate with his ex-wife and owed her other costs as well. In a detailed written statement of reasons, the motion judge explained his decision and included why he also awarded attorney’s fees to the ex-wife. The court found in the ex-wife’s favor and was subsequently held up on appeal.

Addressing unpaid child support or alimony early, before it becomes a problem…

Dealing with unpaid child support or alimony before it becomes a problemNonpayment of alimony or child support is no small matter. Given that the purpose of these funds is to allow both you and your children to maintain a standard of living that you have become accustomed to during your marriage. Though there are many legal remedies at your disposal it is best not to allow it to get to that point.

Communication with your ex is critical. If payment is nonexistent or late you should know why as soon as possible. Some reasons may be loss of a job, poor health, financial hardship or they simply may have forgotten. Whatever the reason you should know what is going on as soon as possible. It is not advisable to wait for months before you have information. The sooner you know what is going on the sooner you can take action if necessary.

Should your spouse fail to communicate with you or provide you with a valid legal reason as well as fails to pay then contact your attorney in order to learn what you should do next is advisable.

Contact a Brick and Sea Girt Alimony and Support Lawyer To Enforce a Court Order

At Bronzino Law Firm, our attorneys have extensive experience helping our clients in Point Pleasant, Sea Girt, Toms River, Brick, Wall, Spring Lake, and the greater Ocean and Monmouth County Areas with all family law matters.

Our approach focuses on finding solutions that ensure the stability and resources needed to protect our client’s futures and the futures of their children.

To speak with our firm today in a comprehensive and confidential case assessment, please connect with our firm today visiting our online form or call us at  (732) 812-3102 to learn more about your options.