Category: Family Law

Child Relocation Attorney Ocean County, NJ

Helping Parents Across Spring Lake, Toms River, Point Pleasant, Brick, and the greater Ocean and Monmouth County area

Child Relocation Attorney Ocean County, NJAfter a divorce, if a non-custodial parent wants to move out of New Jersey (without the child), there are no laws preventing them from doing so. New Jersey relocation statute N.J.S.A. 9:2-2 allows a custodial parent to “remove” or relocate out of state with the child if the noncustodial parent doesn’t object. A custodial parent may also obtain permission from the court before moving out of state with the child(ren) to reflect a modification in the physical custody of the child. 

If there is an objection by the noncustodial parent or the child (if of age), then the custodial parent must obtain court approval before moving the child from the court’s jurisdiction by showing a reason or cause for the move.

At Bronzino Law Firm, LLC, we have helped many parents across Spring Lake, Toms River, Point Pleasant, Brick, and Ocean County to legally relocate with their children, as well as helped parents contest relocation requests, and maintain their close relationships with their children.

Contact our firm today to discuss your unique situation, needs, and legal options moving forward regarding a relocation and your child custody agreement in a free and confidential consultation.

Three Ways Under NJ Law a Parent May Remove a Child Out of State:

  • consent of the other parent,
  • a court order granting permission, or
  • if the parent is fleeing immediate risk (ie., domestic violence, child abuse, etc.,)

It is recommended that the moving parent ask the non-custodial parent to sign a written statement consenting to the “removal.” Although it´s not required by law, this typed or legible written statement should be signed by both parents, and if possible witnessed and signed before a notary. This added step could prevent any family law related misunderstandings or parental kidnapping claims.

RELOCATION OUT-OF-STATE

Out-of-State Removal Attorney Toms River, NJ

Regardless of the type of child custody that either parent may have, fortunately as a result of the NJ Supreme Court ruling in Bisbing v Bisbing, all out-of-state relocation requests are decided on the best interests of the child(ren) involved. Parents requesting court approval MUST follow two key steps. They have to show “good cause” for the relocation, and that they are not in “bad faith” or through parental alienation, trying to hurt their former spouse by preventing the children from maintaining a close relationship with the co-parent.

Courts favor children maintaining equal relationships with both parents. Parental interference or withholding a child from the other parent during court-ordered parenting time is a crime. Removing a child to another state even with permission from the co-parent, can make any existing visitation and parenting time schedule much more challenging for the parent left in New Jersey to maintain or enforce. 

At the Bronzino Law Firm, LLC we are ideally equipped to deal with sensitive situations like these, and we believe in supporting our clients in establishing a fair and stable visitation schedule to nurture and maintain a close parent-child relationship.

BEST INTEREST  OF THE CHILD & CHILD CUSTODY MODIFICATIONS

Child Custody Modification Attorney Point Pleasant, NJ

In all child relocation matters, if a court finds that there is sufficient cause for the relocation of a parent, (out-of-state or within New Jersey itself), it will perform a “best interest analysis”, as outlined in N.J.S.A. 9:4-2to determine which location best accounts for the needs and interests of the child(ren) involved, while also attempting to find a solution which allows for both parents to maintain as close a relationship as possible with their children after the relocation.

Because each case is unique, the courts will consider a number of different factors such as the child´s:

  • ability to maintain a relationship with the other parent after the move,
  • special needs, talents, interests, or abilities which can be supported in either location,
  • relationship with extended family after a move,
  • personal preferences (if the child is of sufficient age and maturity),
  • educational opportunities in both potential locations,

and the

  • likeliness that each parent will encourage the children to maintain their relationship with the other parent after the move, and
  • whether the parent who is not relocating might also be able to relocate in order to maintain their relationship with their child.

AWARDING PRIMARY CHILD CUSTODY

Deciding Primary Custody in Your Wall NJ Relocation Case

After this analysis is performed, the courts will award primary child custody, depending on which location they believe better meets the children’s best interests, and modify the existing child custody  – while also possibly making a special visitation order to reflect this ruling. 

Unsure about your parental rights and future? Whether you are currently going through divorce litigation or are covered by a child custody and visitation order and are concerned about parental relocation, you should retain the counsel of an experienced Ocean County child custody modification attorney to help you demonstrate to the courts that your close relationship with your child(ren) and their best interests are one and the same.

Contact a Brick Relocation and Child Custody Lawyer Today

At Bronzino Law Firm, LLC we have helped many parents to successfully resolve child relocation disputes across Spring Lake, Toms River, Point Pleasant, Jackson, and the greater Ocean County area.

We understand exactly how important your children, their future, and your relationship with them are, and we are prepared to help you present the best possible case to any family court.

Our smaller size allows us to develop personal and attentive relationships with our clients, while charging fair and reasonable rates for our services. Attorney Peter J. Bronzino believes that by keeping his clients informed and involved throughout the legal process, he can better secure them a favorable resolution of their legal matter, in all family law cases including child custody and relocation.

To schedule a free and confidential consultation with our firm today regarding your child relocation or child custody and visitation issue, please contact us today or through our Brick, NJ office at (732) 812-3102.

Arbitration Modification and Appeals Attorney Brick NJ

Serving Clients with offices in Sea Girt and Brick across Monmouth and Ocean County NJ

Arbitration Modification and Appeals Attorney Brick NJWhile going through the divorce process or any other family law dispute can seem challenging, Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) methods such as mediation, collaboration, and arbitration can be seen as viable and effective ways of resolving family law issues. Though the concept of a quick, inexpensive divorce option can be attractive, many people do not realize that arbitration awards do not need to specify findings of fact or conclusions of law; and unlike a court order, an arbitration award is subject to a very narrow and limited review on appeal.

Any time you are resolving the life-changing and complex issues that come with any divorce, it is highly recommended that you work with an experienced and knowledgeable family law attorney in order to better understand your rights and options, and protect you and your family’s legal and financial futures.

At Bronzino Law Firm, our attorneys have extensive experience acting as independent legal counsel during the arbitration process for clients in Monmouth County, Ocean County, and across the Jersey Shore. Our firm is dedicated to providing highly attentive and effective family law counsel in all manner of situations, including arbitration, mediation, collaboration, negotiation, and litigation.

Contact us today at 732-812-3102 to discuss your individual needs and concerns when it comes to arbitration or whether or not an arbitration award can be set aside, vacated or corrected. We can help you resolve family law matters you may have, in a free and confidential consultation with a member of our legal team.

Enforcing an Arbitration Award Ocean County NJ

Have you recently gone through the arbitration process and are unhappy or dissatisfied with award decision in your divorce or civil union dissolution case? Are you disappointed or confused by the outcome of the child support or the amount of your alimony? Are you left wondering “is that it”? Or do you find yourself on the other end of this situation, and the other party has decided they wish to appeal your arbitration award? The New Jersey Arbitration Act (Act), N.J.S.A. 2A:23B-1 to-32 provides the framework for the arbitration process (e., method, conduct, issuance of the award) and standards for confirming, vacating, and modifying the award.

If an arbitrator refused to review evidence related to your issue, was biased or partial to the other party, or acted outside their scope of power, you have a right to appeal that result. While divorce rulings and awards are affirmed more often than they are reversed, there are circumstances where an appeal may be successful.

Modifying Arbitration Awards in Monmouth County NJ

In New Jersey binding arbitration cases, any decisions reached by the judge arbitrator are enforceable and legally binding. Divorce settlements or other awards may be modified at a later time based on a change in circumstance, but binding arbitration decisions cannot be immediately appealed by either party for the sole reason that the decisions are not satisfactory. In order to change the outcome of binding arbitration, a family law appeal must be filed, and the plaintiff must prove that circumstances have changed or the proceedings were somehow unfair or illegal. Modifying an award is possible when:

  • figures were miscalculated,
  • the arbitrator makes an award on an issue not before them and outside the scope of the arbitration, or
  • the award is so poorly written and unclear, that further clarification is necessary to enforce it.

In contrast, non-binding arbitration in New Jersey means either party is free to disagree with the decisions reached, and take their matter to be settled in family court. Since arbitrators are typically retired judges or experienced family law attorneys, the results of arbitration are generally in line with what can be expected in family court.

Appealing or Vacating Arbitration Decisions in Ocean NJ

New Jersey has specific statutes, laws, and guidelines to appeal the arbitrator’s decision and provide for the enforcement of arbitration awards against parties unwilling to comply with the arbitrator’s decision. N.J.S.A. 2A:23B-23 partly states that within 120 days after the award, a party to an arbitration may commence an action for the confirmation of an award and its enforcement, or for its modification, correction or avoidance. Under the New Jersey Arbitration Act, an arbitration award can only be set aside or vacated if:

  • obtained by fraud, corruption, or any other undue means,
  • there is a finding of bias or misconduct by the arbitrator,
  • the arbitrator refused to review evidence related to the issue,
  • the arbitrator acted outside the scope of their power,
  • there was no valid agreement to submit the issue to arbitration, or
  • the arbitration hearing was held without proper notice.

Contact an Arbitration Appeal Lawyer at Our Brick or Sea Girt Locations

At Bronzino Law Firm, we have years experience serving clients in divorce and Alternative Dispute Resolution cases across Monmouth and Ocean Counties in towns including Brick, Point Pleasant Beach, Sea Girt, Seaside Heights, Spring Lake, and Toms River.

We have the practical experience to counsel you on the prospective outcomes of an arbitration award appeal. Our firm prides itself on client-centered counsel in an effort to deliver the most effective possible legal counsel when it comes to the issues most important to you and your family. We focus on providing each of our clients with the knowledgeable, effective, and attentive legal counsel that they need and deserve when it comes to matters so critical to their legal, financial, and familial futures.

To speak with a member of our family law team in a free and confidential consultation to discuss your options for securing resolutions related to arbitration, divorce, custody or any family law matter, please contact us online, or through our Brick or Sea Girt offices today at 732-812-3102.

Social Media in Monmouth County Divorce Cases

Serving clients in Sea Girt, Brick, Point Pleasant, Wall, Spring Lake, Toms River and across Ocean and Monmouth Counties

Social Media in Monmouth County Divorce CasesFew could have predicted just thirty years ago the profound impact that social media would have on our society and the way we personally interact and maintain relationships. It is difficult to deny that the feeling of connectivity that social media gives us has become almost a modern obsession; even a societal addiction in certain cases. Though social media has many positive aspects, it is important to understand the dangerous pitfalls that can be brought into relationships via social media, further in divorce and family law proceedings.

While larger firms may pass around your case from partner, to junior partner, to associate, our attorneys will be here to guide you through the legal process from day one until your case is successfully resolved.

At Bronzino Law, we will carefully hear you and provide the information you need to make an informed decision for yourself and your family. Call us at (732) 812-3102 or fill out a contact form on our website to schedule a confidential consultation today, and allow us to be your trusted and experienced advisor to help protect your rights.

Common Pitfalls of Social Media in Ocean County Relationships

Jealousy– This is one of the more common dangers of social media and should not be discounted. Many people often spend more time interacting and developing relationships on social media while ignoring their relationship with their significant other. Obviously, this can cause stress on any relationship and can be a precursor to divorce.

Digital infidelity– This occurs when people use social media and other electronic communication to cross marital boundaries. It may take the form of suggestive chatting or picture messaging, or emotionally bonding through email with someone other than your spouse. Though many may not necessarily view this as “real” infidelity, it doesn’t make it any less dangerous than a physical encounter.

Cheating websites– Websites like Ashley Madison and Tinder have brought new dangers and challenges to marriage. According to The Guardian, more than 30% of people on Tinder are in fact married. Finding out your spouse has been frequenting these types of sites can be the cause of an extreme loss of trust and be a major step on the path to divorce.

Legal Implications of Social Media Correspondence in NJ Family Court

Though it has become common to post or tweet every event, thought, feeling or mood change, many often don’t think of the permanence of social media posts and text messages. Social media, in many cases, has replaced actual social interaction. It is important to remember that any text or social media posting, be they messages or pictures, are public for all time. In times of divorce, savvy investigators can study all your post and text messages going back for years. In criminal cases, subpoenas may be issued giving law enforcement access to your entire social media history and reveal things that you may have thought to be hidden or forgotten.

Correspondence with your Attorney over Social Media

When it comes to correspondence with your attorney, should you reveal a confidential communication from your attorney on a social network, e-mail or other forms of communication, that privilege would be lost. Though court proceeding is often emotional, it is important to resist the urge to vent to friends and family via social media.  It is often prudent to shut down all social media accounts if you are facing any court proceeding be they criminal or divorce.

Posting Comments About Your Divorce Online

Once again, divorced or separated parties should be cautious never to post comments about their divorce, their spouse, a new partner, or any aspect of the proceedings on social networks, being that those comments cannot be guaranteed to be kept private and could ultimately legally be used against them in any litigation.

Save texts, Screen Shots, Posts if Your Spouse is Inappropriately Posting

If you are facing a divorce, it is prudent to save all text messages from your spouse especially any threats or admissions of infidelity or violence. Screen captures and forwarding these correspondences to your attorney can be invaluable in helping to prove any assertions you may be making about your spouse. It also allows you to establish a legal “paper trail” of any important events.

Contact a Brick NJ Family Lawyer to Review the Details of your Case

Peter Bronzino could be a vital resource during and after your divorce. Reach out today to learn how we can help you gain a fresh start. You don´t have to handle this tough situation on your own; without the support of a skilled attorney, you risk losing the hope for a better after divorce arrangement. We have successfully represented hundreds of clients in Ocean and Monmouth Counties as they navigated the challenges of divorce.

Contact us to speak with you today in a free and confidential consultation, reach us online or call us to schedule an appointment at one of our convenient offices located in Brick or Sea Girt, NJ at (732) 812-3102.

Electronic Threats, Harassment, and Final Restraining Order Attorneys

Domestic Violence and Restraining Order Attorneys serving Sea Girt, Spring Lake, Ocean Township, Red Bank and across the Jersey Shore

Electronic Threats, Harassment, and Final Restraining Order AttorneysNew Jersey’s Prevention of Domestic Violence Act is a comprehensive and progressive piece of legislation designed to reduce violence between domestic partners and the precursors that lead up to it. This can mean addressing the issue of violence during the threat phase. These threats can come in many forms including physical, verbal or even electronic.

Threats of this nature could not have been imagined 30 years ago, however, as society evolves virtually and we have endless forms of communication at our fingertips, the courts have had to pay close attention to the harm these capabilities can deliver. Increased attention has been placed on abuse and criminal activity committed via electronic threats, via the transmission of texts, images, video, and more. Electronic threats, in fact,  can now even be used as grounds for filing a Final Restraining Order.

Over the years, we have grown a family law firm focused on families and pride ourselves on delivering value to satisfied clients. At Bronzino Law Firm, your problems become ours, and together we work hard to obtain a successful outcome in your case. Peter Bronzino and the attorneys on his staff help educate and counsel clients so that they can make informed decisions.

Contact us for more information and a dedicated Family Law Attorney will provide you with the proper guidance to help navigate through the legal process. Call us at 732-812-3102 or visit our website to fill an online form and schedule an appointment.

Representative Case Regarding Electronic Harassment and Restraining Order Charges

In the 2017 case M.Y. v. G.C., the parties were divorcing after five years of marriage. M.Y. filed a complaint with the Superior Court of New Jersey Family Part in March 2016 for a temporary restraining order against G.C. She stated that G.C. had harassed her by calling and texting her repeatedly and that the calls and texts were threatening and harassing. The messages caused M.Y. to fear for her safety, kept her awake and made her feel sick.

The trial court judge granted M.Y. a final restraining order after finding that M.Y. was credible and believable. Using N.J.S.A. 2C:33-4(a) the judge determined that G.C. had committed a predicate act of harassment. The judge found that G.C.’s actions constituted harassment because G.C. sent M.Y. hundreds of messages over a four-day period with the intention of annoying or alarming her. Furthermore, the judge also concluded that a final restraining order was necessary to protect M.Y. from potential future harm or abuse.

What Constitutes Harassment in New Jersey?

Under 2C:33-4, harassment occurs when a person engages in any conduct which is alarming or repeats the behavior in a way which has the intent to annoy or alarm an individual seriously.

A person can be found guilty of harassment if they have the purpose to harass another by making communication anonymously, at extremely inconvenient hours or using offensively coarse language or communicating in any other manner likely to cause annoyance or alarm. Furthermore, a person can also be found guilty of harassment if they subject someone to striking, kicking, shoving, other offensive touching or threats to do so.

If a person engages in any conduct which is alarming or repeats conduct in a way which has the intent to annoy or alarm an individual seriously, they may also be found guilty of harassment. All of this conduct by itself would constitute a petty disorderly person offense. However, if a person is on probation or parole for any indictable offense, a new charge of harassment automatically becomes a fourth-degree offense, even when it is in no way related to the prior charge. A person will also be charged with a fourth-degree offense if they are serving a prison sentence at the time of the alleged Harassment.

First Amendment Protection of Offensive Language versus Harassment

It is important to note that the First Amendment of the United States Constitution permits the regulation of conduct, not expression. Consequently, the speech prohibited by the harassment statute must be said with the specific intention of harassing the listener.

In the 1981 New Jersey Appellate Division case of State v. Fin American Corp., it was clearly stated that the harassment statute was not enacted to prohibit mere speech, use of language, or other forms of expression. Therefore, the speech that is not permitted by the harassment statute has to be said with the specific intention of harassing the listener. Restraining orders predicated on harassment cannot be issued if based purely on a mere expression of opinion stated with offensive language or in an aggressive manner.

Contact a Toms River DV and Restraining Order Attorney Today

The Family Law Attorneys at Bronzino Law Firm handle clients facing harassment issues in Sea Girt, Spring Lake, Ocean Township, Red Bank and Monmouth County. Contact us today and let us protect your rights, and your privacy. Feel free to give us a call at 732-812-3102 to schedule a meeting at one of our conveniently located offices in Brick and Sea Girt or fill out the online form and we´ll get back you shortly.

Attorneys Defend Those Falsely Accused of Domestic Violence in Ocean County NJ

Providing support and counsel necessary to those accused of Domestic Violence in Sea Girt, Brick, Wall, Seaside Heights, Toms River and across the Jersey Shore

Domestic Violence Defense Attorneys Ocean County NJFor many years domestic violence and domestic violence allegations were not viewed or treated as seriously by the courts and law enforcement as they are today. However, the view of domestic abuse against a girlfriend, spouse, child, or anyone else has changed substantially as we now understand how destructive domestic violence and abuse overall can be both in the short and long term. This has caused the courts to err on the side of caution, and in most cases address an allegation of abuse or violence in the home very seriously. The consequences of a guilty verdict and terms of a Final Restraining Order can be quite severe and do not go away; they are enforced for the rest of your life.

If you have been unfairly accused of committing an act of domestic violence, your future is at stake. You need an experienced and capable lawyer able to protect your rights and prepare a solid defense. The skilled and experienced legal team at Bronzino Law Firm are ready to provide the counsel you need to navigate this difficult process and are prepared to be by your side every step of the way. Call us at (732) 812-3102 or fill out a contact form to schedule a free and confidential consultation.

Why people make false allegations of Domestic Violence

The reasons why someone may accuse an innocent person of domestic violence vary greatly. However, the truth is that falsely accusing someone of a crime is the result of gravely emotional and mental instability that may have been evident in some instances early on in a relationship, but become much more apparent and egregious once things start to fall apart in the home and the prospect or reality of divorce becomes too overwhelming to bare.

Some of the most common instances where we see false allegations made are:

No matter the reason, none are acceptable, fair, just, and most of the time they are not legal. Be sure to attack this circumstance swiftly and aggressively with an attorney that you can trust. The consequences of a false conviction resulting in an FRO or Final Restraining Order can and will impact you for the rest of your life. These are not allegations to take lightly just because you know you are innocent.

Defending yourself against False Accusation of Domestic Violence

An effective defense against domestic violence actually begins before any accusations are made and hinges on knowing your partner. Signs of emotional instability and a vindictive personality are not always clear early on in a relationship, however they do tend to become more apparent as the relationship is tested and a prospective end is in sight.

If you feel that your relationship may be turning sour and your partner may accuse you of domestic violence you should:

Notify friends and family members about your concerns.

Keeping those close to you and your relationship informed of your accuser’s erratic and troublesome behaviors, as well as your fears of what they may do, may prepare your family for any false allegations and have them be more inclined to believe your side of the story as well as provide witnesses to help debunk any future accusations.

Change all login information that may be compromised.

This includes bank accounts, computers, laptops, vehicle entrance, hard drives, cell phones, and anything else you can think of that requires your password should be changed as soon as possible. Accusers have been known to send messages from the defendant’s cell phone and then later accuse them of sending threatening messages.

If an allegation has been made or you feel an accusation is imminent you should:

Consult a domestic violence defense attorney.

Even if you are not planning to hire an attorney, though it is recommended, they can give you invaluable information to help you better understand what your options are.

Gather evidence if you are being abused; in most circumstances that is the case.

There have been many cases where the person who is accused of committing domestic abuse is actually the victim of physical and/or emotional abuse. If this is the case, you need to gather as much evidence as you can without putting yourself in danger.

In truth, exposing false allegations of domestic violence is not easy. However, knowing your partner and predicting their actions may go a long way toward bringing the truth to light.

When a “not guilty” verdict still hurts in a Domestic Violence Case

Some might even argue that an underlying predisposition to believe all charges of domestic violence has caused many problems for those who have been and are being falsely accused of such a horrible act or pattern of behavior.  When a person charged with domestic violence and is not guilty of their alleged crimes, it does not necessarily guarantee a fair, just, and accurate legal proceeding or verdict. Many unscrupulous spouses and girlfriends have used these allegations to gain an advantage in divorce or child custody court cases understanding full well the power that even an accusation can have.

If an individual is accused and they are lucky enough o prove their innocence through the court proceedings, the negative allegations can still impact their lives and in many cases it does. Sadly, even proof of innocence may not be enough to repair one’s life, reputation, and most importantly their relationship with their children once a person has been accused of these types of crimes.

Contact a Brick and Sea Girt NJ Restraining Order Lawyer

These situations can be very serious as a conviction for domestic violence can mean an unfair judgment of divorce, loss of child custody as well as loss of freedom. For these and many other reasons, if you or someone you know has been accused of domestic violence it is critical to contact an experienced and knowledgeable domestic violence attorney as soon as possible.

For a free initial consultation about your legal options for resolving a domestic violence charge, contact Peter Bronzino today. His experience is what you need during this time of frustration and confusion. Contact us online or call (732) 812-3102 for your free case evaluation with our domestic violence attorneys.

Protecting Children During Ocean and Monmouth County Divorce

Serving Brick, Sea Girt, Toms River and Wall Township and across the Monmouth and Ocean County area.

Protecting Children During Ocean and Monmouth County DivorceA key part of any parent’s job is to provide a stable home for their children. Parents want to provide positive life experiences and ensure that their children are supported physically, mentally and emotionally. During a divorce, there are several strategies that can help a family achieve these goals, even when adjusting to new living situations and daily routines. Well-meaning parents may want to shield their children from all aspects of a divorce, however, establishing ways to communicate openly with children about the changes they are experiencing may be more beneficial.

Scientific American cites research by Paul R. Amato,1 noting that “negative effects of marital disruption on children have been exaggerated and that most children recover without long-term harm.” As a divorcing parent, there are things you can do to protect your children from the disruptive aspects of divorce while ensuring a favorable outcome.

Stay Positive During Brick NJ Divorce

Although divorce affects many children in the short term, the vast majority of children adjust to the changes accompanying divorce without any negative long-term effects. Research suggests that children whose parents divorce from a struggling marriage have more positive outcomes than children whose parents opt to stay in a struggling relationship for fear of exposing the children to the pressures of divorce. Positive, healthy lifestyles and relationships, even if they require some transitions and adjustments, set a much better example for children to follow.

Children reflect the environment they live in. Dr. Shoshana Bennett notes that, “when the tension dissolves out of the house, kids will be more relaxed.”2 Even if children experience a transition in their living situation, trading a high-stress living environment for a low-stress living environment is a winning scenario.

Keep the focus of your divorce decisions on the goal of calmer seas for you and your children. A positive outlook for your children’s future makes a strong foundation for all decision making. Be confident your choices are in their best interest and always lead by example. Leaving a difficult relationship to pursue healthy interactions may be the most meaningful model you can set.

Minimize Conflict During Toms River NJ Divorce

Although most children make it through divorce unscathed, some children do struggle with the effects of divorce longer than others. There is a link between children who take longer to move on after a divorce with those who have been exposed to high levels of conflict during the divorce process. Every attempt should be made to protect children from the more difficult aspects of the divorce process, such as disagreements over finances or custody.

When children are involved, it is impossible for mom and dad to simply end all communications. The logistics of childcare necessitate communicating, and communicating as well as possible. If conflicts tend to arise frequently, consider employing new communication strategies to avoid exposing the children to unnecessary conflict. The Jacobs Berger blog post on communication details several strategies that can be utilized in this situation.3,4

Plan for the Future Post NJ Divorce

Although communication strategies offer excellent tools to reduce a child’s exposure to conflict between parents, keep in mind the long-term goal of developing a working long-term relationship with your co-parent. During a divorce, all parties are concerned about the “what if?” and can act in a manner that they might be embarrassed to admit after a few years have passed. Avoid reacting negatively and try to always keep a positive plan for the future in mind. You may not know what will happen in the next few weeks or months but plan what you would like to happen in the upcoming years, and create a plan that will allow this to happen. Some questions to ask yourself to help achieve this long-term plan are: How do you envision your relationship with your co-parent in five years? How do you hope to have modeled healthy grown-up interactions for your children?

Communicate During and After Your Wall Township Divorce

Children handle transitions better when the transitions are well explained. Understanding what is happening in their world gives them a sense of control and helps them to frame their experiences. It would be unreasonable for a married couple to not tell their children about moving houses until the moving truck arrives in the driveway. The children would feel entirely unprepared about the event, and even more hurt that their parents did not feel they could be told in advance.

Ongoing communication with children about the divorce process is better than trying to stage one big talk. Reinforce that your children are loved at every opportunity and allow them to express their feelings without judgement. When children are able to express their emotions openly, those feelings can be discussed in a healthy and productive manner. Be curious about your child’s daily life and share the positive parts of your day with them. When a routine for communication is established (like chats at the dinner table or during story time) children become more comfortable discussing their experiences and asking questions.5

Reach Out to Professionals During and After an NJ Divorce

If additional questions about your child’s adjustment arise, don’t hesitate to reach out. For school-age children, their school counselor can provide local resources that are age appropriate. A consultation with a child therapist or psychologist may also provide your child with a neutral person with whom to express their emotions.

Remember, being a positive role model for your child is one of the most important thing you can do. Take care of yourself and limit any exposure to conflict. Set a good example by planning for a bright future. Set your internal GPS for where you want you and your children to be in the years to come, and then drive forward!

Contact a Sea Girt NJ Child Custody Attorney Today

Peter J. Bronzino understands that divorce and child custody hearings can be incredibly stressful. We take pride in mitigating the many stresses of the legal process while protecting our clients’ legal rights throughout Sea Girt, Spring Lake, Wall, Point Pleasant, Silverton, Toms River, Brick, Ocean County and Monmouth County.

For more information, or to talk about your child custody options with one of our licensed and experienced New Jersey matrimonial law attorneys, please contact us online or through our Brick or Sea Girt offices by calling (732) 812-3102 today for a free and confidential consultation,

 

Brick Child Support Lawyers Review Miscalculations, Over-payment, and Retroactive Credits

Monmouth and Ocean County Family Lawyers with offices conveniently located in Brick, and Sea Girt NJ

Brick Child Support Lawyers Review Miscalculations, Over-payment, and Retroactive Credits

In most circumstances, child support payment amounts in New Jersey are determined based on a defined calculation utilizing financial information and other factors including the child custody and visitation agreement. While most lawyers and judges involved with matrimonial law matters have sufficient experience working with mathematical calculations necessary for child support or alimony obligations, not all individuals are mathematicians, and like the rest of us, occasionally make mistakes. Errors in calculation and implementation are not too uncommon. These mistakes may lead to the child support payor making larger than appropriate payments. There are many different scenarios which may lead to overpayments. What you need to do to correct these mistakes will differ depending on the nature of your over-payments, who is responsible for the miscalculation, and the timeliness that the issue is reported to the court once identified.

Contact the family law team at Bronzino Law Firm today to review the facts of your case, and build a detailed plan on how to navigate the modification process to achieve a favorable outcome.

Common Mistakes Resulting in Miscalculation and Over-payment of Child Support in Ocean County

Overall, the child support modification process based on miscalculation and/or over payment can be an involved and fairly difficult legal circumstance. It is not uncommon for modification requests to be denied, even if an individual clearly over-payed. That is why it is very important to engage with an attorney who knows the laws, and has experience with the local county family courts so that they can provide educated counsel and set realistic expectations depending on the specifics of a particular circumstance.

Common situations may include:

  • Misunderstanding of the terms of your agreement – sometimes over-payment can simply be an oversight on the paying party. In this case, the courts may consider how long this over-payment was made, whether the child support recipient knew about the over-payment, and more when determining how to correct the over-payment or payments.
  • Mistakes made by the courts – clerical errors and other mistakes can and do occur during the child support calculation process.
  • Paying beyond the termination datetermination of child support is dictated by several different reasons, but it is usually terminated on a pre-determined date or on the child’s 19th birthday.

What to do if I Overpaid Child Support in Monmouth County?

It is important to note that even if it is shown that child support was paid erroneously or in a greater degree than was just, it is unlikely that the payor will be reimbursed or that any retroactive actions will be taken. While this may initially seem unfair, it must be remembered that child support payments are meant to cover the costs of childcare.

According to New Jersey Revised Statutes section 2A:17-56.23A – Enforcement of Child Support Orders as Judgements; Prospective Modification of Orders: “No payment or installment of an order for child support, or those portions of an order which are allocated for child support established before or after the effective date of… shall be retroactively modified by the court”. Basically, New Jersey courts have taken the position that reimbursements of child support over-payments, except in some rare circumstance, will put the custodial in a difficult financial position, and as a result, negatively impact the child.

Though it is possible to have child support over-payments result in early termination of payments, and in some cases even reimbursement, the process often involves very complex legal action.

Timely Reporting a Child Support Payment Issue

If you find that you have been overpaying child support, it is important to contact a skilled child support attorney as soon as possible. The same also applies if you have been receiving an over-payment. The primary reason not to wait is the legal concept of laches, which refers to inactivity or lack of diligence leading to delayed legal action. Put simply, it has been successfully argued that child support over-payments will not be reimbursed because the paying party knew or should have known about the erroneous payments and failed to take action. On the other hand, remaining silent about over-payment can have consequences also.

Changed Circumstances: Reasons for Modifications of Child Support

The New Jersey court’s standard for modification of child support orders is “changed circumstances”. Either parent can file a motion with the court and ask the judge to grant relief by increasing or reducing the award. The “changed circumstances” have to be permanent, substantial, and unanticipated. If your circumstances are only temporary or if they haven’t yet occurred, your modification request will be denied.

Accepted reasons for seeking a child support amendment or modification include:

  • increase in the cost of living
  • increase or a decrease in the obligor’s income
  • serious illness or disability to the payor after the court issued the original support award
  • the payor lost a house or apartment
  • the obligee has become employed or is earning more money, or
  • changes in federal income tax laws

Contact our Sea Girt Child Support Attorneys Today

It is important to remember that if you are seeking any child support modification or amendment it is critical to seek an experienced and skilled child support and family law attorney.

At Bronzino Law Firm, we do not offer a one-size-fits-all approach. Instead, we get to know each of our clients and their needs and concerns in any child custody case. We pride ourselves on keeping our clients informed and involved in the legal process, and being able to find creative and unique solutions to any child support issue.

To speak with us today in a free and confidential consultation, please contact us online or through our Brick, NJ offices at (732) 812-3102.

What Makes Up a Child Support Payment in NJ?

Expenses vs Extracurricular Activities

What Makes Up a Child Support Payment?As the second article in our two-part child support series, we will breakdown child support payments into two categories: expenses and extracurricular activities. The expenses included in Appendix IX-F child support schedules are considered the basics and are determined by averages of household spending for families of similar economic situations. Some expenditures on children can represent a large variable not typically seen or incurred in normal intact family households. Those expenses are not included in the above-mentioned child support schedule, however, they can be added to the basic support obligation by petitioning the court and showing cause for the expense either during the divorce process or as a change of circumstance in a post-divorce modification.

If not already made apparent by the previous article The Basics on Child Support Payments: Who? What? What if I need to Modify? (Part 1) or the information listed above, this article will help further explain the purpose of the Child Support Guidelines and the intricacies that go into navigating the divorce or post-divorce modification process; and why it is imperative to retain qualified legal counsel to protect your rights and ensure a stable financial future for your children.

At the Bronzino Law Firm, we take great care getting accurate income figures from both you and your spouse, as well as factoring in child custody arrangements in order to accurately determine your child support obligations and rights. We have extensive experience handling complex child support cases for clients across Monmouth and Ocean Counties, with offices conveniently located in both Brick and Sea Girt, NJ.

Don’t make the mistake of trying to navigate this process on your own. Give us a call at (732) 812-3102 or fill out a contact form to schedule a free and confidential consultation today, and allow us to be your trusted advisor committed to protecting the rights of you and your family.

Considerations in Use of the Child Support Guidelines in Ocean County NJ

A set of Child Support Guidelines were created to define the process and information required to develop a financial framework and attempt to simulate the percentage of net income that is spent on a child or children of an intact family. The percentage of household income that is spent on a child or children of a two-household divorced, separated, or non-formed families will most likely be different (often lesser than) the percentage of the income of an intact-family household. However, these guidelines are meant to protect children from poverty due to a fractured family, accommodate the financial needs of the child or children similarly to how they would be in a single family household, and to ensure that they be afforded the same opportunities available to children in intact families with parents of similar financial means as their own parents.

Philosophy of the Child Support Guidelines

These guidelines were developed to provide the court with economic information to assist in the establishment and modification of fair and adequate child support awards. The premise of these guidelines is that (1) child support is the right of the child, not the parent receiving the support payments, (2) child support is a continuous duty of both parents, (3) children are entitled to share in the current gross income of both parents, and (4) children should not be the economic victims of divorce or out-of-wedlock birth.

Child Support Expenses in Monmouth County Divorce Cases

Child support will cover basic essentials such as food, clothing, and shelter, however, Considerations for Child Support Guidelines outlines and explains that child support is meant to cover a broad range of expenses that every child needs to lead a full and normal life. The goal is to provide the child or children with an environment that is as financially similar to what they experience when their parents were married.

The agreement should attempt to mitigate or even avoid conflict surrounding finances and the children as much as possible. These arguments between co-parents can be traumatic and have a negative impact both emotionally and psychologically.

  • Basic necessities: Adequate and nutritional food, proper clothing and appropriate lodging are needed by every child.
  • Medical care: Though these costs are often split, child support may be used to pay for uninsured or “extraordinary” medical expenses. This can include any out-of-pocket medical costs that exceed the cost of your child’s basic health care insurance plan, including co-pays, deductibles, and surgery costs. Furthermore, child support may be used to cover other expenses, such as dental braces, casts, eyeglasses, as well as other special health care costs. The court will generally order that the custodial parent pays for the first $250, per child, of unreimbursed medical expenses; anything above that amount is usually split fifty-fifty amongst the parents.
  • Educational fees: Private education aside, even students in public schools need educational materials such as books, pens, paper, backpacks, and other items to be an effective student. In addition to these expenses, the Court can also order a split of any private school tuition costs.  While these costs are not taken into consideration when drafting the Child Support Guidelines, the Court can order parties to pay a percentage of the child’s tuition in addition to their weekly support obligation.
  • Childcare: The rising cost of childcare is always a consideration especially with young children when both parents work. The key to the childcare expense being included in the Child Support Guidelines is the work-related aspect.  Childcare paid for so that a party may go out with their friends on a Saturday night would not be utilized on the guidelines.   Only childcare paid for due to a party having to work would be taken into consideration during drafting.
  • Transportation/travel: These costs can include gasoline as well as bus or train fare to and from school as well as other activities.
  • Entertainment: Fees associated with memberships and admissions to sports, recreational, or social events, lessons or instructions, movie rentals, televisions, mobile devices, pets, hobbies, toys, video games, exercise or sports equipment are all included in accepted forms of child entertainment. While these expenses are not taken into consideration in the drafting of each individual guideline, they were a factor when the NJ Supreme Court first developed these guidelines.
  • College expenses: In New Jersey, family law courts have the ability to order divorced parents to contribute to their child’s college tuition. See our previous article on college expenses and the standards used to determine each parent’s share of the cost.
  • Extracurricular activities: This is perhaps one of the broadest and contentious parts of child support. Similarly to private school and college tuition costs, extracurricular are not a specific factor taken into consideration when drafting the guidelines.

Changes in any of the above-mentioned criteria can be grounds to seek a modification to a child support order.

Extracurricular Activities and Child Support Lawyers Brick NJ

If agreed upon at the time of divorce, child support coverage can incorporate a broad spectrum of a child’s extracurricular activities, those that fall outside of regular school hours, such as after-school programs/classes, summer camp, sports activities, clubs and other non-school related activities including:

  • School photos and yearbooks.
  • Registration fees for sports as well as uniforms and equipment.
  • Traveling costs for teams and club teams.
  • Fees for private music, voice, dance, tennis or golf lessons.
  • Musical instruments rental and purchase fees.
  • Fees for recitals and dance costumes.
  • Enrichment camps, academic camps as well as church camps.
  • Academic tutoring.

It is important to note that if these fees and costs are not included in the original divorce settlement, then generally the parent who wants the child to participate in the activity would be the one to pay for it. This means if the child lives with a parent who signs him or her up for a sport or lessons or other activity, that parent would shoulder the cost. However, a parent may request the Court to order the other party to contribute towards these extracurricular expenses.  Unlike child support enforcement, there is no mechanism with the Court to ensure the non-custodial parent contributes towards these expenses.

This is one of many reasons that an experienced and skilled divorce attorney is critical to helping you reach a settlement that protects your rights and will adequately address the needs of your children and your family moving forward. Reaching an agreement with your spouse at the time of divorce or even via a post-divorce modification is well worth your efforts because it does not only help avoid battles and headaches in the future, it will protect your children from the wake and negative residual impact that those battles can have on your children.

Contact a Toms River Child Custody Lawyer Today to Protect the Rights of You and Your Children

At Bronzino Law Firm, we do not offer a one-size-fits-all approach. Instead, we get to know each of our clients and their needs and concerns in any child custody case. We pride ourselves on keeping our clients informed and involved in the legal process and being able to find creative and unique solutions to any child custody issue. We serve in towns such as Brick, Toms River, Point Pleasant, Spring Lake, Jackson, and Freehold.

To speak with us today in a free and confidential consultation, please contact us online or call us to schedule an appointment at one of our convenient offices located in Brick and Sea Girt, NJ at (732) 812-3102.

Brick Child Support Lawyers Cover the Basics

Serving our Family Law clients in Brick, Toms River, Point Pleasant, Spring Lake, Jackson, and Freehold

It is a misconception that the conclusion of a divorce proceeding, once a divorce decree is issued, all aspects of the relationship are over and future interaction is unnecessary. Though it may mean the ending of a romantic relationship, some level of interaction will likely continue for years to come in the form of alimony or spousal support and, in many cases even more intimately as it relates to communication about parenting time, co-parenting efforts, and the financial considerations related to child support.

Ideally, a divorce represents a mutual agreement on terms that are deemed satisfactory by both parties, which provides an opportunity to create an improved, more positive, happy, and healthy future once the process is complete. Ex’s, especially those with children, should expect to interact on some level and must be prepared for discussion, debate, and potential litigation as it relates to what exactly child support payments can be used for and the potential need to file for child support modifications.

Qualified Family Lawyers Protecting the Rights of You and Your Children

It can be and often is very difficult to come to an agreement with a spouse and co-parent while navigating through the divorce process, especially over a topic that brings with it a high level of emotion and financial requirements. Every case and every situation is different. We recognize that and that´s why we offer a client-centered approach that hinges on personalized attention to help you build a road-map for a better future for you and your children.

Our Family Lawyers are dedicated to providing quality counsel, in order to educate you to help encourage the best possible outcome. We handle divorce cases and child support modifications for clients in Brick, Toms River, Point Pleasant, Wall, Jackson, and across Monmouth and Ocean Counties. To speak with us today about a free and confidential consultation, please contact us  at (732) 812-3102 or feel free to fill out a contact form on our website and we will be in touch to schedule a time for you to come in to one of our offices conveniently located in Brick and Sea Girt, NJ.

Which Parent Pays Child Support?

Child support is the financial support that is provided by a parent who does not have full custody of his or her child. The noncustodial parent can enter into a child support agreement voluntarily, by court order, or by an administrative agency. Child support is exactly what the term implies, it is for the support and care of the child. The noncustodial parent must pay a portion of the costs and expenses related to raising the child during separation, the divorce proceedings, and until the child is 18 and not in college or potentially after they earn their college degree.

What Expenses are Included in New Jersey Child Support Payments?

Many people view child support as a one-way street, where one spouse pays another to support the child. The truth is that child support would be better described as a two-way street, where financials of both parties are taken into consideration in conjunction with the breakdown of custody and parenting time, and out of that monetary pool there is an equation in place that will determine who pays who and how much. Under the Guidelines, the child support award covers the following expenses:

  • Fixed costs, including shelter and shelter-related costs
  • Variable costs, including the cost of transportation and food for the child
  • Controlled costs, such as clothing, personal care, entertainment, and other miscellaneous expenses

Generally, extracurricular activities, uninsured medical expenses, and educational expenses are not included in the basic child support amount unless it is specifically noted in the settlement agreement. Child support usually covers food, clothing, and shelter; and the remaining terms and expenses must be included in the agreement or they will need to be covered by the parent who makes a purchase, signs the child up, and/or wants the child to get involved in a specific activity.

Post Divorce Modification to Increase or Reduce Child Support Payments

In life circumstances change. People’s financial situations change. Also, the unexpected or unpredictable needs of a child as they grow up can change as well. It is impossible to get the divorce agreement perfect for an unlimited amount of time, especially as it relates to raising a child in a healthy and stable environment.

A child support modification is a change to an existing child support order. The modification can either increase or decrease child support. Because child support orders are often in effect for years, it’s not unusual for them to be modified.

Common Reasons for Modified Court Orders

  • Most of the reasons for a modified child support involve a change in income. This can include:
  • Cost of Living Increase or Decrease
  • Increase or Decrease in Income
  • Parent, Child has Suffered Serious Illness, Disability after Original Child Support Order
  • Federal Tax Laws have changed
  • Children’s needs change
  • When a child decides to be emancipated
  • When obligator loses job
  • Less or more time with child or children

How to File for a Child Support Modification

  1. You and your co-parent agree to the change. The Parents agree to the modification and the amount. In this case the parents would put the agreement into a court order, present it to the judge, and once the modification is signed by the judge the court order becomes effective.
  2. You do not agree, do not communicate, and/or your ex intends to contest your claim. One parent must file a petition (recommended with the assistance of a qualified family law attorney). If the judge determines grounds for modification, there will be a hearing where all financial information for both parties is reviewed and a determination is made.

In the same regard, the modification process should promote a stable environment aimed to avoid volatility, which can ultimately have negative impact on the child or children in your family.

Contact a Child Support Lawyer Today to Protect Your Rights

Whether you are going through the initial divorce process or circumstances have changes and you need to file for a change in the child support and/or child custody agreement, the Bronzino Law Firm is here to help. We work with our clients to outline and eventually construct a process aimed at delivering a mutually beneficial and improved quality of life. We will not take our eye off of the ultimate goal, to create an optimal environment for your children to grow with the involvement of both parents in financially stable and secure homes.

To speak with to us today in a free and confidential consultation, please contact us online or through our Brick, NJ offices at (732) 812-3102. If you pass by our office at 44 Princeton Avenue Brick, NJ 08724, we´d love to shake hands, introduce ourselves, and get a better understanding of your situation.

Divorce and Social Security Benefits Attorneys in Brick and Sea Girt NJ

Serving clients in Brick, Sea Girt, Toms River, Wall, Point Pleasant, and across Ocean and Monmouth Counties

Serving clients in Brick, Sea Girt, Toms River, Wall, Point Pleasant, and across Ocean and Monmouth Counties

Divorce can be financially devastating to individuals who have been married for a significant amount of time. When considering an alimony agreement during divorce or civil union dissolution litigation, it is important to anticipate your eventual retirement and the potential income stream available to you. With today´s post-divorce life expectancy easily exceeding two decades, whatever amount is finally decided upon, should be sufficient enough to enable you to survive comfortably while still working and throughout retirement.

Retirement assets are subject to equitable distribution between spouses during a divorce. In New Jersey, older couples who have been married for over 10 years may be able to receive a portion of their former partners’ Social Security, pension, and if applicable their military retirement benefits.

At Bronzino Law with offices in Ocean and Monmouth Counties, our family law attorneys have extensive specialized knowledge to discuss, draft and finalize marital agreements of all kinds, and to properly address the issue of alimony in New Jersey.

For additional information and the answers to your pressing questions, contact us at 732-812-3102 to schedule a free initial consultation with one of our experienced divorce attorneys.

Collecting Social Security Benefits After a Monmouth County Divorce

In the event of divorce, divorced spouses may still collect Social Security benefits based on their former spouse’s work record, if they are:

  • Unmarried,
  • 62 years or older,
  • entitled to Social Security benefits, and
  • not receiving a higher social security benefit based on their own work history.

Brick Lawyers Help Determine The Start of Federal Eligibility for Benefits

Under federal law the ten year period “clock” begins running the day marriage becomes valid and ends on the day the divorce is final; which is generally the day the court grants the divorce. Technically, it is possible to remarry the same person and still be eligible, if the time in the first marriage and the second marriage both add up to ten years.

How do I apply to recieve an Ex-Spouse`s Social Security?

Applying for benefits can be a relatively simple process. Visit www.socialsecurity.gov and submit the following required documents to prove that you are entitled to receive your ex-spouse’s benefits:

  • Birth certificate/proof of birth.
  • Proof of citizenship.
  • W-2 forms or self-employment tax forms from the previous year.
  • Copy of the marriage certificate.
  • Copy of the final divorce decree.

Can Early Retirement impact my Benefits?

If one spouse retired before the age of 65, a New Jersey court will consider the reasonableness of the retirement and the retiring spouse’s motivation, in order to balance the interests of the retired person against the interests of the spouse needing support.

A spouse who retired early, as a result of health concerns, extreme physical demands of their former job, or due to a large financial incentive, may not necessarily have to pay alimony at the pre-retirement level, especially if the reduction on the supported spouse may be minimal.

Will I still receive Social Security Benefits if my ex-spouse is deceased?

If your ex-spouse has passed away, you can still receive any benefits that they might have accrued under Social Security, if you two were married at least 10 years. In some circumstances (i.e., a disability) it may also be possible to collect the benefits earlier, at age 60 or even younger, at age 50.

Can I Still Receive Benefits if Married a little under 10 years?

Yes, if:

  • you actively care for your ex-spouse’s children,
  • the children are disabled or under 16 years of age,
  • the children can receive child support benefits based on your ex’s work record,
  • the benefits you receive are payment in exchange for caring for the children, and
  • the benefits you receive will end once the youngest child turns 16.

In addition, if you had been married 9 years when a divorce complaint is filed, and the divorce decree is issued six months later, neither marital partner can claim 50% of their ex-spouse´s social security benefits because the length of the marriage will be 9.5 years or 6 months short of eligibility.

Contact Ocean County Divorce and Social Security Lawyers Today

The timing of and approaches to divorce and division of assets can become very complicated. It is important to consult a divorce attorney who is experienced in divorce law and who understands how divorce can affect your income and benefits options for the long term—including those related to income generation after retirement.

In any divorce, there is a great deal of uncertainty. Questions about alimony often compound unresolved issues about your future, your rights, and your responsibilities. Fortunately, with a seasoned divorce attorney on your side, you can make informed, confident decisions that best serve your interests.

Contact the Monmouth law offices of Peter Bronzino at 732-812-3102 today, to understand your available options. One of our New Jersey divorce attorneys will answer your questions and provide you with a cost-free initial consultation.