Category: Family Law

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.

Will I lose my Monmouth or Ocean County home in my divorce?

Assisting Divorce clients with questions like these out of our offices conveniently located in Brick and Sea Girt New Jersey

Will I lose my Monmouth or Ocean County home in my divorce?

One of the most common questions our Ocean County divorce clients ask of us is “Will I lose my house in the divorce?”. Sadly, there is no easy answer to this question. Homes are treated the same as other assets such as family owned businesses and real estate properties during a divorce, and in order to answer this question, you and your Ocean County divorce attorney will have to discuss several key factors.

Consider Prenuptial Agreements

The first and most important factor to consider in any divorce is whether or not a signed prenuptial agreement exists between the parties. Prenuptial agreements can cover a wide variety of divorce issues such as child custody, alimony, and marital asset division, but most commonly contain terms regarding assets such as homes, properties, and businesses.

Prenuptial agreements and their terms will supersede  divorce law regarding what you and your spouse may be entitled to when dividing marital assets. If you have a prenuptial agreement, it is critical that you disclose this information to your Spring Lake divorce attorney, so that they can thoroughly review the agreement, and assess its impact on your divorce settlement agreement.

The Title of the Home and the Duration of the Marriage

If there is no pre-existing prenuptial agreement, or your prenuptial agreement does not contain terms regarding ownership of your home, then the next factor to consider is that of the title of the home, and the duration of the marriage. If the home is titled to both you and your spouse, then the home will almost certainly be considered marital property, and as such subject to equitable distribution laws.

If the home is titled solely in your name, and importantly was purchased prior to your marriage (a home purchased during your marriage regardless of title will be considered marital property), then you must then consider the duration of your marriage. For shorter marriages, it may be possible for your Point Pleasant divorce attorney to argue that your spouse did not make contributions to the home, and as such has no claim to the home as part of your divorce settlement agreement. However, the longer your marriage, the greater the chance that your spouse has made marital contributions which would cause the home to be considered marital property.

Marital Contributions Affect Property Division in Jackson Divorce Cases

As mentioned above, marital contributions can entitle your spouse to joint-ownership of properties that were solely owned by you prior to your marriage. Marital contributions can be anything from actual money invested in the upkeep or maintenance of the home, to personal sacrifices such as leaving a job to care for the home or children. The longer the duration of your marriage, the more your spouse will have contributed to the continued possession of assets like homes, properties, and businesses, and the greater the chance becomes that he or she will be entitled to joint ownership of these assets during the division of assets process.

Retaining Ownership during Division of Assets Process

All that being said, just because your spouse may be considered the joint owner of an asset or your home, does not mean that you have to lose possession of that asset during your divorce. An experienced Sea Girt, NJ division of asset attorney will be able to negotiate on your behalf for equitable distribution, meaning that you can maintain ownership of certain assets in exchange for assets of equitable value. It is important to understand that equitable does not have to mean “equal”, merely fair, and your attorney should be able to take advantage of this law and help you negotiate a favorable settlement.

Contact An Brick and Sea Girt Marital Asset Division Attorney Today

At Bronzino Law Firm, we have extensive experience helping clients across Spring Lake, Sea Girt, Point Pleasant, Toms River, and the greater Ocean County area with family law and divorce issues of all kinds, including prenuptial agreements, division of assets, and divorce settlements.

Attorney Peter J. Bronzino believes that by keeping his clients highly informed and involved in the legal process, they can better understand their options, and help to more effectively secure the exact settlement they need in any divorce or family law matter. The smaller size of our firm allows us to develop these attentive and personal relationships with our clients, while still charging fair and reasonable rates for our services.

To speak with our office today in a free and confidential consultation regarding your unique needs and concerns for your prenuptial agreement, divorce, or division of asset agreement, please contact us online, or through our Brick, NJ office at (732) 812-3102.

 

What happens to debt in Monmouth and Ocean County Divorce Cases?

Helping clients facing debt in divorce across the Jersey Shore in Wall, Brick, Sea Girt, Manasquan, and Toms River

What happens to debt in Monmouth and Ocean County Divorce Cases?

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

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

Marital Debt and Individual Debt in Point Pleasant Divorce Cases

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pay off as much jointly incurred debt as possible…

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

Contact A Brick, NJ Divorce and Marital Debt Lawyer Today

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

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

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

Shopping Addiction Impacts Marriage and Divorce Lawyers in Brick NJ

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

Shopping Addiction Impacts Marriage and Divorce Lawyers in Brick NJFew would argue that there are few things more corrosive to a marriage than addiction. Whether it be drugs, alcohol or even gambling addiction tears at the very fabric of a marriage. However, there is one addiction that often goes understated or even ignored completely yet it can be as damaging as any of the other aforementioned and more well-known addictions. This is a shopping addiction which is also known as Compulsive Buying Disorder. For the estimated 5.8% of the U.S. population with Compulsive Buying Disorder, the annual Black Friday shopping kickoff often becomes a trigger for a shopping addiction bender.

Compulsive shopping can be difficult to spot but can do severe damage to your marital finances and results in empty bank accounts, declined credit cards, repossessed cars, or even home foreclosure. According to an article by marriage.com, financial woes rank as a top cause of divorce. It is important to recognize this addiction before your spouse’s shopping addiction threatens to place your marriage in financial jeopardy.

What is Shopping Addiction and how should it be handled?

Compulsive buying disorder should not be confused with someone who just occasionally spends too much money. Compulsive buying disorder is when a person simply cannot stop making purchases even when they are far beyond their financial means. The pleasure of obtaining goods becomes like a narcotic and often people who suffer from this addiction will need to acquire things in order to feel good. Here are some useful tips that can help you, your spouse and your marriage:

  1. Treat compulsive shopping as an addiction because it is one. Compulsive Buying Disorder is defined as a dysfunctional way of managing difficult feelings, similar to eating disorders or alcoholism and is commonly associated with depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and OCD.

Warning signs of a shopping addiction include:

  • What is Shopping Addiction and how should it be handled?Chronic spending of more than they can afford
  • Constant shopping as a reaction to unpleasant feelings such as anger or depression
  • Spending or shopping so much that it harms your relationship
  • The loss of control of shopping behavior
  • Defensive or aggressive behavior when asked about shopping habits
  • Secretive behavior connected to shopping such as lying about going shopping or making online purchases, hiding new items, hiding bills, the use of secret credit cards, hiding packages that come in the mail.

The financial clues of excessive shopping include maxed out credit cards, unusual and excessive activity on bank accounts, tapping into retirement and savings accounts to cover shopping sprees, unpaid bills, collections and bad credit, loan defaults for nonpayment, poor credit, home foreclose and bank repossession.

  1. Seek professional help. Consultation with an addiction specialist psychiatrist or therapist is typically an important first step for diagnosis and screening for other underlying mental health issues. Intensive individual therapy is often very beneficial for bringing the addiction under control. A therapist can help teach the shopper to be aware of triggers, learn techniques to assist with emotional regulation, as well as help individuals develop coping skills that can be used instead of shopping.
  2. You should not allow your spouse to face the challenges of this addiction alone. It may be prudent to consider couples therapy. Because shopping addiction is often so secretive, when you do realize the extent of your spouse’s shopping addiction, the betrayal can destroy marital trust every bit as much as romantic infidelity. Marriage counseling is often a safe place to work through your spousal issues and gain clarity into the best next steps for you.Dealing with a Shopping Addicted Spouse? Contact Us At Our Brick Or Sea Girt Office Locations
  3. Working with an attorney to create a structured spending plan is often helpful and effective. Due to the fact that compulsive shopping is an impulse control disorder, the shopper may initially need to have limited access to funds, and no personal access to savings accounts, retirement accounts, investment accounts or credit cards. The spouse, or another designated person, can give the shopper a monthly allowance. It is important that the spouse who is suffering from addiction knows that these measures are taken out of love and not out of a desire to limit their freedom.

An attorney can draw up an agreement that the two spouses agree to abide by until the addicted spouse has successfully completed treatment. Working out an agreement takes the burden off the other spouse of being the “bad guy” about money. Furthermore, your attorney may also recommend putting a post-nuptial agreement in place for further asset protection.

Dealing with a Shopping Addicted Spouse? Contact Us At Our Brick Or Sea Girt Office Locations

If you or a loved are suffering from Compulsive Buying Disorder and would like legal advice for setting financial limits on spending, at Peter J. Bronzino, our team of attorneys is experienced in supporting our clients through all types of legal proceedings and agreements in Asbury Park, Spring Lake, Brick, and all of Eastern New Jersey.  No matter your situation you don’t have to confront it alone.

To speak with our offices today in a free consultation about your child custody issue, please contact us online or through our Brick offices at (732) 812-3102.

Discuss Child Custody-Related Challenges with a Brick and Sea Girt Family Lawyer

Bronzino Law Firm educates and guides parents through child custody matters that can become some of the most contentious issues addressed in Ocean and Monmouth County NJ family court

Discuss Child Custody Challenges with a Brick and Sea Girt Family Lawyer Child custody battles often leave scars that may take years to heal if ever. Despite this custody battles are sometimes unavoidable in situations where you expose a safety risk to your kids, if your ex is obstructing your visitation time or if co-parenting is next to impossible. Through mediation and other forms of low conflict resolution is preferred whenever possible, in many cases going before a judge maybe your best option for safeguarding your relationship with your child, and in some cases, the very safety of your child.

Whether you are the initiate or respondent to litigation it is important to know what you’re fighting for. It is critical to enter court with compelling evidence and clear goals. For example, if your ex has been denying you access to and visitation with your child you will need to provide the court with evidence that shows the parenting time that was purposefully blocked or interfered with.

Define your Goals and Remain Focused on the Children

Moreover, your goals entering any proceeding must be clear. Are you seeking sole or primary custody and if not how much parenting time does you feel you will need to be able to meet not only your child’s but your emotional needs. You should be able to back this information up with an unambiguous statement to the judge that you’re there because you want your current parenting time plan to be enforced or that you need changes to be made.  It is critical to stay focused on your main points and not wander into other issues that may not be relevant.

Expect the Worst from Opposing Counsel and Document any Poor Parental Behavior

Given the raw emotion involved in child custody cases, you should expect that things could get ugly. Depending on the nature of your battle, you may need to face assertions from opposing counsel that are at best unflattering to you and your parenting, and at worst, completely untrue. Despite this, you must stay calm and work with your attorney to provide evidence to refute any invalid claims. On the other hand, you will have to truthfully document all your ex’s parental shortcomings to bolster your claims and your case overall. An experienced attorney can help you prepare your statements so that they are pertinent and impactful.

Tips for Navigating Child Custody Cases in Monmouth and Ocean County NJ

Child custody hearings are seldom easy. However, there are several steps you can take to be prepared and to make the process go far more smoothly and in your favor. These include:

Being organized…

  • will help you feel more in control. If you are not a naturally organized person this may sometimes be difficult but it is always helpful. Putting all documents in a notebook or file folder that you keep in a designated space will give you the peace of mind of knowing that when and if they are needed they will be available and at hand.

Compartmentalize…

  • your work on your child custody case from the rest of your life because living your custody battle 24/7 will cause you untold stress that can lead to both physical and psychological health problems. Being rested is incredibly helpful for keeping your thoughts clear and focused.

Tips for Navigating Child Custody Cases in Monmouth and Ocean County NJPracticing strategic communication…

  • can help to minimize drama and unnecessary conflict. Avoid face-to-face and phone contact as much a possible until your matter has concluded. In cases where your ex persists in writing or texting inflammatory messages or threats, Do Not Respond. In many cases, your former spouse or partner may know exactly what buttons to push in order to illicit a response. Do not take the bait. Simply print out messages and give them to your attorney. If communication is needed to be brief, informative and neutral in tone.

Practicing self-care…

  • is essential. Given that you cannot pour from an empty cup, your own health and mental well-being are critical. Don’t forget to stay up to date with medical and dental care as well as eat and sleep properly. It is recommended to shift your focus to other, positive activities whenever possible such as social engagements, hobbies, exercise, and meditation. If you feel embattled emotionally, see a therapist who specializes in high-conflict divorce.

Remember good preparation, a good mindset, and an experienced attorney are your best assets when dealing with any child custody issue.

Contact a Wall Township Child Custody Lawyer Today to Help Navigate the Challenges Ahead

If you or a loved one are going through a child custody dispute it is critical to have effective legal counsel and representation at the outset or as soon as possible. At Bronzino Law Firm, our team of attorneys is experienced in supporting and fiercely representing our clients in child custody proceedings in Toms River, Point Pleasant, Brick, Wall, Sea Girt, Spring Lake and the greater Ocean and Monmouth County Areas.  No matter your situation you don’t have to confront it alone.

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

Monmouth County Mediation Attorneys Focused on Healthy Families and Healthy Futures

Brick and Sea Girt Divorce and Mediation Lawyer Guides You Step by Step throughout the entire process

The Emotional and Psychological Benefits of Mediation

Mediation is a process designed to help parties reach an amicable agreement by way of compromise.  Its benefits are clear as it helps to avoid the fighting as well as the associated time, stress and expense that litigation can and often does bring.  Avoiding this stress can help improve your quality of life before, during and after any legal dispute especially in custody and parenting time disagreements.

The most common issues usually addressed via mediation are child custody and support, distribution of property, retirement savings as well as even tax disputes. With the support of a mediator as opposed to a litigator, steps can be taken toward an agreement that most satisfies all sides involved.

If you or your spouse are looking for a quick, cost effective, and hopefully painless divorce process; mediation is a great option. Give us a call today at one of our offices conveniently located in Brick or Sea Girt NJ (732) 812-3102, or use the online contact form.. We have served Monmouth and Ocean County clients facing family law issues for many years. Our goal is to help our clients build a plan for a happy and healthy future for the entire family.

Mediation Can Deliver a Deeper Understanding and Reduce Emotional Damage to the Family

Though some may show resistance to the concept of mediation, it can be the path to a deeper understanding of one’s own and one’s partner’s needs and priorities. Furthermore, it may also provide invaluable information that can be used to expertly navigate the divorce proceedings and ensure that decisions that are of the highest benefit to everyone involved are made, absent of any emotional manipulation that can often color such a process. Research conducted by The American Psychology Association concluded that mediation is a powerful ally to reduce stress and support psychological well-being for all parties during a divorce.

Mediation Can Save Money and Saving Money Reduces Stress

Further research conducted by The Duncumb Center for Conflict Resolution at the Abilene Christian University found an average cost savings of $680 as well as a time savings of between two and four months when mediation was employed as opposed to traditional litigation. Moreover, mediation can also have a profound effect on child custody agreements. The Duncumb Center study found that far more joint legal custody awards were made in mediation as opposed to litigation. Additional statistics show that mediation leads to an amicable agreement in 50-80 percent of cases. Even in cases where an agreement isn’t reached, valuable information can be ascertained and important lines of communication can be established between the parties. This is a powerful argument for mediation in consideration of your family’s overall mental health and well-being.

What is the process of Mediation in NJ?

What is the process of Mediation in NJ?Mediation is a type of alternative dispute resolution, which means it is an often effective tool used to resolve legal cases without going through expensive litigation or going to trial. In mediation, a neutral third party who is usually a qualified attorney meets with the parties in a dispute in order to help them find solutions to resolve their differences without the intervention of the court.

It is critical to note that a mediator does not represent either of the parties and should not give legal advice. The mediator’s job is simply to make sure the parties address all issues necessary to resolve their case by moderating their discussion on the critical issues of their dispute. The mediator in a given case should also be experienced in the area of law governing the parties’ issues.

Should we hire attorneys or represent ourselves in Mediation?

Given that the mediator does not represent either party and cannot give legal advice, both parties should have their attorneys attend and participate in the mediation to provide legal counsel. Though in all types of mediation both parties have the option of representing themselves, at least consulting an attorney before and after the mediation, or of having their attorney attend the mediation is highly recommended. In cases where a party cannot afford an attorney, they should at least consult an attorney before the mediation. An experienced attorney can help prepare the client for mediation and offer advice on the law as it applies to their particular case. The party can then meet with the attorney after the mediation to discuss the offers being presented.

The Process of Mediation Gives a Couple much more Control than Litigating in Family Court

Mediation has a key benefit over litigating in that the parties are in control. In mediation, the parties have a say in how they divide assets and what the terms of custody and parenting time will be. In matters that to go to trial, though each party would only have the opportunity to voice their wishes, the court would be the final decision-maker.

Contact Us Today for a Consultation to Mediate or Represent You in your mediation and divorce process

The Process of Mediation Gives a Couple much more Control than Litigating in Family CourtAt Bronzino Law Firm, our attorneys have extensive experience helping our clients through the process of mediation in Monmouth and Ocean County including towns like Wall, Sea Girt, Point Pleasant, Toms River, Jackson, and Brick.

Our unique approach focuses on finding solutions that ensure the well-being and stability of all parties.

To speak with our firm today in a comprehensive and confidential case assessment regarding mediation and its possibilities, please contact us online or through our Brick, NJ office at (732) 812-3102.

Signs Police Officers Look for to Determine Impairment from Drugs and Alcohol

Providing Legal Advice to Clients Facing DUI in towns throughout Ocean County towns such as Toms River, Wall, Point Pleasant, Brick, and all of Eastern New Jersey

Signs Police Officers Look for to Determine Impairment from Drugs and AlcoholGetting a DUI in New Jersey is a very serious matter. Law enforcement officers and courts do not take DUI offenses lightly. In recent years there has been special emphasis on police undergoing training to identify the signs that a motorist is driving while under the influence of illegal drugs, prescription drugs or alcohol. There are more than 100 visual cues that indicate whether a driver has been using a substance that can impair their abilities before driving. The ability to spot these dangerous drivers on the road has the potential to save lives and reduce DUI offenses. These efforts have been largely successful. According to the New Jersey Department of Law and Public Safety, traffic fatalities in alcohol-impaired-driving crashes decreased by 1.1 percent from 10,996 in 2016 to 10,874 in 2017.

It can be helpful in avoiding confusion if drivers know the things that police will be looking for in order to avoid misunderstanding and misidentification of driving while impaired.  These include but are not limited to:

Improper Lane Usage/Weaving

One of the most easily recognizable indicators of drunk driving is weaving between traffic and failure to stay within your driving lane. It has been well documented that being under the influence of alcohol makes it difficult to maintain a vehicle on a steady course in addition to lowering an individual’s overall awareness.

The red flags those officers look for include:

  • A driver veering into a lane when it is not safe to do so
  • Driver who demonstrate a lack of awareness of other vehicles
  • Driver who fail to maintain a steady course in the center of a lane
  • Vehicles that are swerving or making sharp turns
  • A driver who is weaving in and out of lanes and other vehicles

When an officer witnesses someone driving in such a manner, they will more than likely stop that vehicle for further investigation.  However, it is important to note that these same behaviors can be caused by fatigued or distracted drivers who are not under the influence.  Driving should not be done under these circumstances as it can be as dangerous as driving while under the influence.

Lack of Awareness for Other Road Users/Traffic Signs

In order to be sure our roads are safe for everyone, it is critically important to be aware of what other road users are doing and to pay attention to traffic signs. Seeing a driver that shows a lack of awareness of their surroundings is grounds to suspect a DUI.

Indications of a lack of awareness include:

  • Not seeing or ignoring stop signs and other traffic signals
  • Pulling out in front of other vehicles in such a manner as to force them to avoid a collision
  • Driving in the opposite direction of the flow of traffic
  • Driving notably too slow or too fast for the speed limit
  • Using the incorrect turn signals when turning

Demonstrating a lack of awareness for others on the road may make you are a potential threat to yourself and others. However, lack of awareness is not always caused by DUI. Causes can include being distracted while driving as well as poor weather conditions.

Rapid acceleration or Erratic Breaking

It is well known that being under the influence of alcohol compromises a person’s ability to judge speed and distance as well as lowering reaction time. This can often be seen when accelerating or stopping a vehicle.

Common indicators that can raise a police officer’s suspicion that someone is under the influence include:

  • Harsh or dramatic breaking when coming to a stop or for no apparent reason
  • Speeding up suddenly or erratically
  • Dramatic speed fluctuations
  • Driving faster than the legal speed limit

Breaking erratically can potentially cause harm to others sharing the road in the form of rear-end collisions especially under adverse weather conditions. Though accidental breaking and inadvertent rapid acceleration are not unheard of, they can still be potentially dangerous to other drivers on the road.

Using a Vehicle Improperly

DUI Traffic Stop Attorneys and What the Police Are Looking ForA motor vehicle can be inherently dangerous when not used in the proper manner. Improper use is often a clear sign that someone is impaired. Though a driver may be able to control their vehicle and drive within the correct speed limits, other signs may raise suspicion of a DUI.

Some of the common actions that raise law enforcement concern that a driver may be under the influence include:

  • Using the wrong turning signal
  • Driving at night without headlights
  • Prolonged driving with the windshield wipers on in dry conditions
  • Driving with a flat tire

Though many of these things may seem mostly benign, when taken into account with other factors, they may cause an officer to feel that further investigation is warranted.

DUI Traffic Stop Attorneys and What the Police Are Looking For

Once an officer finds that there is sufficient cause to stop a driver on suspicion of DUI there are some common signs a police officer will look at to confirm their suspicions. These include:

  • Difficulty with answering basic questions or giving incorrect or evasive answers
  • The smell of alcohol on the driver or coming from the vehicle
  • Seeing open alcoholic beverages in the vehicle
  • Slurred or incoherent speech
  • Poor hand-eye coordination and mobility

Any of the above-mentioned conditions is cause for an officer to ask you to submit to a breathalyzer exam or a field sobriety check. However, it is important that officers remember that many of the causes listed above can have benign reasons. For example, an apparent difficulty in answering questions can be caused by nervousness and slurred speech can be caused by medical conditions or speech impediments. Moreover, many mouthwashes use alcohol, the smell of which can cause an officer to believe that you have been drinking.

If you or someone you know has been charged with DUI it is critical that you seek good and experienced legal representation.

Consult Peter Bronzino at Our Brick Or Sea Girt Office Locations

At Peter J. Bronzino our team of attorneys is experienced in supporting and fiercely representing our clients who are facing DUI charges in Toms River, Wall, Point Pleasant, Brick, and all of Eastern New Jersey.  No matter your situation you don’t have to confront it alone.

To connect with our firm today in a confidential and comprehensive assessment of your case, please fill out the online form or through our Brick offices at (732) 812-3102.

Ocean and Monmouth County Harassment and Domestic Violence Attorneys

Harassment Attorneys Serving Toms River, Wall, Point Pleasant, Asbury Park, Spring Lake, Brick, and across the Jersey Shore

Ocean and Monmouth County Harassment and Domestic Violence AttorneysIn New Jersey, if an ex-partner calls multiple times, the repeated molestation can be considered in the court of law as reasonable cause to grant a restraining order. Under the New Jersey Prevention of Domestic Violence Act, repeated phone calls can be argued as domestic violence in the Superior Court of New Jersey, Family Part. Specifically, the case could be made that your safety and your family’s safety have been placed at risk by the persistent, unwelcome intrusion.

What is considered harassment under NJ Code of Criminal Justice?

According to the New Jersey Code of Criminal Justice 2C:33-4, harassment is any form of communication made anonymously, repeatedly, or at inconvenient hours, using offensive language or other manners that are likely to cause alarm.

Is harassment a form of domestic violence under NJ law?

Yes. The New Jersey Prevention of Domestic Violence Act lists harassment, including cyber harassment, as a form of domestic violence in New Jersey. In order to be considered domestic violence, the parties involved must have been in a relationship of marriage, separation, divorce, living together, dating, or having a child in common.

Other forms of domestic violence as outlined by the New Jersey Prevention of Domestic Violence Act are

  • homicide
  • assault or any act risking bodily harm
  • threatening communication
  • kidnapping and false imprisonment
  • sexual assault
  • lewdness
  • burglary
  • criminal trespassing
  • stalking
  • coercion
  • failure to comply with a domestic violence order

What can I do in the case that someone is harassing me?

Because harassment is a form of domestic violence, it can be considered grounds for the filing of a restraining order. In order to file for a restraining order, one must appear at the Domestic Violence Unit of the Superior Court/Family Division of New Jersey, or at a local police station in the case that the Superior Court is closed, to file a complaint.

If harassing communication happened in addition to physical abuse, a criminal charge may be filed alongside a complaint and request for a restraining order. A restraining order and a criminal charge are not the same, though they may be filed together or absent one another.

How is a restraining order obtained?

Upon filing a request for a restraining order at the New Jersey Superior Court Domestic Violence Unit, a domestic violence staff member will interview the plaintiff. After the interview will be scheduled a hearing with a domestic violence hearing judge to determine whether a Temporary Restraining Order, a TRO, will be issued.

If a TRO is issued, a date will be set for a Final Restraining Order (FRO) hearing within 10 days. Both the plaintiff and defendant are expected to appear at the FRO hearing.

At the FRO hearing, if a judge finds that an act of domestic violence such as harassment has indeed occurred, a FRO may be placed, prohibiting the defendant from making any further communications to the plaintiff or approaching the plaintiff’s place of home or work. A FRO does not expire.

Check out the following resources for further information regarding domestic violence support in New Jersey:

NJ Domestic violence-related inquiries

609-815-2900 ext. 5-5350,

Womanspace Inc.

24 Hour Hotline: 1-800-572-SAFE

TTY: 1-888-252-7233

National Domestic Violence Hotline

1-800-799-SAFE

New Jersey Coalition to End Domestic Violence

609-584-8107

TTY: 609-584-0027

Contact a Brick and Sea Girt New Jersey Domestic Violence and Harassment Attorney Today

Contact a Brick and Sea Girt New Jersey Domestic Violence and Harassment Attorney TodayIf your ex-partner has been calling repeatedly, making crude or threatening communications, or otherwise harassing you, you have a right to seek legal protection from further interaction under the New Jersey Prevention of Domestic Violence Act. After filing a complaint with your local New Jersey Superior Court Office or police department, contact a member of our team today to schedule a consultation reviewing the next steps.

Peter J. Bronzino we take all criminal defense, domestic violence, and restraining order cases very seriously; and harassment is not an exception. Lean on our experience assisting clients across New Jersey, including towns like Toms River, Wall, Point Pleasant, Asbury Park, Spring Lake, Brick, and all of Eastern New Jersey. We will work with your personal case to determine the best steps to follow to protect yourself and your rights no matter your circumstance.

Contact us online or call our Brick and Sea Girt offices at (732) 812-3102. today for a free and confidential consultation regarding your potential harassment, domestic violence, and/or restraining order case and how we can best serve your individual needs.

Spousal Opioid Addiction: Our Brick NJ Family Lawyers Are Here to Help

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

New Jersey is facing an alarming opioid addiction epidemic. To combat this crisis, the Murphy Administration will receive three federal grants totaling $30.6 million to fight the opioid crisis through initiatives aimed at preventing overdoses and expanding treatment and recovery services. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS) are expected to receive $21,566,035 for a series of initiatives to expand access to Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT), Narcan, and alternatives to opioid pain medication.

Can My Marriage Survive my Spouse’s Opioid Addiction?

Spousal Opioid Addiction: Our Brick NJ Family Lawyers Are Here to HelpIf you are married to an addict, the impact of watching someone you love go down a spiral of addiction, the same time as your marriage seems to be on a crash course towards divorce, can be devastating. With a 29% increase in opioid-related overdose deaths in New Jersey from 2016 to 2017, of which over 50% involved fentanyl and fentanyl analogs, it’s clear to see how opioid addiction can have drastic effects on marriages and families.

This spike means it’s not uncommon for spousal addiction to lead to either separation, civil union dissolution, or divorce. Opioid addiction is often stronger than the threat of divorce, and an indication of the level of your loved one’s addictive illness, so it’s critical for couples to seek professional guidance as an effective strategy for treating the illness and saving the relationship.

Encouraging Spousal Communication Between Addicted Spouses & Their Families

Having a spouse who lies, hides their addiction or makes promises they don’t keep, may leave you wondering if you can ever trust your partner again. Communication between spouses and family members can be difficult or even non-existent in a relationship where addiction exists. You and/or your children may have trouble expressing your needs and may not want to contribute additional stressors to an already challenging relationship dynamic. Acknowledging the addiction and encouraging your partner to face their addiction and seek professional treatment, is a positive opportunity to participate in the therapeutic process together as a family through ReachNJ or Nar-anon.

It is vital to find a therapist or marriage counselor who can help you deal as a couple with the marital ramifications of substance abuse or who may be able to refer you to the New Jersey Division of Mental Health and Addictions Services’ (DMHAS) inpatient/outpatient treatment options or their directory of physicians or facilities in your area.

SAMHSA’s Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator also provides a confidential and anonymous source of information for persons seeking treatment facilities for substance use, addiction, and/or mental health issues.

Can I Be Held Financially Responsible for My Spouse’s Substance Abuse Problem in Ocean County, NJ?

As the partner of an addict, you may have dealt or be dealing with unacceptable behaviors (i.e., lying, chronic illnesses, cheating, domestic violence, etc.) and potentially be put in a position of legal responsibility for that person if they are engaged in reckless driving, driving under the influence (DUI/DWI) and injured someone or damaged their property, engaged in disorderly conduct, were charged with a drug crime, or to have been in possession of drugs or illegal prescription drugs, or who created a sizeable marital debt and other financial issues as a result of opioid addiction. Despite it not being your fault, if your spouse is required to pay damages awarded in a lawsuit or insurance claim or debt they incurred, more than likely this will mean using your hard-earned dollars or sweat equity to cover their mistakes.

Though distressing, filing for legal separation can help you maintain your marital status and free you from being financially tied to your spouse.

Is My Codependency Enabling My Spouse’s Substance Abuse?

It’s heartbreaking to watch someone you love in pain or struggling. Like all spouses of drug addicts, you’ll need to learn how to avoid codependency, improve upon communication skills, and acquire healthy coping mechanisms for stress. Enabling one’s spouse by consistently bailing them out of legal woes or the many other difficulties that result from addiction is not the answer. In fact, codependency or “rescuing behaviors” may delay your spouse’s search for treatment and recovery. Support, treatment, and guidance from experienced mental health professionals and addiction specialists is essential.

Can Opioid Addiction Negatively Impact Child Custody Matters in Brick, NJ?

Contact an Experienced Drug Crime Lawyer in Ocean County TodayParenting time relationships are negatively impacted by addiction and substance abuse problems. Children need stable parental figures and when a parent suffers from addiction, both parents are unavailable. There is also a lack of stability and consistency for the children. In addition, when a parent struggles with drug addiction, their child custody or parental rights may be affected. Though the Division of Child Protection and Permanency (DCPP) may remove a child from a parent if they abuse drugs, Family Court may also deny a parent custody, modify their child custody, or terminate their parental rights, if they have untreated substance abuse or addiction issues, and if they do not seek treatment of some kind. Fortunately, treating the underlying illness is often seen as critical to keeping and protecting custody and parental rights.

The Road to Recovery and Moving Forward

Your spouse’s journey to get and remain sober is going to be long and difficult. If they’re unwilling to get help, an intervention strategy might be necessary. Because professional intervention can be expensive, organizing something among friends and family might be more practical. Regardless of the treatment option your spouse chooses, it’s essential they are surrounded with a support system that will hold them accountable to their commitment to stay clean.

Contact an Experienced Family and Criminal Law Team in Ocean and Monmouth County today

If your spouse has a history of addiction problems, he or she will usually be at a detriment in several aspects of the divorce. Courts take substance abuse issues very seriously, and there can be stiff repercussions in a divorce case for an addicted spouse, particularly when it comes to child custody.

If you are divorcing a spouse with substance abuse issues, you should contact a local family law attorney to help you with your divorce strategy. Contact us online or through our Brick, NJ offices by calling (732) 812-3102 today for a free and confidential consultation regarding your concerns and the role that a history of abuse has had on you and your family.

Prenuptial Agreements for Those Considering Remarrying in Ocean and Monmouth County

Brick Divorce and Prenuptial Agreements Attorneys Serving Clients in Ocean and Monmouth County

Prenuptial Agreements for Those Considering Remarrying in Ocean and Monmouth CountyPeople are building careers, marrying later in life, amassing assets and owning their first homes at a younger age. As serial marriages and life expectancies increase, in addition to people bringing significant assets into their committed relationships or civil unions, it makes perfect sense to start talking about your long-term financial futures together. Seeing friends and family go through the divorce process, couples are more aware that marriage does not mean “happily ever after” and want to take the steps to protect themselves. In considering a prenuptial agreement, they may want to establish the ground rules of how finances will be dealt with in the marriage, property and asset division or even attempt to understand their responsibilities for dividing debt, in the event of a divorce.

Through savings, investments or a longer work history, middle-aged individuals and senior citizens are likely to have more significant assets at stake than their younger counterparts, as well as other financial obligations (i.e., alimony or child support, and real estate) or business investments they may want to leave to their children.

Though it wouldn’t be recommended for one party to straight out ask their significant other to sign a prenuptial agreement, open and honest communication about their respective finances, plans, and values never hurts.

What Significant Factors Often Prevent Seniors in Sea Girt, NJ From Remarrying?

A traumatic marriage or a nasty divorce can contribute to seniors being reluctant to take another trip down the aisle. Fear of losing various medical insurance or Social Security benefits, spousal pension payments or the termination of alimony are a few other reasons.

They will be among the first to tell you that failing to carefully consider the economic consequences of a late-life divorce, can pose harsh consequences for seniors, especially those who may live on a fixed income.

Though seemingly unromantic, many seniors opt for cohabitation agreements which allow them to keep their assets separate and any inheritances for their family intact.

If you or someone you know are unsure if a prenuptial or a cohabitation agreement would more appropriately address your financial concerns, you should consult an experienced family law attorney that has a lot of experience drafting both.

Changing Face of Alimony: Divorce is Getting More Expensive For Women in NJ

While it was almost exclusively men who paid their exes spousal support, as women earn more, head households and are breadwinners in their relationships, the financial dynamic has changed. This shift is best seen in high-profile female celebrity divorces (i.e., Britney Spears, Halle Berry, Jennifer Lopez, Janet Jackson, and Sherry Sheppard). More woman with an eye to the future, seek creative agreements which protect them, their assets, and any potential family inheritances.

A 2018 study of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML) found that among their members:

  • 54% cited an increase in the number of mothers paying child support in the past three years,
  • 45% saw a rise in women being responsible for alimony, and
  • 78% saw an increase in parents sharing custody of children.

Practical Tips For Talking to Your Partner About a Prenup in Ocean County, NJ

If this isn’t your first rodeo, and you have a previous high-asset divorce under your belt or had to divide your retirement assets, you have learned that it may help to have a heart-to-heart about ensuring the financial well-being of your future marriage.

Be sure to:

  • Contact a Monmouth County Family Law Attorney to properly File Your Case Todaydiscuss the topic early and well advance of the actual wedding date.
  • adopt a conversational tone and explain the purpose.
  • be upfront about your reasons and fears.
  • really listen to your partner’s feedback.
  • encourage your partner to share their own ideas.
  • try not to get emotional if your partner seems resistant to the idea.
  • ask questions about your partner’s objections, concerns, or beliefs.
  • take this chance to resolve any misunderstandings.

By being transparent, providing full financial disclosure, and seriously considering several scenarios that could affect future finances and support after a divorce, this practical look at the financial aspects of marriage and divorce could have the positive impact of making couples take a more realistic assessment of what’s overall best for each of them. If nothing else, a more slowed down approach could mean more thoughtful drafting of a prenup both parties can be satisfied with.

Contact a Monmouth County Family Law Attorney to properly File Your Case Today

A marriage can affect every aspect of your financial life. It´s recommendable to sit down as a couple to learn more about each other’s present financial situations and future goals together. Once you have organized your pros and cons, talk to specialized attorney Peter Bronzino who will guide you in your process.

To get in touch with him today in a free and confidential consultation regarding your divorce scenario, please contact us online, or through either our Brick, NJ office or our Sea Girt, NJ office at (732) 812-3102.