Category: Marital Assets

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.

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.

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.

Financing Your Ocean County Divorce

Financing Your Ocean County Divorce

When a person is unhappy in their marriage and starts considering a divorce or civil union dissolution, often the next questions that often arise are surrounding what the financial implications are, how much will the total process cost and how will the individual pay for it. Unlike the actual wedding itself, most couples may be less eager to solicit financial assistance from family, friends, or take out a bank loan. Knowing your family´s true and accurate financial situation and educating yourself about matrimonial retainer fees, can help reduce any concerns you may have about securing legal representation, and financing your divorce.

If you are considering a divorce, or are currently going through a divorce, look no further than the Bronzino Law Firm. We handle all divorce related matters including child support, child custody, division of assets, alimony and spousal support, and post-divorce modifications for clients across Ocean County and Monmouth County.

For many Ocean County and Monmouth County residents, Attorney Peter J. Bronzino has been that dependable and tenacious advisor. Peter Bronzino and his team of Family Law Attorneys take a collaborative approach on all divorce cases, pride themselves on keeping clients informed and involved in all matters, and are ready and willing to speak with you over the phone, via a virtual meeting, or at one of the two offices conveniently located in Brick and Sea Girt.

Contact one of our offices today at (732) 812-3102 for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your unique family law needs, and concerns, especially as it relates to divorce matters.

Evaluating the Cost of Divorce in Monmouth County, NJ

Aside from the emotional toll divorce often takes on one´s psychological and physical well-being, the financial costs of divorce in New Jersey is unique to each couple and comes with its own specific facts and circumstances. Factors such as the type of divorce (no fault vs fault divorce), the distribution of assets, assignments of alimony and child support, child custody, and using expert testimony (e.g., tax professionals or real estate professionals) or child custody experts, can significantly increase the amount of negotiation required among the lawyers or in front of a family court judge. Disagreements, lack of consensus, and the number of motions or hearings can also result in additional legal fees.

Retainer Agreement vs Contingency Fee with Your Brick NJ Divorce Attorney

A retainer fee is an advance payment similar to a “down payment”, in that it may cover a portion of the overall attorney fee that the client pays the attorney before hiring them. Although the fee varies from attorney to attorney, some attorneys have established fixed retainer amounts for given services and stick to those amounts.

Since attorneys bill on an hourly basis, the retainer fee will be determined by your attorney and is based on the anticipated amount of hours your attorney expects to invest in your case. Often, a retainer will not cover the entire cost of your divorce and more funds will need to be deposited as the divorce proceeds; how you will replenish that fund (if necessary) should also be stated in your agreement.

As work is completed, the money is withdrawn off of the total retainer amount and detailed records are kept and recorded to accurately outline this process. Clients will receive an accounting, usually monthly, stating the details of the work performed and the amounts paid out of the retainer, as well as the balance remaining. Some will work with you on monthly payments toward that retainer.

A contingency fee agreement, is most commonly used in civil cases such as personal injury, workers compensation, or employment law claims. In these types of cases, the attorney’s fee is “contingent” upon the amount of damages or overall compensation the client is awarded. Contingency fees are not permitted in family law matters in New Jersey, so each party almost always pays a retainer fee to their respective attorneys to begin the divorce process.

Paying for a Divorce Attorney in Point Pleasant, NJ

In New Jersey, each party is entitled to use marital funds for divorce litigation. The Family Court may direct each party to sell or mortgage various assets or property to enable both parties to finance their legal costs.

Fortunately, due to N.J.S.A. 2A: 34-23  the New Jersey Family Court can compel a spouse with more income or financial standing to pay, in part or in full, for the other spouse’s attorney. For spouses with less financial standing, it makes the financial aspect of litigation process more equitable, “reasonable and just.”

Contact an Ocean and Monmouth County Divorce Attorney Today

There are numerous factors when considering if to proceed with divorce litigation. Whether you choose mediation or it´s an uncontested divorce, the vast amount of paperwork, court document filings, and procedures to follow can be overwhelming, especially if you already work a full-time job.

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

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

With experience handling high-net worth divorces involving the division of family owned businesses and properties as well as diverse investment portfolios, the family law attorneys at the Law Offices of Peter Bronzino have the experience and legal knowledge necessary to helping you through this complicated time in your life.

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

5 Types of Alimony Ocean and Monmouth County

Alimony and spousal support is often thought of as a singular concept, and in some ways, this is true. Alimony is intended to provide  a former spouse or partner with the financial support they need. However, few people know that there are actually no less than five (5) types of alimony in New Jersey. These can range for life long alimony arrangements for spouses who were married for decades to short term solutions for those who were married a relatively short time. Today, we will be reviewing the different types of alimony arrangements available to divorcing couples in our state.

Our divorce attorneys handle all manner of family law and divorce issues including alimony, child custodychild supportdivision of assets, and more.

Open Duration and Limited Duration Alimony Lawyers

The most “traditional” forms of alimony are considered open or limited duration. These types of agreements may be used for marriages lasting only a few years or multiple decades. Our Middletown alimony lawyers may help clients seek alimony agreements including:

Open Duration Alimony

Formerly known as “permanent alimony”, the name was changed as part of the 2014 NJ Alimony Reform to clarify that open duration is in fact, not permanent. Open duration alimony has no set end date, and may be paid until either party passes away, or experiences a major financial or other life change, or they just mutually agree to modify and/or terminate their agreement.

Limited Duration Alimony

Similar to open duration alimony, limited duration alimony has the added detail of an explicitly stated end date. Limited duration also is eligible for early termination or modification dependent on the nature of your circumstances.

Temporary, Rehabilitative & Reimbursement Alimony Lawyers Brick NJ

In addition to the more well known forms of alimony, there are three types of alimony which are used for more specific situations. Our Monmouth County alimony attorneys may suggest the following for certain clients:

Temporary Alimony During Divorce

Divorce proceedings have the potential to take many months or even years. In these cases, it may be essential to reach temporary agreements for child custody, child support, and alimony. These agreements may be reached through a formal hearing or outside of the courtroom with the assistance of a Monmouth County divorce lawyer.

Rehabilitative Alimony

For marriages which were shorter in length, the court may award rehabilitative alimony. This form of spousal support is intended to allow a spouse to reenter the workforce and/or retain his or her financial independence after a divorce.

Reimbursement Alimony

Many marriages include a spouse making career, educational, or other financial sacrifices to help support their spouse. In these cases, it may be possible to “reimburse” those sacrifices through a reimbursement alimony agreement. This form of alimony may include complex financial calculations to determine an appropriate financial value for the spouse’s sacrifice.

Questions about Alimony in New Jersey? Contact our Brick Alimony Attorneys Today

Alimony attorney Peter J. Bronzino takes pride in serving local Ocean and Monmouth County communities such as Brick, Sea Girt, Brielle, Point Pleasant, Bay Head, Manasquan, Toms River, and across Eastern New Jersey. Attorney Bronzino believes in providing clients with the personal attention and professionalism they need and deserve. Find out why our clients and their families have taken the time to write testimonials after their divorce and family law legal concerns were resolved. Whether you are going through a separation, divorce, or any other family law dispute, our firm will fight to protect your legal rights.

To learn more about Alimony in New Jersey, please contact our Brick or Sea Girt offices by calling (732) 812-3102 today for a free and confidential consultation.

Monmouth County Cohabitation and Alimony Lawyers


Alimony can be terminated, modified or suspended based on a finding of cohabitation. Cohabitation is usually defined as two people who are living together, in a serious committed relationship that there’s financial interdependence. If you  believe that your ex-spouse is cohabiting and you are paying out money then you  should file an application with the court to modify or terminate your alimony. The burden after you provide any proofs that you have shifts to your ex-spouse to proof that they are not cohabiting.

Application to Modify or Terminate Alimony Based on Cohabitation

Definition of Cohabitation in NJ

The definition of Cohabitation as defined in New Jersey is as follows: “mutually supportive, intimate personal relationship in which a couple has undertaken duties and privileges that are commonly associated with marriage or civil union.”

Factors the Judge will Consider when Ruling on Cohabitation

  • If the couple shares finances like joint bank accounts or shared holdings and/or liabilities
  • If the couple share responsibilities for living expenses
  • Recognition of the relationship by family and social circles
  • Whether or not the couple is living together, and if not, the frequency of contact, and the duration of the relationship in question
  • If the couple shares household chores
  • Any other evidence the court deems relevant

A common misconception occurs when a couple does not live in under the same roof “full-time”, and based on that fact the couple feels that they are protected from any financial implications that would arise from a cohabitant relationship. Instead of drawing a hard line on the concept of “full-time”, the courts will consider a number of different factors when determining and ruling on cohabitation and a potential impact on alimony.

How Can Cohabitation in Ocean County NJ Affect my Alimony?

If a party who is paying alimony to a former spouse believes that that spouse has entered into a relationship and shares a space as a cohabitant with another adult, the supporting party may wish to pursue an alimony modification petition. A paying spouse will have to file a motion to modify or terminate alimony and set a hearing before a judge. If the court decides that a supported spouse’s new boyfriend or girlfriend is cohabitating, a judge may reduce, or in some cases end, spousal support.

In the case of a remarriage, proving that the dependent spouse now has another source of financial support, and thus may no longer require as much as support as is currently being paid in the existing agreement, is relatively straightforward.

“Prima Facie” and The Discovery Process

In the case of cohabitation, however, proving that cohabitation exists can be somewhat more difficult. For example, it may be particularly difficult to know, or prove, whether or not your former spouse is sharing a bank account with their new partner. This is where the legal idea of “prima facie” comes into play. Prima facie involves the process of essentially vetting the case or the argument and determining whether or not to move it into the discovery phase.

Once in the discovery phase, you and your attorney will be awarded the opportunity to pursue and review necessary documentation, depose witnesses, and obtain the evidence necessary to definitively prove that a cohabitative relationship exists, one which warrants a modification to your existing alimony agreement. It is highly recommended that you retain counsel who, at this point in the process, will be looking into bank records, pay stubs, privately owned business records, living expenses, payment of living expenses, and most importantly you will conduct legal interviews in the form of depositions. In most circumstances, this information is difficult to dispute and it is very clear that cohabitation has occurred and even the length of time the couple has been under the same roof.

How to Modify Alimony Based on Cohabitation in Toms River NJ?

There are a number of cases that helped establish this precedent for determining cohabitation, and the New Jersey Case Law groups said cases together and provide the legal definition in New Jersey’s alimony statute N.J.S.A. 2A:34-23(n). Here is a basic look at the process, that should be prepared, reviewed, and delivered by an experienced Ocean County Attorney.

  • A paying spouse will have to file a motion to modify or terminate alimony and set a hearing before a judge.
  • If the court decides that a supported spouse’s new boyfriend or girlfriend is cohabitating, a judge may reduce, or in some cases end, spousal support.
  • Courts will typically reduce a spousal support award by the amount of the cohabitant’s monetary contributions.
  • Couples can include a provision in their divorce settlement or final divorce judgment that makes cohabitation a triggering event to terminate alimony.
  • In cases where the divorce order is silent, a cohabitation relationship may still be enough to justify a reduction in spousal support.

Contact a Wall NJ Cohabitation and Alimony Lawyer Today

Attorney Peter J. Bronzino has received countless favorable reviews from past clients, their words speak for themselves. If you are looking for an experienced, knowledgeable, hard-working and tenacious alimony attorney, look no further. Bronzino Law Firm is ready to begin advising you and fighting for your rights today.

To schedule a free and confidential consultation with our offices today, contact us online or through our Brick, NJ office at (732) 812-3102. We also handle modifications of existing alimony agreements, as well as enforcement of alimony when your ex is not complying with the agreed upon terms.

Legal Separation Attorneys Monmouth County NJ

If you went into a Family Lawyer’s office and asked him or her how many times they have received questions pertaining to legal separation, you most certainly will get a chuckle and most likely the answer will be something likely endless, countless, or maybe even an immeasurable amount depending on how long they have been practicing.

As you might imagine, there are a tremendous amount of individuals who are interested in “getting the process started” without filing the actual divorce complaint itself. For this reason New York has an established institution known as legal separation, however New Jersey does not…at least not in the same format one might imagine when thinking about the potential terms of a separation agreement.

Residents of New Jersey, however, are not completely out of luck. Typical to the great state, it tends to do things its own way. New Jersey’s answer to the legal separation question exist within the option legally termed Divorce from Bed and Board.

Separation and Divorce for Bed and Board Attorneys Brick NJ

New Jersey does not have a legal separation. If you want to separate from your spouse, but do not want to file for divorce you have a few options. First you can sign what’s called a separation agreement, which would be an unenforceable contract. Next you can file an FD application or non dissolution application with the court to ask for child support, custody,  spousal support, etc. And then finally you can also file for what’s called the divorce for bed and board,  where you would be financially divorced but you would still be married, meaning that both parties can not marry another person.

Why Divorce for Bed and Board Toms River NJ?

Divorce for bed and board was assembled to take the place and/or provide a similar option to that of a legal separation in Monmouth, Ocean, Mercer Counties, and across New Jersey. Although that is the case, we have to point out a few significant distinctions and also some notable similarities when comparing Separation in a state like NY, and divorce for bed and board in NJ:

  1. First, although they are comparable in many ways, one is a legal separation and the other is in fact a divorce.
  2. Although it is called a divorce, if you get a divorce for bed and board, you are not able to be remarried until an official and standard divorce is processed. Obviously separation falls under the same circumstance, as the couple if only separated, but not yet divorced.
  3. To terminate a divorce from bed and board in favor of an absolute divorce, either party can file a document with the court, converting the divorce from bed and board to an absolute divorce.
  4. In a divorce from bed and board, ostensibly all the same papers are filed as for an absolute divorce, however, the relief requested in the documents is for a bed and board divorce.

Reasons to Choose a Divorce for Bed and Board Attorney Jackson NJ

Couples Who Are Not Quite Ready To Finalize a Standard Divorce

Many of the individuals who take advantage of this legal option, rather then going through with a real and final divorce are people who are not quite ready to pull the final trigger, but look at this option as an opportunity to split everything up and come to agreements on finances, property, kids, etc without the finality to it. Remember, all it takes is a document to be filed by either party to finalize.

Healthcare Savings, Retain Existing Coverage, and Take Advantage of Aggressive Cobra Prices

Another, and very likely the most common reason that couples who are splitting up will choose divorce for bed and board actually exists within a loop hole in the US healthcare laws. It does not work every time, but in many cases the couple is able to continue on their healthcare option as they were as a couple and/or they are afforded much more aggressively priced Cobra options for insurance which results in thousands of dollars in savings.

Contact a Wall NJ Separation and Divorce for Bed and Board Attorney Today!

Legal separation attorney Peter J. Bronzino takes pride in serving local Ocean and Monmouth County communities such as Brick, Sea Girt, Brielle, Point Pleasant, Bay Head, Manasquan, Toms River, and across Eastern New Jersey. Attorney Bronzino believes in providing clients with the personal attention and professionalism they need and deserve. Find out why our clients and their families have taken the time to write glowing testimonials after their divorce and family law legal concerns were resolved. Whether you are going through a separation, divorce, or any other family law dispute, our firm will fight to protect your legal rights.

To learn more about legal separation in New Jersey, please contact us online or through our Brick or Sea Girt offices by calling (732) 812-3102 today for a free and confidential consultation.

How Lifestyle and Income Impact Monmouth County Alimony Settlements

How Lifestyle and Income Impact Monmouth County Alimony Settlement

Divorce represents a difficult, trying, and in some cases messy process to litigants on both sides and can even impact close family members in similar ways. Many issues can and will arise throughout the litigation process, especially the pursuit of equitable distribution which is often hard fought by both spouses. One of the key issues that is often raised is alimony. The court decides alimony payments based on lifestyle and spending patterns that the couple have grown accustomed to during the marriage. Problems can and do arise in many cases when the lifestyle and spending may far exceed the actual income. In these instances it is most often necessary to retain the services of financial experts in order to accurately provide the court with a figure for fair alimony; the retention of hired financial support is apparent especially, but not exclusively, in high-asset divorces.

The Bronzino Law Firm LLC, has represented clients in many communities across New Jersey including Asbury Park, Neptune, Wall, Manasquan, Point Pleasant, Brick, Jackson, Sea Girt, and all of Monmouth County, Ocean County and across the Jersey Shore. Our attorneys that make up the Bronzino Family Law Team understand the  difficult task ahead, and are here to walk our clients through this often complicated process by providing client-centered counsel every step of the way.

Contact our Brick or Sea Girt offices today by calling 732-812-3102 for a free and confidential consultation regarding your potential divorce.

Alimony Reduced as NJ Couple Lived Outside Their Means

As more and more couples support themselves with credit as opposed to actual income “lifestyle” is something that the courts must look at more critically before deciding an award of alimony.

In Ponzetto v. Barbetti, decided on June 28, 2016, the spouses were ending  a nineteen year marriage. There were no children from the marriage and the only issues in the case were equitable distribution and alimony. The husband had started what at one point was a very lucrative business, for which the wife kept the books. However, the business suffered during the economic downturn. The parties’ lifestyle, however, did not represent this as they continued to spend lavishly.

While it is normal for a judge to look at the parties’ spending during the last several years of the marriage to determine lifestyle, in this case, the trial judge found that it would not be appropriate to do so, where the lifestyle was not based on actual income.

As a result, the judge declined to use the parties irresponsible spending in determining marital lifestyle. This allowed an alimony judgement that was far less than what the wife was seeking but more accurately represented what the supporting spouse was able to pay. This is an excellent example of why an experienced and skilled divorce attorney is critical when one is entering the divorce process.

Financial Experts in the Monmouth County Divorce Process

Depending on how financially complicated matters are, trials can last for days or even longer, as parties may unload documents showing expenses, assets, and information regarding income. If one of the spouses is self-employed, runs their own business, gets-laid off, or quits work to take care of children, the imputation of income of the parties for the purposes of calculating child support and alimony should be looked at carefully. Sometimes, the division of some marital assets, which may include houses, retirement accounts requires a valuation to be made. The use of qualified financial experts may be required to educate the trial judge.

In addition to determining actual income of the parties as compared to their lifestyle, experts may also help with the valuation assets that may be subject to equitable division in New Jersey.

  • An expert such as a certified public accountant, may aid the court with the valuation of retirement plans.
  • Real Estate experts can aid in the appraisal of houses, apartments, land, or commercial property the parties co-owned.
  • The court may also appoint an economic expert to resolve economic/financial issues.
  • A forensic accountant may also be used to determine the value of a self-employed party’s business, which is also subject to equitable distribution.

Contact our Experienced Ocean Divorce Attorneys Today

The experienced divorce attorneys of the Bronzino Law Firm, LLC served the New Jersey community by guiding and representing clients through all kinds of divorce and family law matters in Ocean and Monmouth County towns including Toms River, Brick, Ocean, Point Pleasant, Red Bank, and across the Jersey Shore. From the beginning our firm has believed in aggressively and zealously representing our clients and using every possible legal tool to help them realize the best post-divorce life possible. 

For a free and confidential consultation, please contact us online or through our Brick and Sea Girt offices by dialing (732) 812-3102 today.

 

Paying For Your Ocean or Monmouth County Divorce

Paths to Paying For Your Ocean or Monmouth County DivorceThere are many questions that can arise when contemplating a divorce. Child custody, child support, equitable distribution of assets and alimony are but a few. However, one of the most common factors that keep people in unhappy marriages is the belief that they simply can’t afford to enter into the divorce process.  The truth is that there are many avenues that can be taken to pay for a divorce. A critical look into your finances may reveal that divorce may be the best economic path in the long run.

The Bronzino Law Firm LLC, has represented clients in divorces in communities across New Jersey including Asbury Park, Neptune, Wall, Manasquan, Point Pleasant, Brick, Jackson, Sea Girt, and across Monmouth and Ocean Counties. We understand that divorce is complicated. We provide effective and personalized legal solutions, at aggressive rates, with a client-centered approach.

Contact our Brick or Sea Girt offices today by calling 732-812-3102 for a free and confidential consultation regarding your case.

Paying for Your Ocean County Divorce

Paying for a divorce is not as complicated as it may seem on its surface.  There are many sources of income that can be used to gain your independence through the divorce process.

  • Savings.  Funds in a joint account or a separate account can be used to pay counsel fees.  It is important to remember that any funds you use will still be subject to equitable distribution in the divorce.  It is common for both spouses to use savings to pay for their counsel fees. Commonly spouses agree to split the accounts and each party can use their share for their own counsel fees.
  • Credit Cards.  Depending on how much credit you have available credit cards are a convenient way to finance your divorce.  Though not the most desirable way due to interest charges, the entire cost of many divorces is paid for using credit cards.  The reasoning is that if you are going to get a share of assets, such as equity from the house or other investments that you can liquidate at the resolution of the divorce, you will be able to pay off the credit cards later.
  • Home equity loan or line of credit.  It is common for homeowners to have an open line of credit or funds from a home equity loan.  However you must remember that any funds you use against the home will be considered later in the overall context of equitable distribution.  If the house is in your spouse’s name it is possible to make an application to the court obligating your spouse to open a line of credit for your legal costs.
  • Investments.  Investment accounts such as mutual funds, brokerage accounts, stock or bonds, can be liquidated, or partially liquidated, to get cash.  It is normal these types of accounts to also have a cash component so you may already have cash available.  If these accounts are in your spouse’s name, you can receive a court order obligating your spouse to liquidate the account to distribute to both of you to use for counsel fees.
  • Retirement Accounts.  A 401(k), IRA, Roth IRA, or similar account, can be liquidated for cash.  However there are taxes and usually substantial penalties that may apply. It is advisable to consult your accountant or financial adviser if you are concerned about penalties.
  • Pension.  Although you cannot cash out a pension like you can a 401(k) or IRA, often times you can take a loan against it.  There are restrictions on how much you can borrow and how you pay it back. Your financial adviser is usually able to provide you with the information about how this can be done.
  • Whole Life Insurance.  A whole life insurance policy, may have equity that you can cash out or borrow against.
  • Personal Loan.  You can apply for a loan at a bank or borrow funds from a friend or family member.
  • Divorce loans.  There are many loan options available through banks and some of which are specifically provided for divorce litigation.

Financial Benefits of Divorce in Monmouth County

When contemplating the overall cost of divorce it is important to look not just the what you will be paying but what benefits you will be granted.  These include but are not limited to:

  • Easier budgeting and greater control over money. Fights over money and financial priorities are one of the most common factors leading up to divorce.
  • Early access to a retirement fund, penalty-free. A divorce is one of the very few times a person can take money out of a retirement account early and not pay an early withdrawal penalty.
  • More college financial aid for the kids. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid only requires financial information from the custodial parent rather than both parents. This may translate to greater awards of financial aid.
  • Social Security perks for older divorcees. Divorced spouses may be eligible to file for Social Security spousal benefits at retirement if you were married to your spouse for at least 10 years.
  • Opportunity to reset financial priorities. Finance experts say the opportunity to rethink priorities and start fresh can be a positive.

Contact our Experienced Toms River Divorce Attorneys Today

The divorce attorneys of the Bronzino Law Firm, LLC have extensive experience guiding and representing clients through all kinds of divorce and family law matters in towns including Toms River, Brick, Ocean, Point Pleasant, Red Bank, and across both Monmouth and Ocean Counties. Since opening our doors our firm has believed in aggressively and zealously representing our clients and using every possible legal tool to help them realize the best post-divorce life possible. 

For a free and confidential consultation, please contact us online or through our Brick and Sea Girt offices by dialing (732) 812-3102 today.

Leaving your Home During Divorce in Ocean and Monmouth County, NJ

Serving Clients across Monmouth County and Ocean County Towns including Wall, Neptune, Manasquan, Toms River, Brick, and across the Jersey Shore

Leaving your Home During Divorce in Ocean and Monmouth County NJWhen couples decide to get a divorce, one of the first issues which comes to the forefront is where they will live. Many couples begin living separately immediately, some wait, and others continue to live together. While there is no one right answer, it is possible that your choice to leave home during divorce may have an impact on the divorce process in New Jersey. It is important to understand the legal implications that moving may have on child custodychild supportalimony, and division of marital property during your divorce.

At The Bronzino Law Firm, our separation and divorce attorneys have extensive experience serving local Monmouth and Ocean County communities including Asbury Park, Neptune, Wall, Manasquan, Brick, Jackson, Sea Girt, and all of Eastern New Jersey. We understand that divorce is more than just a legal process, it is deeply personal and can be stressful for couples, their children, and their relatives. That is why our divorce attorneys work closely with our clients throughout the legal process to deliver highly personalized and effective legal solutions.

Call our Brick or Sea Girt offices today by dialing (732) 812-3102 for a free and confidential consultation regarding your divorce, your options, and help deciding if moving out of your family home is the right decision.

Toms River Separation Attorneys: Common Reasons to Move out During Divorce

There is no shortage of potential reasons why couples may choose to seek divorce. Our Toms River separation and divorce attorneys believe that the decision to stay or to leave the marital home is highly dependent on the reasons for divorce, your unique situation, and your family dynamic. With that in mind, here are some common reasons spouses choose to leave the marital home before a divorce is finalized:

Domestic violence – if you or your children are in danger of domestic violence or other criminal activities, you are well within your rights to move immediately and take your children with you. However, it is vital that you obtain a temporary child custody court order in this situation. It also can be a great idea to seek a restraining order.

Societal norms – on the flip side, moving out because it is “expected” is not a great reason. This is particularly true for men, who may feel pressured to move out of the family home because that has historically been expected.

Your spouse has asked you to leave – if you co-own your home or are co-tenants in a rental situation, you are not required to leave simply because you have been asked. Before doing so, speaking with a Toms River divorce attorney would be a prudent decision.

Am I Obligated to Move During Monmouth County Divorce Proceedings?

To answer simply: no, you are not obligated to move just because you and your spouse have agreed to a divorce. Your Monmouth County divorce lawyer will need to understand your financial and practical living situation. In the vast majority of cases, both spouses co-own or co-rent the family home and have equal rights to stay. There are two exceptions:

  1. Your spouse has successfully been granted a restraining order based on domestic violence or other wrongdoing. In this case, you may be ordered to leave the family home
  2. Your spouse owns the family home or the rental and you do not. If you do not have the legal right to stay in your family home based on the deed or rental arrangement, you may be legally asked to leave

Risks of Leaving the Family Home During Divorce in Ocean County

As we have discussed above, in the vast majority of cases spouses are not forced to separate during the divorce process. It is still common to live separately for personal reasons and based on your individual wishes. Our Ocean County separation and divorce lawyers would advise considering the following risks:

  • If you have moved and your children stayed in the family home, that may impact child custody considerations. When child custody is determined, it is done so for the best interests of children. If your children stayed in the family home and you have moved, it is possible that your co-parent will be given a more favorable view to keep your children’s lives more consistent
  • Can you afford to live alone? Just because you move does not relieve you of the financial responsibly of your family home. You will likely still need to pay mortgage, upkeep, rent, etc.
  • Do you trust your spouse to maintain the home? If you have moved out, you are trusting your spouse to care for your home, children, pets, and more.

Contact a Divorce Attorney with Offices in Brick and Sea Girt Today

Separation and divorce attorney Peter J. Bronzino is proud to serve local Ocean and Monmouth County communities including Neptune, Wall, Brick, Manasquan, Asbury Park, Toms River, Point Pleasant, and across Eastern New Jersey. Our smaller firm size allows our divorce and family law legal team to provide high level, personalized legal service. If you or a loved one has any questions or concerns regarding your divorce, your legal standing during separation, or any other family law matters, we are here to help.

Please contact us online or call our Sea Girt or Brick offices by dialing (732) 812-3102 today for a free and confidential consultation with a member of our qualified and experienced divorce team.