Tag: Wall NJ Divorce Lawyer
How Lifestyle and Income Impact Monmouth County Alimony Settlements
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.
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.
Paying For Your Ocean or Monmouth County Divorce
There 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.
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.
Monmouth Attorneys Help Parents Prepare Their Kids for Divorce
Every year thousands of children of all ages go through divorce with their parents. For most families it can be a stressful time. As parents, there are some things that you can do to ease the stress and minimize the heartache during divorce.
The Bronzino Family Law Firm *732-812-3102* is committed to providing the best quality representation for residents of Monmouth and Ocean Counties. If you are facing divorce or a suit for child custody, contact us today at *732-812-3102* for a free confidential consultation. We have extensive experience in all family law matters and can review your case with you in .
Divorce Guide for Point Pleasant Parents
Naturally every child processes things differently and there can be a range of reactions. Even so, kids responses tend to be similar according to age and the circumstances of the separation and divorce process. The extent to which your divorce will affect your children often depends on a number of factors, but the most influential of these are the manner in which you and your spouse co-parent.
4 Ways Wall Parents Can Help Kids Handle Divorce
- Maintain calm, collegial and courteous behavior in front of your children and in the home. Even if the kids are not in the room, they could be around the corner, in a door way or on the stairs. Any signs of conflict, legal talk, or even threats could give them cause to worry and stress.
- Keep your children’s daily routines and activities as normal as possible. If you and your co-parent can cover for each other or trade off on pick-ups or attending sports, music or other activities; you are putting your child in the best position to thrive. However, be sure to explain who’s doing what and when to your kids. It helps them to know what to expect. Be sure to be there when it’s your turn and your time.
- If you or your ex-spouse need to vent your thoughts and feelings, don’t do it at home when the kids are also at home. (This kind of discussion is probably only productive in a support group or professional setting where you are more likely to get useful and constructive feedback.
- The fourth way for both you and your co-parent to help your kids is to stay actively involved in their lives. This might seem to be more difficult for the non-custodial parent, but try to find other ways to make up for lack of everyday time. As the saying goes, “quality over quantity”.
Your Family Lawyer Supports Ocean County Families Facing Divorce
First, remember to choose what you say and to whom carefully, and with awareness of the potential fall outs that can happen. Sometimes it seems like friends and family are good choices to talk to when you need to discharge pent up aggravation and anger. However, no matter how confidential you think the conversation is, it’s often not.
A friend or family member is likely to relate the conversation to a spouse or someone else. It’s innocent, but when they do, they may not be so careful about who is in earshot. Their kids tell your kids… and, 3 levels of re-telling later, what’s related is probably a version of the original conversation that is significantly modified. Besides affecting your kids, some comments could be brought up in court and affect the outcome on things such as the alimony agreement.
Second, support your kids, not vice versa. Don’t expect or look for support from your kids –even if they seem to encourage it. Your children are not your equals and no matter how mature they are, even in their late teens, they will almost always still process and rationalize as a teenager, and as your child, not as an adult. It’s nearly impossible for kids to neutral parties in a divorce, so don’t ask it of them. Your and your spouse’s support must come from somewhere else.
Create a plan to tell the kids about the divorce…
When you’re certain of your plans, make a strategic “tell-the-kids” plan with your soon-to-be ex-spouse. Set up some mutually agreed upon rules for engagement ahead of time and agree to guide yourselves by what’s best for the kids. Talk to your kids together about your decision to live apart, setting aside any anger or blame as you do.
It can even be helpful to practice what you’re going to say and how you’ll respond to their possible questions or reactions. Depending upon the age(s) of your child(ren), you can anticipate initial reactions to be bewilderment or shock, sadness, anger, or worry. Be as understanding, supporting and reassuring as you both can. The good news is that kids are tremendously resilient. As they cope with this life experience surrounded and reassured by love, they will learn to cope with unhappiness and stress, and develop stronger characters because of it.
Contact Our Brick NJ Law Firm Today for a Free Case Evaluation
The Bronzino Law Firm is committed to providing the best quality representation for residents of Monmouth and Ocean Counties and surrounding communities. If you are facing a divorce, child custody suit or other family law issue contact us today at (732) 856-5730. We have the experience you’re looking for.
Divorce laws in the U.S. differ from state to state. In New Jersey, individuals are allowed to file for what is known as a “no fault divorce“. A no fault divorce is basically a divorce that is filed for on the basis that neither party is “at fault” for the divorce, rather one party or both simply feel that the marriage should end.
In today’s article, we will discuss the benefits of a no-fault divorce, how they work and their requirements, and how they differ from other fault-based divorces.
No-Fault Divorce Attorney Asbury Park
There are two ways in which an individual can file for a no fault divorce in New Jersey:
- An “irreconcilable difference” has existed for at least the last 6 months, or
- The couple has been separated for at least the last 18 months with no hope of reconciliation
Of the two, irreconcilable differences is the more commonly cited reason for a no fault divorce. An irreconcilable difference can be any disagreement between the parties which causes one or both to feel that the marriage should end. This can be anything from disagreements over finances, disagreements over how to raise the children, and can even be the simple fact that one party wishes to divorce while the other does not.
Monmouth County No Fault Divorce Advantages
While there are not many differences between a no-fault divorce and a fault-divorce, the most significant difference is that a no-fault divorce cannot be denied by the family court system (given that all requirements and deadlines are met). This is an important difference due to the fact that in a fault-based divorce, the plaintiff (the person filing for the divorce) needs to prove that the other spouse is “at-fault”, something which will require more time in court, more legal fees, and often a great deal more stress and contention between the parties than a no-fault divorce.
The other key difference between the two types of NJ divorce is the potential for increased settlements in the areas of alimony and child custody in a fault-based divorce. If the particular type of fault cited shows that the at-fault spouse is an unfit parent, their custody and visitation rights may be less than what they would have been in a no-fault divorce. Or, the courts may find that the at-fault spouse owes financial reparations to the other spouse, and will pay them in the form of alimony.
However, while worth mentioning, these potential ramifications of an at-fault divorce are limited in their nature, and typically not worth the added cost of pursuing a fault divorce over a no fault divorce.
Contact A Wall NJ Divorce Lawyer Today
At the Bronzino Law Firm, we have extensive experience helping clients to fairly and cost-effectively resolve their no fault and fault divorces in towns across Ocean and Monmouth County, including Wall, Asbury Park, Brick, Toms River, Spring Lake, Point Pleasant, Neptune, Jackson, Sea Girt, Brielle, Manasquan, and the surrounding communities.
Attorney Peter J. Bronzino strongly believes in providing each of his clients with highly attentive legal service. By listening closely to his clients unique needs, concerns, and situations, Peter Bronzino is able to secure the types of results which best meet those same needs and concerns.
To speak with Peter Bronzino and our highly qualified legal team today in a free and confidential consultation regarding your divorce or any of its specific issues such as child custody, child support, alimony, or the division of assets, and how exactly we can help you to resolve your family law matter, please contact us online, or through either our Brick office or our Sea Girt office at (732) 812-3102.
Having handled divorces of all kinds across the Monmouth County and Ocean County area, our firm has seen it all. Ranging from amicable, easy-to-resolve divorces to divorces involving extremely complex financial matters related to the division of privately-owned businesses, homes, properties, and investment portfolios, the one thing that has remained consistent across these divorces is the mistakes we see being made by the divorcing parties.
In particular, there are three extremely common mistakes that divorcing individuals make which, at first glance, may not even seem like a mistake to them in the moment they are making them. In today’s article, we will discuss the three most common divorce mistakes we see during divorce in Monmouth County and Ocean County, the reason that they are, in fact, mistakes, and how to avoid making them during your divorce.
Wall, NJ Divorce Lawyer – “Asking Friends for Legal Advice”
One of the most serious mistakes we see being made during many divorces is one party or the other taking legal advice from a close friend or family member. Many times that friend or family member may have gone through a divorce themselves, and as such are in a position to give counsel and advice on a variety of aspects related to any divorce.
However, New Jersey matrimonial law is constantly changing, and every situation is different. A great example of this would be when it comes to alimony. New Jersey’s alimony laws changed significantly in 2015 with the Alimony Reform Act, and just because your friend was able to secure “permanent alimony” as a part of their divorce, you may no longer be able to thanks to the changes made to NJ alimony laws.
This is just one example of the ways our laws are constantly changing, and much the same can be said of laws regarding the divorce process, child custody, child support, and the division of assets. The bottom line is that it is a much more prudent decision to rely on your divorce attorney for legal advice, and rely on your friends and family for emotional support and guidance.
Asbury Park, NJ Divorce Attorney – “Responding to the Initial Divorce Complaint”
There are many different reasons for these individuals to not want to respond to the complaint, whether it be in hopes of salvaging the marriage or simply the desire to ignore a very serious and stressful issue, but the bottom line is that the matters being decided as part of any divorce in Monmouth County are way too critical and life-changing to not have your unique needs, interests, and concerns represented within your divorce settlement agreement.
If you have received a divorce complaint from your spouse, do not make the mistake of waiting too long to respond to the complaint, or worse yet ignoring the complaint entirely. Call an experienced Asbury Park divorce attorney, obtain knowledgeable and relevant legal advice, and then make an informed decision regarding whether or not to “contest” the divorce complaint.
Toms River, NJ No-Fault Divorce Lawyer – “Filing for the Right Kind of Divorce, in the Right Location, at the Right Times”
Finally, it is important to understand that there are several different types of divorce which can be filed for in New Jersey and that depending on your circumstances, the divorce will need to be filed for in a very specific location.
For example, a divorce can be filed for on a “fault basis”, meaning one spouse has committed actions which legally justify a divorce. Or, more commonly, a “no-fault” divorce can be filed for, meaning neither spouse is at fault, simply one spouse or the other believes irreconcilable differences exist within the marriage that this difference or differences should cause the marriage to end. These two types of divorce have specific requirements that need to be met, and if you begin the divorce process and it is later determined that you or your marriage do not meet these requirements, your divorce may be denied and you will have to begin the process over from the beginning. (Read our No-Fault Divorce versus Fault Divorce page for more information regarding these two types of divorce).
In addition, there are strict laws in place which determine in which town/courthouse your divorce should be filed for, and again here a misfiling can lead to your divorce being dismissed and having to begin the process anew. In New Jersey, a divorce must be filed in the county courthouse of the town where the reason for the divorce occurred. For example, if you are citing an “irreconcilable difference” in order to file for a no-fault divorce, you must file for the divorce in the county courthouse of the town where the irreconcilable difference began to become apparent in your marriage.
If any of your divorce paperwork is filed in the wrong location, or a specific deadline is missed as part of the divorce process, your divorce will most likely be denied by the courts, and you will have to begin the process again. This is just one of the many reasons that it is highly recommended that you consult with an experienced Toms River divorce lawyer before even filing for your divorce, as your attorney will be able to help you identify where your divorce should be filed, and help you file all of the necessary paperwork correctly, and on-time.
Contact an Ocean and Monmouth County Divorce Attorney Today
At the Bronzino Law Firm, we have extensive experience helping clients and families to successfully resolve their divorce in an effective and attentive manner in Ocean County and Monmouth County towns like Wall, Asbury Park, Neptune, Brick, Sea Girt, Spring Lake, Toms River, Point Pleasant, Brielle, Jackson, Manasquan, and more.
Attorney Peter J. Bronzino believes that by listening closely to his clients’ unique needs and concerns in any family law matter, and providing highly attentive and knowledgeable legal counsel, he can best achieve the kind of resolutions that meet those same needs and concerns.
To speak with Peter Bronzino and our legal team today in a free and confidential consultation regarding your divorce, any of its related issues such as child custody, child support, alimony, or the division of assets, or any kind of post-divorce modification or enforcement matter, please contact us online, or through either our Brick, NJ office or our Sea Girt, NJ office at (732) 812-3102.