FAQs2024-06-06T22:06:21-04:00

Frequently Asked Questions

I cannot afford an attorney, my spouse will have to pay my counsel fees.2024-05-31T19:05:36-04:00

During the pendency of the litigation the court holds very firm to the status quo being maintained. That being said, pendente lite support (the support obligation from the date of separation to date of divorce) is still guided by the statutory factors set forth in NJSA 2A:34-23 as to both alimony and child support. Even when a support order is entered, the Court can retroactively adjust the support award based upon the evolution and development of the facts of the case. Mallamo v. Mallamo, 280 NJ Super 8 (App. Div. 1995)

My spouse and I have decided to get a divorce. He has moved out of the house. I cannot afford to pay all the monthly expenses by myself. Will he have to continue to pay half the household expenses?2024-05-31T19:04:30-04:00

During the pendency of the litigation the court holds very firm to the status quo being maintained. That being said, pendente lite support (the support obligation from the date of separation to date of divorce) is still guided by the statutory factors set forth in NJSA 2A:34-23 as to both alimony and child support. Even when a support order is entered, the Court can retroactively adjust the support award based upon the evolution and development of the facts of the case. Mallamo v. Mallamo, 280 NJ Super 8 (App. Div. 1995)

My child is going to college, will my spouse will have to pay half of the college expenses?2024-05-31T19:03:47-04:00

Maybe. Payment of college tuition is guided by the seminal case Newburgh v. Arrigo, 88 NJ 529 (1982) the Court set forth a variety of factors to be considered when determining each parents’ contribution toward the child’s college education. Over time this case has been expanded upon and explained to provide clarification and subtleties for future consideration. Take for instance Ricci v. Ricci or Black v. Black both of which look towards the child’s position among the parent’s position.

Do I have to share my pension?2024-05-31T19:02:44-04:00

Pensions and all retirement accounts are divided as the overall equitable distribution and will be allocated in accordance with the statutory factors set forth therein. NJSA 2A:24-23.1 In sum, retirement accounts funded during the marriage, commonly defined as the date of marriage through the date of complaint, are subject to division. That does not necessarily mean you have to share the retirement account, but instead the value of the asset has to be considered in the overall allocation of the family assets.

I am the Grandparent, of course I have rights.2024-05-31T19:02:26-04:00

This statement is both true and false. Whenever determining the allocation of a child’s time, the Court must consider the best interest of the child. NJSA 9:2-7.1 Grandparents do not have an automatic right to Grandparent visitation. However, in New Jersey Grandparent visitation is a preserved right in those circumstances where the child would experience harm because of the loss of the relationship.

I am his Wife, don’t I automatically get alimony?2024-05-31T19:01:55-04:00

Wrong. Alimony is awarded based on a multitude of considerations. NJSA 2A:34-23 Some considerations which will be considered are the dependent spouses need and the entitled spouse’s ability to pay. NOTE: I did not incorporate gender designation into the prior sentence. There is a reason for that. In New Jersey we look to the income of each spouse, whether it is earned or unearned and the disproportionate nature of the income. We then consider each spouse’s need based upon marital lifestyle. When determining alimony, a factor will never be gender.

My child is 12, do they get to decide where they live?2024-05-31T19:01:23-04:00

Absolutely not. New Jersey considers many factors in determining the best interest of a child, only one of which is the child’s preference. NJSA 9:2-4 In looking towards the child’s preference, it is the fact finder’s obligation to consider whether the child has been influenced or swayed in setting out their desire. The ways in which an evaluator can see parental influence (sometimes referred to as parental alienation) are subtle but the influence is clear.

Does Mom always get custody?2024-05-31T19:00:29-04:00

No. New Jersey does not apply a presumption of custody based upon the sexual orientation of the parties. In fact, New Jersey takes a leveled and data driven approach in applying the many statutory factors to be considered in determining what is in a child’s best interest. NJSA 9:2-4 Some of those factors include each party’s employment responsibility, the historic parenting involvement and roles of each party, each party’s ability to provide for the child on a going forward basis, the preference of the child when of appropriate age, and many more.

Is New Jersey a 50/50 State for Asset Division?2024-05-31T18:58:57-04:00

No. New Jersey applies principals of equitable distribution which do not always amount to a 50/50 division of assets. NJSA 2A:34-23.1 While that may be the common starting point, factors which would weigh against a 50/50 division include: premarital assets or influx, inheritance, dissipation of marital assets, and significantly disproportionate income between the parties. There are many other specific factors which could be considered on a case specific basis.

Divorce

Abigale Stolfe

What Is A Divorce Consultation?

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Should I File for Divorce?

Child Custody

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Do Parents Have To Resolve All Of Their Custody Issues Before Finalizing Their Divorce?

Abigale Stolfe

Does One Parent Need The Other Parent’s Permission To Move To Another State With Their Children?

Abigale Stolfe

Can Primary Parenting Rights Be Taken Away From The Parent?

Abigale Stolfe

If A Child-Support Recipient Remarries, Can The Ex-Spouse Stop Making Child Support Payments?

Abigale Stolfe

What Factors Do New Jersey Courts Consider In Granting Custody?

Abigale Stolfe

If One Party Strongly Opposes The Judge’s Decision, Can He Or She Appeal To Have It Changed?

Abigale Stolfe

Is It Better To Litigate In Court Or To Settle A Case?

Abigale Stolfe

Will The Court Consider A Child’s Wishes Regarding Which Parent They Want To Live With?

Child Support Guides

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Can Divorcing Spouses Agree That Neither Will Pay Child Support To The Other?

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Can You Reduce Your Child Support Payments If Your Child Is With You For An Extended Period?

Abigale Stolfe

How Can A Custodial Parent Collect Child Support From Their Ex?

Abigale Stolfe

What Are The Child Support Guidelines?

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If A Child-Support Recipient Remarries, Can The Ex-Spouse Stop Making Child Support Payments?

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If The Payor Is Constantly Late With Child Support Payments, What Can The Recipient Do?

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Once The Amount And Duration Of Child Support Has Been Set, Can Either Be Changed?

High Net Divorce

Abigale Stolfe

How Does A Judge Determine The Amount And Duration Of Child Support In A High-Asset Case?

Marital vs Non-Marital Assets

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Can You Get A Divorce Without Having To Divide Marital Assets And Debts?

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How Can A Person Protect Themselves During The Division Of Assets?

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How Do You Know What Is Marital Property And What Is Separate Property In New Jersey?

Abigale Stolfe

If A Spouse Had Savings Or Investments Prior To Marriage, Are These Assets Separate Property?

Abigale Stolfe

If A Spouse Uses Gift Or Inheritance Money, Can They Still Claim That As Separate Property?

Abigale Stolfe

If Spouses Can’t Decide Who Keeps The Marital Home, What Factors Will The Judge Consider?

Abigale Stolfe

Is Custody And Child Support Determined The Same Way For Unwed Parents?

Abigale Stolfe

Will An Unmarried Couple Be Treated The Same As A Married Couple Who Is Divorcing?

New Jersey Divorce Process

Abigale Stolfe

How Are Same-Sex Marriage, Domestic Partnership, & Civil Unions Treated In Regards To Divorce?

Abigale Stolfe

Is There A Difference Between Spousal Support, Alimony, And Maintenance In New Jersey?

Abigale Stolfe

On What Basis Can A Divorce Be Granted In New Jersey?

Property Division

Abigale Stolfe

Can A Party Appeal To Have A Judge’s Decision Regarding The Division Of Property Changed?

Abigale Stolfe

Does A Prenuptial Agreement Override Normal Property Division Rules?

Sonya Zeigler

Is Fault Ever Considered During Property Division?

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Heather Capp, Esq.
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