Mount Laurel Child Custody Attorneys

The first thing to keep in mind regarding child custody is that the court will always act in what it believes to be the best interests of a child. In New Jersey, determining child custody depends on a number of factors. These factors typically fall into the following general categories:

  • The emotional needs of a child: How stable is each parent? Is there a history of mental abuse or neglect? Does a child suffer from a psychological condition that recommends awarding custody to a particular parent? In the case of older children, which parent does a child prefer?
  • The physical needs or well-being of a child: What is the environment of each parent’s home? Are there concerns that a child will be physically neglected or abused? Does a child have special needs regarding a medical condition?
  • The situation of each parent: What is the financial situation of each parent? What are the employment or work responsibilities of each parent? To what extent is each parent willing to be involved in their child’s life and to what extent has each exhibited a commitment in this regard?

In cases in which parents are not interested in shared or joint custody, the court will award custody to the parent it believes will promote and protect the best interests of a child. The noncustodial parent will have visitation or “parenting time” rights according to a plan approved by the court.

What Happens If One Parent Wants to Move Away?

Regardless of whether or not a custodial or noncustodial parent wants to move out of town or out of state, they must first get a court approved postdivorce modification and the permission of the other parent. Even if parents share custody link to, any change in a parent’s situation that could affect the agreed-upon child custody arrangements in a divorce agreement must be reviewed first by the court. Failure to do so could result in a charge of contempt of court and certain sanctions regarding existing child custody arrangements. Consequently, a parent — custodial, noncustodial or otherwise — cannot simply move away without first obtaining a postdivorce modification.

Postdivorce Modifications and Child Custody Arrangements

Regardless of whether a parent has a good reason to move — job commitments, caring for an ailing family member or personal preference — the law requires a parent to do the following:

  • Notify the noncustodial or custodial parent regarding any intent to move
  • Notify the noncustodial or custodial parent of the location where they intend to move
  • Notify the noncustodial or custodial parent of the reason(s) for the move
  • Submit a proposed child custody plan accommodating the move in question

Parental Relocations and New Jersey Courts

The court will review the proposed parental relocation to determine if it is in the best interests of the child. Here, the court will consider access to education opportunities, healthcare issues, whether extended family live in the area and how the move will affect the child’s ability to engage in hobbies or sports or practice their faith. The court will also consider the practical side of visitation under the new arrangement and how that could affect the ability of a child to spend time with the relocated parent.

If the court approves the parental relocation, a new parenting schedule must be provided, including a reasonable inventory of travel expenses, how vacations will be allotted, what will happen during school vacations, etc. If the parental relocation is not approved, the parent intending to relocate must change his or her plans or be held in contempt of court.

Contact Mount Laurel Child Custody Attorneys

Whether you are thinking of moving out of state or to the next town over, you still need a postdivorce modification. To discuss your case and learn what you need to do to maintain your child custody rights, contact Mount Laurel child custody attorneys link to Contact Us at Taylor & Boguski, LLC today.

Can I Sue for Child Support Owed from the Time of Birth?

Mount Laurel Divorce Temporary Orders Attorneys

Under New Jersey state law, a noncustodial parent is legally responsible for child support. Practically speaking, this means that if you and your spouse are legally separated or divorced, or you are estranged from your child’s father, you can seek an enforcement order to require them to pay child support. Here, the law is clear: child support is not a punitive measure, intended to punish one parent and reward the other; rather, child support is explicitly for the upkeep and maintenance of a child, not the custodial parent.

However, there is a statute of limitations on establishing paternity in New Jersey; a paternity action must be initiated no later than within five years after a child’s 18th birthday.

Child Support and Paternity

In New Jersey, the amount of child support paid is determined under Appendix IX of the New Jersey Court Rules. In general, child support is the responsibility of both parents. However, in cases involving out-of-wedlock births, the paternity of a child link to may be unstated on the birth certificate. In cases such as these, if the mother of a child sues the putative father for paternity and establishes that he is in fact the father of her child, she has legal grounds for demanding child support from him.

What if paternity isn’t established until years after the birth of a child? Under New Jersey state law, a noncustodial parent can be held responsible for paying child support from the time of the child’s birth until the child reaches age 18 or beyond. The time frame involved will depend on what your child support agreement says and what the court determines is in the best interests of the child. In some cases, child support may be extended beyond the age of 18 if a child is still in high school or is attending a secondary educational institution.

When a child enters college, New Jersey’s child support guidelines typically no longer apply since there is an overlap with certain college costs (room and board, transportation, etc.) and Guideline expenditures. If the child lives at home, however, the court may decide to continue child support.

Back-Owed Child Support

New Jersey’s Child Support Guidelines reflect the average cost of raising a child from the age of birth to 17 years old. As such, unless a child is legally emancipated, a noncustodial parent can be held financially responsible for child support going back to the birth of his child.

If a child support order is not entered until after a child is 12 years old, the amount of child support ordered will likely be adjusted upward to reflect the incremental increase in expenses of raising a child since the cost of taking care of an infant or young child is not as much as it is for raising an older child or a teenager.

Mount Laurel Child Support Attorneys at Taylor & Boguski

If you are interested in establishing the paternity of your child and seeking an enforcement order for child support in arrears, contact Mount Laurel divorce temporary orders attorneys at Taylor & Boguski, LLC, today to schedule an appointment and discuss your case.

Custodial accounts

Statistically, it has been reported that 99 percent of divorce litigation is resolved by settlement or voluntarily dismissal. The issue of whether a custodial account in one parent’s name, who has a child, can be kept separate from marital assets when there is a divorce has been examined. Spouses can choose and agree upon which terms or conditions should rule in their divorce as long as there is no violation of public policy. Such a violation would include if a custodial parent tries to waive child support. This is because courts have found that the right to child support belongs to the child.

Most times custodial accounts are set aside for the child in terms of setting up an education fund for schooling and college. After a child goes to college if there is any extra money in the fun then it can get split between the former spouses or the remainder can go to the child. It depends on how the parties have decided it. Each family’s situation lend to a different determination and outcome when it comes to custodial accounts during a divorce, because the facts and circumstances of each family is very different.
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In terms of college tuition for a child, it is important for the non-custodial parent to be very involved in the child’s decision to attend either a public or a private college. One seminal court case, Nebel v. Nebel, 103 N.J. Super. 216 (App. Div. 1968), established what is known as the “Rutgers” Rule. This rule holds that a financially able father must contribute to the college education expenses of a child while the custodial mother could designate a private college. However, the father’s share to pay is limited. Thus, the non-custodial parent can always argue with the legal reasoning from the Nebel case that their legal responsibility to give monies toward the cost of college should be limited to the cost to attend Rutgers, or a similar public college or university in New Jersey.

Seeking advice about being a good co-parent

In times of divorce, an experienced attorney will guide you and advise you in preserving the maximum amount of the marital estate, developing an agreement which the court will approve, and finding the best possible outcome for your children. The law firm of Taylor and Boguski, in Mount Laurel, NJ, can help you. Contact us for a free attorney consultation by calling 800-404-5299 or 856-234-2233, or contact us online.

December 2012 Rulings over Divorce in NJ sparked debate

In the Unites States about half of marriages end in divorce. In December 2012, after a decision made by Judge Paul X. Escandon in the case of a divorce, more than 40 women came to the Monmouth County courthouse to protest that the determination was biased against females in divorce cases. New Jersey residents have issued difference opinions on the issue. These opinions vary as to what is at stake for the court system and the judges who make these decisions to other opinions which hold that alimony laws are unfair to everyone, both men and women. Currently, New Jersey Alimony Reform is an organization of women and men which exists to provide educational resources to both legislators and the public. See full article.

New Jersey recognizes five types of alimony: temporary alimony, limited duration alimony, permanent alimony, rehabilitative alimony, and reimbursement alimony. Temporary alimony is allowed when there are low-earning or unemployed spouses to. A judge may award you limited duration alimony based on financial need until the spouse can become self-supporting. Permanent alimony is awarded after a long marriage if you gave up career or education opportunities to care for your family or advance your spouse’s education or career. Rehabilitative alimony is allowed when the requesting spouse submit to the court the steps to be taken for rehabilitation, the time frame, and a period of employment that will take place. Rehabilitative alimony helps a spouse to get financially stabilized and provides training and education so the spouse can become self-supporting. Finally, reimbursement alimony compensates a spouse who supported the other spouse throughout their advanced education. It is important to note that a court may award any combination of these orders. To understand more bout alimony and its obligations click here, and contact Mount Laurel matrimonial attorneys at Taylor and Boguski.

Affected by court decisions after divorce or changes under the law in the midst of a divorce?

Contact the law office of Taylor and Boguski, in Mount Laurel, NJ. Our attorneys are able to address every issue a spouse can face when experiencing a divorce. Whether it comes to child support and welfare, dividing marital property, fighting for the rights of parents and children, or understanding your rights during a divorce, our office can help you no matter what family law matter you face. Call our firm at 800-404-5299 or 856-234-2233, or contact us online, or visit our Practice Areas page for more information about Taylor & Boguski.

Child Support and Paternity Disputes

The move to establish or deny paternity most often occurs when a baby is born to unmarried parents who have never lived together. Determining paternity is essential to establishing parent rights to visitation/parenting time and to obtaining child support.

Once paternity is established, New Jersey law states that the child has a right to child support from both parents. Both mother and father are equally responsible according to the law to provide that support. In most cases, establishing paternity will also help a biological father establish the right to seek visitation/parenting time with his child. In some cases, involving a mother who has mental health or other issues that make her an unfit parent, the biological father can seek to obtain full custody of the child in question.

A paternity action will involve the alleged father undergoing DNA testing to determine whether his DNA matches the child’s DNA. This type of test is almost 100 percent accurate and can be taken even before the child in question is born.

Protect a Child’s Right to Support

If you are the mother of the child in question, you must file a paternity action to establish paternity of the alleged father to obtain a binding child support order from the family law court.

If you believe that you did not parent the child in question, then you must obtain a paternity test to prove that you are not the biological parent. If this is the case, then you will owe no child support to the child’s mother.

Who Can File a Paternity Action

Several people may file a paternity action. These include the mother of the child, the person who has custody of the child if for some reason that is not the mother or the father, the man who believes he is the biological father of the child in question, or any other person who has what is considered a justifiable interest in the child.

What If the Couple Was Married When the Child Was Born?

Under New Jersey law, a man can be presumed to be the child’s father when the child’s biological mother and the presumed father are or were married to one another, within certain time restrictions.

Even if the man is not the biological father of the child but for many years lived with the child’s mother and acted as if he were the parent of the child, he may be considered as a psychological parent in a family law court. This will entitle him to the same rights and responsibilities as a biological father.

Questions About Paternity and Child Support?

Contact an experienced paternity lawyer

at the law office of Taylor and Boguski, in Mount Laurel, NJ, by calling 800-404-5299 or 856-234-2233. You may also contact us online.

When you retain an attorney at our southern New Jersey law firm, you are accessing a combined 65 years’ experience to protect your rights and help you find a workable solution to your legal challenge. We are here to protect your rights at every stage of a paternity and support matter, or any other family law concern.

Dividing Marital Property in New Jersey

When you are going through a divorce, dividing marital assets and debt can be an extremely emotional, challenging process. On the one hand, you want to make sure that your rights are protected. On the other hand, your emotions may be clouding your ability to make good decisions.

An experienced attorney can help you focus on what’s most important in your specific situation, help you see the big picture, create a sound strategy for a good outcome, and provide reassurance at every stage of a divorce.

In New Jersey, marital assets are divided equitably, not equally. This means that your assets and your debt will be fairly divided between you and your spouse. Typically, all property and debt that was acquired during the marriage will become martial property, with some exceptions, including an inheritance or gifts that were designated to just one spouse.

Equitable Division Includes Assets and Debt

Equitable division in New Jersey will include valuing and then fairly dividing assets such as homes, businesses established during the marriage, and other property, as well as any liabilities, including marital debt. IRAs and pensions gained during the marriage will also be considered as marital assets to be divided.

Additional factors that may affect a property and debt division settlement can include:

Marriage duration
Education of both spouses
Age of both spouses at time of divorce
Ability of both spouses to earn a living
Ability of both spouses to maintain the standard of living that was the standard during the marriage
Child-rearing costs of the custodial parent
Costs of a special needs child
Spousal sacrifice of career to support the other spouse
Spousal sacrifice to stay at home with the children
Contribution of one spouse to the other spouse’s business that was established pre-marriage

Contact an Experienced Marital Property Division Lawyer in New Jersey

To discuss your concerns and goals and gain a good understanding of your options involving marriage property and debt division in southern New Jersey, talk with an experienced family law attorney at Taylor and Boguski, in Mount Laurel, NJ. Please call 800-404-5299 or 856-234-2233 or contact us online.

Parental Relocation in New Jersey

An increasing number of New Jersey parents are seeking to relocate with their children out of state. They move for various reasons. These include relocating to advance a career, attend an out-of-state college, move nearer to family for support, or due to remarriage with the new spouse living out of state.

Whether you seeking to relocate with your child and are an unmarried parent with the other parent living in New Jersey, or you are married and going through a divorce, or you are a parent who has divorced and is now seeking to move out of state, the process can be complex.

In New Jersey, the courts recognize that there are valid reasons for people to move, but a parent cannot relocate with a child without having the other parent’s agreement in writing and the family court judge’s agreement. The move must not be detrimental to the involved child or children.

Generally, a move like this involves the custodial parent moving away from the noncustodial mother or father. A major concern of noncustodial parents is that they will not be able to have the time they need or want to truly parent their child.

In any move-away case, your attorneys and the judge be looking at parental relocation solutions that continue to foster strong parent-child bonds with both parents, despite a move out of state. Parent time and visitation will need to be reevaluated.

With Skype and other emerging technology, new ways to connect with family members may also become part of a relocation arrangement. Attorneys and parents need to get creative in order to make situations like these work.

At the law office of Taylor and Boguski, in Mount Laurel, New Jersey, we have extensive experience helping parents address the issues involved in relocating a family.

New Jersey family law judges look at these types of issues when they are reviewing a relocation case:

How will the parent-child bond of the non-moving parent be sustained?
How far away is the custodial parent moving?
Will the time that the child spends with either parent be impacted?
Is it possible and feasible for the other parent to relocate so he or she can be nearby to the child?
Is the other parent seeking to relocate in good faith or with the goal of alienating the child from the other parent?
How will costs for the child or the parent to visit be addressed?

Parental Relocation Attorneys and Sound Representation at 800-404-5299 or 856-234-2233

At the law office of Taylor and Boguski, in Mount Laurel, NJ, we have more than 65 years’ combined experience in fighting for the rights of parents and children. We are able to address a move-away issue, whether you were never married to your child’s other parent, or you are already divorced and need to move or prevent a move. We can help you understand how to protect your rights at every stage of a family law matter.

Dividing Marital Debt in New Jersey

If you or your spouse has been carrying serious debt, then debt division can have a huge impact on how you move forward with your life after divorce. How do you protect yourself financially from a spouse’s debt? What do you do if you have joint credit card debt but your spouse is the one who did the spending? How do you find ways to work together prior to the divorce to resolve your debt issues so that you do not need to worry about creditors coming after you once you are divorced?

Most people do not realize that if one spouse files for bankruptcy, the other spouse might be in the uncomfortable position of being assigned the debts that the indebted spouse has wiped out or reorganized through bankruptcy.

New Jersey is an equitable property and debt division state. This means that division of your debt and assets acquired during the marriage (with some exceptions) must also be fairly executed, though not necessarily equally.

What Is Marital and Non-Marital Debt?

Debts in a divorce will be either marital or non-marital. However, it is not so easy to make this determination. Questions that attorneys and a judge will take into account include what the purpose of the debt was, who took on the debt and when that happened, whether both spouses agreed to the debt, who benefited from the debt, and who can more effectively pay off the debt after divorce.

How Does Debt Division Apply to Credit Card Debt?

Essentially, any debt incurred from a joint credit card or line of credit means that both you and your spouse are responsible for payment of that debt. However, if your spouse racked up a significant amount of debt that did not contribute to the marriage or the family, then that debt may be divided up disproportionately, with the indebted spouse being assigned more of that particular joint credit card debt.

However, if the indebted spouse files for bankruptcy and the debt is wiped out, creditors may come after you for the remainder of the debt.

Marital debt will generally include:

Joint credit card debt, in which both your names are on the credit card agreement
Mortgage loans
Car loan debt
Debt you owe from a company you both own

Equitable distribution of debt and assets does not mean 50/50. In most cases, the debt will be divided according to each spouse’s ability to pay off the debt, along with a number of other factors.

Contact an Experienced Marital Property Division Lawyer in New Jersey

To discuss your concerns and how to approach division of debt and assets in a divorce in southern New Jersey, talk with an experienced family law attorney at Taylor and Boguski, in Mount Laurel, NJ. Please call 800-404-5299 or 856-234-2233 or contact us online.

Michael A. Taylor was recently selected as a Top Attorney by SJ Magazine

Michael A. Taylor, a partner at Taylor and Boguski, LLC, was recently selected as a Top Attorney by SJ Magazine. Michael was chosen by his peers as a top divorce mediation attorney in Southern New Jersey.

Michael has over thirty-five years of divorce litigation experience and over fifteen years of divorce mediation experience. He employs a practical, hands on approach to help avoid the costs of divorce litigation. Mediation can help to resolve issues regarding the division of marital property, assets and debts, spousal and child support, and the other issues encountered during a divorce.

To schedule an appointment with a top divorce mediation attorney at Taylor and Boguski, in Mount Laurel, NJ, please call 800-404-5299 or 856-234-2233 or contact us online.

Protecting Your Rights in a Divorce Mediation

When you are involved in a marital dissolution in New Jersey, there are a number of different ways your differences can be resolved. You can take your disputes to court, asking a judge and/or jury to make decisions about child custody and visitation, child support, alimony and the division of marital debts and assets. Litigation can be expensive, though, and can be an extremely time-consuming process. You could seek to negotiate solutions to your disagreements, but that can be difficult as well, as you may feel that you have less bargaining power, or can be intimidated by your ex-spouse. An alternative that works for many people in New Jersey is divorce mediation. This blog post helps you identify ways to protect your interests in divorce mediation.

What Is Divorce Mediation?

In New Jersey, divorce mediation is a process whereby a third party, who represents neither spouse, acts as a facilitator, helping the parties identify and implement solutions that work for both of them. The mediator is typically someone with specialized knowledge about family law matters, who can make constructive suggestions to the parties regarding ways to settle their disputes. Parties can voluntarily agree to take their differences to mediation, or mediation can be ordered by the court.

How to Get the Best Results in Mediation

Mediation is designed to be a “win-win” process. It is not set up to determine who is right and who is wrong. Accordingly, going into the process with an open mind and a willingness to consider alternatives will likely enhance the chances that you will find a mutually beneficial solution.

The first thing to understand is that you don’t have to convince the mediator of anything. The mediator does not consider legal arguments, does not take testimony, and does not render any decisions. The person with whom you will have to work, and who you will need to help understand your position, is your ex-spouse. If you go in making demands, but not expressing any willingness to compromise, you will likely have little success.
It is also important to understand that, while a judge may compel you to take your differences to mediation, you are not required to resolve your disputes in mediation. You should never agree to something you don’t want simply because you believe that you have to settle your differences. All offers made in mediation are just that—offers to settle. You can always reject an offer. You can also walk away from mediation if you are feeling browbeaten or intimidated.

You will also have the best chance of resolving your controversies in mediation if you prepare in advance. Make a list of those things you must have, as well as those items that are negotiable. If something is non-negotiable, make certain you understand why.

Finally, remember that mediation about issues such as child custody, visitation and child support all affect your minor children. Be clear that what you are seeking is in their best interests, and always defer to this standard when evaluating offers from your ex-spouse.

Contact the Law Office of Taylor & Boguski

To schedule a free initial consultation with experienced New Jersey family law attorneys, contact Taylor & Boguski by e-mail. To learn more about our practice, visit our practice area overview page.