More Family Law Services
Post-Judgment Enforcement and Modifications
While a well-written divorce agreement will anticipate most of what may happen following a divorce, there are situations in which additional steps need to be taken. Sometimes, one party fails to live up to their commitments under the agreement and an enforcement action must be brought. This sounds simple, and litigants often try to make these applications pro se, but it is valuable to have an attorney who knows both the substantive and procedural law involved in such an application. Sometimes, we are able to get your attorneys’ fees paid by the party who has violated the agreement.
Even if both parties have lived up to the agreement, there is sometimes a need for further court orders. This could be due to the emancipation of children and the end of child support, or the retirement of a party and the conclusion of spousal support. It could also be due to outside circumstances, such as one parent being relocated by an employer affecting a custody agreement, or a party becoming disabled and unable to work affecting their ability to pay alimony. Our attorneys can help navigate these issues with you.
Domestic violence is an area in which our firm has longstanding experience. We have represented victims of domestic violence for both final restraining orders and throughout subsequent divorce litigation. We have also helped victims of domestic violence protect a final restraining order in the face of an abuser attempting to get it lifted. Domestic violence can have an impact on a divorce proceeding, the ability of people to co-parent, the relationship between child and parent, and many other aspects of the parties’ lives.
Our firm has also represented defendants against accusations of domestic violence. Domestic violence court is handled through the Family Part of the New Jersey Court, and because a defendant is not under threat of incarceration, there is no right to a public defender. However, a finding of domestic violence can significantly impact a defendant’s life, including in any divorce or custody matters. A person who is determined to have committed an act of domestic violence by the Court is put on a statewide registry, which can affect employability and permanently prevents legal possession of a firearm. If you have been accused of domestic violence, experienced legal counsel is critical.
Division of Child Protection and Permanency
There are any number of reasons why a referral may be made to the Division of Child Protection and Permanency about your child, but any inquiry must be taken seriously. The possible outcomes of an investigation can range from a determination that there are no concerns for the child’s safety, to a recommendation for counseling for a parent, to removal of a child from a parent’s care. The DCP&P process can seem overwhelming and is, indeed, complex, even for parents who have done nothing wrong and who are not themselves accused of abuse. Having an experienced attorney by your side can help you navigate the DCP&P investigations and any court proceedings that may follow.
Adoptions and Guardianship
Adoptions are the bright light of the Family Law system. Whether a step-parent adoption or the adoption by both parents of a non-biological child, there are few days as rewarding as the final hearing of an adoption. We can help you navigate the logistics and requirements of the Court system as you grow your family.
In the event of a contested adoption, we have the litigation expertise to represent your rights in a hearing, whether as the birth parent or adoptive parent.
Our firm also has extensive experience in Guardianship matters, whether for an elderly family member or for a special-needs child turning eighteen. We are able to represent the proposed guardians or the alleged incapacitated person from the application through the final hearing.
Prenuptial agreements are generally utilized by parties entering into marriage with pre-marital assets, whether real property, a business, or financial assets, to set forth certain conditions in the event of a divorce. This can include limits on the distribution of these assets, and/or a waiver or limitation on spousal support. In order for such an agreement to be enforceable, however, it must meet certain statutory requirements. Utilizing an experienced matrimonial attorney can help avoid the pitfalls that would render the agreement unenforceable.
If you have entered into a prenuptial agreement that you believe is unconscionable, either because the other party lied to you or unduly pressured you into the agreement, it is possible to have the agreement vacated. This often requires a full hearing in court, and considerable legal nuances. An experienced attorney can represent your interests in this situation.
It is not unusual for a trial court decision to leave one or both parties unhappy about certain aspects of a decision. Those parties have the right to seek review by the Appellate Division. An appeal is a very different process than the one utilized by the Superior Court. It is strictly a legal review, not a retrial, and requires the filing of briefs with a thorough legal analysis of the lower court’s actions. Even if a litigant has handled their matter on their own throughout a lower court proceeding, the particular requirements of an appeal make it important to have experienced legal counsel for such an undertaking.