In the State of New Jersey, the law separates criminal and family legal matters. If you are facing a legal issued defined as a family law matter and are seeking a New Jersey Family Attorney, you’ve come to the right place. The Breslow Law Firm specializes in all familial dispute matters that are heard in a court of law as defined under New Jersey’s Family Practice Division.
How is Family Law Defined in New Jersey?
Family law falls under the Trial Court Services Division of New Jersey’s Administrative Office of the Courts. This court hears all cases that arise out of a family, or a family-type, relationship. This includes matters relating to divorce, child custody and visitation, child/spousal support, domestic violence, paternity, family crisis, foster care placement, adoption, abuse and neglect, termination of parental rights, parenting time, kinship/legal guardianship, civil unions/domestic partnerships, and juvenile delinquency.
Family court disputes are handled through the New Jersey Superior Court’s Family Division. The court hears any issues that arise relating to any above situations. Other types of family-related disputes are also heard by a judge. For instance, the following situations would appear before a family court.
- Requesting restraining orders in a domestic abuse situation.
- Handling financial disputes, including property settlement, relating to divorce.
- Establishing visitation rights for a grandparent when a parent refuses them to see the child.
- Settling issues associated with prenuptial and postnuptial agreements.
Each county in New Jersey has its own Family Division Court designated to hear local cases. Some counties do share court services and resources.
How Does New Jersey Family Law Compare with Other States?
Every state in the U.S. has its own laws associated with familial disputes or situations. It is essential to understand how individual laws relating to the family can vastly differ from state to state.
New Jersey – Division of Property
In the event a relationship is dissolved, some states adhere to the “community property” philosophy which means all property is equally divided 50/50 unless a preexisting legal agreement exists that outlines property to be divided in another fashion. New Jersey Family Law uses a concept called “equitable distribution”. This means the court determines what it deems to be a fair distribution of any property and other assets. Assets considered include real estate, bank accounts, retirement accounts, business interests, stocks, bonds, or other assets acquired during the time of the marriage (or union), along with any accrued debts. There may or may not be a 50/50 division of assets because the court maintains full discretion of how to divide property as it sees fit. An exception to the “equitable distribution” concept would be if a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement was established to determine the division of assets.
New Jersey – Divorce/Dissolution
Divorce is seldom an easy decision and it can lead to other legal disputes as the marriage is dissolved. In New Jersey, applicants can file for either “fault” and “no-fault” divorce (or dissolution – the terms are interchangeable in New Jersey). The latter is simpler because there is no need to prove why one or both parties want the divorce, but many plaintiffs (the person filing for divorce) may want the reason on record as to why the marriage is ending (i.e. adultery or extreme cruelty).
In New Jersey, civil unions and partnerships can file the same way married couples do. To file for dissolution, one or both parties must be a New Jersey resident for at least one year. If the domestic relationship was formed in New Jersey and one party has since moved, they may still need to file in New Jersey depending upon the laws in their new state. Generally, New Jersey doesn’t have a waiting period to file for divorce. In “no-fault” divorces, couples must be separated for a period of at least 18 months before filing. However, couples married for more than six months can file immediately without a waiting period when using grounds of “irreconcilable differences”. To file a “fault” divorce, specific separation or waiting rules will apply which will depend upon the reason for wanting the divorce. It’s a good idea to seek the advice of a divorce attorney when determining the grounds a plaintiff wants to use to file for dissolution.
How Can a NJ Family Law Attorney Help?
Anyone who is going through a divorce/dissolution or needs help with another legal issue pertaining to family matters will want someone on their side. A family law attorney in New Jersey, who has passed the state bar exam and is licensed to practice in the state, can ensure the rights and best interests of their client (and any children) are protected.
New Jersey has many attorneys to choose from, but in a family law situation, you want someone who thoroughly understands New Jersey Law and has demonstrated a proven track record. If you are considering filing for divorce, planning to adopt or foster a child, dealing with a child custody or visitation dispute, need to file for a restraining order, establish paternity, or want to learn more about another family law matter, the Breslow Law Offices can help.
Attorney Roy W. Breslow began practicing law more than 45 years ago. Over the decades he has served as a prosecutor, deputy attorney general, and a criminal defense attorney. Attorney Casey Breslow has worked in the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office and has now joined her father’s practice. Their combined knowledge and experience enable them to provide services on a wide breadth of family-related legal issues.
The compassionate family law attorneys at the Breslow Law Offices are dedicated to helping their clients navigate the complicated legal issues associated with family court matters. To learn more about a legal issue or to receive a free consultation, contact their offices today.