In addition to calculating each parent’s child support obligation the cost of providing health insurance for the parties’ children has to be calculated, and allocated between the parties. There are two ways to calculate the health care premium for the children. The first is to calculate the actual marginal cost of covering the children. The second is to calculate the per capita cost of covering the children.

Actual Marginal Cost of Health Care Coverage for Children

If the parent paying for the children’s health insurance knows how much they are paying weekly to cover the children then that amount is placed on the child support worksheet as a weekly amount and allocated between the parties in proportion to the combined parental income. However, usually, the cost of providing healthcare is broken down in the following choices: Employee, Employee and Spouse, Employee and Family. To sort out how much of the total health insurance premium is solely for the children’s coverage requires the employee to subtract the amount paid to cover themselves, or themselves and their spouse alone from the cost paid to cover them and their children. The difference is the actual cost to cover the children. For example, if the employee’s cost to cover themselves and their spouse and children is $800 per month, and the cost to cover the employee and their spouse is $500, then the cost to cover the children is $300 per month. Continue reading →


Every custody and parenting time (visitation) agreement should address the issue of pick up and drop off of the children. In the low or no-conflict situation the parties can agree to pick up and drop off at the other person’s residence or any mutually convenient location. However, in a higher conflict situation child pick up and drop off has to be structured to deal with the possibility of a negative parental interaction.

In a higher conflict parental situation the custody exchange can be “curbside”, at a third-party’s residence, at the child’s school, or in a worst case scenario, at the police station. In all of these situations the idea is to reduce or remove the ability for the parties to interact face-to-face.

Curbside pick up and drop off is the term used for an exchange in which one parent arrives at the other parent’s residence, either by car or on foot, and they do not go up to the other parent’s door. They wait at the curb. They do not enter onto the other parent’s property. The child comes out of the residence and walks to meet the parent doing the pick up at the curb. In this situation there is no parental interaction. (Of course, with an infant who has not begun walking there will have to be more parental interaction).

Continue reading →

A recurrent situation is where the parties to a divorce decide that one party will remain in the property after the divorce and they have to get the other party’s name off of the deed and/or the note and mortgage.

Here’s How To Remove Your Ex-Spouse From The Deed

To take your spouse’s name off of the deed you have to execute a new deed from you and your spouse (as grantors) to you (as grantee). This keeps the chain of title intact. Once you and your spouse have signed this new deed it has to be recorded with the county clerk in your county. Now the chain of title will show that you and your spouse purchased the property in a certain year and then you and your spouse transferred the property to you on a certain date. The mechanics of the transfer are very straightforward. This deed is called a quitclaim deed. It is often mistakenly referred to as a “quick claim deed”.

Attachments to Deed

There two other attachments that need to be filed along with the deed in New Jersey. The attachments are: (1) The Seller’s Residency Certification/Exemption (GIT/REP-3); and (2) The Affidavit of Consideration. If you are also refinancing the property your lender may prepare this paperwork for you. Check if your lender if they will take care of preparing the deed and attachments or whether they want your attorney to handle deed the transfer paperwork. If you are not refinancing the property then you can contact my office at 844-431-3380 to accomplish the deed transfer for you.

Affidavit of Title and Title Search

Your ex-spouse should also sign an affidavit of title regarding the property. The affidavit of title is a standard form affidavit in which your ex-spouse  certifies in writing under oath, in front of a notary, that he or she has not done anything to have a lien placed on the property. The affidavit of title protects you so that if, after the title transfer, an issue pops up on title connected to your spouse you have an affidavit from them that you can utilize if you have to go to court to force them to remove the lien. Continue reading →

Child support in New Jersey is paid on a weekly basis by the non-custodial parent (the Parent of Alternate Residence – PAR) to the custodial parent (the Parent of Primary Residence – PPR). The amount of child support to be paid is calculated by using one of two worksheets which are contained in the Appendix to the New Jersey Court Rules.

The two worksheets are: The Shared Parenting Worksheet  and the Sole Parenting Worksheet.

The Shared Parenting Worksheet is used to calculate child support when the non-custodial parent has two or more overnights per week, and the parent of alternate residence can demonstrate that the child has separate living accommodations maintained specifically for the child. The Sole Parenting Worksheet is used when the non-custodial parent has less than two overnights per week. An overnight is not what we commonly understand as an overnight (night into morning period). An overnight for child support purposes is “more than 12 hours” or the majority of a 24-hour day.

The amount of child support paid by the non-custodial parent is inversely proportional to the number of overnights that the non-custodial parent has with the child. Stated simply, the more overnights that the non-custodial parent has with the child, the less child support that they pay to the custodial parent. The fewer overnights that the no-custodial parent has with the child the more child support that they have to pay the custodial parent. Continue reading →

The following scenario plays out quite often as a couple is divorcing:

Wife has primary custody of the children and she wants to remain in the house after the divorce so that the children can maintain some stability, finish high school and graduate with their friends. Husband wants to sell the house and either receive his share of the equity and/or release himself from the burden of the mortgage. Who prevails when the couple has these competing interests?

Generally speaking if the children are within a few years of graduating from high school the parent who has primary custody of the children will be able to remain in the house until such time as the children graduate and go off to college. The thought is that in balancing the husband and wife’s competing interests the children’s best interests trump the husband’s desire to immediately get his money and get his name off the mortgage.

Of course, the parties can agree on any arrangement that they want. However, if the parties cannot agree there is a recognized preference to let the high school age children finish off their careers in their house.

If there are no children, custody is not an issue, and therefore both parties will have an equal right to remain in the house after the divorce. In this situation if the parties cannot agree on who will remain the house will be listed and sold, and the parties will split the proceeds, or alternatively, one spouse will buyout the other spouse’s interest in the property, usually through a refinance. Continue reading →

The Purpose of the Divorce Complaint

The divorce complaint is the initial document filed and served in the divorce process. It is filed with the court and then served on your spouse. The primary purpose of the complaint is to let the defendant (your spouse) and the court know why you want the divorce, i.e., what grounds or basis you have for the divorce.

Traditionally there were 9 bases for filing for divorce in New Jersey:

1.         Adultery

2.         Willful and Continued Desertion for 12 or more months

3.         Extreme Cruelty

4.         18 Months Separation

5.         Desertion

6.         Voluntarily induced addiction or habituation to any narcotic drug as defined in the New Jersey Controlled Dangerous Substances Act. or habitual drunkenness for a period of 12 or more consecutive months Continue reading →

When parties are separating or divorcing one of the key issues to be addressed is any credit card debt incurred during the marriage. As a general rule, marital debt is joint debt as long as the debt is incurred for “marital purposes” or “family expenses”.

Here are some examples where a balance racked up on a credit card or store charge card is considered marital debt:

One Name On Card – Sole Use By One Party

Wife has a credit or charge card in her sole name. She uses the card to purchase her clothing and for her other day-to-day expenses. Her husband never uses the card. He doesn’t see the statements, and he has no idea what the balance is on the card. Wife’s credit card balance is considered marital debt to be allocated between the parties in their divorce.

One Name On Card – Joint Use By the Couple

Husband and wife have a charge or credit card in their joint names. They use the card to purchase items for the household and each uses the card to purchase individual items for themselves. The debt incurred in this case is joint marital debt subject to allocation in the divorce.

Joint Names On Card – Sole Use By One Party

Husband and wife have a credit or charge card in their joint names. Husband uses the card for his dry cleaning, his motorcycle accessories, and his car’s gasoline. The debt would be considered joint marital debt. Continue reading →

Once you have determined who owns the marital real estate, the next question is whether there is equity in the property to be distributed. Equity is the monetary value of the property if it were to be sold. A few examples will illustrate the concept of equity:

Example 1:

Husband and wife own a home worth $500,000

The bank is owed:$300,000

The equity To Be Distributed is:$200,000

If the property is sold Husband will receive $100,000 and Wife will receive $100,000.


Example 2:

Husband and wife own a home worth $300,000

The bank is owed:$300,000

The equity To Be Distributed is:$0

If the property is sold Husband will receive $0 and Wife will receive $0.


Example 3:

Husband and wife own a home worth $275,000

The bank is owed:$300,000

The equity To Be Distributed is:-$25,000 (negative equity)

If the property is sold Husband will owe $12,500 and Wife will owe $12,500. Continue reading →

A divorce or separation rarely starts off in a clean, orderly fashion. Once the relationship begins to deteriorate there is often a messy period where the parties rights and options are sorted out. Who stays and who goes, and on what timeline? Who pays for what expenses? Who keeps what? These are the basic questions that have to be answered.

The law in this area is straightforward. The parties are supposed to maintain the financial status quo as their case progresses and they attempt to settle their issues.

Housing-Related Expenses

One of the biggest questions to be resolved is how are the housing expenses shared during the break up. Generally speaking, if you were contributing 25% of the mortgage or rent expense on a monthly basis before the separation or divorce began, you will be responsible to continue to contribute 25% during the separation or divorce process. Unless the parties agree, one party cannot move out and say to the other party, “I’ve got my own rent and utilities now, so you’re on your own to figure out how you pay your housing expenses.” Even though you are in the middle of a break up, housing expenses have to be paid as they were before the break up. Practically speaking this is a tough position to be in for the person moving out of the home.

For example, let’s say husband moves out of the house during the divorce and does not return. When he goes out and tries to rent an apartment he has to come up with the security deposit, first month’s rent, and broker fee. Then he has moving expenses. Assuming that he settles into an apartment he has rent, utilities, and all of his other individual bills to pay. However, according to the law he still has to contribute his portion to the housing expenses at the home where wife is residing. Unless his cash flow situation is very favorable he will be stretched to the financial breaking point as he is paying a housing expense at two separate residences. Unfortunately for him the courts generally hold him responsible to contribute to his marital expenses ahead of his own personal living expenses. Continue reading →

If you are contemplating a divorce or separation one of the trickiest issues to navigate is who will stay in the property while the divorce is being worked out and who will go. If you can agree on who will stay and who will vacate, and you can agree on how you will handle the household finances during the divorce, then you have resolved what is oftentimes a major hurdle in the divorce process. Similarly, if you and your spouse can live in the same house together while going through a divorce then you are in a very good position to get your case settled.

This blog post concerns the situation where the parties cannot live together while the divorce is being worked out. If you find yourself in this situation, and you need help figuring out your next move, do not hesitate to contact my office at 844-431-3380, or via e-mail using the e-mail contact form found on this page.

At the outset, it should be noted that if the property that you live in is jointly owned neither party has a greater right to occupy it during the divorce. It should also be noted that even if the property is solely owned by one party, that party does not have the right to eject or remove their spouse from their property. Once you are married there is a right to joint possession of the marital home until a divorce is granted. Because neither party has the right to unilaterally remove the other party from the property stalemates can ensue.

Stalemates can arise when one party can’t leave and rent an apartment because they have neither three months rent as deposit money nor good credit. Stalemates can also arise when there is no alternative place to reside, even temporarily – family is not local, and imposing on friends would be too burdensome. Additionally, if one of the parties is not employed they have no chance to go out on their own unless and until they receive some form of support if it’s warranted. Continue reading →

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