In what appears to be a case of first impression, the trial court in Ocean County considered issues concerning the retroactive emancipation and modification of previously unallocated, court-ordered child support for parties with multiple unemancipated children.
In the unpublished decision by the New Jersey Appellate Court, Karkoszka v. Karkoszka, the appellate court issued a decision after reviewing a trial court’s denial of a post-divorce (i.e., post-judgment) motion to change alimony and child support based on the birth of a non-marital child. The case was not one of first impression, but did reiterate the standard for a modification of alimony and child support when a non-marital child is born to the alimony and child support paying spouse.
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In what may be considered more of a constitutional or even insurance law issue, rather than a family law issue, two lesbian couples have filed a federal civil rights suit challenging the constitutionality of the New Jersey law that requires insurance companies to offer fertility treatment to heterosexual women, but not to those in same-sex relationships.
Grandparent visitation rights is a complicated issue for the courts. On the one hand, you have the rights of the parents to determine how they raise their child – including to determine to whom the child is exposed. On the other hand, you have the grandparents, who desire to have a relationship with their grandchild.
New Jersey courts embrace the resolution of marital controversies through a Property Settlement Agreement (“PSA”), which are voluntarily entered into and promote post-divorce stability. Konzelman v. Konzelman, 158 N.J. 185, 193-94 (1999). A PSA sets forth the terms of the negotiated settlement agreement between divorcing spouses..
In order to achieve a reduction of an alimony obligation, a payor must demonstrate that there has been a “changed circumstance.” If there truly has been a “changed circumstance”, then, sometimes, a modification may be accomplished through negotiations with the former spouse.
In the matter of Natoli v. Natoli the New Jersey Appellate Division upheld a Property Settlement Agreement (“PSA”) that contained a mandatory arbitration clause. The PSA, among other things, contained an arbitration clause whereby the parties had agreed to binding arbitration for any disputes regarding personal property that had not already been mutually distributed.
Child support is meant to be used for the benefit of the child. Often, however, clients allege that their former spouse is misusing child support payments for their own benefit.
Often, the decision of which parent a child should live with after a divorce is an extremely difficult decision for a court to reach.