Located in Ocean County, Brick Township is the state's 13th largest municipality. As of 2010, there were 20,000 families living there. At Goldstein Law Group, we handle many different family law matters for spouses and parents. Often, divorces come with a wide range of disagreements regarding such matters as who should live in the family home, how a family business should be split, how much each parent should contribute to a child's well-being, and with whom a child should live. It can be stressful to deal with these problems, but our Brick Township family law lawyers provide vigorous and experienced legal counsel to clients going through a divorce or trying to modify an earlier divorce decree.Understanding Property Division and Other Divorce-Related Issues
Often, couples disagree about how their property should be split up. Property can be either marital property or separate property. Separate property is property owned prior to the marriage, as well as property that is inherited or a gift to one spouse during the marriage. As a general rule, each spouse keeps their own separate property, but separate property can become marital property through commingling, or the application of marital funds in connection with the separate property. For example, if you owned a house before marrying, but you pay its mortgage by using marital funds during the marriage, the house as a whole may no longer be separate property.
Our New Jersey family courts apply principles of “equitable” division (known in New Jersey as “equitable distribution”) to marital property when distributing assets in a divorce. This means that the division will be what the court considers fair, but it may not necessarily be an equal split. The court must apply and consider the sixteen (16) specific factors under our statute for equitable distribution, in arriving at the court’s award of equitable distribution. Some examples of these sixteen factors which the court must consider are: how long was the marriage (duration); the financial condition of each of the spouses; and the marital lifestyle.
In some cases, one spouse must pay alimony to the other. The alimony may be temporary, or it can be “open durational”, a form of alimony which superseded the prior type of alimony known as “permanent alimony” when the new alimony reform statute was enacted in September 2014. The court must consider multiple factors with regard to the amount of alimony to be paid. It will look at such factors as how much each spouse is capable of earning, each spouse's employment (past, present and future), and whether any schooling or training is necessary so that a dependent spouse can eventually support themself. If one spouse stayed home to care for minor children, this factor can impact whether alimony is awarded. However, the court can also modify an award of alimony if a spouse's circumstances change after the divorce. This can include an increased or decreased ability of the payor spouse, as well as an increased or decreased need of the dependent spouse.
Often, it is helpful for parents to sit down and try to agree on a parenting plan with the guidance of a Brick Township family law attorney. Unfortunately, however, many parents disagree about what is in a child's best interests, and the court must get involved to determine the child's best interests. Ultimately, if the parents cannot jointly agree, all custody issues will turn on what the standard in our law known as “the best interest of the child”. Generally, the court presumes that having frequent, continuing contact with both parents benefits kids. There is no presumption in favor of the mother.
Custody in New Jersey has two distinct components: physical and legal. Physical (also known as “residential”) custody involves the parent with whom a child lives the majority of the time. In some cases, courts order that the parents share physical custody of the child (“joint physical custody”). In other cases, one parent has primary custody while the other parent has parenting time. The concept of “legal custody” involves which of the child’s parents will make important life and legal decisions for a child, such as which school to attend, which religious practices to follow, and whether to accept a blood transfusion or other medical services. In the majority of cases, unless there is a significant problem with one parent, or the logistics of the parents is so compelling, there is joint legal custody, with both parents having a say in these important issues. Part of the calculus of a child's best interests with regard to custody includes the parents' ability to cooperate and communicate with each other about the child.Municipal Court Representation
We also handle criminal matters in Brick Township's Municipal Court. This court processes about 20,000 filings each year. The matters at issue may include driving under the influence (DUI) charges, traffic violations (such as speeding), drug charges, and domestic violence charges.Consult a Family Law Lawyer in the Brick Township Area
At Goldstein Law Group, we provide knowledgeable and compassionate legal representation to individuals and families regarding such matters as divorce, property distribution, child support, alimony, and child custody. Our attorneys understand how important your matter is, and we hold ourselves to a standard of the strictest personal and professional ethics. You can contact us at 732-967-6777 or by completing our online form.