Located in Monmouth County, Manasquan has a population of 6,000 residents. Only about a quarter of the households have children living there. About 30% of the population is between the ages of 25 and 44. Issues that commonly come up in a family law proceeding may involve property distribution, enforcement of a prenuptial agreement, child custody, child support, and alimony. Often, it is possible to come to a full agreement through negotiations and mediation. When a couple cannot agree on one or more matters, it may be necessary to take a divorce case to trial, at which the court will make decisions that can affect the rest of their lives. At the Goldstein Law Group, our Manasquan family law lawyers provide compassionate and tenacious legal representation to individuals and families during and after divorce.Important Matters in Divorce Proceedings
Before your property is divided, it is important to characterize the property as either separate or marital property. Separate property is property that you owned prior to the marriage, as well as certain property received during the marriage like gifts and inheritances. Marital property includes any property that was earned or acquired during the marriage, such as income from a job, bonuses from a job, or property obtained during the marriage that was purchased with marital funds.
In some cases, separate property becomes marital property based on commingling or an increase in value that is attributable to the other spouse. For example, if you owned a rental house prior to the marriage, and it was separate property, but during the marriage, your spouse renovated it so that it increased in value, your spouse may be entitled to some of this increased value.
Sometimes, in a divorce, the court orders one spouse to pay the other spouse alimony. The court will consider many factors to determine whether alimony should be paid and what its duration and scope should be. Often, alimony is of limited duration and intended to be rehabilitative. It may be paid just until one spouse has a chance to receive education or training to become self-supporting. However, there are instances in which alimony can be paid for a longer period of time. Prior to New Jersey’s sweeping alimony reform, this used to be called permanent alimony. Now, after September 2014, it is called “open durational” alimony. Under the prior law, it was not so cut and dry when and how a spouse qualified for permanent alimony. Under the new statute, the parties must be married for twenty (20) years for the dependent spouse to be entitled to open durational alimony. There are, of course, certain exceptions to that general rule.
Children can also give rise to additional disputes during divorce. Our Manasquan family law attorneys can guide you through their complications. Child custody involves two parts — legal custody and physical custody. Whichever parent lives with a child the majority of the time is said to have physical or residential custody. The concept of “legal custody” addresses which parent has the authority to make significant decisions related to such matters as a child's welfare, education, health, safety, and religion. This can be joint legal or sold legal, though I most cases, unless there are compelling factors, it will most often be joint legal custody.
For purposes of calculating child support, when a child spends an average of more than two overnights each week with each parent, the parents must use a shared parenting child support guidelines worksheet. One of these parents is typically considered the parent of primary residence (the PPR), while the other is referred to as the parent of alternate residence (PAR). The parent's designation can have an impact on child support calculations.
The court makes decisions related to custody based on a child's "best interests." In some cases, the court asks a professional to evaluate the child's best interests. While the court is not obligated to follow the recommendation of that expert, the recommendation may be used alongside witness testimony and expert testimony to determine which parent should live with the child a parenting time schedule, holiday parenting time, and whether both parents should have the authority to make important decisions (legal custody).Representation in Municipal Court Matters
The Manasquan Municipal Court is a court of limited jurisdiction that hears minor criminal matters, such as disorderly person's offenses and violations of ordinances. Many of the matters heard in a municipal court are traffic violations. New Jersey follows a point system. When you accumulate 12 or more points, the result is a license suspension. If your license is suspended, you are not allowed to drive, and if you drive despite having a suspended license, you may face prison time. This makes it crucial to retain an experienced attorney.Hire a Family Law Lawyer in the Manasquan Area
At the Goldstein Law Group, our divorce lawyers provide experienced legal advice and representation to Manasquan residents regarding divorce, property distribution, child support, alimony, and child custody. You can contact us at 732-967-6777 or by completing our online form.