Lakewood Township

Family Law Attorneys Advising Lakewood Township Residents

Lakewood Township, located in Ocean County, New Jersey has a population of about 100,000 residents comprised of approximately 24,000 households. About 43% of these households include minor children. For many people, getting a divorce or handling issues related to child custody, child support, college expenses, or alimony after a divorce can be extremely stressful. Even under the best of circumstances, many couples disagree about one or more major issues when divorcing. If you are concerned about a family law matter, you should consult the Goldstein Law Group. Our Lakewood Township family law lawyers can advocate for your interests and protect yours and your children’s futures.

Common Issues in a Divorce

The state of New Jersey has a residency requirement in order for you to file and pursue a divorce in New Jersey. Generally, your spouse or you must live in New Jersey for at least one (1) year to sue for divorce in this state. You can get a divorce for many different reasons (referred to in New Jersey as “grounds for divorce”). Many divorces get filed based upon the grounds of "irreconcilable differences," and many are also based on living apart for at least 18 months or longer. These are known as the “no fault” grounds for divorce. This is because no one is alleged to be “at fault’ for the breakdown of the marital relationship. Neither party must say anything negative about the other. New Jersey also has numerous other grounds for divorce. However, these other grounds to allege some fault of the other party. These grounds for divorce include adultery, imprisonment, deviant sexual conduct, extreme cruelty, or drug or alcohol abuse.

Often, property division presents a point of contention for couples. New Jersey requires property to be distributed equitably. This does not mean that there will be a 50-50 split of marital property. Instead, the court will look at multiple factors, such as how long a couple was married, their financial condition, and their contributions to a marriage. New Jersey subscribes to the legal concept of “equitable distribution”. For example, one spouse may have been a homemaker rather than a wage earner during the marriage, but that does not mean that they will get less of the marital property upon divorce. Each case is fact sensitive.

Multiple factors are also considered when determining whether maintenance or alimony should be awarded to either spouse. These factors include the marital lifestyle, whether either spouse needs more education or training to be employable, whether one spouse gave up a career in order to care for children, and the earning capacity of each spouse.

Children are also quite often a source of contention during a divorce. In New Jersey, both parents are supposed to financially support their children until they are emancipated. The court will calculate child support according to the parents' income and the child support guidelines, assuming that the couple's combined net income is not more than $3,600 each week. When your combined net incomes exceed this amount, the guidelines only apply up to the maximum $3,600 per week, and a different arrangement may be made, depending on the child's needs. If they parties cannot agree as to the support to be paid in excess of the guidelines amount, the court must hold a plenary hearing to take testimony and consider evidence as necessary, to ascertain the needs of the child and how much, if any, more than the maximum guidelines amount of child support may be appropriate.

New Jersey courts will look at a child's best interests to determine a custody arrangement. The court will consider a child's educational, emotional, and physical needs. A Lakewood Township family law attorney can advise you on how these factors may apply in your situation. Both parents are treated as being equal with regard to custody rights, so the mother does not have more rights than the father. The court will also determine a couple's ability to work together in their child's best interests when making a custody arrangement.

There are two aspects to the concepts of custody under New Jersey family law: physical and legal. Physical custody refers to the parent with whom the child lives the majority of the time. In some cases, a child lives with one parent primarily. When a child lives more with one parent than the other, the first parent is known as the parent of primary residence (the PPR). The other parent is known as the parent of alternate residence (the PAR). Legal custody refers to which parent can make important decisions for a child, such as decisions related to health, medical conditions, education, or religion. Often, parents share joint physical custody of a child, but in some cases, one parent has primary custody of a child.

Municipal Court Cases

Goldstein Law Group also handles Municipal Court matters. The Municipal Court in Lakewood Township handles charges such as violations of local ordinances, disorderly persons offenses, DUI’s and traffic offenses. In some cases, more serious charges are filed in Municipal Court but may eventually be sent to the Ocean County Prosecutor's Office based on the severity of the alleged offense.

Retain a Family Law Lawyer in the Lakewood Township Area

If you are concerned about a family law matter in Lakewood Township, you should contact the Goldstein Law Group. We provide knowledgeable and compassionate legal representation to spouses and parents regarding such matters as divorce, property distribution, child support, alimony, and child custody. Our family law attorneys understand how important your matter is, and we hold ourselves to a standard of the strictest personal and professional ethics. Our team of lawyers is led by Mark Goldstein, Esq. the firm’s founding partner, with more than 32 years of tenacious, vigorous, and zealous legal representation. You can contact us at 732-967-6777 or by completing our online form.

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