daughterAfter a recent divorce judgment in New Jersey, a husband appealed, arguing for reversal. He claimed that the wrong income had been used to calculate alimony and that his actual earnings were lower. He also claimed his wife committed perjury when she testified he didn’t pay for the family’s expenses and misrepresented how much time he spent with the kids, including the overnights he spent. He also argued for the disqualification of the trial judge because he’d talked about his impending retirement with the wife’s attorney at the end of the default hearing.

The couple had married in 2000 and had three kids, all of whom were minors at the time of the divorce. The wife sued for divorce in 2015. The couple didn’t own much property beyond their home, which was in foreclosure, as well as cars and limited retirement accounts.

The wife and her attorney came to a default hearing, at which the husband didn’t appear. The hearing addressed a number of issues that were in the wife’s notice of proposed final judgment. She was seeking sole legal and residential custody of their kids and half of their assets. She also wanted to have open durational alimony, to have the kids’ medical insurance be paid by the husband, and to be compensated for a number of other costs. She only submitted foreclosure correspondence, pay stubs, and documents subpoenaed from the husband’s employer about his earnings. The mother’s case information statement wasn’t put into evidence, although the judge referenced it.

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stethoscopeIn a recent New Jersey child support decision, the defendant appealed reconsideration of an order that required him to pay a $5,000 health insurance deductible for his five children. The mother and father had divorced in 2007. Their final divorce judgment set forth that the father would have to maintain the five kids on his medical insurance after the marriage was dissolved. The mother was ordered to pay the first $250 of unreimbursed medical expenses for each child every year, but after that, the expenses would be shared proportionately, such that the mother would pay for 40% of the amounts over $250 each year, per child, and the father would be responsible for 60% of the amounts over $250 each year, per child.

In 2015, the former couple came before the family division judge after the father moved to compel the mother to apply for health insurance for the kids in New Jersey. The mother filed a cross-motion, demanding that the father continue providing health insurance through United Health Care or a comparable insurer. She argued that the father hadn’t gotten coverage through United Health Care but instead through Care Connect, which wasn’t contracted with the State of New Jersey. She complained that because of this, she had to take the kids to New York for medical care.

The judge contacted the insurer by telephone. Based on the father’s claim that the maximum out of pocket on the former policy was $5,000, the court found out from the insurer that comparable coverage could be as low as $392 or as high as $1,196 each year. The parent providing coverage would receive the bill. The court ordered the mom to apply for insurance through United Health Care for comparable coverage to the former United Health Care coverage with the $5,000 deductible. The father was ordered to pay by advancing the mother the amount of three months of premiums at a time. He also had to pay 60% of medical bills.

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child's faceIn a recent New Jersey custody case, a mother appealed from an order on parenting time and child support. The father cross-appealed. The couple dated for about three years and had one child.

They agreed to share joint legal custody through two consent orders. The father was to pay the mother $100 per week. The next year, they worked out a custody agreement that addressed all of the issues, except two. They agreed that they would have joint legal custody and that neither party was to be designated the parent of primary residence. They also created a parenting time schedule.

The parenting time schedule required the father to pick the child up on Thursday morning and bring the child back on Friday afternoon, and it required the mother to pick the child up on Tuesday and have the child for the weekend, starting on Friday. The couple couldn’t agree on overnights or child support, and these were to be decided by the court. The court heard arguments in 2016, and the next day, the court provided an order that found the parties shared a 50/50 parenting time schedule and found that it was appropriate to deviate from the New Jersey Child Support Guidelines, deny their requests for child support, and direct the parties to share in the child’s health care.

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rural-home-1233045-e1508796239638In a recent New Jersey appellate case, a couple married in 1997 and separated in 2007. The husband sued for divorce in 2010, and the divorce came through in 2013. The divorce judgment incorporated a marital settlement agreement.

The husband appealed a post-judgment order that enforced equitable distribution of the marital home, transferred the obligation to make mortgage payments, and provided the husband with sole responsibility for the couple’s unpaid income taxes. The wife argued it should be affirmed.

The wife had filed the motion at issue in 2015, when she found out the mortgage’s balance was higher than what the couple had understood when creating the settlement agreement. She had also filed a motion after learning there were recorded federal income tax liens on the couple’s home that were more than what the home was worth. Because of these liens, the wife couldn’t close on a home sale contract set for 2015.

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wedding ringIn a recent New Jersey divorce decision, the defendant tried to get a divorce judgment vacated because it incorporated an unenforceable marital separation agreement. He claimed that it was an unconscionable, unjust, and inequitable mid-marriage agreement and that his spouse fraudulently induced him to sign it.

The wife found out that the husband was having an affair and asked an attorney to draft a marital separation agreement. The attorney sent the agreement to the husband and let him know he had the right to ask an attorney of his own for advice before signing it. The agreement gave the wife sole legal custody of the couple’s three kids. It provided that the husband would have parenting time on alternative weekends and when the parties mutually agreed.

The couple jointly owned and operated a marketing business, from which the husband was to pay alimony to the wife. The wife would get their home, retirement accounts, and a joint brokerage account. The husband got a car and had responsibility for the debt he’d incurred as well as their remaining mortgage debt.

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nienke-2-1370519-e1508189157797In a recent New Jersey appellate decision, a couple that married in 1999 had three kids. After a divorce trial, the father was awarded custody of the kids and the mother had to pay child support for the three kids. The father  had to pay the mother$300 each week in rehabilitative alimony.

The father moved to terminate alimony based on a change in circumstances. This motion was denied. Later the father tried against to end alimony and increase child support, but the wife filed a for primary residential custody of two of the kids, enforcement of the alimony order, and recalculation of support for the kids. The judge reduced the alimony payments and increased child support among other things.

The judge ordered a hearing on child supporting, parenting time, custody and alimony. In his order, the judge found nothing had changed significantly since the divorce judgment. The judge did find the plaintiff improved her economic situation by finishing her education, getting her degree and getting a job, but that this didn’t dispose of the custody issue. The judge also noted that the plaintiff had a difficult relationship with her oldest daughter and that the couple was reluctant to split the children up. The plaintiff’s motion for change of residential custody and ordered child support based on the guidelines’ sole parenting worksheet.

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childrenIn a recent New Jersey child custody decision, the father appealed after a lower court decided against his request for a modification. The couple divorced in February 2014. The judgment incorporated a marital settlement that gave the parents joint custody and shared parenting time of three daughters. Nine months later, because of changed circumstances, the mother was given sole residential custody of the oldest daughter.

The father voluntarily retired and relocated 60 miles away from where his daughters were living with their mother. He asked the lower court to modify his divorce judgment. He wanted primary residential custody of two of his daughters, as well as termination of child support and an adjustment of parenting time. The reason he wanted the modification was that shared custody was impractical. He also claimed his new hometown had a better school system and was in a place that was safer.

The mother cross-moved, asking for primary residential custody of the two daughters. A guardian ad litem was appointed, and that person issued a written recommendation about residential custody. The defendant was also ordered to pay the plaintiff the balance of her shares of the 2013 income tax return and marital home sale. The judge ordered that based on the reallocation, the defendant would have to pay the rest of the guardian ad litem’s fees.

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windowIn a recent New Jersey property division case, the father appealed from a court order denying his motion to compel his former wife to contribute toward debts they’d incurred while married. The couple had been married for 32 years, and they divorced in 2014. Their matrimonial settlement agreement was incorporated into their final divorce judgment. It included allocations of marital debt. There was language about how the couple would handle an IRS tax lien that had attached to their home.

The tax lien arose because from 1999-2004, the couple hadn’t filed federal income tax returns or paid federal income taxes. Eventually, the IRS put a lien on their home. In the settlement agreement, they agreed that they would pay off the debt by selling the home. The home sold in 2015, and at the time, they owed the IRS more than $102,000 in back taxes. From 2011 to the time of the sale, the husband’s wages were garnished by the IRS, and they collected $41,580 that way.

The settlement agreement agreed they would evenly split the proceeds after paying the tax liens, and the liens were there due to the failure to pay income tax. The agreement referenced the wage garnishment and stated the couple would work with their accountant to try to reduce the tax liens. The agreement also agreed that any liens or judgments for anything besides the taxes would be the responsibility of whoever’s name was on the judgment or lien.

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childIn a recent New Jersey divorce decision, a wife appealed from post-judgment orders. The case arose after the parties got married and then divorced almost 15 years later. They had one child and entered into a marital settlement agreement that set forth the equitable distribution of assets, alimony, and child-related issues like child custody, child support, and visitation.

In 2015, the ex-husband moved the court for various remedies, including terminating or reducing his alimony obligation to his ex-wife. The ex-wife opposed and cross-moved. The court ordered the former couple to economic mediation and established temporary child support from the ex-wife to the ex-husband in the amount of $40 per week. The former couple went to mediation but couldn’t resolve their differences.

In September 2015, the plaintiff filed a motion seeking specified financial documents from the defendant. The defendant opposed the motion.

children on beachIn a recent New Jersey child custody case, a couple separated in 2008, after a period in which the wife claimed there was domestic violence. The marriage ended in a consent judgment of divorce, although the couple couldn’t resolve their parenting and custody issues before the judgment was entered.

In 2009, the mother contacted the child services division, making claims about the father’s improper and sexual conduct. The Division investigated to see whether the father sexually abused the child, and a temporary restraining order was put in place. The father’s parenting time was suspended.

The court dismissed the domestic violence allegations. However, the wife successfully got an order to show cause so that the judge could review the sexual abuse investigation. The judge reviewed and got rid of the restraints, ordering that the father could resume parenting time. However, the Division told the father that the investigation found the son had been sexually abused, and the father was to blame. The finding of abuse related to one incident was overturned, but a second finding of abuse as to another incident stayed in place.

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