In a recent trial court published decision, the Court considered a parent's obligation to share in the incremental cost of a child's car insurance as an additional obligation beyond the child support being paid pursuant to the child support guidelines.
On January 19, 2016, Governor Christie officially signed into law an update to the law regarding child support and its termination.
In a published Appellate Division case, the Court upheld the doctrine of fugitive disentitlement to preclude an individual from seeking a custodial alternative during the period in which he has fled the country to avoid paying child support arrears.
People are generally understanding of the law with regard to equitable distribution in a divorce, including the exemptions for pre-marital property and gifts/inheritences. However, when two people never get married but live together, their rights are less clear. Fortunately (or unfortunately depending upon which side of the equation you are on), the courts have equitable powers to ensure fairness.
In an interesting published Appellate Division case, the Court considered whether the destruction of jointly owned marital property could form the basis of a claim for a Final Restraining Order with "Criminal Mischeif" serving as the predicate act.
In an interesting decision, the trial court confirmed a finding of paternity against a father as to one of two twins after reviewing the relevant DNA evidence, and accepting expert testimony, which indicated that the twins had different biological fathers.
In a published trial court decision, the issue of a DeVita restraint, i.e., the term used to describe a court order which limits the amount of exposure which a divorcing parent may permit a child to have with the parent's new girlfriend or boyfriend, was reviewed. The review included consideration of whether the new girlfriend or boyfriend would be permitted to spend the night when the child was present.
Almost every parenting plan includes the right of both parties to take their children on vacation during the year (often limited to two weeks per parent), a right which supersedes the normal parenting schedule. However, it is rare to find an agreement which more specifically defines these rights and/or accounts for the mechanism for effectuating the right to vacation time, except for the requirement of providing advanced notice and an itinerary with contact information.
In situations where parents have joint legal custody, each parent has a right to exercise reasonable parental discretion when the child is in their care. People divorce, or do not remain in a relationship, because, often, they have differences in opinions (i.e., "irreconcilable differences"). It is not surprising, therefore, that disagreements over parenting styles are commonplace. In our legal system, courts are flooded with cases involving ex-spouses fighting over what they feel is best for their children.
Courts will impose upon parents an obligation to support their children financially until they are emancipated. In New Jersey there are several ways a child can become emancipated (or a legal adult in the eyes of the Court). The agreed upon impetuses of emancipation are as follows: