NJ Divorce Law

In the practice of New Jersey Divorce and Family Law, many aspects of your case are governed by law or cases previously heard by and resolved in court (commonly called precedent). You may hear your divorce attorney cite these cases and see them in writing to support certain parts of your divorce documents.

Already Divorced

Post-Judgment Modifications are an active part of New Jersey Divorce and Family Law work. As such, many aspects of the modification process have weathered the storm of the trial process.

Crews v. Crews, 2000: Marital Lifesstyle This case set precedent that a dependent spouse is entitled to alimony to ensure that their post-divorce lifestyle is similar to the one enjoyed in marriage. This case highlighted the importance of accurately estimating the “marital lifestyle” during the initial divorce process. The court outlined several factors should be considered when calculating lifestyle expenses including all real-estate and improvements, savings and investments, all vehicles, personal property of significant value, regular shopping habits, entertainment, household help, cash on hand, pets, and other personal expenses.

Child Custody

As you and your ex-spouse embark on your post-divorce paths, you may realize that certain aspects of your child custody plans are no longer working for changes in your lifestyle including employment and personal commitments.

Baures v. Lewis, 2001: Moving a child out of State This case outlined conditions that should be considered when, post-divorce one parent would like to move a minor child out of state and how visitation with the non-custodial parent would be accommodated.  You can read more about this case by vising our article Relocating With Children After Divorce.  

Chen & Heller, 334 N.J. Super. 361 (2000).  If the parties equally share parenting time, the party who wants to move that must prove it is in the best interest of the children to change the custody arrangement.  

Moriarity v Bradt, 2003: Grandparents Rights This case held that grandparents seeking visitation under N.J.S.A. 9:2-7.1 “must prove by a preponderance of the evidence that denial of the visitation they seek would result in harm to the child. In this case, the grandparents met that burden.”

Under the law: N.J.S.A. 9:2-7.1, there are several factors to consider, when determining if grandparents should have visitation with their grandchildren against the wishes of the children’s parents:

  1. Relationship of the child to his/her grandparents
  2. Relationship of parent to the applicant (presumably his/her own parents)
  3. Time that has transpired since child last spent time with grandparent
  4. Effect of child’s relationship with grandparent on the parents
  5. The parenting schedule if parents are divorced
  6. The intention of the grandparents
  7. Any physical, emotional, or sexual abuse or neglect of the grandparetns.
  8. Any and all other factors which could be in the best interest of the child.
Child Support

Newburgh v. Arrigo, 1982, COLLEGE COSTS: The court listed specific factors to consider when determining who should contribute towards the cost of college.  Please read more information about college costs in our article Handling the Costs of College.