The Certification and Verification of Non-Collusion: A Thing of the Past

As first appeared in the New Jersey State Bar Association Family Law Section, New Jersey Family Lawyer Commentary by Alexandra K. Rigden No matter the grounds, in order to file a complaint or counterclaim for divorce in New Jersey, a client must sign the certification of verification and non-collusion under Rule 5:4-2(c). The ‘non-collusion’ aspect … Continue reading “The Certification and Verification of Non-Collusion: A Thing of the Past”

LGBT Divorce in New Jersey – Are We Really Equal?

We’ve come a long way, baby. In 13 years, the landscape for marriage equality has changed dramatically in New Jersey (and in the United States). New Jersey has been one of the most progressive states in addressing the rights of same-sex couples and marriage equality. In 2004, New Jersey’s Domestic Partnership Act came in to … Continue reading “LGBT Divorce in New Jersey – Are We Really Equal?”

Bad But Not Bad Enough

Parties to a family law litigation generally believe, and justifiably so, that if something is going wrong, someone should be able to fix it—the attorneys, the police, or the courts. Unfortunately, there are some situations in family cases which, although troubling, cannot be fixed absent a change in the law, an escalation of the facts, … Continue reading “Bad But Not Bad Enough”

Debt to Society and to Children

A child support obligation is subject to review by a court when there is a change in the obligor’s financial circumstances. One may be surprised to learn, however, that this is true even when the change in financial circumstances is self-created by an obligor committing a crime that results in a prison sentence. If an … Continue reading “Debt to Society and to Children”

Starting Over and Staying Over

I am often contacted by distressed clients who do not want their children exposed to a soon-to-be ex-spouse’s boyfriend or girlfriend during a divorce litigation. It would seem like a no-brainer…wouldn’t it be too confusing and potentially traumatizing for the children to be around mommy or daddy’s new significant other before the divorce is even … Continue reading “Starting Over and Staying Over”

Weapons Forfeiture and Domestic Violence

Here is a scenario many are, unfortunately, familiar with: Mary calls the police on her husband, Mike. While there, the police ask Mike if he has any weapons. Mike tells them he is a licensed gun owner. The police seize his weapons, along with his firearms purchaser ID card. Because of Mary’s call to the … Continue reading “Weapons Forfeiture and Domestic Violence”

What’s in a Name?

How easily can you change your name? Names changed through marriage do not require a visit to a lawyer or a courtroom. Your marriage license is generally all that’s needed. If you’re getting divorced, you can generally request that the judge handling your divorce formally restore your old name. What if you change your name … Continue reading “What’s in a Name?”

How Can You Mend a Broken Heart (Balm)

Prior to 1935, a jilted lover could sue and recover damages for alienation of affection, adultery, and breach of promise to marry. However, in June of 1935, the Heart Balm Act went into effect in New Jersey. Still the law today, the Heart Balm Act abolished any formerly existing right to sue and recover damages under these causes of action. So what … Continue reading “How Can You Mend a Broken Heart (Balm)”