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Articles Posted in Family Law

It’s almost back-to-school time and many area students rely on their parents to cover all of their college-related costs that remain after scholarships, grants, and loans. This can be a very stressful situation for kids and parents, particularly those in divorced families committed to contributing to their child’s college costs. There will be some parent who will decide that he/she is unhappy with that commitment and will often leave the child in a lurch while the two parents argue as to how the costs will be covered.

A recent unpublished New Jersey Appellate Division case has dealt with the parents’ obligations for the payment of college-related costs and expenses when one party has decided she doesn’t want to follow the terms of the parties’ Property Settlement Agreement (PSA). In Polcari v. Polcari, Docket No. A-3538-14, the Court not only evaluated the factors under Newburgh v. Arrigo, 88 N.J. 529 (1982), and N.J.S.A. 2A:34-23, the Court found that a plenary hearing “was not necessary in light of the specified terms of the PSA and the certified financial information the parties had submitted.”

The Trial Court had allocated, by percentages, the amount each parent was to be responsible for based strictly on their respective incomes. The Appellate panel found that, considering the circumstances, the findings were fair and just.

Divorce after retirement requires application of the same statutory factors concerning equitable distribution and support, but with emphasis on issues relevant to those who have needs that differ from working families and families with young children.

Older people who are already receiving retirement pensions at the time they divorce will have to address the division of marital assets and how to treat their pensions and Social Security.

“Full Retirement Age” means the age at which a person is eligible to receive full retirement benefits included in section 2/6 of the Federal Social Security Act (42 U.S.C.   § 416). Social Security payments are not subject to equitable distribution.

There are many different laws which are relevant to family matters. When parties move to different states and countries, there are laws and procedures in effect to obtain, maintain, and enforce family laws and issues arising from family relationships. This includes divorces, separations, support, custody, paternity, and property rights. There are several different choice of law doctrines which may apply depending upon the specific facts.

New Jersey will have jurisdiction over a divorce if one of the parties has resided in New Jersey for one year. When the divorce is filed in New Jersey, if during the marriage for example, marital funds were expended and used in another country to buy land, a determination may have to be made by the court as to whether foreign law or New Jersey law applies for the purpose of dividing that asset. When parties to a marriage purchase property or gain assets in another country or state during the marriage, an issue can arise as to what law applies to the disposition of the property. Similarly if parties move to different states and countries, choice of law issues arise about custody and support.

Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA)

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