Several months into the COVID-19 pandemic, the daily lives of most people have changed in many ways. With many people still desiring to find companionship, dating websites and mobile applications have provided somewhat of a substitute for traditional in-person dates, which are no longer feasible during the pandemic.

What happens if the relationship you’ve developed in these virtual settings goes awry, and the continued virtual contact becomes unwanted, threatening, malicious, and/or harassing? Can you obtain a restraining order to prevent further contact?


Continue Reading Domestic Violence: What is a Dating Relationship?

In recent weeks, the Administrative Office of the Courts has released its statistics, and the news is not surprising. The courts in New Jersey are facing an unprecedented backlogs, and the Family Court has been hit particularly hard.

For those facing divorce, custody issues, post judgment issues, or any family matter, there are alternatives to consider.


Continue Reading The Pandemic Has Hit the Family Courts – What Should I Do Now?

An individual’s child support obligation is calculated utilizing several factors, the most important of which is the income that the individual earns. Usually a person’s income is calculated by looking at the salary and any appropriate deductions, including taxes, health insurance premiums, mandatory retirement or union dues. Some people have the opportunity to work overtime, which adds to their yearly income. The New Jersey Child Support Guidelines contains a provision that states if a person has sporadic income as a result of overtime or a second job, an average will be calculated for purposes of child support. The guidelines further provide that the court is able to exclude sporadic income if the party can demonstrate that it would not be available in an equivalent amount in the future.
Continue Reading If You Refuse Overtime, Are You Underemployed?

The weather is finally warmer and distance learning is finally ending for most students in New Jersey. While New Jersey’s COVID-19 metrics are trending in a positive direction, the national pandemic continues and many parents are thinking about whether or not their children should go to summer camp as planned. In New Jersey, Governor Murphy has signed an order that will allow childcare services to reopen on June 15, organized sports practices to start on June 22, and youth day camps and municipal recreation programs to start on July 6. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the American Camp Association have both put out detailed recommendations, and the State of New Jersey will also be issuing guidelines.

Continue Reading Sending Children to Camp or Daycare in the Time of COVID

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court issued a troubling decision last week, in which it ruled that an order preventing a parent from posting about his children on social media violated the father’s constitutional right to freedom of speech. Even if the court entered the order in question to protect the child, this decision will no doubt reverberate throughout the country, and be the subject of similar cases in which parents in the midst of nasty custody battles seek to wage their wars publicly.

Continue Reading Parents: Is Your Freedom of Speech Worth the Welfare of Your Child?

While restraining orders pursuant to the New Jersey Prevention of Domestic Violence Act exist to protect real victims from abusers, there have been occasions where restraining orders have been obtained with embellished or fabricated allegations. A purported victim may attempt to obtain a restraining order in order to gain an advantage in a custody litigation or to force the alleged abuser from the home. An alleged abuser would then have to defend themselves in court. The initial restraining order is deemed “temporary” and is subject to a subsequent hearing where a judge in the Superior Court of New Jersey will determine if a “final” restraining order should be issued.

Continue Reading Family Law and COVID-19: What Happens If a Restraining Order Is Issued Against You?

New Jersey, like most of the United States, has been given “stay-at-home” orders designed to stop the spread of COVID-19 and protect the general public. However, to a victim of domestic violence who is trapped in perpetual proximity to their abuser, these “stay-at-home” orders actually equate to the notion of a lose-lose decision: Stay at home and be abused, or leave home and expose themselves to a deadly virus and a world that has largely closed its doors.

Continue Reading Family Law and COVID-19: Protections from Domestic Violence

What do you do if the novel coronavirus has shut down your employer, caused a furlough or your termination, or has otherwise suddenly left you without income to pay child support and/or alimony? What do you do if you are the recipient of alimony or child support and now have to figure out how to pay bills and make ends meet without support from your child’s parent or ex-spouse?

A pandemic like this has far reaching economic consequences in these family law issues and can significantly strain both the payor and the payee.


Continue Reading Family Law and COVID-19: Alimony and Child Support

Legal custody is the hallmark of co-parenting. Both parents should confer and attempt to agree on issues pertaining their child’s health, safety, education, and welfare, all in the name of their child’s best interests. The decisions you and the other parent make about your child during this coronavirus pandemic may or may not place them at a higher risk of contracting the virus, which certainly makes these decisions more critical and imparts upon the duty to discuss these decisions with your child’s other parent. Surely, if a child or parent contracts the disease, legal custody would mandate that joint legal custodians discuss and agree upon how to handle any parenting time and health related issues, but it also remains prudent to discuss and attempt to agree upon a plan of action ahead of time.

Continue Reading Family Law and COVID-19: Legal Custody and Parenting Time