Photo of Corrine E. Cooke

Corrine E. Cooke is a member of Stark & Stark’s Family Law & Divorce Group. Ms. Cooke concentrates her practice on divorce proceedings, including custody, alimony, child support, and equitable distribution. She also drafts prenuptial agreements and handles post-judgment litigation including modification applications, emancipation applications, complex custody disputes, college contribution applications, and domestic violence matters.

The recent unpublished (i.e., non-precedential) case of M.E.G. v. C.P. (link) shows how unpredictable family law matters can be. In the case, a child was born in June of 2016 in New Jersey. Under N.J.S.A., children may not be removed out of New Jersey without the consent of both parents unless a Court permits the removal. The parties were not married but planned to relocate from New Jersey to Florida after the child’s birth for a fresh start and financial stability. In November of 2017, the parties executed a relocation agreement which allowed the mother to relocate to Florida with the child and contemplated the father moving to Florida at a later time.

Continue Reading Considering a Relocation Agreement? Think Again!

Whether or not to vaccinate a child has been an issue for years that family law attorneys have addressed during divorce proceedings or in post-judgment cases (i.e., after a divorce). Clients often ask whether a Court has the authority to require a child to be vaccinated when one parent wants the child to be vaccinated and the other parent does not. This question has become even more relevant recently in light of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination being available to children ages 12 and older. A recent unpublished (i.e., non-precedential) Appellate Decision has shed some light on this issue. As is the case with most legal issues, the answer is “it depends.”


Continue Reading Can a Court Require Me to Get My Child Vaccinated?

As Family Law attorneys, we are familiar with the importance of discretion—especially involving sensitive subject matters. We listen to very personal and/or sensitive information from clients regularly, it is part of our jobs. We fully understand that we owe a duty of confidentiality to all of our clients and take that very seriously.

However, this may be the first time you are looking for a divorce attorney. Most people find their divorce attorneys by either word of mouth referrals or online. If you searched for a divorce attorney on a shared computer, you might find yourself lying awake at night wondering if these ads may appear the next time your spouse is logged on. What does not have discretion or a duty of confidentiality is the software that allows the ads to appear online by remembering/recording your recent online searches. Here are a few simple steps you can take to prevent an unfortunate situation of your spouse seeing an ad for a divorce attorney or law firm while shopping online.


Continue Reading Tips for Searching For a Divorce Attorney Online Without Your Spouse Knowing

The fairness of the calculation of alimony and child support depends on the accuracy of both party’s respective incomes. Both alimony and child support are calculated using each party’s gross income.

Gross income may include income from the following sources:


Continue Reading What Income is Used to Determine Alimony & Child Support in New Jersey?

Changing American Families

Changing social norms and biological advances in reproductive technology have changed the face of the family, in turn creating legal consequences and implications.

Families formed by non-traditional marriages, same-sex couples, and individuals intending to parent alone may use assisted reproductive technology. Assisted reproductive technology and adoption can help create families who may not be biologically related.


Continue Reading Tri-Parenting Arrangements and Custody

Baures v. Lewis Standard for Relocation

For just over 16 years, Baures v. Lewis was the standard in New Jersey for allowing a parent to permanently relocate out-of-state with a child against the other parent’s wishes. N.J.S.A. 9:2-2 provides that a parent seeking to relocate and remove a child from New Jersey without the other parent’s consent must show “cause.”

Pursuant to Baures v. Lewis, a parent designated as the Parent of Primary Residence (PPR) could show cause to relocate the children out of state by: 1) demonstrating a good-faith reason for the move, and 2) that the move would “not be inimical to the child’s interests.” The New Jersey Supreme Court has now abandoned that standard in favor of a best interest of the child standard.


Continue Reading New Standard for Child Relocation Applications in New Jersey

With the upcoming Powerball jackpot being the largest in history ($1.5 billion), the issue of whether a lottery prize is subject to equitable distribution is certainly relevant, and may be a very real issue for some lucky winner(s). The answer to that inquiry is “it depends.” It depends on when the Complaint for Divorce is

Divorce can be an extremely stressful experience, but often the best way to stay calm is by preparing yourself with as much information as possible. When first setting up an initial consultation with a divorce attorney, a staff member from the attorney’s office will need to run a “conflict check” to ensure that there is no pre-existing reason that would prevent that attorney from representing you in your family law matter. If there are no conflicts, you will be contacted to set up an appointment for an initial consultation.

At an initial consultation, you should be prepared to discuss the circumstances of your case. This part of the process is simply a conversation between you and a potential attorney. You should be the one doing the majority of the talking at the initial consultation, and the attorney should be listening to you, and taking notes. The attorney will also be asking you questions to make sure they have all of the necessary information about your circumstances.


Continue Reading What to Expect When You’re Divorcing: The Initial Consultation