SCROLL DOWN FOR ALL ARE SERVICES PROVIDED
We know that divorce can be one of the most difficult experiences in a family's life, not only for the husband and wife, also for the children. As divorce lawyers, it's our goal to approach your case in a compassionate way that can ease emotions, yet with a goal of vigorously representing your interests.
We establish and maintain a hands-on and personal approach with our clients that is based on availability and accessibility, diligent responses to cases, and addressing inquiries promptly and thoroughly. We know how key this approach is if we are to completely understand our client's cases and all issues involved in their divorce. Once we gain this information we have a long track record of creatively resolving issues that preserve the health and (economic and emotional) wellbeing of our clients in the long run.
To speak about any issue with regard to divorce, call 973-831-7773 to schedule a free initial introductory consultation or e-mail us at Suzanne@reenstralaw.com .
Prenuptial and Settlement Agreements
People enter into prenuptial agreements for several reasons; it might be to protect children from the first marriage, or assets acquired prior to the marriage.
Settlement agreements can be considered a kind of mirror image to prenuptial agreements — they're pursued when people separate and enter into negotiations to arrive at a settlement of important issues, including alimony, child support and division of assets. It can be a far more efficient, economical and amiable resolution to these issues as opposed to litigation. Even when litigation has been started, a settlement agreement can resolve all outstanding issues rather than to litigate the case through trial.
When entering into these agreements, however, it can be hugely beneficial to work with an experienced prenuptial/settlement agreement attorney to ensure the wishes and interests of all parties are expressed, transparently laid out and properly documented.
Mediation and Uncontested divorce
Because of how emotional and expensive divorce can be, many couples are gravitating toward progressive options for ending their partnership. Among these, mediation, collaboration and negotiation are among the most utilized. It's understandable why — when efficient, economical and amicable methods are available to couples and families, why would they want to go through the potentially stressful, costly and rigid arena of litigation?
In actuality, in New Jersey and throughout the United States, more and more courts have begun requiring couples to attempt mediation because they can create an open dialogue between parties with the aid of a mediator and an atmosphere conducive to amicable resolution of issues.
Ultimately we believe that mediation and uncontested divorce can be an optimal solution for a number of reasons, including:
- During the process, each side can consult with experts to clarify issues including business valuation, real estate appraisals and child welfare.
- Family law mediation is non-binding and confidential, meaning that what happens within the family law mediation process generally cannot be used as evidence or brought to a judge's attention during litigation.
- There is buy-in from both parties so settlements negotiated are more likely to avoid unwanted modification through subsequent litigation or appeal.
Regardless of the issues at play, we're ready to take our experience to work toward ideal resolutions in your case.
Alimony and Child Support
In the wake of a divorce, one of the most immediately felt changes is a financial one. When couples separate, there are several issues to be dealt with in terms of finances, income and assets.
When entering into this area of law, it's important to understand several factors.
New Jersey law requires a number of factors to be considered when determining alimony. These factors include marriage length, the age and earning histories of the parties, as well as child care duties during the marriage. The court has substantial discretion in the determination of alimony including the amount and duration of payments.
There are also many factors that determine child support payments in New Jersey, including income, payment and receipt of alimony as well as the child support calculator provided in court rule guidelines. Regardless of the issue, we can work to develop a plan that maintains continuance of a child's lifestyle within family law guidelines.
In addition, as issues change we're able to work on support modification to ensure continued fairness and equity between parties.
Custody and Visitation
When children are involved in a divorce, it's important to ensure that their health and well-being are preserved as the family transitions to new circumstances. By developing a fair and reasonable custody and parenting plan, families can ensure that a child's relationship with all members of the family is preserved in the healthiest way.
Removal issues are often a major point of contention in these types of cases. Children who are New Jersey natives or who have been residents of the state for two or more years generally cannot be moved out of state without express consent of both parents or as permitted by a court order. We represent custodial parents who are trying to leave the state as well as those opposing moves. It's our goal to help you understand your parental rights and advocate for you throughout the process and in litigation if necessary.
In addition, because circumstances often change, we're able to work on modifications to custody or parenting plans with the goal of fostering the rights of parents and children when conditions have changed.
Domestic violence is a serious issue that can deeply affect a family on multiple levels. It's something that is taken very seriously by both criminal and family law courts in New Jersey. If someone is found to have committed domestic violence, there are severe consequences that can deeply impact parental rights including custody and visitation. While many people think of domestic violence as assault, in actuality, stalking, threats, harassment, destruction of property sexual abuse and other prohibited activities all constitute examples of domestic violence. If you or a family member is a victim of or is charged with domestic violence, it's critical to reach out to a domestic violence lawyer to protect your rights and adequately prepare your case.
Domestic Abuse Defense
When divorce and family law conflicts become heated, it is unfortunately not rare for false accusations of domestic violence to be made in an attempt to gain an advantage in divorce proceedings or to hurt the other party. If you have been accused of domestic violence, we can bring our comprehensive experience to help you with issues of:
- Hearings about making temporary restraining orders permanent
- Restraining order dissolution hearings
To discuss any domestic violence issue, call 973-831-7773 to schedule a free initial introductory consultation or e-mail us Suzanne@reenstralaw.com
Divorce judgments and marital settlement agreements may be subject in the future to revisions and modifications based upon the existence of a substantial change of circumstances that make enforcement of the terms of the judgment or the settlement agreement unfair and inequitable.
The judgment of a court or the terms of a marital settlement agreement concerning issues such as spousal support and child support are usually based upon the facts and circumstances that exist at the time the judgment was entered or the agreement was arrived at. However, thereafter, there may be a substantial change in those circumstances that make enforcement of the judgment or the settlement agreement unfair and inequitable to one or the other of the parties.
In such a situation, the parties may be able to agree to a modification of the terms of the judgment or of the settlement agreement. If they cannot agree, one or the other of the parties can apply to the court for a modification of the terms that are no longer fair or equitable.
A change of circumstances may also arise with regard to custody or visitation regarding children of a divorced couple. Again, if there has been a substantial change of circumstances that adversely affects the best interests of the child or children, an application can be made to the court for a change in the custodial arrangement or visitation in the judgment or agreement.
Even in those cases where an agreement provides that the parties waive their right to seek a modification in the Alimony provisions of the agreement, there may be relevant facts and circumstances that make such a provision or clause unenforceable.
If you have experienced a substantial change of circumstances that you believe makes provisions in your divorce judgment or marital settlement agreement unfair and inequitable, contact the lawyers in the firm of Petrie & Reenstra LLC.
Parental Relocation and College Expenses
If you are thinking about moving out of the state of New Jersey with your child, or you have been advised that your former spouse intends to move out of New Jersey with your child, you need to know your legal rights. At Petrie & Reenstra, LLC we are experienced in representing clients in such matters. In order to move out of the State of New Jersey with your child, you must either have consent from the other parent, or the permission of a Court. If you move without a Court Order permitting you to do so, or without the consent of the other parent, you may face severe sanctions (including, possibly losing custody). The Courts must consider several factors in deciding relocation matters. Some of those factors include: the reason for the move (if it is made in good faith); the effect that such a move will have on the relationship with the other parent; and whether such a move will be harmful to the best interest of the child.
At the law firm of Petrie & Reenstra, LLC, we are experienced in New Jersey law regarding the obligations of parents in making contributions to the college expenses of their children. We have years of experience in negotiations regarding these issues as well as representing clients in court, if negotiations fail.
The Court considers several factors in determining the extent of a parent's contribution to their children's college expenses, including:
- Relationship between a parent a child
- Financial ability of each parent
- Cost and expenses of a college education
- Available financial aid by scholarships, grants and loans
- Child's financial assets and more
Effect on Child Support Payments
There is a connection between a parent's child support obligation and that parent's contribution to college expenses. At Petrie & Reenstra LLC, we are experienced and knowledgeable in assisting parents negotiate a solution regarding their support obligations and college expense obligations.
Parents are urged to begin discussing financing their children's college education sufficiently in advance to intelligently and realistically determine their ability and obligation in providing for their children's future.