Do You Have Questions About Family Law In New Jersey?
During a period of great change and uncertainty (like divorce or a child custody dispute), it is important to have a trusted resource who can answer your questions and advocate for you. That’s what attorney Scott J. Levine has been offering our clients for more than 20 years. Our family law firm has been serving central and southern New Jersey since 1999, and our lawyer is always happy to answer questions and provide guidance.
Below, you’ll find answers to some frequently asked questions about family law. If you still have questions after reading or want to discuss your options with an experienced attorney, please reach out to schedule an initial consultation.
Do I need a lawyer for an adoption?
Practically speaking, many would tell you that an attorney is necessary. At the very least, hiring one is a good idea. Whether you are trying to adopt someone already in your care (like a stepchild or grandchild) or want to welcome a new baby through domestic or international adoption, the process can be complicated and full of “hoops” and hazards. With so much time, emotional energy and money invested already, it makes sense to protect that investment with the help of an experienced lawyer.
Do I need a prenuptial agreement?
These documents are not right or necessary for all couples, but they have become increasingly popular and relevant in recent years – and with good reason. A prenup might be right for you if:
- You have already amassed significant assets prior to entering into marriage
- You have intellectual property you wish to protect.
- You expect to receive a large family inheritance or the contents of a trust fund during your marriage and want to ensure that this remains separate property.
- You own a business or are part of an existing family business that you want to keep separate from your spouse.
- You were previously married and/or have kids from a previous relationship.
Statistically speaking, divorce is a real possibility in any marriage. Creating a prenuptial agreement doesn’t signal that you are planning on getting divorced. But if divorce ever happens, a prenup will typically make the divorce process faster and more predictable, saving time, money and stress for all involved.
Are prenuptial agreements enforceable?
Yes, if they are properly drafted and executed. Here are some important things to keep in mind:
- You must present the prenup to your fiancé well before the wedding, ensuring that they do not feel unduly pressured to sign it.
- You need to give your fiancé plenty of time to consider the terms of the agreement and discuss them with their own attorney (someone who only represents them – not the same attorney who helped you write it).
- You need to ensure that both parties make a full disclosure of their finances and assets so that both parties can make an informed decision about whether to sign.
If these conditions are met, your prenuptial agreement should be easily enforceable. Because these conditions are so important, however, it is wise to seek experienced legal help from the very beginning of the process.
Can child support orders be modified?
Yes they can, with permission from the court. Either spouse can petition the court to modify the existing order if there has been a substantial change in circumstances, such as the needs of the children or the financial status of either parent. Reasons to seek modification could include a job loss or major promotion or a child’s medical diagnosis that increases care costs.
Judges require a compelling justification to modify an existing court order. That’s one reason why it is so important to work with an experienced attorney who can help you present the strongest argument for your position, whether you are seeking to modify or prevent a modification.
Can my co-parent move out of New Jersey with our kids?
If you share custody, your co-parent cannot make this decision unilaterally. They either need your consent or permission from the court. If your co-parent tries to relocate without obtaining either, you can take them to court.
Contact Us For Experienced Answers And Guidance
With an office in Mount Laurel, the law firm of Scott J. Levine serves clients in central and southern New Jersey. To discuss your legal options in an initial consultation with an attorney who listens and cares, call us at 856-234-2855 or reach out online.