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Category Archives: Family Law

Landmark Decision Changes NJ Child Relocation Law

Attorney Paul H. Townsend presents his arguments to the New Jersey Supreme Court in Bisbing v Bisbing

On Tuesday, in a landmark decision THAT WILL IMPACT ALL NEW JERSEY PARENTS SEEKING TO RELOCATE, the New Jersey Supreme Court modified the Appellate Division and created a new standard of review when a parent seeks to remove the children to another state.

 

The conflict arose when the mother sought to relocate to Utah, the home state of her (now) husband.  The father objected to the removal of the parties’ two children.  Upon the mother’s application for relocation, the trial court authorized the move.  The father appealed, and the Appellate Division reversed the trial court’s decision, holding that if father could prove the mother negotiated the parties’ custody agreement in bad faith, the court should use the best interests of the child, not the standard set forth under Baures v. Lewis.  If the father could not prove bad faith, the mother would nevertheless have to prove a substantial unanticipated change in circumstance prior to moving forward under Baures.

 

Paul H. Townsend, of Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark, L.L.C., the firm who represented the mother beginning with the initial relocation application, successfully argued the case for the mother, causing the Supreme Court to modify the Appellate Division’s arbitrary, subjective and unworkable standard.   The Supreme Court found “special justification” to depart from the Baures standard, finding Baures was no longer supported by social science or the trend in the law.

 

Attorney Paul Townsend stated “The Bisbing decision is a victory for all parents in that it modifies the Appellate Division’s subjective and frankly unworkable standards; that the non-moving party must prove that there was ‘bad faith’ in the negotiation of the agreement, and if they are unable to do so, then the moving party must prove a ‘substantial and unanticipated change in circumstance’. This decision focuses the court on where it should be always, the best interests of the children.”

 

Moving forward, the best interests of the child standard will be used across the board for all cases involving parents with joint legal custody.  Mr. Townsend is available to discuss the ramifications of this monumental case and can be reached at (973) 539-0075 for comment and family law counsel.

How to Divorce an Abusive Spouse

Spousal abuse and domestic violence can take many forms, and can be difficult for the victim to extract themselves from the situation. People fear that filing for a divorce will only antagonize the abuser, and push them to committing further acts of abuse. However, New Jersey law provides many protections for victims of domestic violence… Continue Reading

Social Security Disability and Child Support

A disability can result in great financial difficulty. This is particularly true for a parent who is financially responsible for a child or children. In the case that a parent is receiving social security disability benefits, it can affect their child support agreement in several ways. In this article, we will take a look how social security… Continue Reading

What Your Divorce Attorney Needs to Know

Every divorce is different, and can often involve stressful and sometimes embarrassing private matters. When going through a divorce however, it is critical that your Chester divorce attorney is kept fully informed, no matter how difficult it may be to discuss your family’s private business. As hard as it may be to discuss certain things… Continue Reading

What Is An Annulment?

Many people are familiar with divorce, and many of the concepts related to it including child custody, child support, alimony, and division of assets. But one thing our Morris County family law clients frequently ask us about is annulment, what is it and how does it differ from a divorce? How Does Annulment Differ from… Continue Reading

Bad Divorce Advice Commonly Given to Women

Going through a divorce is usually difficult, both financially and emotionally. Issues such as child custody, child support, division of assets, and alimony can easily overwhelm you, and its common for people to turn to friends and family for advice in times like these. While many of your friends and family members may have gone… Continue Reading

Taxes and Divorce

Divorcing individuals often have questions about tax their considerations and how they are affected by their divorce. While most divorce attorneys will urge you to speak with a financial consultant about your post-divorce finances and obligations, we can look at some of the more frequently asked questions regarding divorce and taxes. Should I file my… Continue Reading

Morris County Lawyers Raise Questions about Alimony and Cohabitation

A recent Morris County, case pending decision raises some interesting questions regarding alimony and cohabitation. Must the payor of alimony continue to fulfill his/her obligation when their ex-spouse is cohabiting with another person? In the case in question, William and Yvonne Kloehn divorced in 2007 after 22 years years of marriage. William alleges that his… Continue Reading

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