Legal FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions

Child Custody & Support

Divorce & Spousal Support

Estate Law

Criminal Law

Personal Injury

Immigration

 


 

Child Custody & Support

How quickly can I expect to be divorced?
Depending on how agreeable the parties are, the divorce proceeding can be either time consuming or quickly accomplished.  Overall, the divorce proceeding depends on your financial circumstances and assets.  The Court generally schedules the Divorce trial within a (1) one year of the filing of your Complaint.  This, however, is not always a realistic goal and a Trial can occur years after the filing of your Complaint.

How much will a divorce cost?
It is impossible to calculate the final cost of a divorce.  The quoted retainer is determined based on the number of hours the attorney anticipates spending on your case.  Clients are billed for the drafting of legal pleadings, court appearances, telephone calls and settlement conferences with the client and the adversary (opposing attorney).  Additionally, attorneys often bill for postage, copies and faxes.  Ultimately, the final cost will depend on how quickly your matter is resolved.

 Do I need an attorney?
Although an attorney is not required, an attorney will be highly beneficial to your case. An attorney can help you make educated decision and assist you in efficiently obtaining all available legal remedies. An attorney is familiar with the law and is more skilled at filing paperwork and mastering scheduling deadlines.  Missing a deadline can be very costly and potentially detrimental to your case.

How is child support calculated?
Child support is calculated by utilizing the incomes of both parties and the number of overnights spent with both parties.  It is a computer generated formula established by a committee of the New Jersey Supreme Court.

What is included in child support calculations?
Child Support includes fixed costs for living environment; such as:  shelter, mortgage, rent, utilities and variable factors for food, clothing, entertainment, extra –curricular activities and personal items.

Can child support be modified?
Child support can be modified when there is a substantial “change in circumstances.”  It should be noted that temporary circumstances do not always warrant this change. Depending on the circumstances, a reduction in income may or may not effect child support payments.

Divorce & Spousal Support

How is child custody determined?
The court considers the “Best Interests of the Child”  This includes, the emotional and physical environment, personal safety, moral atmosphere, mental and physical health of the parties, children’s ages and children’s preference.

How can a custody arrangement be modified?
Either party can make an application at any time to modify the arrangement. It is the moving parties burden to establish there is a sufficient change in circumstances warranting a modification of the agreement.

What are the different types of support?
Limited duration, Rehabilitative, reimbursement and permanent.

How is spousal support calculated?
Alimony is based on need.  The Court has broad discretion in determining an alimony award.  The Court will consider the need and the ability of the parties to pay, the duration of the marriage, the age, physical and mental health of the parties, time and expense to acquire educational background, contributions to marriage, the standard of living enjoyed during the marriage, the parties earning capacities, length of absence from job market and responsibilities for the children.

What impact does alimony have on child support?
When the award for child support is calculated, the Court will deduct the alimony payments from the payor spouse’s income.  Alimony is tax deductible to the payor spouse and a tax liability for the payee spouse.

Estate Law

What is a Will?
A Will Is a Written Document Directing How an Estate Will Be Distributed after Death. It Can Appoint a Guardian for Minors or Mentally Incapacitated Children.

What will happen if I were to die without a Will?
New Jersey Statues will determine how your estate will be distributed.

What is meant by “Probate?”
A legal process that makes a will genuine.  This process is done by the surrogate’s office in the county where the testator resided at the time of his or her death.

 

Criminal Law

What is a plea?
A plea is a statement by you indicating that you are either guilty or innocent of the charges held against you.

What type of sentence will I receive?
Depending on the violation, your sentence may be a fine, a license suspension or revocation, repayment to a victim, community service, jail time, probation or a combination of these penalties. The judge also has the authority to require you to pay court costs.

What is the IDRC Program?
The Intoxicated Driver Resource Center Program contains information on social and problem drinking, stages of alcoholism, the family and other relationships, alcohol and rugs and their effects on driving ability, and the New Jersey Intoxicated Driving Law.

Personal Injury

What is a personal injury claim?
A Personal Injury claim is a physical or mental injury that is the result of someone’s negligence.

How do I know if I have a Personal Injury Claim?
You must be able to show that you have been injured by someone’s negligence and that you have damages. Damages may include, but are not limited to: loss of enjoyment, loss of love and affection, property damage, out of pocket expenses, lost wages (over time) and disfigurement.

What is PIP?
PIP is Personal Injury Protection. PIP assists automobile injury clients in paying their medical expenses.

Do I still have a claim if I am partly to blame for the injury?
In most cases, an injured person can still recover, even if, they are partly to blame for the injury.

Immigration

What is an EWI?
An EWI is someone who sneaks across the border without being inspected at a port of entry. Their legal rights are limited and they will unlikely be able to cure their status problem by marrying an American Citizen.

What are the three and ten year bars to Immigration?
A person “out of status” or an EWI that is unlawfully present in the United State for more than 180 days cannot return to the United States for three years. A person unlawfully present in the United States for more than one year cannot return to the United States for ten years.

What are the repercussions for obtaining a fraudulent drivers license or social security card?
It is a crime that can be punishable by deportation, fines, penalties and incarceration. More importantly, it may make it impossible for you to become an American Citizen.