Jersey Courts for More than 30 Years.
There are few matters that are as profoundly important and emotionally charged as family law issues, which may affect your life and the lives of your children for a long time in the future. At Brause, Brause & Ventrice, L.L.C., our Middlesex County family law lawyers are committed to representing our clients’ interests and carefully guiding them through the complexities that may arise with confidence and understanding. We are experienced and well versed in matters related to child custody and parenting time, child support, alimony, property division, and the enforcement and modification of existing orders. When so much is at stake to you and your family, you deserve the knowledge and experience of a divorce lawyer who can assist you.
The majority of divorces in New Jersey are “no-fault” divorces. This means that a spouse seeking a divorce does not need to prove any wrongdoing or fault on the part of the other spouse. Instead, it is sufficient to claim that the spouses have “irreconcilable differences” that they are not able to resolve, and that there is no reasonable prospect of reconciliation. Although the law permits parties to seek a divorce based upon traditional allegations of “fault,” such as extreme cruelty or adultery, “fault” has very little legal significance, and the vast majority of divorces are granted based upon “irreconcilable differences.”
Child custody and parenting time issues may quickly become contentious during a divorce. In New Jersey, there is a rebuttable presumption that children benefit from ongoing and frequent contact with both parents. The parents are therefore encouraged to work with each other to agree on a parenting plan themselves. If the parents cannot agree, however, the court will decide a custody arrangement for them. All child custody determinations in New Jersey are based on the ‘best interest of the child’ standard. A judge will consider a number of factors, such as the child’s physical health and safety, the child’s emotional needs, each parent’s ability and willingness to co-parent, the preferences of the child, and any other relevant factors.
Parents have a duty to financially support their children. When it comes to child support in New Jersey, courts have relatively little discretion in setting the amount that must be paid in the majority of cases. This is because the amount of child support is based on the New Jersey Child Support Guidelines that are set forth in the New Jersey Court Rules in the majority of cases. The Guidelines allow the judge to consider the child’s needs, the standard of living of each parent, each parent’s income and assets, how much time each parent spends with the child, and more. Once child support is set, child support may be modified later if there has been a substantial change in circumstances in the future. Our family law attorneys stand ready to assist clients in Middlesex County and throughout New Jersey to pursue or to defend against a modification if this issue arises.
Alimony, sometimes referred to as spousal support, refers to an amount of money that one spouse pays to the other to allow the lesser-earning spouse to maintain a lifestyle that is comparable to the lifestyle that they maintained prior to the divorce, while leaving the payor spouse with sufficient income to also maintain a comparable lifestyle. In deciding the amount, duration, and type of alimony, the judge will consider the length of the marriage, the requesting spouse’s education and earning potential, each spouse’s physical and emotional health, their parental responsibilities, each spouse’s financial and non-financial contributions to the marriage, each spouse’s income and earning potential, and other factors.
Mediation is often a useful way to resolve a divorce that affords the parties an opportunity to move on with their lives and to avoid the time, expenses, and aggravation of litigation. Divorce mediation is a voluntary process in which a neutral third party, known as a mediator, guides you through the dissolution in a non-adversarial manner. The mediator does not represent either party and does not offer any legal advice but simply helps the parties communicate and arrive at an agreement. The goal of mediation is to help you reach mutually acceptable terms of divorce. Mediation is often preferable to litigation because it is less costly, less time-consuming, and less stressful.
At Brause, Brause & Ventrice, L.L.C., our Middlesex County family law attorneys are dedicated to helping you understand your rights and resolve any disputes in a timely manner. Our goal is to avoid the protracted stress and conflict that is often present in family law matters and provide a dignified, sustainable resolution. We represent residents throughout Middlesex County, including Woodbridge, Edison, Piscataway, New Brunswick, South Brunswick, East Brunswick, Iselin, and Metuchen, among other communities. Call us at 732-767-0044 or contact us online to set up a free initial consultation if you need a divorce or child custody attorney or assistance with any other family law matter.