It’s no secret that the costs of a divorce may add up over time. However, being prepared and knowing where these costs are coming from at the start can better prepare you and your finances for the divorce process.
The first fee you will encounter for your divorce is when you file. The New Jersey Court has a $300 fee for filing your papers to officially start the divorce process, also known as the “complaint.” However, if you have kids, there is an additional $25 Parent Education Registration fee.
For divorce, it is required that the person who files alerts the other party to their intent for divorce and gives them the required paperwork. If your spouse is not located nearby, is difficult to reach, is aggressive, etcetera, you may need to hire a process server; their job is to deliver the court papers to your spouse on your behalf.
It will be an additional cost to you outside of the courts. Your documents must be served within 120 days after your complaint has been filed; otherwise, your case will be dismissed, and you’ll need to restart the filing process.
In a divorce that will go through the court system, a New Jersey divorce attorney is needed to represent you and guide you through all matters of the divorce process. An attorney only represents one spouse and will work to attain the most favorable outcome possible for their client. Divorce attorneys will typically charge by the hour and will require an initial retainer fee.
The cost for your divorce attorney’s services will range based on the complexity of your case and the time it takes to resolve the matter. And just like other services, some attorneys may charge more than others. To make sure you’re working with the right, expert attorney, schedule a free consultation to discuss your case.
When going through a divorce, you need an experienced and knowledgeable attorney on your side to guide you through the process. The attorneys at the Law Office of Blake W. Rush have more than 16 years of experience representing spouses in both amicable and contested divorces throughout New Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania. For quality law services at reasonable rates, the Law Office of Blake W. Rush is the firm to turn to.
Give us a call at (903) 713-9800 or visit our website to contact us and learn more about how we can help you.
Summer is the time that every child looks forward to; a well-deserved break from school, fun with friends at camp, or maybe even a vacation with mom or dad. For separated parents, however, the summer season can be difficult when managing child custody and the change in routine schedule.
Because of the difficulty among separated and divorced parents in fairly managing summertime custody, the agreements are typically decided by the courts and specifically defined in the documents. New Jersey law equally considers both parents’ time for the summer season.
Parenting schedules and vacation time are almost always specifically spelled out in a marital settlement agreement or court order. As a result, the agreement or order will discuss the parenting schedule for the summer months while the kids are out of school. For example, it is typically customary in New Jersey for each parent to receive two non-consecutive weeks of summer vacation time with their children each year.
Regarding vacations and trips, each parent must generally provide advance notice and an itinerary to the other parent. Moreover, priority for vacation weeks often goes to the party who notifies the other party first. Outside of those two weeks of vacation time for each parent, the regular parenting schedule would then apply for the remainder of the summer. However, in some cases, agreements or orders may provide that parents will equally divide the entire summer with their children, either through alternating weeks of custody or some other rotating schedule.
One of the best ways to be certain that there are no potential issues with your parenting time is by hiring the right lawyer. Working with an experienced and knowledgeable child custody attorney helps ensure your custody agreement thoroughly details the parenting schedule for your children’s summer vacation.
The attorneys at the Law Office of Blake W. Rush always ensure that the custody agreement is highly detailed and addresses common issues such as parenting time schedules, transportation, summer vacation, phone contact, extra-curricular activities, etc., that parents are likely to encounter as their children grow older.
If you are seeking to obtain custody or visitation rights or need to enforce or modify your existing custody rights, we can help. At the Law Office of Blake W. Rush, representing clients in custody matters throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania is our legal team’s specialty.
Give us a call at (903) 713-9800, or visit our website to contact us and learn more about how we can help you.
Matrimonial or family law matters, whether it be divorce, child custody, alimony, etc., are complex, lengthy, and expensive processes to finalize. To ensure the best results for your case, you need an expert attorney on your side.
When looking for a family law attorney in New Jersey, if you want to be certain you are hiring the best and most qualified lawyer for you and your family, choose a Certified Matrimonial Law Attorney.
A New Jersey Certified Matrimonial Law Attorney is a lawyer practicing matrimonial law that has been granted this official designation by the New Jersey Supreme Court. This honor is given to attorneys who have demonstrated a specific skill set and expertise in various family law matters for a diverse clientele, providing superior services and care for their clients.
To obtain this certification, an attorney needs to have:
This rigorous certification process is why so few qualify to be a Certified Matrimonial Law Attorney and why they are considered to be experts.
Out of approximately 80,000 registered attorneys in New Jersey, many of them practicing matrimonial law, there are fewer than 150 attorneys who have been found to be qualified for board certification by the New Jersey Supreme Court as a Matrimonial Law Attorney. By choosing a Certified Matrimonial Attorney, you are working with a lawyer who has been recognized by the highest legal authority in the state of New Jersey as one of the elite 2% in their field.
Attorney Blake W. Rush is one of the few select attorneys who have achieved this rare distinction of being a Certified Matrimonial Law Attorney. When you turn to a Certified Matrimonial Attorney, rest assured you’re working with an expert and will receive the highest level of legal service for your case.
New Jersey attorneys that are certified in matrimonial law are given this certification for their expertise in a variety of family law matters, including:
When it comes to family law matters, you need an attorney who’s an expert and that you can trust. Attorney Blake W. Rush is a NJ Certified Matrimonial Law Attorney with extensive knowledge and experience in all areas of matrimonial law.
Ready to discuss your case with our team? Give us a call at (903) 713-9800 or visit our website to contact us and learn more about how we can help you.
Only two people know for certain when your relationship is over: You and your partner. However, it may be easier to see the warning signs of divorce when looking from the outside rather than within. Often, family and friends can see if divorce is imminent before you do.
If you need some guidance on whether your relationship could be on the verge of breaking, there are some universal signs that can help you with your decision going forward.
Domestic violence takes many forms: Physical, verbal, emotional, and financial. At the end of the day, it’s essential to feel safe and comforted in your marriage, and if you do not feel this way, it may be time to seek help and speak with a divorce attorney*.
For many, when your spouse is having an affair, that is the end of the marriage right there. Infidelity typically starts when the spouse feels unconfident and unhappy with their marriage. Some couples are able to work through the cheating, with some ending in divorce in the long term, anyways.
Trust is considered one of the most crucial foundations to a happy and successful marriage: You must trust your spouse to be committed, support you, respect you, and make decisions in the best interest of your marriage and family. Once trust has been broken or is waning, it can be difficult to repair, and lead to divorce.
Like trust, communication is another important pillar to keep a marriage strong. Without proper communication, it is impossible to solve problems, set and work toward goals, and strengthen your relationship. If a partner is unwilling to communicate or improve their skills, you may want to consider the option of divorce.
Being intimate with a partner, physically and emotionally, is an important part of growing and connecting in a relationship and a marriage. When you become emotionally disengaged, you start to lose empathy, care, and concern for your partner’s well-being; this can also affect your physical connection.
There is nothing wrong with taking the time to explore and enjoy your hobbies or interests, whether it be on your own or with your partner. However, when a spouse starts to focus more on their interests outside of their marriage, it could be a sign that they are unhappy in the relationship.
Every couple experiences disagreements and issues; however, some struggle with these conflicts more than others. Sometimes, couples even turn to counseling for guidance to amicable and effectively work toward conflict resolutions. If either spouse refuses to work through issues at home or with the help of a counselor, it may be time to speak with a family law attorney about beginning the divorce process.
When going through a divorce, you need an experienced and knowledgeable attorney on your side to guide you through the process. The attorneys at the Law Office of Blake W. Rush have more than 16 years of experience representing spouses in both amicable and contested divorces throughout New Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania.
Give us a call at (903) 713-9800 or visit our website to contact us and learn more about how we can help you.
*For anonymous, confidential help, 24/7, please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233, or text START to 88788.
Most divorced/separated parents in New Jersey with minor children become familiar with the New Jersey Child Support Guidelines and a parent’s obligation to pay child support on behalf of their child. In short, child support is financial support paid to the other parent to assist them with maintaining a household for a child. While child support is intended to cover a wide range of expenses associated with raising a child, future college costs are not considered part of a Guidelines-based child support amount.
For most families, the prospect of paying for the ever-increasing cost of college these days is a daunting task. If you are a divorced or separated parent with a child headed to college, you may be wondering, “Does child support continue when a child goes to college?” and, “Will I be required to contribute toward their education as well?” The attorneys at the Law Office of Blake W. Rush have the answer for you:
A child support obligation continues until that child is emancipated. Under New Jersey law, a child is not automatically emancipated upon turning 18 years old and child support continues until the age of 19, but can be extended to the age of 23 if specific criteria are met, including your child attending college.
While child support often continues while a child is attending college, parents may also be responsible for paying a portion of their child’s college education costs. However, once contribution toward a child’s college costs is considered, the obligation to pay child support may shift depending on the costs involved, the financial needs of the child, and the financial circumstances of the parents. A parent may be obligated to pay child support and not compelled to contribute to college, or be called upon to contribute to college and not pay child support, or do both.
The leading case regarding a parents’ responsibility toward a child’s college expenses was decided in Newburgh v. Arrigo, where the New Jersey Supreme Court held that “the privilege of parenthood carries with it a duty to assure a necessary education”. The Newburgh decision then set forth several factors that a Court must consider in determining a parent’s college contribution following a divorce/separation, including:
Like other child support payments, the Courts consider a child’s financial needs and goals while also ensuring that the parent doesn’t pay more than what is reasonable and fair under the circumstances.
For all areas of family law, including child support payments, our expert attorneys are here to help. Here at the Law Office of Blake W. Rush, we represent clients in custody matters throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
Give us a call at (903) 713-9800 or visit our website to contact us and learn more about how we can help you.
Thousands of couples choose to secure their relationship with marriage, but only some decide to sign a prenuptial agreement before the big day.
From the team at The Law Office of Blake W. Rush, here’s what you need to know about prenuptial agreements in New Jersey if you plan to get married soon:
A prenuptial agreement, also referred to as a prenup, is a legal contract you and your partner agree to sign before legally getting married, stating what exactly will happen to the finances and assets (while you are married) in the event of a divorce. As well, when setting up a prenup, you and your future spouse have the opportunity to understand what legal rights you obtain and lose when you’re married.
In the prenuptial agreement, you will list the various assets and debts each individual has and then specify what each person’s rights are to those properties in the event the marriage ends.
Some of these assets include:
Someone should consider getting a prenuptial agreement in New Jersey with their future spouse if there are significant assets they wish to protect. Some of the situations where prenups are recommended include:
Couples who choose to get a prenuptial agreement in New Jersey typically find themselves litigating and debating in court during a divorce far less than those who forgo a prenup. Legally predetermining how each partner’s assets will be divided or kept before the marriage can prevent lengthy, expensive, and difficult legal battles.
If you are looking to set up a prenuptial agreement with your future spouse, our team can help. Here at the Law Office of Blake W. Rush, we proudly represent our clients with all family law matters throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
No parent wants to think about losing their relationship with their child, but after a divorce or custody battle, this can become a reality for some when your ex turns your child against you and swift corrective action is not taken.
Parental alienation occurs when one parent tries to undermine the other parent’s parental role and authority to the point of making the child not want to see or communicate with that parent.. Sometimes referred to as brainwashing, programming, or alienating, parental alienation is a serious matter that can lead to parental alienation syndrome (PAS), which is used to describe the child’s behavior as a response to such actions and brainwashing.
From the team at the Law Office of Blake W. Rush, here are five warning signs that parental alienation may be occurring:
If your ex isn’t sharing information about your child, this is a sign of concern. For example, if they refuse to share school reports, medical information, successes and failures, likes and dislikes, and other important things about your child, you may, as a result, become less involved in their life.
With parental alienation, your ex may interfere with how you communicate with your child. They may attempt to monitor and insert themselves into all phone calls, text messages, and interactions you two have.
Your ex may try to interrupt your time with your child. In some instances, your ex may plan special activities that are hard for a kid to resist at times you are meant to be with them, making it hard to compete with.
Typically, legal contracts and personal agreements among co-parents are made to determine which parent will be responsible for the child for the day and how they will be raised. If you notice your ex isn’t abiding by your previous agreements or is being inflexible, parental alienation may be occurring.
One of the most important signs of parental alienation will be seen with your child‘s behavior. Some examples of parental alienation syndrome include:
If you are experiencing any of the above circumstances affecting your relationship with your child and need to enforce or modify your existing custody rights, we can help. Here at the Law Office of Blake W. Rush, we represent clients in custody matters throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
If you’re considering filing for divorce, you’re likely concerned about how much this will cost you. The overall cost of a divorce can vary considerably depending on: (a) the number and complexity of disputed issues that exist in your case; and (b) how long it takes for both parties to reach an agreement on all issues.
For divorcing couples who remain amicable and reach an agreement on all issues early on during the divorce process, the average cost can often range between $5,000-$10,000. However, the average cost of a divorce with multiple contested issues is often significantly higher, typically ranging between $10,000-$20,000 with that range rising the longer the divorce takes.
Unfortunately, every divorce will have a different price tag. To answer the question, “How much does a divorce cost?” you need to consider these various factors:
You may be planning on getting a divorce, but that doesn’t need to mean you aren’t on good terms. If you and your spouse can communicate effectively and are open to compromise, your divorce will be much simpler and less costly. In some cases, you and your spouse may be able to resolve your divorce by a settlement agreement, avoiding court dates. Approximately 97% of divorce cases are resolved by way of a settlement instead of proceeding with a trial before a Judge. Consequently, you should remain optimistic that your divorce can ultimately be resolved through a settlement even if you and your spouse are not on good speaking terms.
Many matters need to be discussed and agreed upon when it comes to divorce, including child custody, child support, alimony, and the division of property and debts. These disputes and the time it takes to resolve them are the biggest drivers of costs for a divorce. It will take time for your lawyer to collect and organize documents and then negotiate a settlement with your spouse’s attorneys.
Furthermore, your attorney may need to prepare motions and represent you at hearings, which add to your costs. Divorce cases that cannot be settled and end up requiring a trial before a Judge regarding any contested issues are the most expensive type of divorce due to the extreme amount of time and work involved, with costs greatly exceeding the ranges set forth above.
The more assets you and your spouse have accrued throughout your marriage will lengthen the time it takes to finalize your divorce, and therefore the costs will increase. Aside from the division of assets, you’ll also have to discuss paying off debts you owe together, which can also take time to determine.
Aside from paying your New Jersey divorce attorney, you can expect to pay various fees for the divorce process. Some of the extra costs you can expect to pay include filing fees, mediation costs, paying for experts such as financial analysts and appraisers when necessary, and more.
When going through a divorce, you need an experienced and knowledgeable attorney on your side to guide you through the process. Here at the Law Office of Blake W. Rush, we have more than 16 years of experience representing spouses in both amicable and contested divorces throughout New Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania.
The holidays are quickly rolling in and plans are being made, but for separated parents with kids, this can be an especially difficult time to navigate. Though this season is meant to be merry and joyful, managing child custody can create disagreements and arguments that you don’t want to hinder your or your children’s holiday enjoyment.
The team at the Law Office of Blake W. Rush understands how strenuous child custody can be to manage during the holiday season, so we have some tips to keep in mind for this time of year:
The holiday season is always busy and stressful, so it can be easy to procrastinate making arrangements if you are worried about planning with your ex-spouse. However, the closer it gets to the holidays, the harder it will be to communicate and get organized with plans that make both parties happy. Be proactive about holiday planning for your kids for the best results.
If you have a legal arrangement for child custody on holidays, make sure you fully understand the parameters. If your divorce was recent, feelings may still be raw and overwhelming, so take the time to revisit the legal agreement to ensure it’s going to be followed; this will help lessen the chance of more disputes arising.
Depending on how far you and your ex-spouse live from each other, it’s important to always consider potential travel hazards that could interfere with celebrations and quality time. Plan your travel ahead of time and consider traffic and weather delays. Arriving on time helps ensure each parent gets the correct agreed-upon time with their kids.
When discussing holiday plans, it’s also a good idea to discuss gift-giving. Take a moment to think about how you feel about spending limits, types of gifts that are appropriate, and not repeating presents. This could save you from arguing about gifts your child received in the future and make sure everyone is on the same page.
It’s never a bad idea to be open and discuss plans with your child directly. Depending on their age or maturity, they may want to have a say in how they spend their vacation and holidays. At the end of the day, you want your child to be happy, so speak with them about how you and your ex-spouse can make this a great holiday for them.
If you are seeking to obtain custody or visitation rights or need to enforce or modify your existing custody rights, we can help. Here at the Law Office of Blake W. Rush, representing clients in custody matters throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
Many soon-to-be divorcees often ask their divorce attorney, “Am I able to date before my divorce is final?” Although the logical answer should be that “it isn’t a good idea until you’re officially divorced,” life just isn’t that simple.
Divorce is rarely an easy decision to make, and the process can leave you feeling lonely, sad, and in need of companionship, and that’s completely natural. If you decide you can’t wait to get your dating life up and running again, we have a few guidelines to help you navigate what’s okay and what’s not for dating through your divorce:
If you start dating other people while you are still living in the same residence with your spouse, it often creates an extremely hostile living situation that is a recipe for disaster and could be used against you in court. Not only will a hostile situation make your divorce negotiations more difficult and often more expensive, dating other people while still living with your spouse can lead to domestic violence issues and negatively impact your custodial rights to your children.
Dating openly during divorce proceedings could anger your future ex-spouse and lead them to change their mind about prior verbal agreements or otherwise make ongoing settlement negotiations more difficult. It’s also possible the opposing counsel will then try and claim you were having an affair during your marriage. In certain circumstances, your new romantic partner could even be called to testify about your relationship in court. In short, if you’re going to start dating while your divorce is still pending, be very discreet about it.
If you do start dating other people while your divorce is pending, do not jump into a serious relationship and begin living with that person before your divorce is finalized. Although your feelings for this new person may be strong, and it may make financial sense depending upon your circumstances, it is assuredly a very bad idea to begin living with your new partner while your divorce is still pending. Abruptly starting to live with a new partner while your divorce is pending will not only sabotage any claims you may have for alimony, it will also be viewed by the court as a poor parental judgment and likely harm your custodial rights.
If support and someone to talk to is your main reason for seeking a romantic relationship, there are other options. First, you can reach out to family, friends, and loved ones to speak and spend time with. You can also research local support groups in and around your area to connect with others who have or are currently experiencing a divorce, just like you.
If you meet someone you are interested in starting a romantic relationship with, it’s crucial that you are honest with them about your current situation and why it isn’t a good idea to move forward with a serious relationship until your divorce is final.
If you have someone you’re starting to build a romantic connection with, remember that what you say and do in front of your kids will stick with them. This is likely a difficult and fragile time for your children as well, so be careful talking about or bringing new people around them.
When going through a divorce, you need an experienced and knowledgeable attorney on your side to guide you through the process. The attorneys at the Law Office of Blake W. Rush have more than 16 years representing spouses in both amicable and contested divorces throughout New Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania.