At Riordan & Associates, LLC, we are well-versed in all aspects involving families, personal and parental relationships, and the surrounding issues.
Some other examples of situations where a lawyer from our firm can help include:
Keep reading to learn more about these practice areas. If you would like to schedule a consultation with a attorney from our office, call today at (973) 577-4118.
A prenuptial agreement can be an effective planning tool for marriage. It may serve to protect an individual’s premarital interests and financial assets. In the event of a divorce, such interests designated as exempt under a pre-nuptial agreement, will not be subject to laws of equitable distribution.
A prenuptial agreement can also address other considerations, such as:
A variety of factors may be contemplated by a prenuptial agreement, including the duration of a marriage, children from prior relationships, inheritance, and a family owned business. In situations such as these, a prenuptial agreement can avoid protracted and expensive litigation in the event the marriage does not endure. In order for a pre-nuptial agreement to be enforceable, there must be complete and full financial disclosure, adequate time and opportunity to review with legal counsel from your divorce lawyer, and it must be entered into voluntarily.
A party may be found in “contempt of court” for his or her bad behavior. In family law cases, this most often concerns one’s willful failure or refusal to follow a court order. To enforce a prior order, a motion to enforce litigant’s rights must be filed. If the court finds that the facts brought forth in the enforcement application rise to the level of a finding of contempt, the court has the discretion to impose penalties on the offending party.
The penalty for being found in contempt may be merely ceremonial or it could be significant. In many cases, a court may order the offending party to contribute toward the filing party’s legal fees. In extreme situations, such as a prolonged failure to pay child support where no financial hardship appears to exist, a court may suspend a person’s driver’s license or issue a bench warrant for arrest.
Restraining orders are issued to protect victims of domestic violence. A restraining order prohibits the assailant from contacting or communicating with the protected party. Temporary restraining orders are issued to provide temporary protection from alleged domestic abuse. While temporary restraining orders may be obtained based on allegations of domestic abuse, a final restraining order requires proofs that the act of domestic abuse actually occurred and that the victim genuinely feared for his or her safety and welfare, requiring the protection of a final restraining order. Within a short time of the entry of the temporary restraining Order, a hearing will be conducted by the family court to determine whether the temporary restraining order shall become a final restraining order or shall be dismissed.
A request for a name change, which is often a spouse’s desire to resume her maiden name, can be included in the initial divorce complaint or a counterclaim. A request for a name change can also be accomplished by way of amendment to the pleadings at anytime during the divorce proceedings, including at the final hearing. A name change will customarily be granted provided that it is not being sought to avoid creditors or criminal prosecution. Our Denville family law firm wants you to know that it is never too late to change your name after a divorce. A request for a name change can be brought by way of a post-judgment motion, years after your divorce is finalized.
Non-dissolution matters are cases where the initiating party is not seeking a divorce. Most non-dissolution cases involve unmarried parents, and concern issues of:
However, non-dissolution matters may also include cases with married persons who do not want to file a divorce action but are looking to address child custody, parenting time and support with their spouse. Non-dissolution matters are treated as summary proceedings. Most often, they are first mediated by the court or, if financial issues are involved, presented to a hearing officer. If the matter is not resolved, it may be presented to a family court judge. The parties in non-dissolution matters have the same rights to obtain discovery as in a regular divorce action including the right to designate and utilize experts and to conduct custody evaluations.
Child custody concerns both legal and physical custody of a minor child:
Both legal custody and physical custody can be shared, or custody can be vested in one parent. If a court is asked to determine the initial issues regarding custody, it will make that determination based upon the best interests of the child and will require proofs and testimony, often from expert witnesses.
“Parenting time” is the time a child spends with each of their parents and is considered separate from custody. If either party wishes to modify their initial custody arrangement and/or parenting time schedule, which may often be the case especially as the children become older, a motion for a modification may be filed. The moving party will first be required to demonstrate changed circumstances affecting the welfare of the child and secondly will need to show that the proposed modification serves the best interests of the child.
Our firm can assist you with any of these family law matters and others. Call Riordan & Associates, LLC at (973) 577-4118 or request a consultation online.