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In a previous blog post, we reported that the rate of New Jersey divorces was one of the lowest in the country.

Marriage Vows ImageThe U.S. Census study suggested that one of the reasons for that fact was that in New Jersey, couples tend to be older when they get married.  That is certainly true.  The median age of parties who get married in New Jersey is about 28 for women and 30 for men, whereas the national average is about 26 for women and 28 for men.

Other reasons suggested by the U.S. Census study were that couples in New Jersey: (1) have more education prior to marriage; (2) are in a better financial position at the time of the marriage; and (3) are less likely to be transplants from other parts of the country and therefore have a better support network.

The authors of a paper set to be published in the American Journal of Sociology, Jennifer Glass and Phillip Levchak, believe that there may be an additional reason for the low New Jersey divorce rate: religion.

There are more married couples in other states than in New Jersey who have conservative Protestant religious beliefs.  For conservative Protestants, the belief that sexual activity should be restricted to a marital relationship may cause many to marry younger in life. The encouragement to have large families may prompt young couples to begin having children earlier in life as well, often before a college education is completed, which can have an adverse impact on a couple’s financial situation. These factors combined often don’t bode well for the long-term survival of the marriage.

Abstinence-only education and restricted access to birth control may lead to unplanned pregnancies, which in more conservative cultures may translate into “shotgun marriages,” since cohabitation is frowned upon. For obvious reasons, compelled marriages are more likely to fail.

Salvaggio Law Group LLC devotes its entire practice to New Jersey Divorce and Family Law matters.  If you want to talk, please call us at 973-855-3595 or fill out the Contact Form on our website.

Founder, Senior Attorney at Salvaggio Law Group LLC
Ph: 973-855-3595 | Email:


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According to the Domestic Violence Offense Report issued by the New Jersey State Police for 2011, there were 70,311 alleged acts of domestic violence reported to the police in New Jersey that year.

Domestic ViolenceTwenty two percent (22%) of these alleged offenses occurred between spouses: 17% of the offenses were committed by husbands and 5% of the offenses were committed by wives.

Children were involved or present during 31 percent of the reported New Jersey domestic violence acts.

So what impact does a finding of domestic violence have if, as often happens, one of the spouses then decides to file for divorce in New Jersey?

Not surprisingly, the impact can be very significant.

When a Domestic Violence Complaint is filed and a Temporary Restraining Order (“TRO”) is issued, the TRO will almost always give the victim temporary custody of the parties’ children.

If a Final Restraining Order is entered after the alleged offender has the opportunity for a hearing, the temporary child custody Order will remain in place.  Although that Order can be changed in a New Jersey divorce case, it is often very difficult for the offender to do so.

Of course, that also means that the offender must pay child support to the victim—not to mention the expenses of his/her new residence since the offender will be barred from the marital residence.

A bill has now been introduced in the New Jersey Legislature, to prohibit domestic violence offenders from receiving alimony and to permit the termination of alimony based on domestic violence.

For these reasons, among others, if your spouse files a Domestic Violence Complaint against you, it is imperative that you consult an attorney.

Salvaggio Law Group LLC devotes its entire practice to New Jersey family law matters, including domestic violence. If want to talk, you can call us at 973-855-3595 or fill out the Contact Form on our website.


Founder, Senior Attorney at Salvaggio Law Group LLC
Ph: 973-855-3595 | Email:


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There are few things in life that can profoundly affect a family as much as when a parent is diagnosed with a terminalSick Parent illness. For divorced parents, the aftermath of such a diagnosis can be even more complicated, as questions about that parent’s ability to parent and the best interests of the children will undoubtedly arise.  One New Jersey Family Court recently addressed those questions in A.W. v. T.D.

In A.W. v. T.D, .the father filed an application for emergency transfer of residential custody of the parties’ three children from the mother in light of her diagnosis of incurable Stage VI breast cancer. The mother objected to the father’s application and argued that such a transfer of custody was inappropriate as she was still able to care for the children.

The New Jersey Family Court denied the father’s application and allowed the mother to retain custody of the children.  In doing so, the Court stated that it would be fundamentally unfair to conclude that a person’s illness, even one as serious as incurable cancer, would automatically render that person unfit to continue serving as custodial parent.

The Court ruled that, in a New Jersey change of custody application, there must be sufficient evidence, aside from evidence of the custodial parent’s illness alone, which would show that the custodial parent’s illness substantially prevents that parent from continuing to function as a primary caretaker for the children.

The Court also noted that in New Jersey Child Custody cases, a non-custodial parent must always prove that a transfer of custody is in the children’s best interests.  Indeed, it is possible that the transfer of custody from the dying parent may cause the children additional emotional harm.

Although the New Jersey Family Court’s ruling in A.W. v. T.D. makes it clear that a pre-existing custody arrangement should not be changed solely due to a parent’s terminal illness, that illness may have legal implications which require the advice and assistance of experienced New Jersey Family Law attorneys.  The attorneys at Salvaggio Law Group LLC are here to help.

Salvaggio Law Group LLC devotes its entire practice to New Jersey Family Law matters, including issues relating to child custody.   If you want to talk, please call us at 973-855-3595 or fill out the Contact Form on our website.

Founder, Senior Attorney at Salvaggio Law Group LLC
Ph: 973-855-3595 | Email:


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If you decide to file for divorce in New Jersey, you must state in the New Jersey Divorce Complaint the reasons (or grounds) for the divorce.

New Jersey divorce grounds fall under two categories:  those which are based on “fault” and those which are based on “no fault.”

Divorce-BlogUntil 2007, before you could file a “no-fault” New Jersey Divorce Complaint, you had to first separate from your spouse for at least 18 consecutive months.

However, in 2007, the New Jersey Legislature amended the New Jersey Divorce Statute, N.J.S.A.  2A:34-2, to also allow a New Jersey “no fault” divorce based on the grounds of “irreconcilable differences.”  That ground does not require that the parties even be separated when the New Jersey Divorce Complaint is filed.  It simply requires you and your spouse to have experienced “irreconcilable differences” for six months and that there be no reasonable prospect of reconciliation.

The New Jersey “fault” grounds for divorce include adultery, desertion, deviant sexual conduct, extreme cruelty, habitual drunkenness or addiction, imprisonment or institutionalization.

The overwhelming majority of all New Jersey Divorce Complaints are now based on the “no-fault” grounds of “irreconcilable differences.”  Why?

First, if you choose to assert one of the “fault” grounds in your New Jersey Divorce Complaint, you may need to provide proof of those grounds, which can exact both an emotion al and financial toll on both parties.

Second, surprisingly to some people, under New Jersey divorce law “fault” is totally irrelevant to the division of your marital assets and debts (called “equitable distribution”), and “fault” is almost never relevant to the determination of whether you or your spouse is entitled to alimony.

Nevertheless, there are some circumstances under which it may be appropriate to assert “fault” grounds in a New Jersey Divorce Complaint.  Experienced New Jersey Divorce attorneys, such as those at Salvaggio Law Group LLC, can help you make that determination.

Salvaggio Law Group LLC devotes its entire practice to New Jersey Divorce and Family Law matters, including issues relating to filing for divorce.   If you want to talk, please call us at 973-855-3595 or fill out the Contact Form on our website.


Founder, Senior Attorney at Salvaggio Law Group LLC
Ph: 973-855-3595 | Em:


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New Jersey Alimony, New Jersey Child SupportIn today’s society, it is common for people to relocate several times over the course of a lifetime. If you have just moved to New Jersey and you have a Support Order or Judgment of Divorce from another State which includes alimony and/or child support, you may be wondering how you can make sure your ex keeps up with his or her obligations now that you have relocated.

New Jersey has adopted the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA). Under UIFSA and relevant New Jersey law, once an obligee registers his or her out-of-state-Support Order in New Jersey, that Support Order becomes enforceable to the same extent as if it had originally been entered in New Jersey.

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Are you among the many people who have been divorced in New Jersey and are now paying alimony, who believe that New Jersey Alimonyyou are automatically entitled to terminate that alimony because your ex has begun “cohabiting” with a new significant other?

Unfortunately, that is not necessarily true.  You must prove more—much more in fact—to justify the termination of your alimony obligation.

Demonstrating simply a common residence means nothing.  Under New Jersey divorce law, you must first show an intimate, close and enduring relationship.

You must also show that the couple has undertaken duties and privileges that are commonly associated with marriage—including for example, living together, intertwined finances such as joint bank accounts, sharing living expenses and household chores, and recognition of the relationship in the couple’s social and family circle.

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Of course it does—at least most of the time.   New Jersey Alimony Lawyer

Under New Jersey divorce law, the trial judge must evaluate several factors before deciding how to equitably distribute the marital assets.

One factor is whether either spouse has “dissipated” any of those marital assets.  In a New Jersey divorce, “dissipation” is deemed to occur when one party spends marital assets with the intent of diminishing the other party’s share of the marital assets.

A New Jersey appeals court recently had to consider that issue in a case called Wadhwa v. Sethi.  That court began by pointing out that, for many years, New Jersey divorce judges have recognized that there are two competing interests which must be reconciled in order to make that determination.

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Some people who get divorced in New Jersey believe that, once they are divorced, they are no longer liable for the income tax liability that their Are you still liable for taxes after your divorceex-spouse incurred during the marriage.

Unfortunately, that is not necessarily true.

How can you be held liable?  If you have filed a joint income tax return with your spouse, then both of you are jointly and individually liable for the taxes owed on that joint return.  According to the IRS, your liability also includes any additions to the taxes owed from that joint return, such as interest or penalties which may have been added on to the taxes owed.

What if, as part of your New Jersey divorce, your spouse agrees that he/she is solely liable?

The IRS simply doesn’t care.  If your name is on the tax return, then the IRS can go after you for any amount owed on a past joint tax return.

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As part of a New Jersey divorce, a wife who took her husband’s name when they got married can What last name does my child get after a divorcetake back her former name.  But what about the children?  Whose last name should they have?

There is now a case before the New Jersey Supreme Court which may answer that question, once and for all.

When Mr. Emma and Ms. Evans married and had children, the children were given their father’s last name of Emma.  When the parents divorced in New Jersey, they agreed that they would have joint legal custody of the children, but Ms. Evans was named as “the primary residential/physical custodian” and Mr. Emma was named “the alternate residential parent.”

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If you have children and have been involved in a New Jersey divorce case or other proceeding involving child support, you know that there are Changes to New Jersey Child Supportwritten Child Support Guidelines which most often determine the amount of that child support.

The New Jersey Child Support Guidelines are based on a system called the “Income Shares” model, which uses the incomes of both parents to calculate the amount of child support.

Federal law requires that New Jersey review its Child Support Guidelines every four (4) years, to ensure that they accurately reflect the current costs of raising a child.

The New Jersey Supreme Court’s Family Practice Committee recently released its Report, recommending some fairly significant changes to the New Jersey Child Support Guidelines, which reflect the tough economic times that many families are now facing.

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