The following text is being provided for general informational purposes and does not constitute legal advice. Each case must be analyzed individually to determine applicable law.

1. Can I move with my child(ren)?

2. Will I have enough money to live?

3. Domestic Violence... it's more prevalent than you think... are you a victim?

Can I move with my child(ren)?

moving-childrenMany factors come into play when making determinations as to moving out of state with a child. The rights of the child and the non-moving parents are of paramount importance to judges. Over the years there has been a trend in New Jersey and New York case law which, from a practical perspective, now makes it easier for a custodial parent to relocate out of state, however, there exist certain procedures which must be followed and extensive proofs to be presented.

A custodial parent, that is, the parent having primary residential custody of the child must have the express permission of the other parent prior to relocating out of state, in fact some judges have required such consent even when relocating within the state depending upon the distances involved.

Factors which come into play in inter-state and intra-state removal cases include: the motive of the parent seeking to relocate, the age and grade level of the child, the relationship between the child and the non-moving parent, other familial relationships and contacts, activities the child is involved in, the school systems involved and even health considerations, particularly that of the child. This list is by no means exhaustive. Each case is unique.

Under no circumstances should a parent relocate without first consulting legal counsel. Janet L. Porro, Esq. and Kristen M. Porro, Esq. have extensive experience in litigation and mediation of matters involving child custody issues, including inter-state and intra-state removal and relocation cases.

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Will I have enough money to live?

(Child Support and Alimony)

teach-children-money-lessons-2_FullSupport is an important aspect of any matter involving a marriage, partnership or a couple who has had a child together.

Child Support Guidelines exist in New Jersey and New York which assist individuals in arriving at a support figure anticipated to cover certain costs as to the child(ren) which a couple has together. The relational status of the parents (married, unmarried, separated or dating) does not impact upon the amount of support.

Child support is calculated taking into consideration a number of factors such as the income of the parties, or in the instance of where one parent does not work, or is underemployed, what that parent is capable of earning (imputed income), the age of the child and the amount of time a parent spends with the child. The Child Support Guidelines can be deviated from depending upon certain circumstances such as a child with special needs, parents whose income exceeds the guidelines or other economic contributions made by one parent or another.

There are a number of instances under which child support may be reviewed, such as a substantial change of circumstance including an increase or decrease in one parent's income, the emancipation of a child, or merely the passage of time.

Other aspects which are considered in calculating child support include medical insurance premiums, contributions to mandatory retirement plans, expenses such as union dues and whether other children exist from another relationship who must also be supported.

Alimony is another mechanism of support geared specifically towards a spouse so as to enable that individual to maintain a standard of living comparable to that which was enjoyed during the course of the relationship. There are limited circumstances where support will be ordered for individuals who were not married but lived together.

Issues which factor into an alimony award include the length of the relationship, whether one partner gave up a career for the relationship or to raise the parties children, the disparity in income, the age of the parties, the earning ability of the parties and medical conditions. Many people are of the belief that if the breakup of the relationship was the fault of the other party that said individual must pay alimony. Such is not necessarily the case. Fault is only one small factor that a court will consider in awarding alimony.

When addressing the issue of child support and alimony you want an experienced attorney to advocate for your position and to protect your rights. Janet L. Porro, Esq. and Kristen M. Porro, Esq. have extensive experience in issues of support.

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Domestic Violence...it's more prevalent than you think...are you a victim?

domestic-violence"It's really not that bad"..."at least I don't get hit" "he didn't really mean it...he is really a nice person"..."he apologized"..."it was my fault, I shouldn't have said that to him"..."how will I support myself and my children if we leave"...

Domestic Violence victims have a tendency to minimize the abuse they endure whether it be verbal, emotional or physical. Leaving is not just a simple matter of walking out the door; there are a number of considerations, emotional, as well as financial. Safety issues are also involved. Domestic Violence Shelters which exist in most counties offer a safe place for women and their children to seek refuge. There are alternatives available. One need not stay in an abusive relationship.

Domestic Violence affects individuals in all walks of life, married, unmarried, those who have a child together, those without, couples who are dating, traditional and non-traditional couples, female and male, even those who are members of the same family who are or have previously resided in the same home together. Domestic Violence knows no socio-economic boundaries.

An abuser need not leave a physical mark to have committed an act of Domestic Violence. Does your partner constantly demean and insult you; does he or she interrogate you as to where you go or where you have been and who you spoke to? Does your partner become extremely jealous when you talk to others or become angry when you have contact with others, including your family members? Has your partner ever threatened to hurt you or your child? Has your partner stated that "you would be sorry" if you left, or if you told anyone?

Have you been told that you are crazy or that it is your fault? Were there occasions when your partner has shoved, hit, slapped, kicked or thrown objects at you? Were their occasions when your partner forced himself upon you or forced you to engage in sexual acts which you were not comfortable with? These are just a few examples of acts of Domestic Violence.

New Jersey has a strong Domestic Violence law which protects victims. Under the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act, victims can obtain protection by way of a Restraining Order which prohibits contact by the abuser, and can be awarded a wide gambit of relief including custody of the child(ren), financial support, the right to remain in the residence (even if it is not titled in the victim's name) as well as reimbursement for certain out of pocket costs related to the abuse.

Time is crucial. The time which transpires between the alleged act of domestic violence and the filing of the Complaint for a Temporary Restraining Order can mean the difference between a victim receiving the protection which she needs or the dismissal of the case. Photographs of any marks, such as black and blue marks or scratches, or of the damage caused to personal possession can serve as a useful evidentiary tool in trial.

Janet L. Porro, Esq. and Kristen M. Porro, Esq. specialize in the litigation of Domestic Violence cases. Janet L. Porro, has lectured and taught extensively in this area and for over a decade has been involved in training attorneys to litigate Domestic Violence cases. Don't remain a victim, protect yourself and your children.

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