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NEW JERSEY EQUITABLE DISTRIBUTION

New Jersey is an Equitable Distribution State. This means that marital assets will be divided in a manner that is considered fair but not necessarily equal for the parties. Below we have developed an outline to give a general overview on Equitable Distribution in New Jersey. Equitable Distribution in New Jersey an Outline Overview. I.Assets subject to Equitable Distribution a. Assets that are Acquired During the Marriage b.Assets acquired in contemplation of marriage II.Assets Immune by Statute a.Premarital – except the increase in active assets value due to efforts of non-owner. b.Inheritances c. Gifts from third parties III.Specific Assets: Subject to Equitable Distribution a.Pensions and other retirement accounts that were acquired during the marriage. b.Real Estate as per I(a), (b). c.Automobiles, jewelry, inter-spousal gifts, house contents d.Stocks, bonds, etc. e. Insurance annuities and cash surrender value of life insurance policy f.Business and partnership interests g.Personal injury awa…

Harassment and Domestic Violence in New Jersey

Harassment can constitute a basis for the issuance of a restraining order if the statutory elements are satisfied. See N.J.S.A. 2C:33-4. The statute defines harassment:
Except as provided in subsection e., a person commits a petty disorderly persons offense if, with purpose to harass another, he: a. Makes, or causes to be made, a communication or communications anonymously or at extremely inconvenient hours, or in offensively coarse language, or any other manner likely to cause annoyance or alarm; b. Subjects another to striking, kicking, shoving, or other offensive touching, or threatens to do so; or c. Engages in any other course of alarming conduct or of repeatedly committed acts with purpose to alarm or seriously annoy such other person. [N.J.S.A. 2c:33-4 (emphasis added).]
As provided by the statute, a finding of harassment requires proof of an intent or purpose to harass. State v. Hoffman, 149 N.J. 564, 576-77 (1997). An assertion by a plaintiff that he or she felt harassed is …

Invalidating a Contract under the Doctrine of Economic Duress

The doctrine of economic duress has significantly developed and expanded, in recognition of the ever-increasing complexity of the business world. Claims of economic duress in business litigation are becoming more frequent. Several courts, including the United States Supreme Court, have acknowledged that there are situations under which financial pressure may cancel an otherwise enforceable contract. See 13 S. Williston, Contracts, § 1603 at 664 (3d ed. 1970); United States v. Bethlehem Steel Corp., 315 U.S. 289, 62 S.Ct. 581, 86 L.Ed. 855 (1942); Hartsville Oil Mill v. United States, 271 U.S. 43, 46 S.Ct. 389, 70 L.Ed. 822 (1926).The definition of economic duress is set forth in Williston:1. The party alleging economic duress must show that he has been the victim of a wrongful or unlawful act or threat, and2. Such act or threat must be one which deprives the victim of his unfettered will. [13 Williston, supra, § 1617 at 704 (footnotes omitted)]

The courts in New Jersey have defined eco…

Establishing Consumer Fraud Claims in New Jersey

The New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act purpose was to combat sharp practices and dealings that victimized consumers by luring them into purchases through fraudulent or deceptive means. It was expanded to allow a private right of action for consumers that are victims of violations of the CFA.
The private right of action included provisions that allowed for entitlement to treble damages, reasonable attorney’s fees, and reasonable costs of suit. In a cause of action asserting a violation of the NJ Consumer Fraud Act a plaintiff must prove:

    1) unlawful conduct by defendant;
    2) an ascertainable loss by plaintiff;
    3) a causal relationship between the unlawful conduct and the ascertainable loss.
D’Agostino v. Maldonado, 216 N.J. 168, 183-184 (2013)(quoting Bosland v. Warnock Dodge  Inc., 197 N.J. 543, 557 (2009)).

If the plaintiff is successful in establishing his/her cause of action, the plaintiff is entitled to treble damages and an award of counsel fees under N.J.S.A. 56:8-19 as a …

Planning for Children in Case of Deportation

The current immigration climate is tense. Undocumented people fear not only for deportation but also for the care and wellbeing of their children.  It is important that people that are undocumented make plans in the event that this situation takes place. Among the first things to be planned is the provision of care and supervision of minor children while the parents are in the process of the deportation.

It is important to keep all detail information of the child. If the child is an American Citizen, having their passports updated should be a priority. In addition, it is often suggested to create a power of attorney limited to the event of deportation. In this power of attorney, the parents should assign a guardian to take care of the child and allow permission to travel with the guardian. The undocumented person should also consider leaving financial provisions for the care of the child.
It is often recommended that the undocumented person carries information of their attorney or a l…