THE CARLIN LAW GROUP- NEW YORK, HUDSON COUNTY, ESSEX COUNTY & BERGEN COUNTY DIVORCE LAWYERS
The Carlin Group provides relentless representation in family law matters such as divorce, child custody disputes, and child support cases. Offering nearly thirty years of experience representing clients in family law, we bring excellence to every case. Principal attorney Alexander Carlin has successfully represented clients through marital pre-nups, post-nups, child custody disputes, adoption, restraining orders, divorces, and post-divorce modifications.
Practicing divorce and family law since 1991, Mr. Carlin has handled literally thousands of cases and has thus acquired vast trial experience, but because it is usually better for the client and their families, he first makes all efforts to settle matters out of court. Whether a case can be put to rest in mediation or the situation is pursued through litigation, the Carlin Law Group seeks to achieve the best possible result for their clients with respect to their divorce or family law matter.
Divorce and Family Law Attorney with offices in New York and New Jersey
The Carlin Group brings trusted expertise to clients undergoing local and interstate family law conflicts such as divorce, child abuse, custody disputes, and adoption. We have offices in Manhattan and nearby New Jersey and offer full-service family law representation throughout Hudson County, Essex County, Bergen County, and New York City.
- Child Abuse
- Child Custody
- Child Support
- Domestic Violence
- Division of Youth and Family Service (DYFS)
- Father’s Rights
- Grandparent Visitation
- Grandparent Rights
- International Abduction
- Modification of Alimony
- Modification of Support
- Mother’s Rights
- Pre-nuptial Agreement
- Post-nuptial Agreement
- Removal and Relocation
- Division of Assets and Debts
We Take The Chaos Out Of New Jersey Divorce
Divorce is a life changing experience. Most clients begin the process with a variety of overwhelming emotions. What will the future hold? Will I gain custody? When will I see my children? Will I be able to pay my bills? Who gets the house? There is an end in sight. The Carlin Law Group has a perspective on divorce that other divorce lawyers or family lawyers might not have.
Starting with a free telephone or skype consultation, we spare you the emotional and financial burden often brought on during the divorce process and offer multiple routes for mediation. If negotiation is not successful, preparations are made to ensure the case will progress with the best outcome for you and your family. Your Divorce or family law matter doesn't have to be chaos.
That being said, most divorces require resolution, either by settlement or trial of certain recurrent issues, however we will not only represent you in the courtroom, but will counsel you every step of the way. With offices conveniently located in downtown Manhattan and Jersey City, we serve all of the boros of New York, and all of Hudson, Essex, and Bergen Counties.
The following is offered in the way of general information and cannot be substituted for a detailed in person consultation with an experienced matrimonial attorney who is totally familiar with New Jersey divorce law.
Alimony (called Maintenance in New York), In New Jersey is often referred to as "Spousal Support". Alimony is intended to ensure that the spouse who has less income and less assets continues to enjoy a similar standard of living or "lifestyle" after the divorce as he or she had during the marriage, at least for a certain period of time.
Alimony is a complicated subject in New jersey. Unlike some states, New Jersey does not have any formula to determine the amount of alimony to be paid by one spouse to the other either on a temporary basis during the divorce proceedings, or on a long term basis after the divorce is finalized.
Instead, the court has a very wide discretion to consider many different factors, including but not limited to the age and health of the parties, the income of the parties, the parties' assets, the work history and continuity of work history of each of the parties, the income tax effects of the divorce on both of the parties, and many more.
In 2019 New jersey passed new laws regarding alimony. According to the new statute, there is no longer such a thing as lifetime or permanent alimony. Instead alimony automatically terminates when the former spouse who is paying reaches the age of 67, unless there us a special order from the Judge extending it.
Also, under the new law, for marriages that last less than 20 years alimony cannot be ordered for a period of years greater than the length of the marriage.
New Jersey is not a community property state. This means that during a divorce the Court will not divide the marital assets equally between husband and wife. Instead, the Court can and almost always will divvy up the "marital property" between the spouses based upon what is equitable and fair.
Perhaps the most important concept to understand regarding equitable distribution is the distinction between marital property and separate property. In general, all property which either spouse has accumulated before the marriage and was held in that spouse's name alone will remain each spouse's separate property and will not be subject to property division by the Court as part of equitable distribution, unless that property has somehow changed into marital property after the marriage.
The simplest example of separate property being converted to marital property is when one spouse has a separate bank account before the marriage but then later puts the money into a joint account.
As a general rule most money or other property which comes into the possession of either spouse during the marriage is considered to be marital property, in particular earnings from a job, from a business, gambling winnings, and most earning from investments.
There are a few exceptions such as inheritance, which remains separate property even if inherited by a spouse during the marriage (unless it is put into a joint bank account).
People often do not realize that if, for example, the husband buys a house after the marriage, and the house and mortgage is in his name alone, it would still be considered to be marital property, although he might get a credit for the down payment if he can prove that the down payment was from premarital assets.
It is also important to know that it is the burden of the spouse who claims that money or assets are his or her separate property to prove that in court during the trial.
Some people consider these laws to be unfair, and for that reason some parties choose to execute prenuptial agreements which can deviate from the statutes and laws of equitable distribution, and with some restrictions, from the laws regarding alimony.
In the event of a divorce, a prenuptial agreement which is done correctly so that it will "hold up" in court, will not only take these issues out of the Judge's hands, but will likely save large amounts of money on the divorce. Sadly there have been many divorces involving middle income families where a large percentage of the marital assets ended up going to the lawyers during prolonged litigation.
DIVORCE WITH CHILDREN
It is a well known fact that a long and bitter contested divorce can have a negative and potentially long lasting effect on any children of the marriage. But sometimes the most difficult and important issues in the divorce are who will get primary physical custody of the child or children, and how major decisions about the children will be made after the divorce.
A full blown custody trial can take up to a year or even more, and often requires each parent and the child or children to be seen by a forensic psychologist or other mental health professional.
In New Jersey the law favors joint legal custody (joint decision making) between divorced parents, however the parent who has physical custody will generally be the parent that receives child support fro the other parent.
Fortunately Mr. Carlin has vast experience in settling these issues amicably, if possible, and trying them in court if necessary. In his many years representing litigants in custody cases he has represented fathers, mothers, and also he has been appointed by many courts to represent one or more of the children. Once he has become familiar with your case he will usually be able to give you a very good idea about what to expect in Court.
He has a reputation with the New York and New Jersey courts that he practices in, with the judges he practices before, and with his adversaries, as being a seasoned and sometimes aggressive trial lawyer who gives every case his all.
A WORD ABOUT COSTS
The average cost of a divorce in New Jersey today runs between 12.5 and 15 thousand dollars. Obviously uncontested cases cost much less, while contested cases that result in long, drawn out and complicated trials usually cost much more.
The most expensive cases involve high net worth parties who cannot reach a settlement and end up going to trial. This is for many reasons, including the fact that each side will often be represented by teams of lawyers, and also because high net worth people typically have more complicated finances, businesses, and investments which have to be analyzed, valued, and litigated.
Also, New Jersey allows both no fault grounds and fault based grounds for a divorce. For a fault based divorce, the party must alleged one of the following in the initial divorce papers:
- extreme physical or mental cruelty
- drug or alcohol addiction for at least 12 consecutive months during the marriage
- institutionalization for mental illness for at least 24 consecutive months
- imprisonment for at least 18 consecutive months, or
- abandonment for at least 12 months.
Filing for a fault divorce may result in the divorce being much more expensive, because of the expense in proving or disproving the claims made.
In New Jersey the court can consider marital fault in deciding how much alimony to give, or in rare circumstances, whether alimony should be awarded at all. However instances where fault has affected the award of alimony are generally limited to behavior which is extreme or shocking, or has hurt the couple's assets or income.
Thus the choice of filing a no fault divorce or a fault based divorce should only be made after consultation with an experienced NJ attorney such Hudson and Bergen County divorce lawyer Alexander Carlin.
THE AWARD OF COUNSEL FEES
In situations where one of the spouses has income and/ or assets much greater than the other, the court has the power to order the so called "moneyed spouse" to pay for some or even all of the attorney fees of the "non moneyed spouse". This award is even more likely when the non moneyed spouse does not have the ability to pay for their own divorce attorney without such an order.
The amount of counsel fees awarded will depend largely upon the amount of marital assets, and perhaps which county the divorce is heard in.
ALEXANDER M. CARLIN, ESQ. NEW YORK AND NEW JERSEY DIVORCE LAWYER
Alexander M. Carlin, Esq. is a practicing family law attorney with nearly thirty years of experience. He is the father of two children. Mr. Carlin is a pet owner and has owned and cared for dogs since he was a teen. He enjoys music, both live and recorded. In his spare time, he plays the guitar. For relaxation, he enjoys the beach, fitness, and is beginning to explore watercolor painting and cooking. He grew up in New Yorke, lives in New Jersey and is a third-generation lawyer. Both his parents and grandparents practiced law. He grew up around divorce and divorce attorneys in the 1970's in the City. Between his mother and father, there were six marriages. Mr. Carlin has first-hand experience with divorce and the potential emotional consequences involved.