On June 5, 2020, the Administrative Office of the Courts issued Directive #18-20, allowing trial courts in New Jersey to enter a judgment granting a divorce in default and uncontested cases on the papers without requiring the parties to appear personally before the court. Judges have discretion to schedule hearings in such matters if necessary.. read more →

(On December 1, 2016, I moderated the first Advanced Special Needs Trust Symposium, an all-day event held at the New Jersey Law Center. In addition to moderating the panel of speakers, I also presented on the topic of the “Uses of Special Needs Trusts in Cases Involving Divorce.” Due to the length of my paper,.. read more →

(On December 1, 2016, I moderated the first Advanced Special Needs Trust Symposium, an all-day event held at the New Jersey Law Center. In addition to moderating the panel of speakers, I also presented on the topic of the “Uses of Special Needs Trusts in Divorce.” Due to the length of my paper, I divided.. read more →

“Use of Special Needs Trusts in Cases Involving Divorce”  to be presented by leading NJ Elder Law and Estate Planning Attorney, Donald D. Vanarelli, Esq., who will also act as Moderator of the Symposium Donald D. Vanarelli, Esq. (http://VanarelliLaw.com/) will moderate and present at the Advanced Special Needs Trust Symposium given by the New Jersey Institute.. read more →

In many divorce cases, when a one spouse or parent is not reporting his or her true income, or is unemployed or underemployed and not earning what he or she could, the court may impute income to that spouse so the proper amount of spousal or child support is paid to the other divorcing spouse… read more →

New Jersey’s Appellate Court ruled that, under the appropriate circumstances, it is equitable to require a disabled 89 year old veteran to receive end-of-life care in a VA facility against his wishes rather than at home in order to use his limited income to continue paying alimony to his ex-wives. .Rizzolo v. Rizzolo, 2015 NJ Super.. read more →

(Recently, I was the featured speaker at a meeting of the New Jersey Association of Professional Mediators. The subject was special needs planning for disabled spouses and/or disabled children in the context of divorce. The brief introduction to the subject given by the moderator follows, which is followed by a portion of the paper I.. read more →

Thomas v. Thomas, Docket No. A-2388-11T2 (N.J. Super. App. Div. June 4, 2013), involved competing claims against a $1 million life insurance policy maintained by the decedent. Mr. Thomas was survived by a wife, as well as an ex-wife, with whom he had 2 children. Pursuant to the Property Settlement Agreement (“PSA”) between Mr. Thomas.. read more →

On Saturday, April 27, 2013, I presented a session on the impact of elder law issues on divorce mediation at the 2013 Annual Divorce Mediation Seminar by the New Jersey Association of Professional Mediators. The topics covered in my session included Social Security, including retirement, disability and survivors benefits, Supplemental Security Income benefits, Medicare, Medicaid,.. read more →

Bill No. 1388 was recently introduced in the New Jersey Senate with an identical, companion bill, Bill No. 685, also introduced in the Assembly. This bill amends New Jersey Statute 2A:34-23, concerning child support and alimony, to provide that an obligor’s child support or alimony payments may be modified when an obligor’s income is diminished.. read more →

Divorce is never easy, but if a child or spouse with special needs is involved, there are special considerations. At the same time, family law attorneys aren’t always familiar with how to best protect a spouse or child with special needs during a divorce. Elder law attorneys can provide information to family law attorneys who.. read more →

  General Divide all property according to divorce decree. Re-title ownership of assets, including your home and all motor vehicles, and inform  mortgage company, if any, of changes in ownership of real estate. Change the name of responsible party on utility bills, and notify auto insurer. Update your mailing address with credit card companies, banks,.. read more →

In January 2011, the New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education (NJICLE) hosted the annual Family Law Symposium. This year an overflow crowd of over 700 family lawyers were in attendance, the largest audience to attend any program ever held by NJICLE. One presentation in the Family Law Symposium identified the “top 10 family law.. read more →

I don’t usually blog about the Social Security cases my law firm handles, although we represent many applicants for Social Security and SSI disability benefits each year. It’s time I remedied that oversight. My firm recently handled a very interesting and complex case for a disabled client which involved the termination of the disability benefits.. read more →

In Lerman v. Lerman, Docket No. A-1953-07T3 (App. Div., August 4, 2009), the trustees of a trust established and funded by defendant David Lerman’s deceased mother, Pearl Lerman, appealed from an order of a Family Court Judge in New Jersey directing that Bank of America turn over $50,000 of the trust’s assets to the Bergen.. read more →

Parents who abuse, abandon, neglect or cause the death of their children will be ineligible for alimony and for inheritance benefits from their children’s estates, under a new state law signed by Gov. Jon Corzine on April 17 that takes effect in July. The new law amends N.J.S.A. 2A:34-23 to deny alimony to a person.. read more →

A new Programs Operations Manual System (POMS), used by Social Security Administration employees to administer the Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) programs, has recently been issued by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for trusts under the heading “SI 01120.200 Trusts – General, Including Trusts Established Prior to 1/1/00, Trusts Established.. read more →