Common Questions about Family Law

Our attorneys recognize that family matters can be complex, but we work hard to ensure that you and your family have as smooth of a transition as possible.

Below are a few questions we commonly hear from our clients:

How much will my divorce cost?

Typically, divorce attorneys require an initial retainer against which they bill for their services at their respective hourly rates. The client is responsible for payment of any legal services that exceed that initial retainer.

Since a divorce can be finalized once the parties have entered in a written agreement, the cost of a divorce is almost always dependent upon how quickly (and amicably) the parties enter into that agreement. The longer it takes for the parties to reach an agreement, the more expensive the divorce will be.

  • How is child custody determined?

Child custody and parenting time issues are always determined based upon the best interest of the child. Custody and parenting time arrangements can be modified at any time if there is a change in circumstances involving either party and/or the child.

Can my ex-spouse be forced to pay for some or all of my child's college-related expenses?

Most educational expense issues for child support are addressed during the divorce process. However, when there is no agreement in place, the obligation of the divorced parents to pay for their child's college-related expenses will depend upon the state.

In Pennsylvania, a child is deemed emancipated once he/she has turned 18 and has graduated from high school. Once a child is emancipated, there are no further support obligations imposed upon either parent.

In New Jersey, a child is not deemed emancipated upon his/her graduation and his/her 18th birthday if that child continues his/her schooling beyond high school. Under New Jersey law, if a child is not yet emancipated, the Court can award child support to a parent that may compel the parties to contribute to that child's post-secondary education expenses.

What is the purpose of alimony?

Alimony is a form of support paid by one spouse to the other when there is a discrepancy in the parties' respective incomes. There are many factors taken into account by the Court when determining alimony. Therefore, it is advisable to consult with an attorney regarding potential alimony obligations that may come with your divorce.

Why would I need a Prenuptial Agreement?

Typically, parties enter into a Prenuptial Agreement in order for one or both of the parties to protect pre-martial assets and/or make a pre-determination regarding support and maintenance of each party in the event of a divorce.

In a Prenuptial Agreement, there must be full and complete financial disclosure between the parties, and each party should have his or her own attorney review and evaluate the terms of the agreement before it is signed.