Bastarrika, Soto, Gonzalez & Somohano, L.L.P.

Woodland Park Legal Issues Blog

In New Jersey, fair, not equal, property division

When most people in New Jersey choose to marry, they do so with the intention of spending the rest of their lives together. However, as time passes, people change, often leaving a couple who were once perfectly happy together in a miserable situation. If they choose to divorce, the process of property division can be a contentious and confusing one.

Fortunately, the attorneys at Bastarrika, Soto, Gonzalez & Somohano, L.L.P. are ready to help. We understand that the decisions made as part of the property division process will potentially have a lasting impact on the person's future. As such, we take the time to fully understand the individual needs of our clients and help them seek a resolution that is in their best interests.

Court ponders what happens to embryos in divorce

In the past, a couple in New Jersey who were unable to conceive had limited options in their path to parenthood. Though relatively recent medical advances now allow in vitro fertilization, many family court cases raise questions regarding the ultimate fate of embryos should couples divorce and disagree on what should happen to them. In fact, the Supreme Court of another state is hearing arguments on a case in which a former husband and wife disagree about who should have custody of the embryos they created.

The couple reportedly created two embryos following their marriage in 2011. At the time, they signed a contract agreeing that the embryos would be discarded should the marriage end in divorce. They used one of the embryos, which resulted in the birth of a daughter before they divorced in 2016. Now the woman wants the original contract upheld while the man is asking that the court award him custody so that it can be adopted or used.

The benefits available to you through Chapter 7 bankruptcy

It's not easy to make the choice to file for bankruptcy. Even if you are struggling with overwhelming debt, you may wonder how taking this step could impact your future and your financial interests. This is a serious choice, and you would be wise to carefully consider all of your options before you move forward.

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a popular choice for individuals who have a significant amount of unsecured debt. There are many advantages to this popular option for consumer bankruptcy, but it's smart to know exactly what to expect from this process and if there are any drawbacks for you before you file. For many applicants, Chapter 7 offers a way to a better financial future.

State's criminal law changes may affect immigration issues

Any number of issues can negatively affect a New Jersey immigrant's legal status. Visa expiration, lack of proper documentation and criminal convictions are several of the most common issues that prompt complications in an immigrant's ability to remain in the United States. A recent criminal law change in another state has come as good news for many immigrants; immigrant advocates say the change affects the automatic removal proceedings system in place under federal immigration law.

Immigrants convicted of a misdemeanor with a possible sentence of at least one year in jail are automatically placed in line for deportation proceedings under federal law. In this particular state the law was changed for Class A misdemeanors to specify a maximum sentence of just 364 days. The law is known as the "One Day Act," and it means that deportation proceedings are no longer automatically activated under such circumstances. While the proceedings could still take place, the automatic trigger has been removed as a result of the change in the law.

Seeking a low conflict divorce in New Jersey

If portrayals on television and movies were accurate, it would seem that all marriages that end must do so with a great deal of drama, contention and drawn-out legal proceedings. While some do, there are many couples in New Jersey who want a divorce with as little conflict and stress as possible. As such, many turn to Bastarrika, Soto, Gonzalez & Somohano, LLP for guidance.

There are several low conflict resolution options for those seeking to start the next stage of their lives. In fact, courts require that couples seek mediation before litigation. Through mediation, couples can come to agreements on a variety of different issues, including asset valuation and division, child custody and parenting schedules. By doing so, couples can often save both money and time.

The naturalization process in the United States

People all over the world look at the United States with hope. It is often the place they plan to move to as they work toward a happier, safer life. As a result, they move to places like New Jersey and other areas around the country. Their ultimate goal is to seek naturalization, a process that can seem overwhelming and confusing.

Reportedly as an attempt to ensure that those seeking citizenship in the United State are sincere, there are multiple criteria that must be met. Before a person can apply to become a naturalized citizen, the person must be at least 18 years old. The individual also must have been a lawful, permanent resident of the United States and physically present in the country for at least five years prior to applying; certain exceptions do apply to the residency requirement. Successful applicants must also be "of good moral character" and able to speak and understand English.

New Jersey police investigate double murder

There are likely many people in New Jersey and across the country who would agree that family relationships can often be complicated. However, most families do not experience violence. Unfortunately, police have recently charged a man with murder in the deaths of his parents.

Police claim they became involved in the incident after receiving a request from the couple's son to conduct a welfare check. When they arrived at the couple's house, they allegedly discovered that the man and woman were deceased, reportedly due to knife wounds. Police apparently immediately suspected the couple's other son of killing them.

Are you safe from ICE in a church?

The immigration climate in the United States has been volatile lately, and you may be among the many who live in fear about your future in this country. As laws change and the enforcement of those laws grows more rigid, you may feel some days like the walls are closing in around you and you have nowhere to turn to avoid deportation.

If removal from the country is a primary concern of yours, you may be considering your alternatives. Perhaps you have heard through the media that some are seeking sanctuary in local churches because agents from Immigration and Customs Enforcement cannot reach them there. Before you choose this step for avoiding removal, you should learn the facts and obtain reliable information about your options.

How abuse is factored into alimony awards

Marriages end for a variety of different reasons.  Many couples in New Jersey who choose to pursue a divorce will often take the route of seeking a no-fault divorce in which parties claim an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage and irreconcilable differences. However, under certain circumstances, a fault divorce may be appropriate in the event of abuse or other factors. Victims of abuse and the subjects of such allegations often wonder how these claims will impact decisions regarding alimony.

There are several different types of alimony and several factors that are considered when a judge determines whether alimony is appropriate and if so, how much. For example, some spouses may receive temporary support, allowing them an opportunity to get back on their feet financially following the end of a marriage while others may be awarded permanent support. Though a judge may consider the length of the marriage, the age of the spouses and the contributions of one spouse to another's career, the goal of such payments is to ensure that one spouse does not live in poverty while the other is financially secure.

How do claims of domestic violence impact child custody?

There are a variety of different of reasons why a couple in New Jersey might choose to end their marriage. In fact, allegations of domestic violence are one reason why many people choose to seek a divorce. Because family courts are dedicated to protecting the best interests of children, they may rule conservatively in child custody cases that include claims of domestic abuse.

Courts are often tasked with determining custody arrangements. While most courts recognize the importance of having both parents involved in a child's life, allegations of domestic violence require special considerations and could ultimately impact a custody arrangement. Judges will examine a variety of different issues before making a decision, including whether the alleged abuse was directed at the child or affected the child, whether there is a continued threat to the child or other parent, physical evidence of the abuse, pending criminal charges as a result or police documentation of the abuse, among other issues.

Rated by Super Lawyers - Jose I. Bastarrika -
Rated by Super Lawyers - Jerard A. Gonzalez -
Rated by Super Lawyers - Rising Stars - Cheryl Lin -
Rated by Super Lawyers - Rising Stars - Erin L. Smith -
Rated by Super Lawyers - Rising Stars - John T. Somohano -
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