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

Woodland Park Legal Issues Blog

The special considerations of a gray divorce

There are many couples in New Jersey who spend decades together, building a reputation in their community, working on a successful business and/or raising a family together. However, as they age, the children move away and they retire, many couples, regardless of how long they have been married, discover that they are no longer compatible. In fact, the incidence of gray divorce -- divorces among couples who are 50 or older -- has increased over the last few decades.

While some reports indicate that the rate of divorce among younger people has decreased, the rate of those 50 and older has doubled over the last three decades. Some couples who seek a divorce when older may be in a second or subsequent marriage, but most are couples who have been in a long-term marriage. For some, the marriage may have been unhappy for years but they chose to remain together for the children or other reasons. Other couples, however, may realize that they are no longer compatible due to a change, such as one person's illness or infidelity.

Has cocaine use negatively affected your loved one?

Many New Jersey residents often find themselves in situations they never expected. For some, it could be ending up addicted to a drug. Some people try a substance just for the experience or believe that they will not develop an uncontrollable habit. In other cases, someone could take or use a substance without knowing it because someone laced another drug or spiked their food or drink.

Unfortunately, you may have a loved one who became addicted to cocaine. This substance is highly addictive, and you and your loved one may never have expected this type of scenario to affect your lives. Now, however, you are watching your loved one struggle with the effects of addiction, including the health-related and legal-related repercussions.

Premarital assets subject to equitable distribution in NJ divorce

There are many people in New Jersey and across the country who are choosing to wait until later in life to get married. As such, some people are coming into a marriage with a house purchased by only one of the people. While a premarital asset is typically exempt from equitable distribution during a divorce, there are some circumstances in which a spouse may have a claim.

In some cases, one spouse may own the marital home. However, in certain situations a home may be considered a quasi-marital or marital asset. For example, if the home was purchased in anticipation of the marriage, the non-owning party may still have an equitable interest.

Arrest made following fatal accident in New Jersey

While there are places in which a person knows he or she is unsafe, most people in New Jersey and across the country feel relatively safe while in the front yard of their residences. However, this may not always be the case. In fact, a teenager recently lost his life in a fatal accident that took place in front of the group home in which he lived. 

The incident happened on a day in July. According to reports, the 18-year-old male victim was on the front lawn with other residents. Unfortunately, the driver of a sports utility vehicle allegedly hopped a curb, striking the young man. The victim was taken to the hospital but ultimately passed away as a result of injuries suffered in the collision.

Family questions cause of fatal New Jersey car accident

Those who have recently experienced the death of family members -- understandably -- want answers, especially if that loss appears to have been the result of a preventable accident. Unfortunately, one family is left with many unanswered questions. Three family members were killed and one injured in a recent fatal car accident in New Jersey.

The accident happened on a Sunday afternoon on a day in July. According to reports, a 19-year-old woman was driving a vehicle that was struck by a tanker truck in an intersection. The car and the truck reportedly skidded off the road. The truck's cab pinned the car to the ground, trapping the car's occupants.

What drives Chapter 7 bankruptcy filings?

The vast majority of people in New Jersey and across the country are hard workers, dedicated to providing for themselves and their families and meeting their financial responsibilities. Unfortunately, even these people can become overwhelmed with debt, potentially prompting them to seek information regarding their options. For some, the best choice is to seek Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection.

Reports indicate that between Oct. 2005 to Sept. 2017, approximately 12.8 millions consumers sought bankruptcy protection in federal court. There are a variety of different factors that could have led these petitioners to seek such action. One of the most commons reasons -- cited in over 66% of cases according to a study by the American Journal of Public Health -- is medical debt. An unexpected medical incident can result in thousands of dollars in bills. Additionally, those who are unable to work due to their condition may quickly use up their savings, causing them to sink further into debt.

The impact of an old bankruptcy versus a new one

When trying to figure out whether to file bankruptcy, most New Jersey consumers wonder what their credit will look like afterward and whether they will ever receive credit again. Most people assume that a bankruptcy will ruin their credit forever when, in many cases, the opposite is true.

If you have a substantial amount of debt you cannot pay right now, your credit score is likely dropping rapidly. When you file bankruptcy, that stops since successfully completing the process and receiving a discharge wipes the slate clean. Depending on the circumstances, your credit score could actually rise.

Situations in which bankruptcy is beneficial

Many people in New Jersey spend a great deal of time and energy planning for their financial future. Often, they will make sacrifices in the present to ensure a stable situation in the future. Unfortunately, these plans can come to a crashing halt, often due to situations beyond the person's control. In these situations, the best option to manage debt is to seek bankruptcy protection.

For example, one of the most common factors in a bankruptcy filing is medical debt. Not only does a serious medical condition result in medical bills, but some people may be unable to work while they recover or support a loved one during the recovery period. For many, it becomes necessary to travel for treatment, resulting in additional travel and lodging costs. The financial burden can quickly become overwhelming.

Study shows student loan debt increases chance of divorce

Most married couples in New Jersey would readily admit that there are many things that can create stress and conflict in a marriage. However, a recent study shows that one stressor could potentially increase the chances that a couple will divorce -- debt. Specifically, student loan debt could be a major factor for many couples.

Some claim that one of the biggest stressors married couples must face deals with finances. Approximately a third of respondents to a recent study indicated that debt played a role in their divorce as debt makes it difficult to save for a home or make other plans for the future. Just over 12% specifically claimed that student loan debt was a factor.

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.

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