Gebhardt & Kiefer Family Blog http://www.gklegal.com/blog/ recent posts en-us Tue, 28 Jan 2020 12:09:31 -0600 New Law Facilitates Adoptions Involving Assisted Reproduction http://www.gklegal.com/blog/new-law-facilitates-adoptions-involving-assisted-reproduction/ Newly passed NJ Senate Bill 3528[1] has established a process to obtain an expedited judgement of adoption for a spouse or civil union partner of a biological or legal parent of child when both parties are named as parents on the child's birth certificate.  The bill was signed into law on January 13, 2020 and becomes effective April 1, 2020.

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2020-01-17 00:00:00 http://www.gklegal.com/blog/new-law-facilitates-adoptions-involving-assisted-reproduction/
Municipal Websites Should Comply with the ADA http://www.gklegal.com/blog/municipal-websites-should-comply-with-the-ada/ 2020-01-13 00:00:00 http://www.gklegal.com/blog/municipal-websites-should-comply-with-the-ada/ Sexual Assault Survivor Protection Act (SASPA): 2019 Update http://www.gklegal.com/blog/sexual-assault-survivor-protection-act-saspa-2019-update/ The Sexual Assault Survivor Protection Act (SASPA) was passed into law in November 2015 and enacted in May 2016[i].  This Act provides greater protection to victims of sexual offenses by allowing them to obtain a protective order. You can read the law at N.J.S.A. 2C:14-13 et seq.[ii]  New Jersey Rules of Court, Rule 5:7B[iii] addresses SASPA.  In November 2019, the Appellate Division of New Jersey, in the case of C.R. v. M.T., Docket No. A-0139-18T4[iv], addressed the issue of an intoxicated victim.  The Court indicated that under SASPA, a victim who alleges that voluntary intoxication prevented her from consenting to sexual contact with defendant must prove extremely high level of intoxication, i.e., a "prostration of faculties."

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2019-12-04 00:00:00 http://www.gklegal.com/blog/sexual-assault-survivor-protection-act-saspa-2019-update/
I Am Divorced…Now What? http://www.gklegal.com/blog/i-am-divorced-now-what/ Many clients are relieved, for a variety of reasons (stress, financially, emotionally), to be done with their divorce, but the entry of a final judgment of divorce is not necessarily the end of the inquiry.  Instead, there are often “to do’s” at the conclusion of a divorce and it is critical that you follow through. 

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2019-11-01 00:00:00 http://www.gklegal.com/blog/i-am-divorced-now-what/
What is Parent Coordination and Do I Need It? http://www.gklegal.com/blog/what-is-parent-coordination-and-do-i-need-it/ In March 2007, the Supreme Court of New Jersey launched a pilot program for parent coordination[i].  That program defines a Parenting Coordinator as “a qualified neutral person appointed by the court, or agreed to by the parties, to facilitate the resolution of day to day parenting issues that frequently arise within the context of family life when parents are separated.  The Parenting Coordinator’s goal is to aid parties in monitoring the existing parenting plan, reducing misunderstandings, clarifying priorities, exploring possibilities for compromise and developing methods of communication that promote collaboration in parenting. The Parenting Coordinator’s role is to facilitate decision making between the parties or make such recommendations, as may be appropriate, when the parties are unable to do so.”

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2019-10-15 00:00:00 http://www.gklegal.com/blog/what-is-parent-coordination-and-do-i-need-it/
What Employers Need to Know About the New Overtime Salary Threshold http://www.gklegal.com/blog/what-employers-need-to-know-about-the-new-overtime-salary-threshold/ 2019-10-10 00:00:00 http://www.gklegal.com/blog/what-employers-need-to-know-about-the-new-overtime-salary-threshold/ Wage Theft Act – the Latest Law Impacting Employers in NJ http://www.gklegal.com/blog/wage-theft-act-the-latest-law-impacting-employers-in-nj/ 2019-08-21 00:00:00 http://www.gklegal.com/blog/wage-theft-act-the-latest-law-impacting-employers-in-nj/ Employers: Asking Job Candidates About Salary History Will Soon Be Illegal in NJ http://www.gklegal.com/blog/employers-asking-job-candidates-about-salary-history-will-soon-be-illegal-in-nj/ With the signing of Bill A1094 into law on July 25, 2019, New Jersey has followed in the footsteps of several other states by prohibiting employers from inquiring about job applicants’ prior earning history. The new law goes into effect on January 1, 2020, and pertains not only to wages, but also other employment-related compensation and benefits.

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2019-08-09 00:00:00 http://www.gklegal.com/blog/employers-asking-job-candidates-about-salary-history-will-soon-be-illegal-in-nj/
Exhaustion of Remedies No Longer Required in Constitutional Takings Cases http://www.gklegal.com/blog/exhaustion-of-remedies-no-longer-required-in-constitutional-takings-cases/ In Knick v. Township of Scott, Pa. (No. 17-647), decided June 21, 2019, the U.S. Supreme Court overruled the longstanding precedent set forth in Williamson County v. Hamilton Bank (1985), which required a plaintiff bringing a claim under the Civil Rights Act of 1871 (Section 1983) for unconstitutional taking of private property to first exhaust state and local remedies.

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2019-07-12 00:00:00 http://www.gklegal.com/blog/exhaustion-of-remedies-no-longer-required-in-constitutional-takings-cases/
New Jersey’s Expanded Medical Marijuana Law Presents Serious Implications for Employers http://www.gklegal.com/blog/new-jersey-s-expanded-medical-marijuana-law-presents-serious-implications-for-employers/ New Jersey’s marijuana legislation has been in a constant state of flux for more than a year. Prior to July 2, 2019, New Jersey’s medical marijuana law allowed individuals who received a valid recommendation from a physician to purchase, possess and consume cannabis, but failed to provide any protection for medical marijuana users in the employment arena. In fact, the New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act, N.J.S.A. 24:61-1, et seq. (CUMMA), specifically did not require an employer to accommodate a medical marijuana user. That all changed on July 2, 2019, when Governor Phil Murphy signed a bill that expanded the State’s medical marijuana program in significant ways.

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2019-07-09 00:00:00 http://www.gklegal.com/blog/new-jersey-s-expanded-medical-marijuana-law-presents-serious-implications-for-employers/
Divorce and Equitable Distribution of Restricted Stock http://www.gklegal.com/blog/divorce-and-equitable-distribution-of-restricted-stock/ In one of my recent divorce cases, the following question arose:  “Would a portion of restricted stock, which vests after the date of the complaint for divorce, be subject to equitable distribution, if the vesting is contingent upon post-complaint employment efforts?”

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2019-07-01 00:00:00 http://www.gklegal.com/blog/divorce-and-equitable-distribution-of-restricted-stock/
Is the Cost of a Child’s Car Considered Child Support in NJ? http://www.gklegal.com/blog/is-the-cost-of-a-child-s-car-considered-child-support-in-nj/ Clients often ask if the cost of a child's car is considered child support in NJ.  No, the expenses for the purchase of a child’s car and any associated costs are NOT considered to be part of basic child support under the NJ Child Support Guidelines.

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2019-06-24 00:00:00 http://www.gklegal.com/blog/is-the-cost-of-a-child-s-car-considered-child-support-in-nj/
A Moral Obligation Versus a Legal Obligation http://www.gklegal.com/blog/a-moral-obligation-versus-a-legal-obligation/ As a divorce attorney, I often have clients who question whether their spouses should or should not do something.  This may have to do with the finances or the children, but it is a common question.  Many times, the answer has to do with the difference between a moral obligation and a legal obligation. 

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2019-05-30 00:00:00 http://www.gklegal.com/blog/a-moral-obligation-versus-a-legal-obligation/
Taxes & Divorce - Ten Tips to Consider http://www.gklegal.com/blog/taxes-divorce-ten-tips-to-consider/ The new tax law changes (Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017) expire in 2025. This needs to be a consideration in drafting divorce agreements, as these changes may affect what is agreed upon now.

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2019-05-20 00:00:00 http://www.gklegal.com/blog/taxes-divorce-ten-tips-to-consider/
Why Must I Compromise to Finalize My Divorce? http://www.gklegal.com/blog/why-must-i-compromise-to-finalize-my-divorce/ Approximately 97% of divorce cases settle.  Settlement can come easily at the early stages of a case or on the eve of trial, but it is more likely than not to occur at some point in every divorce case.  For settlement to occur, BOTH sides need to compromise.  It is not uncommon for both sides to feel that they have “given in” or compromised more than the other.  And, of course, there are certain instances where one party may be more reasonable or willing to compromise in order to conclude the divorce (or to finalize a matter).   

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2019-05-07 00:00:00 http://www.gklegal.com/blog/why-must-i-compromise-to-finalize-my-divorce/
Right-to-Die Law Passed in NJ http://www.gklegal.com/blog/right-to-die-law-passed-in-nj/ 2019-04-18 00:00:00 http://www.gklegal.com/blog/right-to-die-law-passed-in-nj/ Tax Court Rules that Unmanaged Forest Land Does Not Qualify for Farmland Assessment http://www.gklegal.com/blog/tax-court-rules-that-unmanaged-forest-land-does-not-qualify-for-farmland-assessment/ The Tax Court held in Hertz v. Borough of Lincoln Park, Docket No. 009897-2017 (Jan. 8, 2019) that unmanaged forest land does not qualify for farmland assessment.  Pursuant to the Farmland Assessment Act, at least five acres of a property must be “actively devoted to agricultural or horticultural use” in order to be eligible for farmland assessment.  N.J.S.A. 54:4-23.2. 

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2019-04-03 00:00:00 http://www.gklegal.com/blog/tax-court-rules-that-unmanaged-forest-land-does-not-qualify-for-farmland-assessment/
Appellate Division Again Finds that Violations of Local Government Ethics Law Must be Intentional to be Actionable http://www.gklegal.com/blog/appellate-division-again-finds-that-violations-of-local-government-ethics-law-must-be-intentional-to-be-actionable/ 2019-04-02 00:00:00 http://www.gklegal.com/blog/appellate-division-again-finds-that-violations-of-local-government-ethics-law-must-be-intentional-to-be-actionable/ How is an “Overnight” Defined When Determining Child Support? http://www.gklegal.com/blog/how-is-an-overnight-defined-when-determining-child-support/ 2019-03-29 00:00:00 http://www.gklegal.com/blog/how-is-an-overnight-defined-when-determining-child-support/ Governor Murphy Bans NDAs in Sexual Harassment and Discrimination Cases http://www.gklegal.com/blog/governor-murphy-bans-ndas-in-sexual-harassment-and-discrimination-cases/ 2019-03-20 00:00:00 http://www.gklegal.com/blog/governor-murphy-bans-ndas-in-sexual-harassment-and-discrimination-cases/ Appellate Division Finds that Violations of Local Government Ethics Law Must be Intentional to be Actionable http://www.gklegal.com/blog/appellate-division-finds-that-violations-of-local-government-ethics-law-must-be-intentional-to-be-actionable/ 2019-02-27 00:00:00 http://www.gklegal.com/blog/appellate-division-finds-that-violations-of-local-government-ethics-law-must-be-intentional-to-be-actionable/ What a Divorce Trial is Like, and Why You Should Avoid It http://www.gklegal.com/blog/what-a-divorce-trial-is-like-and-why-you-should-avoid-it/ If you have reached the point where your divorce case is going to trial, it means either one or both parties are unreasonable with regard to their position, or there is an obscure legal issue (very rare) that requires the court to decide the matter.  If you are heading to trial, it means that despite multiple opportunities in the court process to settle your case, your case still has not settled.  While the court process is designed to settle the case prior to trial, unfortunately, it does not always happen.

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2019-02-26 00:00:00 http://www.gklegal.com/blog/what-a-divorce-trial-is-like-and-why-you-should-avoid-it/
Appellate Decision Cautions Land Use Board Members Against Ex Parte Communications with Applicants http://www.gklegal.com/blog/appellate-division-decision-cautions-land-use-board-members-against-exparte-communications-with-applicants/ On appeal in Sternas v. DMH2, LLC, A-2051-16T4 (Feb. 4, 2019), the Appellate Division considered whether the Class II Planning Board member, who was also the municipal engineer, had a conflict of interest due to ex parte communications with an applicant. 

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2019-02-25 00:00:00 http://www.gklegal.com/blog/appellate-division-decision-cautions-land-use-board-members-against-exparte-communications-with-applicants/
Governor Murphy Expands Family Leave Law http://www.gklegal.com/blog/governor-phil-murphy-expands-family-leave-law/ On February 19, 2019, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed legislation that significantly expands the existing NJ Family Leave Act (NJFLA), as well as the NJ Family Leave Insurance Law (NJFLI). The new law creates major changes, some of which employers must comply with by June 30, 2019.

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2019-02-25 00:00:00 http://www.gklegal.com/blog/governor-phil-murphy-expands-family-leave-law/
Appellate Division Declines to Apply Heightened Standard to Zoning Ordinances that Contradict State and Regional Plans http://www.gklegal.com/blog/appellate-division-declines-to-apply-heightened-standard-to-zoning-ordinances-that-contradict-state-and-regional-plans/ In Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp. v. Township of Branchburg, A-0843-16T1 (App. Div. Dec. 13, 2018), the Township of Branchburg appealed the trial court’s holding that invalidated a 2008 land use ordinance amendment down-zoning the Merck property. 

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2019-02-20 00:00:00 http://www.gklegal.com/blog/appellate-division-declines-to-apply-heightened-standard-to-zoning-ordinances-that-contradict-state-and-regional-plans/