Gebhardt & Kiefer Family Blog http://www.gklegal.com/blog/ recent posts en-us Wed, 25 Apr 2018 07:34:50 -0500 How New Tax Changes May Affect Your Divorce http://www.gklegal.com/blog/how-new-tax-changes-may-affect-your-divorce/ 2018-04-19 00:00:00 http://www.gklegal.com/blog/how-new-tax-changes-may-affect-your-divorce/ What Does the Diane B. Allen Equal Pay Act Mean for Employers? http://www.gklegal.com/blog/what-does-the-diane-b-allen-equal-pay-act-mean-for-employers/ Governor Phil Murphy recently signed into law the Diane B. Allen Equal Pay Act (the Act).[i]  This law, among other things, expands New Jersey’s Wage and Hour Law from outlawing discrimination based on sex, to outlawing discrimination in pay based on all protected classes under existing New Jersey Law.  The Act, which takes effect July 1, 2018, will undoubtedly have a significant impact on employers, both public and private.

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2018-04-13 00:00:00 http://www.gklegal.com/blog/what-does-the-diane-b-allen-equal-pay-act-mean-for-employers/
What Employers Should Know About Workplace Bullying http://www.gklegal.com/blog/what-employers-should-know-about-workplace-bullying/ 2018-04-05 00:00:00 http://www.gklegal.com/blog/what-employers-should-know-about-workplace-bullying/ Proposed Changes in NJ Medical Marijuana Law Bring New Challenges for Employers http://www.gklegal.com/blog/recent-changes-in-nj-medical-marijuana-law-bring-new-challenges-for-employers/ In a recent press conference, Gov. Phil Murphy addressed the medical marijuana program expansion and listed several changes that will make medical marijuana available to more patients.  He specifically stated his intent to change the culture of the medical marijuana program to make it more patient-friendly.

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2018-04-04 00:00:00 http://www.gklegal.com/blog/recent-changes-in-nj-medical-marijuana-law-bring-new-challenges-for-employers/
Immigration & Custody http://www.gklegal.com/blog/immigration-custody/ 2018-04-03 00:00:00 http://www.gklegal.com/blog/immigration-custody/ Are Reconciliation Agreements Enforceable? http://www.gklegal.com/blog/are-reconciliation-agreements-enforceable/ The answer is maybe.  A reconciliation agreement that is fair, equitable and supported by adequate consideration may be enforceable in certain circumstances.  The consideration must consist of one spouse promising to resume marital relations when the “marital relationship has deteriorated at least to the brink of an indefinite separation or a suit for divorce.”[i]   And the court must make a finding that the “marital rift was substantial” to find that the promise of reconciliation is adequate consideration.[ii]   

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2018-03-27 00:00:00 http://www.gklegal.com/blog/are-reconciliation-agreements-enforceable/
Does Fault Matter in Divorce Cases? http://www.gklegal.com/blog/does-fault-matter-in-divorce-cases/ One of the questions most often asked in divorce matters is whether a spouse’s conduct or “fault” in causing the divorce proceeding is relevant.  The short answer is that usually “fault” has no impact on the divorce case.  However, there are some exceptions.

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2018-02-09 00:00:00 http://www.gklegal.com/blog/does-fault-matter-in-divorce-cases/
Bankruptcy & Divorce http://www.gklegal.com/blog/bankruptcy-divorce/ I am not a bankruptcy attorney, but, unfortunately, I have had many family law clients in the midst of a bankruptcy during their divorce, custody, or support disputes.  Bankruptcy may have significant impacts upon your family law case.  It is critical that you have counsel in both the bankruptcy and the family law matters, and that those professionals communicate freely and as often as is needed to ensure your protections.

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2018-02-05 00:00:00 http://www.gklegal.com/blog/bankruptcy-divorce/
The NJ Estate Tax Has Been Eliminated…Do You Still Need a Will? http://www.gklegal.com/blog/the-nj-estate-tax-has-been-eliminated-do-you-still-need-a-will/ As of January 1, 2018, there is no longer any New Jersey estate tax, as per New Jersey P.L. 2016, c. 57.  Many New Jersey residents have been asking, “Do I still need a will, since there is no need to consider tax-planning?”  The answer is yes, there are many reasons that you still should have a valid will in New Jersey.  Here are five such reasons:

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2018-02-01 00:00:00 http://www.gklegal.com/blog/the-nj-estate-tax-has-been-eliminated-do-you-still-need-a-will/
What Duties Do Commercial Landowners Have for Snow and Ice Removal? http://www.gklegal.com/blog/what-duties-do-commercial-landowners-have-for-snow-and-ice-removal/ New Jersey has been unseasonably cold this winter season, and winter is far from over.  Along with frigid temperatures comes the increasing presence of snow and ice. So, what duties do commercial landowners have in this regard? It is without question that a commercial landowner has a duty to exercise reasonable care for the safety of invitees to the property, and may be held liable for failing to do so. This includes the removal of snow and ice. This has been the law in this state for several decades.

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2018-01-31 00:00:00 http://www.gklegal.com/blog/what-duties-do-commercial-landowners-have-for-snow-and-ice-removal/
Nursing Mothers Protected by Expansion of NJ Law Against Discrimination http://www.gklegal.com/blog/nursing-mothers-protected-by-expansion-of-nj-law-against-discrimination/ As employers may already know, the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (“NJLAD”) was amended and expanded in 2014 to provide protections to women affected by pregnancy, child birth or related medical conditions.  Aside from the obvious goal of eradicating unlawful discrimination, the amendment sought to promote healthy pregnancies.  The amendment requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations to pregnant women who choose to continue working throughout their pregnancies and to prevent discrimination of any kind on the basis of pregnancy or pregnancy-related medical conditions.  The amendment made NJLAD, as it applies to pregnancy, one of the most progressive. On Jan. 8, 2018, an additional amendment went into effect, providing for the protection of nursing mothers in the workplace.

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2018-01-25 00:00:00 http://www.gklegal.com/blog/nursing-mothers-protected-by-expansion-of-nj-law-against-discrimination/
Employers: How Recent Sexual Harassment Scandals May Affect Your Workplace http://www.gklegal.com/blog/employers-how-recent-sexual-harassment-scandals-may-affect-your-workplace/ In response to the highly-publicized sexual misconduct and harassment scandals in the workplace that have dominated the headlines in recent months, legislators have acted to address what has surfaced as a matter of grave concern.  Employers should be cognizant of the following proposed legislation, which, if passed, will require proactive steps by employers in order to protect employees and employers alike.

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2018-01-16 00:00:00 http://www.gklegal.com/blog/employers-how-recent-sexual-harassment-scandals-may-affect-your-workplace/
Can a Judge Enter a Restraining Order If There is No Domestic Violence? http://www.gklegal.com/blog/can-a-judge-enter-a-restraining-order-if-there-is-no-domestic-violence/ Clients sometimes ask if a judge has the equitable power to enter a restraining order in the absence of domestic violence.  The short answer is “no,” however, further exploration of the question is helpful to understand how restraining orders work and the limitations the law currently places upon the court. 

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2018-01-11 00:00:00 http://www.gklegal.com/blog/can-a-judge-enter-a-restraining-order-if-there-is-no-domestic-violence/
Five Mistakes Commonly Made by Parents in Custody and Divorce Cases http://www.gklegal.com/blog/five-mistakes-commonly-made-by-parents-in-custody-and-divorce-cases/ Custody & parenting time disputes are often the costliest, emotionally and financially.  Unlike an asset, which has a specific value (or a discernible value, even if you cannot agree), children are priceless.   It is nearly impossible for anyone to tell you that your child is not worth the cost of pursuing what you believe to be in his/her best interest.  However, there are a number of common mistakes that you, as a parent, should avoid.  Otherwise, you may end up spending even more money doing damage control.  Avoiding these mistakes is not hard or complicated, and may save you thousands of dollars in fees and a lot of emotional anguish.  These mistakes include:

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2017-12-08 11:03:55 http://www.gklegal.com/blog/five-mistakes-commonly-made-by-parents-in-custody-and-divorce-cases/
Tax Court Upholds Assessment Where Plaintiff’s Appraiser Fails to Verify Comparable Sales Data http://www.gklegal.com/blog/tax-court-upholds-assessment-where-plaintiff-s-appraiser-fails-to-verify-comparable-sales-data/ The Tax Court recently held that an appraiser must verify the data associated with comparable sales used in an appraisal report in order to provide reliable evidence of fair market value of a property in a tax appeal.

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2017-12-06 09:23:25 http://www.gklegal.com/blog/tax-court-upholds-assessment-where-plaintiff-s-appraiser-fails-to-verify-comparable-sales-data/
Gebhardt & Kiefer Successfully Defends Privacy Interests of Municipal Employee in OPRA Payroll Records Lawsuit http://www.gklegal.com/blog/gebhardt-kiefer-successfully-defends-privacy-interests-of-municipal-employee-in-opra-payroll-records-lawsuit/ On November 17, 2017, the Appellate Division issued its decision in favor of Gebhardt & Kiefer’s client, the Borough of Washington.  Tara St. Angelo, Esq. argued the appeal on behalf of Gebhardt & Kiefer, PC.

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2017-12-05 11:40:39 http://www.gklegal.com/blog/gebhardt-kiefer-successfully-defends-privacy-interests-of-municipal-employee-in-opra-payroll-records-lawsuit/
The Risks of Withdrawing a Conditional Offer of Employment Based on Medical Reasons http://www.gklegal.com/blog/the-risks-of-withdrawing-a-conditional-offer-of-employment-based-on-medical-reasons/ The recent unpublished Appellate Division decision of Philip Marchesani v. J.B. Hunt Transportation, Inc., et al., Appellate Division, Docket No. A-4751-15T2 (decided October 31, 2017), illustrates the challenges faced by employers who issue a conditional offer of employment. 

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2017-11-13 00:00:00 http://www.gklegal.com/blog/the-risks-of-withdrawing-a-conditional-offer-of-employment-based-on-medical-reasons/
Military Pensions: How the “Frozen Benefit Rule” Applies in Divorce Cases http://www.gklegal.com/blog/how-the-frozen-benefit-rule-applies-in-divorce-cases/ On December 23, 2016, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA 2017) was signed into law.  This new rule, sometimes referred to as the “Frozen Benefit Rule,” affects the law on military pensions for almost everyone, and also affects equitable distribution of military pensions in divorce cases.  This applies to those still serving who divorce after December 23, 2016. 

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2017-11-10 00:00:00 http://www.gklegal.com/blog/how-the-frozen-benefit-rule-applies-in-divorce-cases/
Volunteer Firemen May Not Pursue a Whistleblower Claim Under the Conscientious Employee Protection Act http://www.gklegal.com/blog/volunteer-firemen-may-not-pursue-a-whistleblower-claim-under-the-conscientious-employee-protection-act/ Judge Accurso of the Appellate Division recently ruled in the case of Jeffrey Sauter v. Colts Neck Volunteer Fire Company No. 2 that volunteer firemen are not entitled to the protection of the Conscientious Employee Protection Act (CEPA), N.J.S.A. 34:19-1, et seq., because a volunteer firefighter is not an employee of the fire company, even though such volunteers may receive Length of Service Awards Program (LOSAP) benefits and other remuneration.

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2017-10-26 00:00:00 http://www.gklegal.com/blog/volunteer-firemen-may-not-pursue-a-whistleblower-claim-under-the-conscientious-employee-protection-act/
Employers: Avoid Comments About Employees’ Religions or Religious Practices http://www.gklegal.com/blog/employers-avoid-comments-about-employees-religions-or-religious-practices/ To steer clear of potential issues, employers should follow this plain and simple rule: don’t permit comments about employees’ religions or religious practices in the workplace.

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2017-10-23 00:00:00 http://www.gklegal.com/blog/employers-avoid-comments-about-employees-religions-or-religious-practices/
How Childhood Lessons Are Relevant in a Divorce Case http://www.gklegal.com/blog/how-childhood-lessons-are-relevant-in-a-divorce-case/ Anyone who has a child (or once was a child) knows the values and virtues that parents try to instill in their children.  These common values and virtues are typically reinforced by schools, teachers, and religious educators.  Many of these same teachings that we learn in our childhood are applicable for people going through a divorce.  Here are a few examples (in no particular order), based on my experience handing numerous divorce cases:

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2017-10-11 00:00:00 http://www.gklegal.com/blog/how-childhood-lessons-are-relevant-in-a-divorce-case/
Ten Things You Should Never Post on Social Media When Going Through a Divorce http://www.gklegal.com/blog/ten-things-you-should-never-post-on-social-media-when-going-through-a-divorce/ The way you conduct yourself on social media websites can often hurt your divorce case.  As a general rule, staying off of social media before, during or after your divorce is a best practice, but if you cannot achieve total abstinence, consider the following tips and things you should never do:

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2017-09-26 00:00:00 http://www.gklegal.com/blog/ten-things-you-should-never-post-on-social-media-when-going-through-a-divorce/
Are Municipal Fire Companies Subject to the Open Public Records Act? http://www.gklegal.com/blog/are-municipal-fire-companies-subject-to-the-open-public-records-act/ Background For a number of years, there have been vexing questions as to whether volunteer fire companies are considered public entities or simply a group of volunteers who get together to fight fires.  The uncertainty arises from the fact that fire companies consist of a group of self-governing individuals who volunteer to fight fires without significant oversight from municipal officials.  Volunteer firemen often raise significant funds for their operation; they independently elect officers, provide for their own training and often purchase significant amounts of their own equipment.  On the other hand, the municipality in which they are located must permit their operation, often makes significant financial contributions, and frequently approves membership.  Many municipalities have ordinances establishing the creation or recognition of volunteer fire departments and those ordinances exercise various levels of control.  In addition, municipalities fund large capital expenditures for heavy fire equipment and make Length of Service Award Program (LOSAP) contributions.  Furthermore, while volunteer fire companies agree to fill the municipal function of firefighting, they also operate as social or fraternal organizations that provide recreational, educational and other benefits to members.

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2017-08-30 00:00:00 http://www.gklegal.com/blog/are-municipal-fire-companies-subject-to-the-open-public-records-act/
Out-of-State Relocation Standard in Divorce Cases Changed to “Best Interest” Analysis http://www.gklegal.com/blog/out-of-state-relocation-standard-in-divorce-cases-changed-to-best-interest-analysis/ In New Jersey, the statute N.J.S.A. 9:2-2 allows a parent to relocate out of state with the parties’ children if the other parent agrees or if the court issues an order allowing the move.  In cases where there is a true shared custody arrangement or equal parenting time, the court would apply a “best interest” analysis, similar to the analysis in deciding custody of children in a divorce case.  In cases where there is a parent who has primary residential custody (parent who has the majority of overnight parenting time), the standard the court applied for the last sixteen years in these relocation cases is set forth in Baures v. Lewis, 167 N.J. 91 (2001).

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2017-08-17 00:00:00 http://www.gklegal.com/blog/out-of-state-relocation-standard-in-divorce-cases-changed-to-best-interest-analysis/
Name Change of a Minor in the Twenty-First Century http://www.gklegal.com/blog/name-change-of-a-minor-in-the-twenty-first-century/ In June 2017, the trial court published an opinion addressing a matter of first impression in the State of New Jersey[i].   Plainitff, the mother of the 16-year-old child, petitioned the Court to allow the parties’ transgendered child to change his name from Veronica to Trevor.

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2017-08-11 00:00:00 http://www.gklegal.com/blog/name-change-of-a-minor-in-the-twenty-first-century/