Can an automobile given to a child during marriage be considered an asset subject to equitable distribution in a divorce?

Can an automobile given to a child during marriage be considered an asset subject to equitable distribution in a divorce?

The issue of whether a car given to the parties' child during the marriage was properly included in the marital estate was recently addressed by the Mississippi Appellate Court in Terrell v. Terrell, 133 So. 3d 833 (Miss. Ct. App. 2013), cert denied, 133 So. 3d 818 (Miss. 2014).

In the Terrell case, the parties purchased an automobile during their marriage with marital funds for their daughter. Upon purchase, the vehicle was titled in their daughter’s name, remained in her possession and used by her while in college. Yet, during the parties’ divorce proceedings, the husband contended that since marital funds were used to purchase the car, it should be deemed marital property and included in the marital estate for division purposes.

Excessive or Inappropriate Text Messaging can be Harassment and result in the entry of a Restraining Order under the NJ Domestic Violence Law

To the surprise of many, excessive or inappropriate text messaging to a former partner can result in the entry of a domestic violence restraining order.

While our domestic violence laws are designed to protect against actual physical violence, those same laws also protect against harassment type behavior; defined generally as making or causing a communication in a manner likely to cause annoyance or alarm or through repeatedly committed acts with the purpose to alarm or seriously annoy such other person. Such was the issue presented in L.M.F v. J.A.F.

10 Red Flags That You May Be Headed for Divorce

Mindy Smith, writing on divorce matters for the Huffington Post, compiled her Top 10 list of "Red Flags for Sure Signs of Divorce". I agree with most of Ms. Smith’s observations with the following revisions:RED FLAG #10: If your spouse is face-booking with an "old friend" of the opposite sex on a regular basis, you may be heading for a divorce. While occasional (rare) contact with a former lover should not pose any real danger to your relationship, the contact becomes a problem when this communication is substituted for communication with the spouse and/or if this communication is hidden from the other spouse.

RED FLAG #9: If you spouse has gained or lost more than 20% of his or her body weight, you may be heading for divorce. In every marriage, part of keeping the passion alive is maintaining the physical presence that attracted the two partners to the other in the first place. When one spouse no longer cares about his or her appearance or radically changes his/her physical appearance, that physical change can be a sign that he/she no longer is interested in you.

Roth IRAs Can Be Converted Back to Traditional IRAs; "Re-Characterization" May Help Lessen Unanticipated Tax Liabilities in These Volatile Economic Conditions

In discussion with Kal Barson of the Barson Group on taxes issues, and the new rules that took effect in 2010 under the Tax Code, Kal pointed out that there are a number of tax planning tools that warrant consideration given the recent volatility in the financial markets. One such option is the concept of Roth IRA conversion “re-characterization”.

Conversions of traditional IRAs to Roth IRAs became popular with the elimination of income limitations. However, those conversions came with a tax liability since (generally) those transfers constituted a taxable event.

And especially now, with the recent troubles in the stock market, a conversion from a traditional IRA to a Roth IRA could leave you with a tax liability greater than the current value of the asset.

Gay and Lesbian Rights: The Domestic Partnership Act

The Domestic Partnership Act (DPA) became effective July 14, 2004, and recognizes individuals "who share an important personal, emotional, and committed relationship with another adult." The DPA provides limited rights and legal protections to those in gay and lesbian relationships and unmarried heterosexual cohabitants age 62 and older.

In order for two individuals to become "domestic partners", they must execute and file an Affidavit of Domestic Partnership, meeting all of the following requirements (N.J.S.A. 26:8A-4)

Divorce Mediation in New Jersey - Pro's & Con's

The idea of Divorce Mediation as a tool to resolving disputes between parties less expensively than through litigation is to be applauded and supported. But the problem with Divorce Mediation ( at least in New Jersey) focuses on the qualifications of the person holding herself out as the mediator.

By way of background, the idea of divorce mediation is that both parties meet together with an agreed upon individual, who holds himself out as having a specific skill set to guide parties through the various questions that would normally be presented by either or both parties in a divorce setting and he makes recommendations to them on how to resolve those issues for purposes of preparing a formal divorce settlement agreement.

NJ Court Addresses Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress Claims Between Parents

In a landmark decision earlier this year, a New Jersey Appellate Court (Segal v. Lynch) held that a parent has a right to sue the other parent for the intentional infliction of emotional distress, under exceptional circumstances, where there is damage to the parent-child relationship caused by specific bad acts by the other parent.

In Segal, the trial court denied a money damage claim advanced by the father of two children against the mother as result of his perception of her poisoning the relationship between him and their children (claim of parental alienation).

U.S. Supreme Court Enforces Hague Convention Custody Rights

I have been involved in many international child custody disputes that have required use of the Hague Convention on Child Abduction; whose underlying purpose is to protect children from being removed improperly from one country and taken to another by requiring the prompt return of that child to his country of habitual residence (usually the country where he had been taken from), without any determination being made as to the merits of the parties underlying custody dispute. The concept is simple.

New Palimony Law in New Jersey - Can Its Severity Be Softened By Meeting the Requirements of a NJ Domestic Partnership?

Last year, our blog discussed a proposed New Jersey Senate bill that would change the trajectory of palimony claims in the courts by requiring a signed promise of support between unmarried couples. Gov. Corzine signed the bill into law this past January. Unfortunately, this is not good news to all the unmarried people in committed relationships faced with palimony issues. The Garden State no longer recognizes the concept of “actions speak louder than the written word” when it comes to financial support and asset accumulation in non-traditional households.

The New Jersey Prevention of Domestic Violence Act is Constitutional!

In a thorough and detailed opinion, the New Jersey appellate division in the June 18, 2009 published opinion in Crespo v. Crespo, overturned a Hudson county trial court decision that the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act, N.J.S.A. 2C:25-17 to -35 (“Act”) was unconstitutional, a decision that should come as no surprise in the light of previous case law upholding it. See Roe v. Roe, 253 N.J. Super. 418, 427 (App. Div. 1992).