Category Archives: Education

Shady Spouse, Hidden Money

The age old quote, “Money is the root of all evil,” unfortunately holds true when it comes to greedy spouses in the midst of a divorce. A recent article in Bloomberg, focuses on such spouses and the extremes they go to in order to rake in the dough.

Matters that couples tend to fight over include the division of assets, child support, child custody, spousal support, visitation rights etc. Yet some people will not only hide money right after the fact that getting a divorce has been decided upon, but even before there are troubles in paradise.

While this is typically a very hard thing to do if you work for a company that is not yours, due to set salary and taxes automatically being taken out every cheque, it is still possible. Also those who own their own business outright can be hiding their true income from not only their spouse but also from the Government. This not only reduces how much financial support the dependant spouse receives, but can also cause more trouble for both parties if the Government finds out and gets involved.

Hiding money from the IRS is tax evasion, and although there are laws that protect the innocent spouse, it is not foolproof. This is due to the fact that it can argued that the innocent spouse would have had to have known that money was being hidden or falsely reported due to red flags such as luxury items or outrageous mortgages when you’re supposedly living off a middle class income.

So if you see the writing on the wall, be smart enough to conduct your own investigation of all income and assets before going through with a divorce. This is to make sure that you are receiving the proper amount of child/ spousal support that you deserve and to make sure that you don’t get in trouble with the IRS if they find out and act upon it.

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The Modern Soldier and His/Her Battle for Custody

On January 25th, Governor Christie passed a bill that protects Military men and women from loosing custody of their children due to being deployed/ receiving treatment post deployment.

The law protects these men and women from having the court make changes to their custody agreement while they are away, and up to 90 days after they return. They are not allowed to deem these men and women as unfit parents just because they are/ were away serving out of the country as long as they have a written notice of deployment or post-deployment treatments. The temporary guardian, of these children, must legally set aside time for the children to interact with their mother or father, such as over the phone or by video messaging.

However, this new law does not stop the court from changing the agreement, and potentially taking away custody, if it comes to the attention of the court that the child, or children, are considered in danger.

For more information: Source

Photo by: S Braswell

How Twitter and Facebook are becoming Weapons in the Court Room

Could Social Media lead to your downfall in the courtroom?

Over time, as the world and technology changes, new battle strategies have to be invented in order to be deemed victorious. This poses true for not only war, but for court room battles as well, and these new battle strategies involve social media.

As our society slides into an age where “over sharing” is in and privacy is out, we need to become more mindful of what we post on sites such as twitter and Facebook. Users no longer have a filter and post anything and everything, ranging from what they had for breakfast to more intimate details about sexual encounters or the drugs they did over the weekend, sometimes even including pictures. At the time of posting this information the user might think, “Who cares, my page is private and the only people who are going to see this are my friends.” However, years down the road when the user is going through a nasty divorce, this information might resurface in the court room.

Both women and men have begun using old and new Facebook/ Twitter posts in order to prove infidelity or the fact that one parent is not suitable for custody of the children involved. Twitter, for example, is allowing users to download reports, dating back to the very first day the account was created, of any and all statuses posted which could potentially be used as evidence against you.

For more information on Social Media in the court room:

Source

*Photo by: Gabriella Fabbri

NJ Supreme Court: Prenatal Drug Exposure is Not Enough to Prove Child Abuse

To Prosecute, or Not To Prosecute, That is the Question:

Should there be legal consequences for women who use either alcohol or illegal substances while pregnant? This question is still extremely controversial, and due to varied opinions, will continue to be for years to come.

The New Jersey Supreme Court recently reached a unanimous decision that the state may NOT consider a newborn to be abused or neglected based solely on evidence of prenatal drug exposure. There has to be substantial evidence showing that the drugs and or alcohol ingested while pregnant will have lasting effects on the infant and his/ her health in order for there to be a case. This evidence can come in the form of actual physical or mental impairments at birth etc.

According to the article, many states have already prosecuted women who have abused drugs or alcohol during pregnancy. These convictions were mainly overturned because of the fear that it would discourage women, who are pregnant while suffering from substance problems, from seeking out the help they need.

Congress has already responded by authorizing grants, which will be used to set up drug treatment programs targeting pregnant drug/ alcohol users.

For More Information: http://verdict.justia.com/2013/02/19/in-utero-the-new-jersey-supreme-court-says-prenatal-drug-exposure-is-not-sufficient-evidence-of-child-abuse

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Here at the Law Offices of Toni Ann Russo, we look at each year as a new beginning with vast opportunities. Opportunities to change with the times, to better ourselves as individuals, and to help those who truly need it the most. To us, the family unit is one of the most important parts of life and that is why we FIGHT to protect it.

This blog is a way for our firm to reach out to those who we generally do not come in contact with due to space, place and location. We are deeply passionate about being able to spread knowledge dealing with all aspects of family law, and what is going on in today’s world in regards to that. Being educated about your rights as an individual is key, and only with this knowledge can we protect ourselves as well as those who we care most about.

We invite you to join us on this new and exciting journey, and hope that you stick around and learn as much as possible.

God and Nature first made us what we are, and then out of our own created genius we make ourselves what we want to be. Follow always that great law. Let the sky and God be our limit and Eternity our measurement. – Marcus Garvey