Same Sex Marriage/Partnership/Civil Union Dissolution

Civil Union remains active law in New Jersey as well as same-sex couple’s ability to marry.   Domestic Partnership is no longer a popular vehicle to a union between a same-sex couple.  Ms. Cerruti can help you decide what form of union is best for you from a financial prospective.  Civil Unions can help high earning couples avoid federal tax penalties such as the “Alternative Minimum Tax” by remaining in a civil union while enjoying the benefits of New Jersey recognition.  If same-sex couples are joined in a union by domestic partnership/civil union or marriage the divorce law applies to their dissolution and/or termination.

Protecting Same-Sex Couples Rights

The Law Firm of Pamela M. Cerruti helps all people with family law matters.  Ms. Cerruti has more than 29 years of practice experience handling matrimonial law litigation and mediation.  Moreover, she has represented many people in forming domestic partnerships, civil unions, marriage and the dissolution and termination of them and dealing with their related matters. Ms. Cerruti’s  services include: domestic partnership dissolution, separating and divorcing from civil unions, understanding the law when changing your status from civil union to marriage, understanding the differences between each type of union. Pamela M. Cerruti is familiar with the differences between marriage and civil union.  She takes time with clients to explain these differences and guides them through the termination process.  For an example, there are no federal benefits available for civil unions so equitable distribution of property involves a much different process than in marriage. At our firm clients with civil union or marriage issues receive more than just family law services.  We also provide information and advice regarding estate planning for same-sex couples.  We help clients understand how to protect their family in case of illness, injury or death.  We prepare medical directives and other documents to aid in decision-making and care of your loved ones.

College Contribution

New Jersey is one of seven states that can mandate the payment for a child’s college by separated, divorced or unmarried parents.  Pamela M. Cerruti with her financial and accounting background will help you navigate what type of college contribution maybe mandated or maybe necessary for you to contribute, what costs are included in college expenses, and what is the method necessary for paying that contribution.  Deciding whether loans are a necessity.  Ms. Cerruti has noticed that many Property Settlement Agreements are negotiated without taking into consideration the parent’s obligation to contribute to college.  This has resulted in an onset of litigation when children are on the threshold of deciding which college they want to go to. Ms. Cerruti will help you in deciding how to navigate educational expenses such as tuition, room and board, dues, transportation to and from school during scheduled recesses;  . whether you should negotiate as part of divorce process an ongoing contribution into a college fund for your child’s later years;  deciding whether it is wise to allow your child to spend more than four years obtaining the college degree.  With Ms. Cerruti’s accounting background she will help you making financial decisions that are wise for you and for your children.  She can help you in these various practice areas regarding college contribution, contribution to a 529 account, and whether your case should involve a trust fund for children who may not emancipate and may need longer time in order to obtain a college degree by having trust funds established for the child.

Pre-Nuptial Agreements

Before, during or after a marriage having a specific agreement in place will help to reduce conflicts and provide the parties with peace of mind.  The Law Firm of Pamela M. Cerruti provide services tailored to each individual couple and their needs.  Regardless of what stage of marriage you are at we can help you plan for your future and protect yourself through the preparation of Pre-Nuptial, Post-Nuptial and Settlement Agreements.  Whatever type of agreement is needed Ms. Cerruti has the financial background to help you navigate the different issues that need to be decided and incorporated into the Pre-Nuptial and Post-Nuptial Agreement.

Pre-Nuptial Agreements

A Pre-Nuptial Agreement is for couples planning to get married.  The Agreement is a way for people to handle financial matters and protect marriage or during divorce.   Pre-Nuptial Agreements are useful for: maintaining separation of property, limiting marital property created during the marriage, providing for debt payment during the marriage, estate planning, sheltering assets from creditors, handling alimony questions in the event of divorce and protecting your assets for distribution to your children from a prior marriage.

Post-Nuptial Agreements

Post-Nuptial Agreements are for spouses who want to stay married but maintain separation of assets and property and provide for certain marital rights and obligations.  We can help clients who want to plan for their future events such as who pays for college for the children, what happens to the house when the children graduate, having relationships with other people.

Regular Settlement Agreements

During divorce, rather than resort to the courts immediately we encourage our clients to work productively to create Settlement Agreements.  Whether through collaborative efforts or through mediation we work with clients to narrow the issues and find peaceful ways to meet everyone’s needs.  Settlement Agreements eliminate the need for litigation and can address parenting time and custody, the division of assets and debts, life insurance, child support and alimony, payment of legal fees.