The Weiss Group, LLC top banner
The Weiss Group, LLC Navigation The Weiss Group, LLC About The Weiss Group, LLC The Weiss Group, LLC Practice Areas The Weiss Group, LLC Lawyers Contact The Weiss Group, LLC The Weiss Group, LLC Resources The Weiss Group LLC Commentary The Weiss Group, LLC About The Weiss Group, LLC The Weiss Group, LLC Practice Areas The Weiss Group, LLC Lawyers Contact The Weiss Group, LLC The Weiss Group, LLC Resources The Weiss Group, LLC About The Weiss Group, LLC The Weiss Group, LLC Practice Areas The Weiss Group, LLC Lawyers Contact The Weiss Group, LLC The Weiss Group, LLC Resources The Weiss Group, LLC About The Weiss Group, LLC The Weiss Group, LLC Practice Areas The Weiss Group, LLC Lawyers Contact The Weiss Group, LLC The Weiss Group, LLC Resources

 

 

Commentary

Retirement benefits are property subject to equitable distribution

When going through a divorce, one should be aware that retirement benefits are property subject to equitable distribution, regardless of who is the titled spouse of the retirement benefits. So, even if you never worked outside of the home or if you worked outside of the home intermittently, you may still have an interest in the retirement benefits of your spouse because retirement benefits that have accrued during the marriage are considered marital property that is subject to equitable distribution.

A non-exhaustive list of retirement benefits include military pensions, Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) funds, individual retirement arrangements (IRAs), Keogh plans, employee stock ownership plans, 401(k) and 403(b) plans. 

Although most spouses have an understanding of the retirement benefits that the other spouse has acquired, it is always recommended that some discovery be exchanged in order to try and gain a full understanding of what retirement benefits existed during the marriage and at the time of the divorce. At a minimum, obtain copies of personal tax returns including all schedules and worksheets as those documents can reveal the existence of retirement benefits. It is wise to obtain copies of the personal tax returns for the last 3-5 years because a review of prior tax returns can show prior distributions and perhaps alert the non-titled spouse to the existence of retirement accounts not previously known.

Keep in mind that next to the marital residence, retirement benefits can be one of the largest marital assets subject to equitable distribution at the time of a divorce.   If you have been married for any significant number of years, retirement benefits may have grown to an eye opening amount. Therefore, if your spouse has acquired retirement accounts during the marriage, or you believe your spouse has, you should obtain copies of the personal tax returns and advise your attorney of the possibility of the existence of retirement benefits.

By: Marysol Rosado Thomas, Esq.

New Jersey Child Support Guidelines

It is the responsibility of both, mother and father to support their child and to make sure their child has adequate food, shelter and clothing. New Jersey determines a parent’s child support obligation by using the Child Support Guidelines.  The guidelines were developed to provide the court with economic information to assist in establishing fair and adequate child support awards and modifying the awards as necessary.   It is important to note that the guidelines take into consideration certain expenses/costs a parent may have such as, work-related child care expenses, medical insurance premiums for the child, and other support obligations.

The guidelines must be used in contested and uncontested cases.  It is a rebuttable presumption, which means that an award based on the guidelines is assumed to be the correct amount of child support unless a party proves to the court that circumstances exist that make a guidelines-based award inappropriate in the specific case.

If you have any questions about your child support obligation or a child support award, you should speak to an experienced attorney who can answer your questions.

By: Marysol Rosado Thomas, Esq.

PIP Arbitrations: To file or not to file

In the State of New Jersey claims for medical bills incurred as a result of a motor vehicle accident are are generally paid by the Personal Injury Protection (hereinafter "PIP") provision of one's car insurance policy. Forthright currently administers the PIP claims that have been filed. Forthright employs a number of attorneys with extensive PIP experience as arbitrators. The party who files the Demand for Arbitration is known as the Claimant and the party who defends against the claim, the insurance carrier, is known as the Respondent.

Before filing a PIP arbitration, the Claimant needs to determine the PIP policy limits, the Statute of Limitations and whether the Claimant has properly adhered to the terms and conditions of the Decision Point Review Plan.

In order to determine the policy limits, the claimant may call the PIP carrier or send a letter to the PIP carrier requesting the information. It is also suggested that the Claimant find out how much coverage is available on the PIP policy. For example, if the policy has PIP medical expense benefit limits of $15,000.00 and has $600.00 remaining, it may not be wise to file the Demand for Arbitration as the policy will likely be exhausted before the hearing and the claimant would have to withdraw the claim. If the policy has already been exhausted, the claimant should generally not file the claim.

Next, the Claimant must determine whether the Statute of Limitations has run. In PIP claims, the Statute of Limitations runs 2 years from the date of last payment or if no payments are made, 2 years from the date of accident. As the Statute of Limitations can constantly change, it is important to check with the carrier to determine how much time remains to file a claim.

Last, but perhaps most important, claimants must adhere to the terms and conditions of the Decision Point Review Plan. The Decision Point Review Plan sets forth how the insured and in turn, the medical provider must submit claims to the carrier, including but not limited to, the address to where claims should be sent, the address or fax number to where pre-certification requests should be sent and to where appeals should be sent.

Once a provider or insured determines that there is unpaid money remaining on the policy, that the Statute of Limitations has not run, and that claimant adhered to the Decision Point Review Plan, the claim may be ripe for arbitration.

By: Patricia Lynn Howlett, Esq.

 

 

Se Habla Español

Spanish Translation powered by Google Translator. The Weiss Group, LLC, Attorneys at Law, is not responsible for errors in translation.