I hope 2016 is off to a great start for everyone. Here is a round-up of the most read posts on our blog in 2015. Thanks for reading, sharing and supporting us. I hope these articles helped you get to know more about your parental rights, DYFS proceedings and how our firm can help. Defense Strategies for Litigating Division of Youth and Family Services DYFS Law – How Findings May Impact Matrimonial and Custody Proceedings What’s In A Name: DYFS becomes DCPP Can I sue DYFS? Substance Abuse Evaluations by DCPP/DYFS...Read More
Owner Allison C. Williams, Esq. being interviewed by News 12 at the Prisoner Reentry Training Program for...Read More
Separate And Unequal: Are children of unmarried parents disadvantaged by Summary Procedures in Non-Dissolution Actions?
Separate And Unequal: Are children of unmarried parents disadvantaged by Summary Procedures in Non-Dissolution Actions? By Allison C. Williams, Esq. The New Jersey Family Court system has a stellar reputation throughout the United States for its progressive approach to many issues that plague families in this state. Our Court system has established many different case types to deal with family matters, though many of the case types handle the same issues. For instance, families can litigate custody in a divorce action (handled under the “FM” docket) or in a non-dissolution action (handled under the “FD” docket). Child support and spousal support can also be handled under either docket type. Though the issues are the same no matter which docket type is used, the policies and procedures in these two case types are quite different. Perhaps the different policies stem from the need for efficiency in the administration of justice. Or, perhaps, the historical difference in treatment of children going through a divorce (“FM” cases), verses children going through a non-divorce family dissolution (i.e., children of non-married persons or children whose parents are married, but not yet going through a divorce – “FD” cases) warranted different policies and procedures. Whatever the reason for the differential treatment, one must question if the children involved in these two types of family actions are receiving equal treatment as now required by law. To understand where we are with this problem, one should have a historical overview of the different treatment of children of divorce verses children of non-married persons. This article provides that overview, together with a brief discussion of some of the ways the differential treatment renders these children separate and unequal. Bastardy Proceedings: History of Illegitimates in New Jersey At common law, a child born in wedlock was presumed to be the legitimate offspring of the husband and wife . That principle has deep roots in New Jersey, dating back to 1907 . A distinction in English common law arose in respect of a child born of unmarried parents . At common law, an illegitimate child was filius nullius, the son of no one, or filius populi, the son of the people . The child had no mother or father recognized by law, and therefore had no legal rights. Because the child could not inherit property, the impetus to bear the paternal surname was diminished. “[C]ustom did not dictate the name...Read More