Covid-19 Update:

The Law Office of Andrew A. Bestafka, Esq. is taking a safe but proactive approach to the Coronavirus situation in our law practice. We are working every day to represent our clients. We are offering frontline healthcare workers at CentraState free Simple Wills. To read more please Click Here

The days ahead may be a challenge. But we will continue to work to take care of our client’s cases and to take on new matters and clients. We will simply manage your case in less traditional, more technology-driven ways, that are safer for your health and ours.

Please stay healthy and contact us if you have any questions or concerns regarding your case or a new matter for us to consider.

Andrew Bestafka, Monmouth County Divorce Lawyer

Smart & Cost Efficient Representation in
Divorce, Custody & Family Law

Contact Us Today!

Dwight Howard sued after falling behind on child support payments

The mother of one of Dwight Howard’s children, identified only as “Tiffany,” filed a lawsuit against the Houston Rockets star over unpaid child support, according to a report by the New York Daily News on June 10.

The woman is also seeking a larger payment, saying that their 4-year-old child has to face the challenges of being the child of a celebrity father. The lawsuit claims that the basketball star has been behind on his child support payments for several months now, as he has been only paying half of the $10,000 they agreed on in 2013.

Securing a favorable child support agreement is often not the end of child support issues. There are times when you may need to seek legal support to enforce or modify these agreements. Our team of Monmouth-based child support attorneys at the Law Office of Andrew A. Bestafka, Esq., is willing to be of help. Call us today at (732) 898-2378 to discuss your situation.

Chris Rock’s estranged wife seeking large amount of $70M fortune

The ex-wife of 50-year-old comedian and actor Chris Rock is seeking a large divorce payout to allow her to continue living the lifestyle she enjoyed as his wife, according to a report by The Daily Mail on June 15.

After marrying Rock in 1996, Malaak Compton-Rock gave up her career in public relations and became a full-time mom to their two children, 13-year-old Lola Simone and 11-year-old Zahra. As their prenup is set to expire after twenty years of marriage, the 46-year-old mother is reportedly seeking a larger portion of the comedian’s estimated $70 million assets.

Apart from being a full-time mom, Malaak is involved in many charitable endeavors and heads a charity group called The Angel Rock Project.

At the Law Office of Andrew A. Bestafka, Esq., divorcing couples in Monmouth can seek legal help and representation for their divorce needs, including spousal support. Call us at (732) 898-2378 to learn more about how we can help you secure a divorce agreement favorable to you and your future.

Child support dispute brewing between Chris Brown and his ex

Chris Brown has allegedly stopped paying child support for his daughter Royalty after his ex, Nia Guzman, demanded that the payments should increase from $2,500 to $15,000, a report by The Daily Mail stated on May 25.

The report came after the award winning singer brought his 11-month-old daughter to the Billboard Music Awards in Las Vegas this weekend. According to the report, Brown has not been paying his former girlfriend child support since March. The report added that Guzman’s legal team is ready to file a petition to demand the new sum, on top of the missed payments.

Fighting for child support can be extremely challenging, especially when the other party refuses to provide you the financial assistance your child legitimately needs. At the Law Office of Andrew A. Bestafka, Esq., we can help you secure your child’s future by advocating for the child support payments you need. Call our Monmouth county office at (732) 898-2378 to discuss your specific situation.

Jeremy Renner to share physical and legal custody of his daughter

Canadian model Sonni Pacheco and American Hustle actor Jeremy Renner have come to terms for child custody and support of their 2-year-old daughter, according to a report by People on April 1.

Renner will get joint legal and physical custody of his daughter Ava, despite Pacheco’s request for primary custody. The 44-year-old actor has also been ordered to pay $13,000 a month in child support. However, the report also revealed that the Canadian model will not be receiving any spousal support from the actor.

Last December, Pacheco filed for divorce against Renner, claiming the two had irreconcilable differences. The ex-couple was married for 10 short months.

Filing for a divorce can be especially difficult given the legal issues that are often fraught with emotion. As such, enlisting the guidance and expertise of a compassionate family law attorney could help you safeguard your rights and interests during this crucial time. To learn more about filing for a divorce in Monmouth County, speak with a legal representative at the Law Office of Andrew A. Bestafka, Esq., by calling (732) 898-2378 today.

Man held on bail for $40,000 child support debt

According to the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Blotter, Samuel Parker faces charges of failing to pay child support that amounts to more than $40,000.  Earlier this month, Parker was arrested on New Jersey Superior Court warrants and a Millville Municipal Court warrant. He owes $40,364.41 in child support payments, in addition to a bail from county jail set at $2,502.

In most cases of child support issues in New Jersey, child support payments are calculated by using the New Jersey Child Support Guidelines. Appendix IX states three general guidelines for child support, including:

  1. Child support is a continuous duty of both parents
  2. Children are entitled to share in the current income of both parents
  3. Children should not be the economic victims of divorce or out-of-wedlock birth

Parker, arrested on charges of failing to pay child support, proves the extreme of New Jersey child support payment enforcement. Other, usually earlier, methods used to obtain payments include income withholding, credit reporting, seizure of assets, etc., and warrants for arrest typically come later, after other methods have been attempted.

Getting the child support that you need to adequately provide for your children is essential, and it is your right by court order. If your ex-spouse is not paying child support, you have a right to explore your legal options to make sure that you get it. The divorce attorneys of Law Office of Andrew A. Bestafka, Esq., can help Monmouth County and other New Jersey residents learn more about what they can do to get child support, and may choose to represent your case.

How long will child support payments continue?

In most cases, divorces involving children include settlement agreements over child support payments. Typically, these payments will last until the child (or children) turns 18, at which point the payments will stop. This is not necessarily the case for every individual situation, so it’s important to speak with your lawyer about potential changes or other possibilities. One other thing to consider: if your spouse unexpectedly stops paying child support and you do not know why, you should immediately speak to an experienced child support attorney.

If you have questions regarding child support payments or divorce in general, the experienced attorneys of the Law Office of Andrew A. Bestafka, Esq. may be able to help. Contact our offices in Monmouth County today by calling (732) 898-2378 to learn more about how we can help you through any of your divorce concerns.

Divorce finalized for David Duchovny and Tea Leoni

After 17 years of marriage, former X Files star David Duchovny and The Naked Truth actress Tea Leoni are divorcing, an online report stated on Saturday, August 9.

Divorce papers filed by the couple in June cited “an irretrievable breakdown of the relationship” as the cause of the split. Both Duchovny and Leoni will share joint legal custody of their children, Madelaine West, 15, and Kyd Miller, 12, although Leoni will have primary physical custody. Every month, Duchovny will reportedly pay $40,000 in spousal support and $8,333 in child support, among other expenses.

The two separated in 2008, the same year Duchovny entered into a treatment center for sexual addiction. The couple separated again in 2011 before filing for a divorce this year.

Ending years of marriage through a divorce can be difficult for anyone, not just for the couple but also any kids involved. Consulting with a family law attorney that understands the needs of a family struggling through this tough process can be extremely helpful. If you need assistance or legal advice for divorce in Monmouth County, consult with a lawyer at the Law Office of Andrew A. Bestafka, Esq., by calling (732) 898-2378 today.

“I am not an ATM!” When a non-custodial parent is not obligated to pay for higher education costs.

When parents divorce, their marital settlement agreement may have a provision that each of the parties will contribute toward their children’s education in proportion to their income and assets when the time comes. New Jersey is unique in that both parents have an obligation to contribute toward their child’s higher education.

Child support and higher education are related. There is an end point where child support is no longer necessary. Typically, this occurs when the child is considered emancipated. A court determines that a child is emancipated when the child has moved ‘beyond the sphere of parental influence and has obtained an independent status of his or her own.’

Although reaching the age of majority (18 in New Jersey) creates a prima facie case for emancipation, enrollment in college often extends the period of time that the non-custodial parent is required to pay child support. New Jersey courts do not deem a child as being emancipated when the child is attending college (taking 12 credits or more) or trade school. However, the custodial parent must include the non-custodial (NC) parent in the selection process, advise the NC parent as to costs, and allow the NC parent to fully participate. If the non-custodial parent is excluded from participating in the higher education selection process, his or her obligation to pay higher education costs may be discontinued.

The Appellate Division in Moss v. Nedas terminated a non-custodial father’s obligation to pay toward college because of the lack of communication between Mom and Dad. In Moss, the parties agreed to share the cost of their daughter’s college education in proportion to their ability to contribute. In 1994, the father was ordered to pay $12,000 of the total ($27,000) for the parties’ daughter to attend Sarah Lawrence College. Unbeknownst to the court and the father at the time of hearing, the daughter applied to and was accepted to yet another college, Skidmore, just prior to the Court’s order. When the father did not pay the new school, the mother sought an order compelling payment by the father. Upon review of the case, the Appellate Division found a total lack of communication between the parties regarding the daughter’s education, and found the custodial parent/Mom was viewing Dad as ‘a wallet.’ Despite prior court orders clearly requiring Mom to communicate with Dad regarding education progress and plans, she never sought his opinion or included him in the process. In addition, there was no meaningful relationship between the father and daughter. Given the fact that both the mother and the daughter excluded Dad from the process, the Court ruled that it was no longer appropriate for Dad to share the cost.

The Family Part of the Superior Court in Ocean County expanded upon the issue of paying higher education costs in Van Brunt v. Van Brunt by terminating a parent’s obligation to pay child support for failing to provide proof of higher education. In Van Brunt, the two divorced parents expressly agreed to consult each other regarding their child’s higher education and agreed their child would remain unemancipated if the child continued to attend four years of college. The defendant/father sought verification of his daughter’s full-time collegiate status three times within one year and received court orders requiring production of a) a list of all courses taken by their daughter, b) copies of her report cards, and c) verification of her enrollment. Without production of the requested documents, the court would consider the child emancipated as of the date the defendant filed his first motion seeking verification. On the defendant’s third application for requested proof, the plaintiff specifically objected to production of her daughter’s records alleging their daughter has a right to privacy in her records pursuant to the Federal Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Although students have certain privacy rights, the Court held FERPA couldn’t be used as a sword to block the father’s right to verify the daughter’s ongoing collegiate status. The basis for the daughter’s unemancipated status is contingent on the daughter’s full-time status as a college student. Should the daughter not be able or willing to produce specific documents that demonstrate full-time enrollment, then she should be emancipated accordingly.

Keep in mind that most matters in family law, like the cases mentioned here, are very fact-sensitive and require close legal scrutiny.