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Starting Your Own Business

Being a small business owner can be very rewarding and lucrative. However, there are many different steps you need to take to ensure your best chances of success. Any misstep in the process of starting your own business can threaten your success and can even be detrimental to the entire enterprise. Because of the number of legal issues you face and the importance of each decision, it is best to consult with a New Jersey business formation lawyer if you are an entrepreneur looking to begin a new enterprise.

Business Entity

One of the first and most important decisions for small business owners is how they will legally form their company. Each type of business entity has its own legal requirements, as well as tax and liability implications, so this decision should never be made without considering all of your options and relevant factors. Some options you have include:

  • Partnership or sole proprietorship
  • Limited liability company (LLC)
  • Corporation
  • Nonprofit

Licenses and Permits

Depending on the nature of your small business, you may require certain licenses and permits to operate legally under New Jersey law. It can be difficult to know all of the necessary licenses and permits that may be required on both the state and local level. An experienced business attorney who is familiar with the laws in your area can advise on all requirements and help ensure you are in full compliance when you start operations.

Contracts

A major part of conducting business is entering into contracts and this starts right at the beginning for many entrepreneurs. First, if there are multiple owners, you will want to have an operating agreement in place to set out important management rules and to prevent future owner disputes. Next, if your business has a physical location, you will likely need to sign a commercial lease. Commercial lease agreements can have many provisions that can hurt your business, so it is essential to have an attorney review any lease for space or equipment before you sign it.

Call 732-422-1000 today to schedule a case evaluation.

At the law office of Borrus, Goldin, Foley, Vignuolo, Hyman & Stahl, P.C., our skilled New Jersey business attorneys have assisted many small business owners in the process of successfully starting your own business. We then can provide ongoing advice regarding any legal issues that may arise during the course of your business. We build relationships with our commercial clients so that we can provide the best assistance possible. Please call today for more information about our services.

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Divorce in New Jersey

While it is widely stated that 50 percent of marriages will end in divorce, this statistic is largely considered to be inaccurate in modern times and especially not in New Jersey. Research indicated that in 2015, the national average rate of divorce was 16.9 divorces per 1,000 marriages. In New Jersey, the divorce rate for 2015 was 12.9 divorces per 1,000 marriages, which makes it the fourth-lowest divorce rate in the nation.

The only states that beat New Jersey for lasting marriages were Hawaii, Rhode Island, and Wisconsin. Meanwhile, the highest divorce rate for that year was Washington, D.C. with a rate of 29.9 out of 1,000.

Divorce can Happen When You Least Expect It

No one should ever get married expecting that they will get divorced. Despite this outlook and despite lowered rates of divorce in the United States in recent years, it is a matter of fact that marriages still end each and every year. Even if you believe that your marriage is solid, events can happen that throw it into turmoil and lead you or your spouse to seek a divorce.

Few people are ever prepared for the complications that can arise during the divorce process. Not only are emotions high, but many legal issues must be addressed and resolved before a New Jersey court will legally dissolve your marriage. The good news is that an experienced New Jersey divorce attorney can help you through every step of this process and work to alleviate as much additional stress as possible throughout your divorce case.

Some issues that commonly arise in New Jersey divorce cases include the following:

  • Property division – Married couples tend to share a lot of property including homes, cars, and personal possessions. The law requires that this property be divided equitably between the spouses in a divorce.
  • Child custody – Parents must determine how to split time and decision-making power regarding their children in a manner that the court agrees is in the best interest of the child.
  • Child support – Depending on custody arrangements and income discrepancies, one parent may be ordered to pay child support in line with state guidelines.
  • Alimony – Depending on the circumstances of the marriage, one spouse may be ordered to pay support to the other for a period of time following the divorce.

Call 732-422-1000 today to schedule a case evaluation.

The New Jersey family law attorneys at the law office of Borrus, Goldin, Foley, Vignuolo, Hyman & Stahl, P.C. know that every divorce case is different and we approach every case with a unique strategy for the best interests of our clients. Please call today if you need assistance with any type of divorce matter.

Learning more about Commercial Litigation

“Commercial litigation” is a general term that refers to legal disputes involving a business. Commercial litigation can involve a wide variety of claims, processes, and resolutions and there is no one-size-fits-all approach to commercial litigation cases. Instead, each case should be closely evaluated and handled based on its specific circumstances and by a New Jersey commercial litigation lawyer with specific experience handling that type of case.

The following are some brief explanations of common types of commercial litigation:

Breach of contract – Every business will likely enter into some type of contract and some do so on a daily basis. With every contract comes the opportunity that the other party will not meet their obligations or that the other party will accuse your company of not meeting its obligations. A breach of contract case can be initiated to enforce the contract or sometimes to recover damages.

Partnership/owner disputes – When a business has more than one owner, it is inevitable that they will disagree about certain aspects of the business at some point. While partnership agreements can help to govern these disputes, sometimes they can escalate to one owner taking legal action against the other.

Class action – If your company sells a product that was found to have a defect, consumers who were injured by the defective product may file a claim for damages against the business. In cases of widespread defects, injured consumers may join together and file a single class action lawsuit to seek recovery all at the same time. Class action cases have special procedures and can be very complex.

Breach of fiduciary duty – Certain individuals in positions of power in a company owe the company and its shareholders a fiduciary duty. If they engage in self-dealing, are not loyal to the company, act in bad faith, or commit fraud, they can face a claim that they breached this fiduciary duty.

Employment claims – If a business has even one employee, there is the potential for an employment dispute. There are numerous employment laws that address wage and hour rules workplace health and safety, anti-discrimination and harassment, family and medical leave, workers compensation, and more. If an employee believes their rights have been violated, they can initiate a legal action against your company.

Call 732-422-1000 today to schedule a case evaluation.

The above are only some examples of types of commercial cases handled by our team at the law office of Borrus, Goldin, Foley, Vignuolo, Hyman & Stahl, P.C. If you believe you have any type of business dispute, please call a New Jersey commercial attorney at our office for more information today.

Questions to Ask a Real Estate Attorney

When you are involved in a real estate transaction, you likely pick up the phone and call your broker or agent with any questions you may have. However, brokers and real estate agents can sometimes have limited knowledge of the complex real estate laws. Especially if your real estate project is extensive or complicated, it is always a good idea to consult with a New Jersey real estate attorney who can address any and all legal concerns or issues.

Most people do not have a real estate lawyer on speed dial, however, the process of choosing the right law firm can be stressful. The following are only some questions you want to ask when selecting legal representation for a New Jersey real estate transaction.

Have you handled cases like this before?

Every real estate transaction is different and can have different legal issues arise. For example, a new construction project for a major development will have different issues than the sale or purchase of a smaller commercial complex or residential home. Whether you are building, selling, or purchasing, you want to ensure that your attorney has extensive experience representing clients in your position.

What actions need to be taken?

Attorneys who are not familiar with real estate transactions may give a vague answer to this type of question as they plan on looking up the legal process after you have left the office. An attorney with real estate experience will be able to give you at least an overview of the actions that will need to be taken and the potential issues that may need to be addressed for your particular type of transaction.

What will it cost?

Many people do not want to hire an attorney because it will cost them money when, in actuality, a real estate lawyer can end up saving you money in the long run by avoiding unnecessary complications and disputes. That being said, it is never fun to be surprised by a lawyer’s bill that is more than you were expecting. Make sure you agree on a fee schedule up front with your attorney.

Call 732-422-1000 today to schedule a case evaluation.

At the law office of Borrus, Goldin, Foley, Vignuolo, Hyman & Stahl, P.C., an experienced New Jersey real estate attorney can help facilitate a smooth and lucrative transaction for you. If you are involved in any type of real estate transaction, please do not hesitate to call us to learn more about how we can help you.

Divorce or Legal Separation: What’s the Difference?

While divorce represents the legal dissolution of your marriage, a legal separation indicates that you and your spouse are still married but are living separately. A legal separation is a court mandate that outlines the rights and responsibilities that both of you must adhere to while you remain married but live separately.

Legal separations are not common occurrences, but they can be useful in those situations in which a couple needs to work through personal or financial issues that could affect their marriage.

The Process

Much like in a divorce proceeding, the court will make important decisions regarding your situation:

  • Separation Maintenance

Separation Maintenance includes any spousal and/or child support and is usually accomplished by having an attorney draw up a motion pending litigation. The court’s decisions on this separation maintenance will influence what each of you is later awarded should you ultimately seek divorce.

  • Child Custody
  • Child Visitation
  • Property division

Property division during a legal separation is much like the property division that would take place in a divorce and is usually determined by considering what you own as a couple and how it can be equitably – which is different than equally – divided between the two of you.

How Other Kinds of Separation Might Affect Your Property Division

There are different kinds of marital separation – other than legal separation – that might affect your property division:

  • Trial Separation

A trial separation simply refers to that period of time in which you and your spouse live apart while you contemplate your marriage. This form of separation has no legal effect.

  • Living Separately

Living separately refers to those circumstances whereby couples are not living together and have no intention of remaining married. Some states, like New Jersey, also have requirements for living apart before a no-fault divorce can be obtained. Living separately can ultimately affect your property division.

  • Permanent Separation

A permanent separation is when a couple decides to separate permanently. A permanent separation probably won’t have any binding legal effect – unlike a legal separation. Most courts view those properties and debts acquired after a permanent separation as the personal property of each acquiring spouse. Those debts that stem from managing the family are considered joint debts.

Legal separation can be almost as complicated a matter as divorce and should never be entered into lightly or without legal guidance. If you are contemplating either a legal separation or a divorce, contact an experienced New Jersey divorce attorney today.

An Experienced New Jersey Family Law Attorney Can Positively Influence the Outcome of Your Legal Separation

There is too much at stake in any legal separation to try and negotiate it on your own. An experienced New Jersey divorce attorney will help you assess your options and will skillfully fight to ensure that you obtain the best outcome for your case. Contact a skilled attorney with expertise in New Jersey family law by scheduling your consultation with Borrus, Goldin, Foley, Vignuolo, Hyman & Stahl, P.C. today. Give us a call at 732-422-1000 or contact us online.

Real Estate Transactions

Real estate transactions, the process in which rights in a property are transferred between parties who are comprised of a seller and a buyer, are governed by a large body of federal statutes and a conglomeration of both state statutes and common law, or law that is derived from precedent rather than statute. In other words, real estate transactions can be very complicated. The fact that one state’s real estate requirements can be vastly different from another’s only serves to confuse the issue further.

The Basics

Real estate brokers are employed as the seller’s agent. The agent proceeds to obtain a buyer for the listing – the contract made between the agent and the seller is called a listing agreement – and the broker is paid a commission for the sale. Real estate brokers are licensed and regulated by highly specific state laws.

The agreement to sell made between the buyer and the property’s seller is generally governed by contract law, and the Statute of Frauds necessitates that all contracts for real property, such as real estate, be in writing.

The Federal Fair Housing Act specifically prohibits discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin in any real estate transaction, and real estate agents are held to this standard.

It Gets Complicated

Normally, it must first be determined that the title to the property being sold is marketable, which requires that the seller have actual proof of title to the whole of the property being sold and that no undisclosed third parties own interest in the title. It is often necessary to obtain professional legal guidance to ensure that the property is indeed marketable. Often, the buyer will also need to purchase title insurance to protect against loss should the title be found invalid.

Finally, before a title can be passed from seller to buyer, a deed with an accurate description of the property being sold must be executed and recorded in an effort to finalize actual ownership of the transaction property and to serve as notice of the transfer for potential future purchasers.

Call 732-422-1000 today to schedule a case evaluation.
If you are considering buying or selling property, you should speak with an experienced New Jersey real estate transactions lawyer today. An attorney with expertise in real estate transactions will protect your rights and make sure that your transaction goes as smoothly as possible. To learn more about how an attorney can help, call Borrus, Goldin, Foley, Vignuolo, Hyman & Stahl, PC today at 732-422-1000 or contact us online.

Types of DUI Charges

DUI charges are not one-size-fits-all, and they are not limited to driving a car while under the influence of alcohol. There are a host of factors that can affect the outcome of your DUI (driving under the influence) or DWI (driving while intoxicated) case, including criminal convictions from the past and other circumstantial variables. Commercial truck drivers, for example, must adhere to far more rigid regulations than the average driver, and not even bicyclists are immune to DUI charges.

DUI

A charge of driving under the influence is always a serious charge, and it comes at great expense to your finances, your driving freedoms, and much more. The facts of a DUI are pretty straightforward: you drank too much, and you got pulled over for it. But this is the simplest form of a DUI charge, and most states, including New Jersey, still classify it as a misdemeanor.

Aggravated DUI

You were pulled over for suspicion of driving under the influence, but if you were also engaged in another crime at the time, such as speeding, you might be charged with aggravated DUI, which includes increased penalties.

Felony DUI

If there are additional complicating factors inherent to your case, your charge may be elevated to the felony level. There are a few common aggravating factors that could up your DUI to felony DUI:

  • Having a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) that is much higher than the applicable limit;
  • Causing injury to someone else:
  • Having a history of DUI convictions;
  • Having a child or children in the vehicle; and
  • Driving while unlicensed.

Commercial DUI

For obvious and good reasons, commercial-truck operators are under much stricter scrutiny when it comes to DUI standards. Most states have adopted a BAC limit that is half that of the limit set for noncommercial drivers, and most states include the caveat that commercial drivers cannot have had a drink within four hours of operating a commercial vehicle. A commercial DUI can result in longer suspensions and increased penalties in general.

Drunk Biking

Just because you are on your bike does not mean you are immune to a charge of DUI. Although states do vary on their attitudes regarding the issuance of a DUI for a cyclist, it’s important to remember that operating any vehicle while under the influence is unwise and not worth the risk.

If you or someone you care about is facing a charge of DUI, the consequences are too serious to try and deal with the charge on your own. You should seek the immediate legal counsel of an experienced lawyer with expertise in defending DUIs.

Contact a Skilled New Jersey DUI Lawyer Today

The consequences of a DUI can be long lasting, and your case should not be left to chance. If you or your loved one has been charged with a DUI, discuss your case with an experienced attorney who knows New Jersey DUI law. Schedule your consultation today by calling Borrus, Goldin, Foley, Vignuolo, Hyman & Stahl, P.C. at 732-422-1000 or by contacting us online.

How to Fight Your Traffic Ticket

Although no one enjoys getting a ticket for a traffic violation, most of us just pay them – especially when they’re for minor offenses – but there are times when it’s worth the inconvenience of fighting the ticket. Every traffic ticket you receive adds points to your driver’s license, and too many points can lead to a suspended license and higher insurance premiums. Sometimes it’s a good idea to fight back.

When to Fight

It’s important to weigh all the variables before choosing to fight a traffic ticket:

  • The time involved (including time off from work);
  • The expense involved;
  • The likelihood that you will prevail; and
  • The consequences of the ticket as they apply to your personal driving freedoms and your insurance expenses.

The Fight

While there are many valid strategies for fighting a traffic ticket, it’s important to employ only those that apply directly to your situation and that make sense (it doesn’t help to throw every approach at every problem):

  1. Dispute the personal opinion of the officer

If your ticket comes down to the subjective opinion of the officer regarding your speed or your illegal lane change, you can make a case for the likelihood that the officer’s opinion could be clouded by other factors, such as traffic or obstructions to his or her vision.

  1. Dispute the evidence provided by the officer

This boils down to whether the officer actually saw you engaging in the act you’ve been ticketed for, and will basically come down to whom the judge ends up believing – your burden is high. However, if you have eyewitness testimony, can clearly illustrate via diagram how the event occurred, or have photographs that depict the crux of your claim, such as an obscured stop sign or a disabled traffic light, you might have a viable case.

  1. Provide evidence that the ticket is a Mistake of Fact

A mistake of fact is a mistake that you make about the situation that is reasonable under the circumstances. Say you made an illegal right turn because the No Right Turn sign had recently blown away – that would be a mistake of fact. Judges are usually allowed to come to their own conclusions in such instances.

  1. Argue that your driving was justified by the situation

Present facts that render your violation justified and allowable. With this solution there is no need to dispute the officer’s claim at all; your objective is simply to illustrate why the circumstances necessitated that you drive the way you did.

  1. Argue that your driving was necessary in order to prevent harm

Much like the argument above, this defense is an attempt to show that your driving was necessitated by the circumstances, but in this case, you will endeavor to show that your ticketed driving was directly related to preventing injury or harm to someone else.

If you’re facing a traffic ticket that could negatively affect your driving freedoms or that stands to raise your insurance premiums significantly, you should not hesitate to seek legal counsel.

Contact an Experienced New Jersey Attorney Today

A skilled New Jersey attorney can help you assess your options and will fight to preserve your driving privileges. Contact an experienced attorney with expertise in New Jersey traffic law. Schedule your consultation today by calling Borrus, Goldin, Foley, Vignuolo, Hyman & Stahl, P.C. at 732-422-1000 or by contacting us online.

Carefully Consider your Divorce Options

Divorce is an arduous process that should never be entered into without seriously considering all of the ramifications. Things only become more complicated and painful when children are involved. There is so much to consider; do yourself a favor, and make sure that all of your decisions regarding divorce are extremely well informed.

What to Expect
The one universal of divorce is that there’s no way to know what to expect. Divorce is often extremely unpredictable; the combination of too much stress, heightened uncertainty, and a crumbling relationship can lead people to engage in exceedingly unpredictable behavior. Your best strategy is to arm yourself with the basics before making any decisions.

The Known Elements of Divorce
A divorce will determine property division – or who will get what in the dissolution of your marriage. This means that the New Jersey court will divide your marital assets in a way that it deems equitable or fair but that is not necessarily equal. Keep in mind that what the court deems fair may not coincide with what you consider fair. The outcome of this process is rarely predictable.

A divorce will also determine support obligations for both parties. These can come in the form of both child and spousal support. Child support is usually set by state law, but departures from these state standards often occur. Additionally, child support often hinges on the ordered custody arrangements. Spousal support is much more varied and depends, in large part, on the specifics of the case. There is a lot of room for interpretation within this process, and it is very difficult to predict the outcome.

The divorce proceedings will also determine child custody and visitation (when applicable). Whenever possible, it’s to everyone’s advantage to reach these decisions together before the court gets involved. It’s the court’s obligation to promote the best interests of the child, but all judges, being human, have their own beliefs and values that they cannot help but let get tangled up in their decisions. Additionally, few people are at their finest during divorce proceedings, and that is the judge’s only real glimpse into who you are.

What Divorce Can Never Do
There are some things about divorce, as unpredictable as it is, that you can rely upon:

• Divorce cannot guarantee precise and equal division of your marital assets and property.

• Divorce cannot guarantee you equal time with your children.

• Divorce very well may not accomplish civility between you and your ex-spouse.

• Divorce almost always guarantees that you won’t be able to maintain your current standard of living.

• Divorce will not heal your emotional wounds.

In the end, a court order for divorce is simply a piece of paper that will almost certainly leave you hurt and confused. If you are contemplating a divorce, you should not make important decisions without legal counsel. Contact an experienced New Jersey divorce attorney today.

An Experienced New Jersey Family Law Attorney Can Positively Influence the Outcome of Your Divorce
There is too much at stake in any divorce to try and negotiate it on your own. An experienced New Jersey divorce attorney will help you assess your options and will skillfully fight to ensure that you obtain the best outcome for your case. Contact a skilled attorney with expertise in New Jersey family law by scheduling your consultation with Borrus, Goldin, Foley, Vignuolo, Hyman & Stahl, P.C. today. Give us a call at 732-422-1000 or contact us online.

FAQs: Child Custody in New Jersey

If you are involved in a dispute regarding the custody of your children, you probably have a lot of questions. Here are some answers to some questions we often hear from clients who are concerned about child custody issues.

Who Will Get Custody of the Children?

It is impossible to predict how a court will determine child custody. Under New Jersey law, courts are required to make child custody determinations based on the best interests of the child.

What Types of Custody are there in New Jersey?

Under New Jersey law, courts can order a variety of custodial arrangements. For example a court may order that both parents share physical custody and legal custody (the right to make important decisions about the way in which a child is raised) of a child. On the other hand, a court could order sole legal or physical custody of a child, or both. When this occurs, the noncustodial parent often is awarded visitation time by the court.

What Factors Will a Court Consider when Making a Child Custody Decision?

Courts can consider a number of factors when making a child custody determination. Some of the factors that they must consider under New Jersey law include the following:

  • The parents’ ability to agree, communicate and cooperate in matters related to the child
  • The parents’ willingness to accept custody and any history of unwillingness to allow parenting time not based on substantiated abuse
  • The interaction and relationship of the child with parents and siblings
  • The history of domestic violence, if any

What If My Child’s Other Parent and I Agree on a Parenting Plan?

If you and your child’s other parent can come to an agreement about custody, the court will approve your plan unless that it finds that it is contrary to the child’s best interests.

Do I Need a Lawyer if I am Involved in Child Custody Dispute?
New Jersey courts have significant discretion when making decisions about child custody and can consider any factor that they deem relevant. For this reason, it is highly advisable for anyone involved in a child custody dispute in New Jersey to retain an attorney. A lawyer will build a case in support of your position, maximizing your chances of obtaining the child custody arrangement you are seeking.

Call 732-422-1000 today to schedule a case evaluation.

Child custody is a complicated area of law, and the way conflicts regarding child custody are resolved can have a significant impact on your ability to having a meaningful relationship with your child. To schedule a consultation with our New Jersey child custody attorney, call our office today or contact us online.