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We are closely tracking the rapidly evolving public health and community concerns related to the new coronavirus or COVID-19. Rest assured that our entire team is fully engaged and remains accessible to our clients as we continue to act in accordance with their best interests during this difficult time.

Please see below for answers to some frequently asked questions, and feel free to reach out to us any time via our contact page or by calling 973-992-0900 for assistance with your legal matter.

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By: Thomas DeCataldo

Divorced parents COVID-19
The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has caused the tragic loss of life and spurred international panic. Adding insult to injury, the economic impact of this health crisis has thus far been devastating, with stock markets collapsing and many struggling to keep businesses afloat while being unable to work or attempting to do so remotely. As a result of the tumult caused by this virus, divorcing couples and separated parents find themselves attempting to cope with several accelerants to an already stressful situation.

Against this backdrop, in recent weeks many parents questioned the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on custody and parenting time arrangements, whether entered formally as Court Orders or informally by agreement of the parties. The pandemic presents many hotbed areas for disagreement among separated or separating parents, particularly for those in high-conflict situations.

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We are pleased to announce the Supreme Court of New Jersey has granted an extension of the property tax appeal deadline in New Jersey. The Chief Justice has issued an Order extending the deadline from April 1, 2020 to at least May 1, 2020.  

The New Jersey State Bar Association (NJSBA) worked diligently with stakeholders to ensure that taxpayers are not prejudiced in light of the current turmoil surrounding COVID-19.  As the Immediate Past Chair of the NJSBA Taxation Law Section, and its Liaison to the NJSBA Board of Trustees, David Wolfe, Skoloff & Wolfe managing partner, played a pivotal role in advocating for the extension on behalf of property owners, taxpayers, and practitioners. 

According to a letter issued by the Taxation Section, the extension of these filing deadlines will address critical due process concerns for taxpayers and taxing districts across the State of New Jersey who are facing barriers to access law firms, businesses, and the courts in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

By: Jonathan W. Wolfe

Previously published in American Journal of Family Law, Spring 2010, Volume 24.

Attorneys representing parties in divorce frequently are faced with the difficult challenge of discovering and proving the existence of hidden income or assets. Although most prevalent in the context of private business owners, spouses from all career paths are capable of engaging in divorce planning designed to minimize their income and avoid parting with their assets in divorce.

By: Jonathan W. Wolfe

This article was previously published in New Jersey Law Journal, Vol. 212 – No 12.

There are many legitimate reasons for a business to retain earnings. However, for a spouse in a divorce — or contemplating divorce — leaving money in the business may be viewed as a tool to shield income to avoid support. For shareholders of an S corporation, even though earnings have not been distributed, they will appear as “phantom income” on the owner’s personal tax returns. Given how frequently these issues arise in our practice, there is surprisingly little New Jersey precedent addressing the treatment of retained earnings in the context of divorce.

NJ Property Tax Appeal AttorneyJersey City is following the lead of other NJ municipalities and has authorized reverse/increase cases against commercial property owners. What does that mean?

Even if you haven’t filed a property tax appeal, the City may initiate an appeal to increase your assessment and your real estate taxes.

These filings represent a significant change in the commercial property landscape for Jersey City and will dramatically change how the market underwrites taxes and values going forward.

By: Jonathan W. Wolfe

Published in Family Advocate, Vol. 38, No. 2, (Fall 2015) p. 14-20. © 2015 by the American Bar Association.

Matrimonial attorneys who handle high-asset cases are confronted with a variety of complex legal and factual questions when either their client or the client’s spouse is a beneficiary of a trust. When considering family trust funds and divorce answer these questions:

By: Richard F. Iglar

You have come to a decision which you may have been dreading, or which may make you feel relieved. You are taking the first step toward a decision which will allow you to take control of the direction of your future life. You are going to start interviewing top New Jersey divorce attorneys (and hopefully you have made the wise decision to hire a seasoned, wise and practical AAML attorney to guide you through the difficult divorce process). What is your matrimonial attorney going to need from you do his or her job effectively? What can you do to provide your attorney with the background and tools he or she will need to represent you in the effort to obtain the best possible outcome for you? What can you do to convey that information to your attorney in a practical and efficient way and put you ahead of the curve?

Your attorney is going to explain to you the three major issues before you in the divorce case: 1) custody and parenting time; 2) equitable distribution of the marital assets; and 3) the financial support issues of alimony and child support.

By: Thomas J. DeCataldo Jr., Esq. and Jeb-Michael Harmon, Esq.

According to a recent article put out by the American Association for Retired Persons (hereafter “AARP”), if late-life divorce were a disease, it would be an epidemic. The trend has become so common in matrimonial practice it has derived its own nickname, known as “gray divorce.” While the overall divorce rate declined nationwide from its zenith of 5.3 divorced per 1,000 people in 1981 to 3.2 divorced per 1,000 today, incidents of gray divorce doubled over the last 20 years making this a trend worthy of attention for those practicing family law.

Divorcing clients over the age of 50 face a unique and challenging process, often made complicated by concerns regarding healthcare costs, retirement, social security benefits, property division and calculating alimony. It is important that NJ matrimonial attorneys have a strong working knowledge of Social Security Benefits, in order to help navigate conflicts over support related issues. It is also essential that critical deadlines not be overlooked, otherwise divorcing litigants may irretrievably (and avoidably) lose entitlements to benefits that would have otherwise been available.

Skoloff-Bisnow-David-WolfeWhen it comes to calculating property taxes on hotels, few taxing jurisdictions fairly distinguish the taxable value of the real estate from FF&E and good will. Consequently, hotels can be paying significantly more in hotel property tax than what is fair. Appearing on a panel at the BISNOW Hospitality Investment, Development & Management Summit in New York City in early January 2020, David Wolfe, managing partner of the Property Tax division of Skoloff & Wolfe, joined a panel to discuss how property tax appeal savings can help New York City hotel operators stay competitive in the city’s hyper-competitive hospitality market.

Why are hotel property tax valuations so much more difficult to calculate?

“There’s a variability with hotels that is unlike other property classes. With hotels, your rates can change dramatically within a year, as can cap rates. So it continuously requires assessors and local jurisdictions to be 100% up to date in market activity. Unlike an office building where you’re leasing space and the landlord is collecting a rental stream, the tenants’ income is not part of how you value the business. For a hotel, however, you have guests staying there spending on the hotel as well as the real estate, which combined is the business income of the property. But the taxing authorities only have the right to tax you on the real estate, so you have to extrapolate the property from the experience of staying at the hotel. And that makes it a much more difficult valuation assignment. For example, if I’m paying $400 a night, which portion of that is actually for the real estate? Which portion is the personal property? Which portion is the goodwill? Which portion is the business value?

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