Chris Rock Files for Divorce From Wife

Jan 07, 2014

Multiple sources, including TMZ, have recently reported that Chris Rock has filed for divorce from his current wife, Malaak Compton-Rock.  They have been married for 19 years and have two minor daughters.  Because the divorce papers have just been filed, it is unknown what issues will arise throughout the process.

One issue that could arise, however, is a child custody dispute.  In New Jersey, as in most states, the most important consideration in a child custody dispute is the best interests of the children.  See Beck v. Beck, 86 N.J. 480 (1981).  There are multiple types of custody, with the most common allowing the parents to share legal custody of the children, or the ability to make decisions, and share physical custody of the children as well.  When making a custody determination, the court in New Jersey will examine a number of factors outlined in N.J.S.A. 9:2-4, including the needs of the children or the preference of the children. 

A second issue that could arise in Chris Rock’s divorce is that of child support.  All parents, including those in New Jersey, are obligated to provide support their children.  See Pascale v. Pascale, 140 N.J. 583 (1995).  In New Jersey, a court will apply the Child Support Guidelines to determine how much one parent is obligated to pay in child support.  However, in extreme income situations, a judge may deviate from the guidelines or supplement the guidelines.  See Zazzo v. Zazzo, 245 N.J. Super 124 (App. Div. 1990).  In these cases, the judge will consider child support factors, such as the income of the parents and the needs of the children, in setting the appropriate amount of child support.  See N.J.S.A. 2A:34-23(a).

In any divorce where children are involved the issues of child custody or support could arise.  While some parties may be able to settle their differences in divorce negotiations, others will have to turn to the courts to have their issues litigated and decided.  If you or a loved one is going through a divorce and child custody or support could be an issue, you could use the help of an experienced matrimonial attorney like those at Sarno da Costa D’Aniello Maceri LLC.  Call us today at 973-274-5200.