Family Legal Representation

Divorce is one of the most difficult chapters that people may encounter in their lives. It is our goal to minimize the stress and uncertainty by keeping our clients informed about their case as well as the process in general. You should contact our firm if you need a New Jersey divorce attorney. Our office is located in Wayne, New Jersey on Hamburg Turnpike.

We believe it is important for our clients to understand what to expect. Generally the process is as follows:

1. COMMENCEMENT: One party files a complaint and the other party responds after being served.

2. CIS: The parties exchange financial information such as a court required Case Information Statement (CIS).

3. CMC: The first court appearance is usually a Case Management Conference (CMC). Usually this is about 2 months after the responding party has filed an answer to the complaint. This is the first time a judge will be making an assesment of your case. The judge will need to know what the issues are. For example, is their a disagreement regarding custody of children? If so, experts will need to be retained to render an opinion. Is there a business owned by one other the other parties? An expert will be required to value the business. The goal at the CMC is to create a timeline for the case so that it will proceed in an expeditious manner.

4. ESP: The next court appearance is for an Early Settlement Panel (ESP). This is frequently about 2 months after the CMC. The ESP consists of usually 3 volunteer attorneys who give their opinion as to how the case should be resoved. It is a very useful tool as these attorneys are not in the case and are there to give an unbiased knowledgable opinion. Many cases settle at the ESP. Typically, this may be 6 months after the initial filing of the divorce compalint.

5. Economic Mediation: If the matter is still unresolved, the parties will be scheduled for economic mediation. The mediation is usually conducted in the mediator’s office. The first two hours are at no charge.

6. Trial: If the matter remains unresolved, it will at some point, proceed to trial. A small percentage of cases go to trial and it is not the preferred course and can be quite expensive and stressful.

7. Motions: Motions frequently are necessary during the pendeny of the divorce (Pendente Lite Motions) or sometimes after the divorce has been finalized (Post Judgment Motions). The purpose of a motion is to obtain relief for a party. In other words, a party wants to obtain a result they cannot achieve otherwise.

For example, a husband no longer lives in the marital home and should pay support but does not. The preferred course is to contact the husband’s attorney and explain the issue. Many times the attorney will agree that support should be paid. However, his client may still not pay. In that case, to “force the issue”, your attorney should file a motion to obtain court ordered support. If the husband ignores that order, the judge may impose serious penalties including incarceration.

It is always better if motions can be avoided. Motions are not inexpensive and frequently require a court appearance. Parties are best served by trying to resolve the issues by consent in which case the parties can enter into a Consent Order.

Our Experience in Family Law:

We have extensive experience in family law. Family law comprises much more than divorce. If you need a New Jersey family law attorney, contact our firm. We handle the following matters:

  • Post-judgment reduction or increase in alimony and child support payments.
  • Domestic Violence matters and restraining orders.
  • Mediation.
  • Child custody and visitation.
  • Equitable distribution
  • Prenuptial agreements
  • Divorce