When You Need an NJ Family Lawyer

When you hear “family lawyer“, what first comes to mind?

For most, they will think about divorce. That is correct, at least partially.

While divorce is one of the most difficult chapters that people will encounter during their lives, it’s not the only component of family legal representation.

In this post, we will highlight other common cases that will require an NJ family lawyer.

Video summary here:


While we’ve already touched on divorce law (and more details will come in the next section), let’s kick things off with a more positive topic, marriage.

Marriage, matrimony or wedlock, is a legal union between spouses.

Under the marriage umbrella, included are civil unions and domestic partnerships.

A civil union is a legally recognized union of a same-sex couple, while a domestic partnership is a relationship with two unmarried individuals who live together.

One of the major components of marriage that an NJ family lawyer can help with are prenuptial agreements, commonly referred to as a prenup.

prenup is signed before marriage to settle financial matters prior to unforeseen life events such as death or divorce.

Prenups are not just for the super wealthy and celebrities – anyone who has personal assets, liabilities or property might consider a prenup.

Some items included in a prenup are:

  • Debt protection
  • Family heirloom, business, or inheritance protection
  • Estate plan and will protection
  • Alimony after divorce


Now we’re back to where we started.

Divorce is the termination of a marriage.

During divorce proceedings, the court will determine the equitable, or fair, distribution of property, assets and debts.

This property includes your home, personal effects, financial assets and other items of value.

As mentioned above, a prenup helps avoid some of these future problems, but many couples are against prenuptial agreements as they feel it sets the marriage up for failure.

Where a prenup is not in place and tempers are flaring, mediation with your New Jersey family lawyers would be beneficial to avoid leaving it up to the court to decide.

This is where you, your spouse, and both parties legal representatives meet with a neutral third party to help resolve any open issues.

Settlements through mediation are often less expensive than going to going to court, which is why they are a good option.

In divorce, there are three additional situations where an NJ family lawyer would be necessary. They are:

Post-judgment reduction or increase in alimony and child support payments

Alimony is an amount of money ordered by the court to be paid to a spouse following a separation or divorce.

Child support is a continued periodic payment made from one partner to another to financially to benefit a child following the termination of a marriage.

After a divorce case is complete, a spouse may move to reduce or increase alimony or child support payments.

If that is the situation, a New Jersey family lawyer can help defend your case.

Child custody and visitation

Child custody is having the legal authority to decide on your child’s medical care and education.

Two primary types of child custody are sole and joint custody.

Sole custody means that one parent has the authority to make every decision pertaining to the child.

Joint custody means that both parents share the decision making authority for their child.

There’s also the physical vs. legal custody component.

Legal custody means that both parents can make legal decisions, while physical custody allows a child to live with a parent, but the parent has no legal decision making power.

Siblings, half-siblings, and grandparents can also request visitation rights. This is also common for parents who weren’t awarded any custodial rights, but want to spend time with their child.

In visitation disputes, it is up to the court to determine what is in the “best interests of the child”.


An annulment is a legal procedure that declares a marriage void.

You can seek marriage annulment for several reasons including underage marriages, misrepresentation and bigamy.

There are two types of annulments, civil and religious.

Civil annulments legally end your marital status, while religious annulments are granted by a church or religious organization.

Domestic violence, child abuse and restraining orders.

Sometimes, marital relations get ugly.

This comes in various forms including domestic violence, child abuse and restraining orders.

Domestic, or intimate partner violence, is a pattern of behaviors that one partner uses over another to maintain power or control.

Violence can come in a physical, sexual or psychological capacity.

If you or someone you know has been a victim of domestic violence, it’s important to talk with a New Jersey family lawyer to ensure those responsible are held accountable.

Child abuse can also result from physical, verbal or sexual harm, and you should not be afraid to take legal action against perpetrators.

In situations where a perpetrator continues to harass an adult or child, you can have a restraining order issued.

This blocks the abuser from contacting or engaging with the victim. If the offender violates the terms, you can bring them to court with an NJ family lawyer and prosecute them accordingly.

Special cases

There are countless other special cases for a New Jersey family attorney.

This list includes, but is not limited to:

  • Adoptions – Legally taking ownership of another parent’s child and raising as their own.
  • Surrogacy – An arrangement where a woman agrees to get pregnant and birth a child for parents unable to conceive on their own.
  • LGBT – There are special laws that apply to members of the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community, particularly in marriage and discrimination.
  • Military – Members of the military are subject to a unique set of family laws.
  • Juvenile law – Pertains to legal matters related to minors, often status offenses, delinquency, emancipation and adjudication.
  • Paternity – For cases where the biological parents of a child are in question.
  • Guardianship – A legal tool that determines a person who has authority over another person, often in children, seniors and developmentally disabled adults.


Family law cases are difficult for individuals and their entire families, both emotionally and financially.

Our firm has extensive experience in family law. As NJ family lawyers, our goal is to help minimize stress and uncertainty by keeping you informed about your case and the legal process.

We hope you find the information in this article helpful!