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thomas decataldo NJSBAEssex County Top Lawyers 2020 Thomas DeCataldoLivingston, NJThomas J. DeCataldo Jr., Esq., of Skoloff & Wolfe, P.C., in Livingston, recently was named one of the best attorneys in Essex County, NJ, in the practice of family law by Morris/Essex Health & Life magazine. An online peer-vote process of area attorneys conducted by DataJoe Research of Boulder, Colorado, revealed which attorneys’ peers in their practice area would seek out for particular legal needs. The polling covered more than 35 specialties.

This accolade is the latest of several for DeCataldo, who was recently named a 2020 New Jersey Rising Star by New Jersey Super Lawyers. Rising Stars must be 40-years-old or younger or have been practicing for less than 10 years. Like Super Lawyers, Rising Stars is also based upon peer recognition and professional achievement, with winners representing the top 2.5 percent of up-and-coming lawyers in the State of New Jersey. In the most recent listing, Skoloff & Wolfe had seven attorneys named Super Lawyers and two who were selected to Rising Stars.

Since graduating from law school, Mr. DeCataldo has dedicated his practice to family law. He is an accomplished speaker and has authored numerous articles on the legal issues and consequences surrounding divorce and other family law matters. Prior to joining Skoloff & Wolfe, Mr. DeCataldo clerked for the Honorable Thomas M. McCormack J.S.C., Superior Court of New Jersey, Chancery Division, Family Part, in Essex County. He is an active member of various professional and bar associations and sits on several committees and boards.

What to expect when filing for divorce
Being on the brink of divorce can be an intimidating and scary experience. If you find yourself seeking to initiate the divorce process, or you’ve suddenly been served with a complaint for divorce by your spouse, what’s next? The first step is to find an attorney. Many people have little to no familiarity with the court system and can easily be overwhelmed by the process. This is where having an experienced attorney like those at Skoloff & Wolfe, P.C. can benefit you. Once you have retained an attorney, what is the process like? What do you need to do? How long is this going to take? While a divorce has the possibility of being a long, arduous process, especially if a trial is needed, there are various steps throughout the process that provide the parties ample opportunities to settle and resolve most of, if not all of their issues. Below is a step by step outline of the procedure of obtaining a divorce so that you can be better prepared during your case.

The First Step of Divorce: Filing a Complaint

If you are the party seeking a divorce, one of the first landmarks during your case will be the filing of a complaint. If you are filing the complaint in your case, you will be referred to as the plaintiff going forward. A complaint is a document filed with the court that initiates your divorce case. It lays out the following:

Richard Iglar, AAML New JerseySkoloff & Wolfe, P.C., today announced that Richard F. Iglar, a partner at the Livingston, New Jersey law firm, was sworn in as President of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML) New Jersey Chapter. Mr. Iglar is a Fellow of both the AAML as well as the International Academy of Family Lawyers (IAFL). Earlier in 2020 he was selected as a “Super Lawyer” for the tenth consecutive year.

“I’m honored to be a leader in a professional organization that is committed to reaching the highest levels of excellence in the practice of family law,” Mr. Iglar said about his new role. “When we work hard and commit to rigorous and zealous representation on behalf of our clients we can achieve great things.” As president of the AAML New Jersey Chapter, he becomes an important voice speaking on behalf of the leading practitioners in the field of family law throughout the state. The AAML is comprised of approximately 1600 family law attorneys who are recognized for their outstanding achievements by judges and other attorneys for their high level of skill, knowledge, competence and integrity and trial experience.

Mr. Iglar is certified by the Supreme Court of New Jersey as a Matrimonial Law Attorney. He is a frequent contributor of articles on family law to legal journals as well as the media. He has appeared on television and radio and his legal commentary has been featured in print media.

Sides Await NJ Supreme Court Decision in Tax Exempt Status of Kean University On-Campus Restaurant

In New Jersey, local municipalities continue to re-examine the status of longstanding property tax exemptions. This includes continued challenges against state institutions and not for profits such as universities, hospitals, houses of worship, and other similar establishments and organizations.

Property Tax Exemptions are in the sights of local taxing authorities.

thomas decataldo NJSBAThomas DeCataldo, a partner in Skoloff & Wolfe’s matrimonial department, was recently designated to represent the New Jersey State Bar Association’s Family Law Executive Committee as a co-author to an amicus submission filed with the Supreme Court of New Jersey in the published decision of S.C. v. New Jersey Department of Children and Families.

The NJSBA asked the Supreme Court of New Jersey to require that DCF eliminate the finding of ‘not established,’ when investigating allegations of child abuse, arguing that the standard, which only requires ‘some evidence of abuse and neglect,’ but falls short of requiring further involvement of the Division, is too amorphous and leads to arbitrary results because there is no objective or measurable standard to differentiate between findings of ‘not established’ and ‘unfounded.’ The NJSBA also expressed concern that a ‘not established’ finding could tarnish a person’s reputation, or have a prejudicial impact on parties to child custody disputes.

The Court agreed that the standard for making findings of ‘not established’ is vague, amorphous and incapable of any objective calibration, and that it has led to shortcomings in fairness for parents and guardians involved in investigations. Although the Court declined to eliminate the classification entirely for procedural reasons, it instructed the Division to clarify the standard and ensure future findings are backed by credible evidence. A copy of the Court’s May 27, 2020 opinion is available here.

Super Lawyers Logo — top rated divorce lawyersA leading real estate property tax attorney in the New York metropolitan area, David B. Wolfe has once again been named a New Jersey Super Lawyer. Super Lawyers rates outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The selection process includes independent research, peer nominations and peer evaluations.

“I’m pleased to be chosen once again as a New Jersey Super Lawyer, but I’m especially proud of the other lawyers in our firm who have also been cited,” Wolfe said. Skoloff & Wolfe announced nine lawyers practicing in matrimonial and family law who were selected either as Super Lawyers or as Rising Stars in 2020.

Seven Super Lawyers and Two Rising Stars Shine for Skoloff & Wolfe

How to find the best divorce attorney in NJDivorce is a major life event that can be very stressful. Therefore, it is not surprising that selecting a divorce attorney can often be a daunting process. Given the personal nature of this extremely important decision, it is critical that you choose someone with whom you feel comfortable because good communication with your attorney is essential to successfully navigating your divorce.

Before choosing an attorney, you should research the prospective matrimonial attorneys based on referrals, reputation, location or any other considerations that are important to you. Once you have selected one or more lawyers to interview, you should obtain copies of your recent tax returns if you have access to them, and you should also compile a list of assets and liabilities to the extent you have this information. This will allow the attorney to give you a preliminary opinion about the possible outcome or outcomes of your case in your initial consultation, in addition to giving you a general overview of the divorce process.

Below are general questions to help you in your selection of an attorney to best accomplish the goals for your case. They fall into three major categories: experience, practice style and cost.

Acceptable Grounds for Divorce in New Jersey
If you are a resident of New Jersey and contemplating a divorce, among the things you may want to understand is what you will have to tell a court in order to allow you to dissolve your marriage.

First, it is a generally a requirement that either you or your spouse must live here for more twelve months before you file a complaint.

Next, and perhaps most importantly, you have the option to file a complaint for divorce without escalating your conflict by having to point your finger at your spouse and make claims about what may have happened which contributed to the failure of your partnership.

Couple Discussing Retirement Assets for Divorce — Skoloff Wolfe lawyers attorneys
Retirement funds are often among the most valuable assets a divorcing couple owns, although before retirement they are often not given a whole lot of thought. How they are treated is one of the most important considerations to be dealt with in a divorce case, and in order to do that, the rules of the road need to be understood by both attorney and client. How such funds are distributed may be one of the most consequential decisions to be made in the divorce process, and there is a lot to know.

Understand the Different Types of Retirement Accounts that are Considered in a Divorce

In order to know what to do with retirement assets, it is important to first understand what it is that you, or your spouse, own. Basically, there are two styles of retirement plan: the defined benefit plan, which guarantees the owner an income stream in a predetermined amount each month, starting from a fixed age through the end of the pensioner’s life; and the defined contribution plan, which has a fixed value at any given point in time, just like a bank or brokerage account. Defined contribution plans are usually in one of two forms: the 401(k) account, which is funded by withholdings from an employee’s paycheck and contributions from his or her employer; and the Individual Retirement Account (“IRA”), which is either funded with a worker’s savings, “rolled over” from a 401(k) with a prior employer, or both. There may be multiple accounts if the person has had multiple employers. A person going through a divorce needs to be certain to know how many accounts they and their spouse have, and what kinds of accounts they are.

A couple who owns a family business together going through a divorce
A family business is typically a closely held corporation—a business which is not publicly traded and for which there is no open market. Where the interest was purchased during the marriage, its value will be subject to division in the divorce. The major question which presents itself, however, is how will the value be determined.

Determining Fair Value of a Business During a Divorce

Brown v. Brown, 348 N.J. Super. 466 (App. Div. 2002) determined that the governing standard of value to be applied is “fair value,” and not “fair market value.” Fair market value is the amount at which property would change hands between a willing seller and a willing buyer when neither is acting under compulsion and when both have reasonable knowledge of the relevant facts. Fair market value takes into consideration a discount for lack of marketability or liquidity which is a discount based on the inability to sell an ownership interest in a business. Fair market value also takes into consideration a minority interest discount which is a reduction in value due to the lack of control which can be exercised by an owner with only a minority interest.

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