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Articles Posted in Family and Matrimonial Law

By Rachel Friedman

I often encounter parents who enter our office with misconceptions about how child support is determined. I find this fear stems from two places: 1) A misunderstanding of how child support is calculated; and 2) references in pop culture. (One song by Kanye West, in particular.)

Common NJ Child Support Myths:

Jonathan W. WolfeJonathan Wolfe headshot, co-managing partner of Skoloff & Wolfe, P.C., completed his term in August as Chair of the American Bar Association (ABA) Section of Family Law. Prior to his term as chair, Mr. Wolfe held numerous leadership positions in the ABA, including as a member of the ABA’s Executive Committee, Board of Governors and House of Delegates.

Under Mr. Wolfe’s guidance the Family Law section undertook several new initiatives to help promote the fair practice of family law for individuals and families of all means. These included a charitable fund to help promote access to justice, as well as to support the organization’s public service projects and educational programs. He also oversaw the section’s Covid-19 response by streamlining the organization’s online capabilities to help move ABA events to a virtual platform.

“I’m extremely proud that during my term the fund helped provide a way to recognize the outstanding family lawyers who work pro bono to help people who might otherwise be unable to afford professional legal representation,” Mr. Wolfe said. “Donations to the charitable fund are helping the Family Law section enhance diversity and inclusion in the profession. I am proud of the important work being done by our Section.”

Best Lawyers logo 2020Skoloff & Wolfe attorneys Gary N. Skoloff, Jonathan W. Wolfe, and Patrick T. Collins were selected among The Best Lawyers in America© for family law.

Gary Skoloff HeadshotGary N. Skoloff, one of the founders of Skoloff & Wolfe, P.C., was selected by his peers for inclusion in the list for the thirty-fifth time, a record of sustained excellence that speaks to his reputation as one of the nation’s leading family law practitioners. He is the author of New Jersey Family Law Practice, now in its fifteenth edition, which is widely regarded as one of the foremost treatises on New Jersey family law.

Mr. Skoloff’s experience as a family law practitioner makes him a highly sought after family law attorney for accomplished individuals and their spouses in virtually every field, including finance, real estate, professional sports, entertainment, law, and medicine. He has held multiple leadership positions in professional organizations both on state and national levels, and he is a frequent lecturer on family law topics. Mr. Skoloff has repeatedly provided his insights for the New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education and he was an adjunct professor of Family Law at Seton Hall Law School. He also served as the president of the Rutgers Law School Alumni Association.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Super Lawyers Logo — top rated divorce lawyersNew Jersey Super Lawyers has recognized nine Skoloff & Wolfe lawyers as Super Lawyers and Rising Stars for 2020. 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.

Jonathan Wolfe, Co-Managing Partner; Chair – Matrimonial & Litigation Departments

For the tenth consecutive year, Jonathan Wolfe, has been selected as a “Super Lawyer”. Mr. Wolfe’s practice focus is on business litigation and matrimonial disputes. He represents leaders or the spouses of leaders from the finance, real estate, professional and entertainment/sports communities in complex matrimonial matters, including a focus on business valuations, private equity/hedge funds, treatment of trust assets in divorce and the protection of non-marital assets. Mr. Wolfe is also the Chair of the Family Law Section of the American Bar Association.

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