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Articles Posted in Family and Matrimonial Law

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.

By: Thomas DeCataldo

Divorced parents COVID-19
The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has caused the tragic loss of life and spurred international panic. Adding insult to injury, the economic impact of this health crisis has thus far been devastating, with stock markets collapsing and many struggling to keep businesses afloat while being unable to work or attempting to do so remotely. As a result of the tumult caused by this virus, divorcing couples and separated parents find themselves attempting to cope with several accelerants to an already stressful situation.

Against this backdrop, in recent weeks many parents questioned the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on custody and parenting time arrangements, whether entered formally as Court Orders or informally by agreement of the parties. The pandemic presents many hotbed areas for disagreement among separated or separating parents, particularly for those in high-conflict situations.

By: Jonathan W. Wolfe

Previously published in American Journal of Family Law, Spring 2010, Volume 24.

Attorneys representing parties in divorce frequently are faced with the difficult challenge of discovering and proving the existence of hidden income or assets. Although most prevalent in the context of private business owners, spouses from all career paths are capable of engaging in divorce planning designed to minimize their income and avoid parting with their assets in divorce.

By: Jonathan W. Wolfe

This article was previously published in New Jersey Law Journal, Vol. 212 – No 12.

There are many legitimate reasons for a business to retain earnings. However, for a spouse in a divorce — or contemplating divorce — leaving money in the business may be viewed as a tool to shield income to avoid support. For shareholders of an S corporation, even though earnings have not been distributed, they will appear as “phantom income” on the owner’s personal tax returns. Given how frequently these issues arise in our practice, there is surprisingly little New Jersey precedent addressing the treatment of retained earnings in the context of divorce.

By: Jonathan W. Wolfe

Published in Family Advocate, Vol. 38, No. 2, (Fall 2015) p. 14-20. © 2015 by the American Bar Association.

Matrimonial attorneys who handle high-asset cases are confronted with a variety of complex legal and factual questions when either their client or the client’s spouse is a beneficiary of a trust. When considering family trust funds and divorce answer these questions:

By: Richard F. Iglar

You have come to a decision which you may have been dreading, or which may make you feel relieved. You are taking the first step toward a decision which will allow you to take control of the direction of your future life. You are going to start interviewing top New Jersey divorce attorneys (and hopefully you have made the wise decision to hire a seasoned, wise and practical AAML attorney to guide you through the difficult divorce process). What is your matrimonial attorney going to need from you do his or her job effectively? What can you do to provide your attorney with the background and tools he or she will need to represent you in the effort to obtain the best possible outcome for you? What can you do to convey that information to your attorney in a practical and efficient way and put you ahead of the curve?

Your attorney is going to explain to you the three major issues before you in the divorce case: 1) custody and parenting time; 2) equitable distribution of the marital assets; and 3) the financial support issues of alimony and child support.

By: Thomas J. DeCataldo Jr., Esq. and Jeb-Michael Harmon, Esq.

According to a recent article put out by the American Association for Retired Persons (hereafter “AARP”), if late-life divorce were a disease, it would be an epidemic. The trend has become so common in matrimonial practice it has derived its own nickname, known as “gray divorce.” While the overall divorce rate declined nationwide from its zenith of 5.3 divorced per 1,000 people in 1981 to 3.2 divorced per 1,000 today, incidents of gray divorce doubled over the last 20 years making this a trend worthy of attention for those practicing family law.

Divorcing clients over the age of 50 face a unique and challenging process, often made complicated by concerns regarding healthcare costs, retirement, social security benefits, property division and calculating alimony. It is important that NJ matrimonial attorneys have a strong working knowledge of Social Security Benefits, in order to help navigate conflicts over support related issues. It is also essential that critical deadlines not be overlooked, otherwise divorcing litigants may irretrievably (and avoidably) lose entitlements to benefits that would have otherwise been available.

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