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Articles Posted in Family and Matrimonial Law

If you have gone through a divorce and are paying alimony, you likely know that your support obligation can be modified or even terminated upon a showing of “changed circumstances.” While changed circumstances could apply to a number of situations, one common example that has long been a basis to modify or terminate alimony is an ex-spouse’s cohabitation with another individual. According to New Jersey Statute 2A:34-23(n), which was enacted in 2014, “[c]ohabitation involves a mutually supportive, intimate personal relationship in which a couple has undertaken duties and privileges that are commonly associated with marriage…but does not necessarily maintain a single common household.” The statute goes on to list the seven factors courts should look to when determining if cohabitation is indeed taking place:

  1. Intertwined finances such as joint bank accounts and other joint holdings or liabilities;
  2. Sharing or joint responsibility for living expenses;

I was a matrimonial Judge for 17 years and presided over approximately 21,000 divorces.

I myself went through a divorce before I became a Judge, and I have helped several of my children through their own divorces. Since leaving the bench, I’ve spent the last nine years mediating hundreds of divorce cases.

I am firmly convinced that mediation – regardless of which side of the divorce equation you are on – is much more preferable, easier, faster, and less expensive than litigating your divorce in a courtroom.

skoloff wolfe best law firms 2021Skoloff & Wolfe, P.C., today announced that the firm is ranked in the 2021 Edition of U.S. News – Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms” in the practice area of Family Law. Founded more than 50 years ago, Skoloff & Wolfe attorneys are leaders in the fields of family and matrimonial law, real estate property tax appeals, and business litigation.

Recognition by Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms” is based entirely on peer review. The organization’s methodology is designed to capture, as accurately as possible, the consensus opinion of leading lawyers about the professional abilities of colleagues and firms within the same geographical area and legal practice area.

The nomination process employs a sophisticated, conscientious, rational, and transparent survey process designed to elicit meaningful and substantive evaluations of the quality of legal services, in the belief that the quality of a peer review survey is directly related to the quality of the voters.

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.

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.

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.

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