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  • 23 Sep 2022 1:36 PM | AAML NJ Administrator (Administrator)

    By LEAP US, AAML NJ Silver Sponsor

    New Jersey family law firms recognize the need to adopt technology to improve productivity, revenue, and overall client satisfaction. However, the legal technology market is growing with multiple offerings that can make it challenging for matrimonial lawyers to find the right solution that will improve law firm business practices. This article is the ultimate guide to legal practice productivity software for New Jersey family law firms and will answer the following questions:

    • What is legal software?
    • What are the benefits of legal software for New Jersey family law firms?
    • What does an all-in-one solution look like?
    What is legal software?

    Legal software helps matrimonial attorneys run and manage all aspects of their family law practice. These law firm software solutions can be a single, comprehensive, and integrated system or a collection of different systems with one goal: to help attorneys manage their law firm business and client needs. For family law firms, this would include centralizing contacts, documents, emails, and more in a single electronic matter and simplifying time recording for more frequent and accurate billing and invoicing. Other functions include managing, automating, and enhancing:

    • Business development and matter creation
    • Document assembly and management
    • Time recording on billable tasks
    • Trust accounting and bank reconciliation
    • Law firm reporting
    • And more
    What are the benefits of legal software for New Jersey family law firms?

    The right legal software will improve law firm productivity, efficiency, and profitability along with several other benefits. New Jersey family law firms that take advantage of legal cloud software technology also experience reduced overhead costs, less manual day-to-day work, better legal client services, and better financial management. Not only do these benefits improve law firm employee output but they also drive higher client satisfaction which improves business development. Additionally, New Jersey family law firms can reduce their risk of malpractice and noncompliance by implementing a solution that ensures the availability of up-to-date legal forms, elimination of data errors from multiple entries, and increased profitability with streamlined timekeeping, invoicing, billing, and trust accounting.

    What does an all-in-one solution look like?

    An all-in-one legal software solution should include everything legal professionals need to run a law firm including practice management, document assembly, legal accounting, and legal publishing. LEAP legal practice productivity solution includes all four aspects to support New Jersey family law firm’s daily operations.

    Practice Management

    LEAP enables matrimonial attorneys to manage their practice whether they are in the office, in court, or on the go and with a secure connection through Amazon Web Services (AWS). Remote accessibility for matter and case management means that lawyers can onboard legal clients, access files and documents, manage legal deadlines, capture more billable time, send invoices, and receive payments from anywhere.

    Document Assembly & Management

    New Jersey family law firms using LEAP can auto-populate forms and documents, with client information and commonly used clauses, with only a few clicks. This document automation starts by pulling details from electronic matters that are then filled into the correct document fields. This eliminates redundant data entry and potential errors that arise when manually keying in information. Update the client details once and use it for all legal documents and forms.

    LawConnect integrates with LEAP so matrimonial attorneys and clients can share large files through a secure portal. Given the nature of family law matters, these extra security layers provide the needed protection to store, access, and share documents. LEAP makes it easy for matrimonial attorneys to collaborate with clients on documents and request e-signatures for filing.

    Legal Publishing

    Access to automated legal documents and matter types helps to reduce time spent on manual tasks and errors caused by duplicate data entry. LEAP offers access to legal forms and pre-built matter types for New Jersey matrimonial lawyers to eliminate hours of administrative work. The LEAP Content team ensures that all forms are up-to-date so that New Jersey firms can rest assured that they are maintaining compliance. Additionally, attorneys have access to the LEAP Clause Library to simplify and expedite the legal drafting process. Matrimonial attorneys can easily find and complete legal forms like Certificate of Insurance Coverage Pursuant to R. 5:4-f (LD-NJ-FAM-0025), Summons (Divorce) (LL-NJ-FAM-0123), Case Management Order (R. 5:5-7) (LL-NJ-FAM-0011), and Confidential Litigant Information Sheet (LD-NJ-FAM-0328). This tool helps save time and reduce potential errors from copying and pasting each clause.

    Legal Accounting

    Office and trust accounting are crucial functions to law firm success and compliance. LEAP makes it easy to generate invoices, manage retainers and trust accounts, and directly capture disbursements in the system to simplify compliance with IOLTA and New Jersey state bar rules with built-in office and trust accounting functionality. Law firm staff can use built-in time recording, legal calculators, and legal billing codes to make it easy for matrimonial lawyers to instantly capture billable time in a timesheet without starting or stopping a timer. LEAP also helps New Jersey family law firms make more invoices with customizable billing templates to create, edit, and send invoices. Additionally, Xero and QuickBooks Online integrate with LEAP to reduce redundant data entry and enable online payment options to improve client experience and get paid faster.


    Legal technology is no longer optional if New Jersey family law firms want to remain competitive and experience longevity, productivity, and profitability. As the #1 legal practice productivity solution on the market, LEAP Legal Software offers all the tools matrimonial attorneys need in a single, cloud-based solution, including practice management, document management, legal publishing, and legal accounting. New Jersey legal professionals will have access to dedicated support teams, user feedback forums, and ongoing training resources to be up and running on LEAP in as little as two days. To learn more about LEAP and how it can benefit your New Jersey family law firm, schedule a demo today! 

  • 20 Sep 2022 10:59 AM | AAML NJ Administrator (Administrator)

    By Sharon L. Klein, Executive Vice President and Head of National Divorce Advisory Practice, Wilmington Trust, AAML Bronze Sponsor

    Remarriage that results in blended or stepfamilies can come with challenges. As part of Wilmington Trust’s monthly tip series for Family Lawyer Magazine, Sharon L. Klein leveraged the celebration of National Stepfamily Day in September to share key strategies to help blended families live in harmony. Read Sharon’s 6 Top Tips to check your clients’ estate and financial plans reflect their evolving family dynamics.

    Link to the article here

    For more information, reach out to Sharon L. Klein, Head of Wilmington Trust’s National Divorce Advisory Practice at 212-415-0531 or

  • 22 Aug 2022 1:45 PM | AAML NJ Administrator (Administrator)

    By Jonathan Blinken | Strategies For Wealth, AAML NJ Bronze Sponsor

    Divorces are major undertakings. Dividing up jointly owned property and assets, managing custody arrangements for children, and exchanging payments of alimony or child support can all have a significant impact on your life – both emotionally and financially. You should consult a family law attorney for their expertise in divorce matters, however, it is important to recognize that they may not possess expertise regarding tax implications impacting their divorcing clients. Hiring a financial planner in addition to your legal counsel will help you properly address the tax consequences of proposed divisions of property or alimony payments.

    1. Alimony is poised to transform divorces in 2019. 

    Alimony is traditionally fraught with complications and often, resentment. State laws vary widely concerning calculations of alimony, and whether or not one of the parties is eligible. But the federal tax laws have been clear for at least 75 years, easing the pain for at least one party: the paying spouse was allowed to deduct their payments, while the receiving spouse had to account for alimony received as income. But starting Jan 1, 2019, this certainty is gone. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, passed in late 2017, has abolished the principle, meaning the payment of alimony is no longer deductible, and the recipient no longer has to pay taxes on it. This makes it more akin to child support payments, where the obligor cannot deduct, and the recipient is not taxed. 

    The law will apply to divorces finalized in 2019, so divorces finalized before that day will be ‘grandfathered' into the current regime. Still, most family law professionals are apprehensive. Previously, at least the paying spouse had the benefit of deducting this payment, which helped push negotiations along. Now, without any incentive, divorces might be messier, longer and ultimately, more expensive. The recipient spouse might be less able to use the alimony money in retirement accounts like IRA’s, which require payments to be made from taxed income. While there are still many questions about the full extent the tax cuts will have on alimony and divorce, a qualified financial planner can help mitigate any problems stemming from the changes in the law.

    2. Know how you will be filing your taxes during and after the divorce.

    Most people assume that if you are married for part of a year, you will have to file taxes as married. But, if your divorce is finalized in that year – even on the last day – then you are free to file taxes as a single person. Additionally, you can still file as a couple, but that often does not make sense financially. If one spouse files as head of household, for example, they might receive a boon in tax savings. But, you would have to live separate and apart at least six months, and pay more than half of the costs to the household. The other spouse would have to file single. 

    3. Understand that the division of assets carries significant tax implications

    Divorcing couples need to worry about the actual value of their debts and assets when they begin dividing up their estate. But many assets can affect the tax liability of each party. First, married couples receive a relative windfall on their principal residence if they decide to sell – up to $500,000 gain on their principal residence without incurring a tax liability. Of course, once divorced, then each party can only realize $250,000.00 in the event of a sale. If one party is awarded the property, then they might be entitled to use the mortgage interest deduction. This is only attractive if the house still has an outstanding mortgage, which might not be the case for long-term couples. 

    4. Lingering taxes after divorce

    Wealthy couples or individuals who are self-employed might have to pay estimated taxes, sometimes resulting in an overpayment of taxes owed. If a couple filed a joint tax return in previous years, and the overpayment of tax was applied to any tax owed the year of the divorce, then any overpayment is equally allocated between the spouses. Each gets to benefit from the overpayment, even if one spouse earns significantly more than the other. The same concept applies to joint tax returns filed during the marriage if taxes are still owed. However, courts do have the discretion to determine whether or not one party is assigned the existing liability during the division of property.

    5. You need to figure out which parent can claim the child’s tax dependency, or you will be subject to the default rules.  

    Only one tax return can claim each child on the dependency exemption. If the divorce decree assigns one parent as the primary custodial parent, then by default, this parent will get to use the tax dependency exemption. Generally speaking, the custodial parent is the party who has had actual possession of the child the longest. Courts will be allowed to approve agreements between the parents who might alternate which parent claims tax dependencies each year. For families with multiple children, some parents might agree, for example, that each parent can claim one child in a family with two children. By claiming the dependency exemption, parents stand to benefit from other benefits, like the child tax credit or various education credits. If you have questions about the implications of a divorce on child tax dependencies, it is best to seek out a qualified financial planner in addition to your family lawyer.

    6. Retirement accounts have some of the biggest tax penalties if handled wrong. 

    For long-term marriages, retirement accounts are often the largest assets to be divided up. If done inappropriately, it can carry a tax penalty as well as an early withdrawal penalty, decimating the account. Therefore, for many retirement accounts, like 401(k)’s, if the parties choose to divide the funds, they must be done through a qualified domestic relations order (or QDRO). These essentially allow one party to ‘roll over’ their retirement savings to another without the IRS treating it as a taxable distribution. 

    If you are in the middle of a divorce, you should seek out expert guidance for every aspect – both legal and financial. Contact a qualified financial planner who can give you comprehensive and competent guidance through the many tax issues associated with a marriage dissolution.  

    Jonathan Blinken is a Registered Representative and Financial Advisor of Park Avenue Securities LLC (PAS). Securities products and advisory services offered through PAS, member FINRA, SIPC. Financial Representative of The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America® (Guardian), New York, NY. PAS is an indirect, wholly-owned subsidiary of Guardian. Strategies for Wealth is not an affiliate or subsidiary of PAS or Guardian.Guardian, its subsidiaries, agents, and employees do not provide tax, legal, or accounting advice. Consult your tax, legal, or accounting professional regarding your individual situation. 2018-59852 Exp. 5/20.

  • 2 Aug 2022 11:11 AM | Anonymous

    By Jeralyn Lawrence | Law Law Firm, AAML NJ Immediate Past President

    In New Jersey, child support guidelines were established to ensure consistency in child support awards and to provide courts with the financial information needed to issue appropriate child support orders. The guidelines provide a framework for courts to use when making child support determinations for people whose incomes fall within the guideline amounts. Currently, the child support guidelines apply to parents with combined net incomes ranging from $8,840 per year to $187,200 per year. 

    While judges can deviate from the guideline amounts to account for a child's extraordinary needs, most child support decisions typically adhere to the guideline amounts. However, the determination of appropriate child support amounts differs when the parents have a net combined income exceeding $187,200 per year. Here is how courts make child support determinations when the parents' incomes are above the child support guidelines.

    Understanding the New Jersey Child Support Guidelines 

    The New Jersey child support guidelines were initially adopted in 1986 and can be found at Child Support Guidelines, Pressler & Verniero, Current N.J. Court Rules, Appendix IX-A to R. 5:6A (2017). They were established following the federal government's passage of the Child Support Enforcement Amendments, which are codified at 42 U.S.C. § 651. These amendments provided federal matching funds to help states enforce child support orders. In 2007, the guidelines were amended to cap combined parental net income at $187,200.

    Under R. 5:6A, the child support guidelines provide a rebuttable presumption that the appropriate child support order should be the guideline amount. However, courts can deviate from the guideline amounts for good cause when the guidelines are inappropriate in a specific case. When New Jersey courts deviate from the guidelines, they must specify their reasoning for doing so per the decision in Ordukaya v. Brown, 357 N.J. Super. 231, 241 (App. Div. 2003).

    Above-Guidelines Cases

    While the guidelines provide a rebuttable presumption of child support for parents whose combined net incomes fall within the guideline amounts, they do not address couples with net incomes exceeding the maximum income contemplated by the guidelines. While some people might believe that they can simply extrapolate the child support amount by using a similar factor as what is used under the guidelines, courts have held that such an extrapolation is inappropriate. 

    In Walton v. Visgil, 248 N.J. Super. 642 (App. Div. 1991), the court found that extrapolating the guideline calculations to parents with high incomes is inappropriate. Instead, courts should take into consideration both the child's basic support needs and any extraordinary expenses to determine the appropriate amount to award.

    In many divorce cases involving children with high-net-worth parents, child support issues typically turn on the children's extracurricular activities and extraordinary expenses. Courts recognize that children with high-income parents deserve to share in their parents' good fortune and to enjoy a standard of living in line with that. In Zazzo v. Zazzo, 245 N.J. Super. 124 (App. Div. 1990), the court noted that these types of additional expenses often exceed what might be contemplated as a part of the basic support obligation. 

    Several types of additional expenses that might be considered under the decision in Isaacson v. Isaacson, 348 N.J. Super. 560 (App. Div. 2002) include the following:

    • Private school tuition
    • Private tutoring
    • Summer camps
    • Art/music lessons
    • Vacations
    • Sports camps
    • Clothing/incidentals for teenagers
    • Insured vehicle for teens who drive
    • Costs for studying abroad
    • Home renovations for the primary custodial parent to have a more presentable home for the children
    • Establishment of a trust for the children to share in the high-income parent's good fortune beyond a 529 plan

    The child support award should be determined by the child's interests rather than by the parent's interests. The determination is also case-specific and can vary based on the circumstances of both the child and the parents. For example, in Loro v. Del Colliano, 354 N.J. Super. 212 (App. Div. 2002), the appellate court remanded the case to the trial court to determine the extent of appropriate home renovations. However, it did uphold the trial court's award of cellphone costs for the child and the cost of Philadelphia Flyers season tickets.

    If a child is attending college, other considerations will be important, including the location and cost of the school, the child's tuition, books, and housing expenses, any scholarships that might have been awarded, and any expenses the parents have been providing for to the college-aged child for transportation, cellphone bills, entertainment, and others. 

    In many cases, divorce attorneys will begin with the child support guidelines as a basis. However, instead of extrapolating the guidelines amount from $187,200 up to the amount of the parents' combined net income, the calculation will instead be case-specific and include consideration of all of the extracurriculars and extraordinary expenses of the child in light of the high-income parent's good fortune. It should be noted that an award of child support should not be used as a substitute for spousal support. 

    If a parent's spousal support ends, the court will not modify the child support amount higher to replace it, but the end of alimony may trigger a review of child support. Even for high-income parents whose incomes exceed the child support guidelines, child support is meant to provide the child with the standard of living appropriate for his or her position as a child of a high-income parent instead of enabling the lower-earning spouse to enjoy a higher-income lifestyle.


    Determining the appropriate amount of child support for above-the-guidelines cases can be complex. Attorneys should always try to negotiate reasonable amounts on behalf of their clients that take into account all of the child's extraordinary and extracurricular expenses. In most cases, mediation or the collaborative process might provide a way for parents to reach a decision outside of an expensive court battle. In most cases, families are happier when they can reach a negotiated agreement rather than leaving the decision up to the court. Focusing on the best interests of the child and meeting the needs of the child generally leads to a successful resolution.

  • 26 Jul 2022 1:26 PM | AAML NJ Administrator (Administrator)

    By LEAP US | AAML NJ Silver Sponsor

    New Jersey family law firms already recognize the need to move their operations into the cloud to avoid the mishaps that come from manual and paper-based processes. Moreover, the cloud offers several benefits to law firms like streamlined tasks to improve employee outputs, reduced data errors, increased profit margins, reduced noncompliance, and enhanced security. In fact, 31% even said that they trust cloud solutions over their on-premises systems for increased security, according to an American Bar Association survey. However, it’s often difficult for matrimonial lawyers to identify the right cloud technology for their firm and what characteristics make up a “good” cloud-based legal software.

    Here are three characteristics New Jersey family law firms should look for when purchasing a cloud solution.

    1. Legal Expertise

    Law firm staff need to trust that the software provider they select genuinely understands the needs, complexities, and nuances of New Jersey family law practices. While engineers are experts at understanding and building software that looks and runs great, if they don’t have the industry expertise for the solution they’re building, it won’t truly address the needs of its users. The legal industry especially poses its own challenges as family law and New Jersey regulations, forms, and processes constantly change.

    Software providers like LEAP avoid this by employing the top legal talent needed to update common family law forms and templates across New Jersey jurisdictions, address current and emerging challenges legal professionals face, and ensure that all users get value from the software, regardless of their role in the firm.

    LEAP offers 11K+ forms and 2.5K+ pre-built matter types, including Summons (Divorce) (LL-NJ-FAM-0123), Certification of Insurance Coverage Pursuant to R. 5:4-f (LD-NJ-FAM-0025), and Case Management Order (R.5:5-7) (LL-NJ-FAM-0115), that are regularly updated for users to reduce double work and maintain compliance for users. Additionally, LEAP is a product of constant innovation and technology advancements based on legal technology trends and direct user feedback to solve common issues faced by family law practitioners that cost them time and money across the business. That’s why the first thing a firm should look for when purchasing legal software is if the company is using legal industry experts and customer feedback to build its solution.

    2. Comprehensiveness

    The second characteristic law firms need to look for in legal software is the comprehensiveness of the platform. Many software solutions only focus on one or two problem statements and don’t address all the challenges a family law firm faces in its daily work. These niche solutions lead to only partially digitized firms, select users having access to information and advanced technical skillsets, and high technology spending as firms invest in multiple solutions over time to address specific challenges.

    A comprehensive cloud solution creates a more productive firm with all team members accessing the same real-time information and updates to improve efficiency so more time can be spent on taking new clients, billable work, and better legal services. This also helps law firms reduce technology spending with one solution that immediately positively affects the firm’s bottom line. LEAP is the leading, comprehensive legal practice productivity solution for New Jersey family law firms and allows them to have practice management, legal accounting, document assembly and management, and legal publishing in a single solution. The LEAP implementations team can get firms onboarded in as little as two days to start taking advantage of a one-stop productivity solution.

    Another benefit is that law firms can foster their employee’s growth through new skillsets. As law firms continue to see growth, it means that law professionals have more options to find an organization that will support their career growth. If all staff members can use the same platform, the firm can then support them in training and developing new skill sets to support their career development and potentially identify new skills or areas of expertise.

    3. Scalability

    At its core, cloud software naturally lends itself to scalability as firms can use resources as needed instead of having to over-purchase on-premises software or risk the chance of being under-resourced by purchasing only what they need at the time. However, not all legal software is built to address growing family law firms.

    Family law firms may expand the areas of law and regions they practice in to grow their reach and potential client base. An excellent legal software solution will be built to address the varying regulations, processes, and forms that are used across different areas of law and regions. If that flexibility is not offered, law firms that want to expand will outgrow the software and run the risk of malpractice and cause permanent damage to their reputations and the future careers of their staff. Additionally, a cloud solution will need to enable organization across the firm to avoid creating confusion across team members due to a lack of transparency when it comes to up-to-date information, forms, and communication internally and with clients. 

    The software provider should also offer law firms ongoing support as they grow and evolve to get the most out of their partnership. For example, LEAP offers a dedicated Practice Management Advisor, online help centers, and ongoing training and webinars for new features or releases that law firms may need to use as they continue to grow. It is difficult for law firms to bring on and train new staff members on solutions and processes when this level of support is not offered.


    With so many legal software solutions on the market, New Jersey family law firms are faced with a difficult choice to narrow down which solution is right for them. Whether a firm only has a sole practitioner or a full team, it’s critical to identify the right cloud solution by ensuring that the provider offers the expertise, comprehensiveness, and scalability needed for the firm to have long-term success and scalable processes. In addition, once a firm implements a fully encompassing cloud solution, it can solve current and future roadblocks to improve productivity, profitability, security, compliance, and client satisfaction across the business.

    Ready to bring your firm into the cloud to improve productivity, communication, collaboration, and profitability? Schedule a demo of LEAP to see why over 61,000 global legal professionals made the switch.

  • 20 Jul 2022 9:24 AM | AAML NJ Administrator (Administrator)

    By Jeralyn Lawrence | Law Law Firm, AAML NJ Immediate Past President

    New Jersey courts previously analyzed divorce custody relocation cases differently, based on whether they were intrastate or interstate. Intrastate relocations of the parent with primary physical custody did not require that parent to file a motion with the court for permission to move the child. Instead, the other parent had the burden of proof and was required to file a motion objecting to the primary parent's move. By contrast, a primary parent who wished to move out of state had the burden of filing a motion with the court if there was a disagreement. While this difference between who has the burden in interstate and intrastate relocations has not changed, divorce lawyers should consider factors courts consider when analyzing divorce custody relocation cases have. In both types of relocations, courts now analyze them under the best interests of the child standard following the New Jersey Appellate Division's decision in A.J. v. R.J., 219 A.3d 579 (App. Div. 2019).

    Historical Treatment of Relocation Cases

    The New Jersey court had previously treated interstate and intrastate relocation cases differently. Relying on social science research, the New Jersey Supreme Court established 12 factors to consider when determining whether to allow an out-of-state relocation in Baures v. Lewis, 167 N.J. 91 (2001). Following that decision, the court gave more weight to the primary parent and would generally allow them to move out of state if good cause for the move was demonstrated. 

    In Schulze v. Morris, 361 N.J. Super. 419 (App. Div. 2003), the Appellate Division distinguished between interstate relocations like in Baures and intrastate relocations in which a primary parent relocated to a new city or county within New Jersey. Under the Schulze decision, the court did not consider intrastate relocations to be true relocations. The primary parent who wanted to move was thus not required to file a motion to relocate with the court. Instead, the alternate parent had to file a motion to oppose the primary parent's intrastate relocation with the court and present evidence that the relocation amounted to a substantial change in circumstance that was contrary to the best interests of the child because of the change in the alternate parent's parenting time with the child. If the parent could show that, the court would then consider the Baures factors.

    The New Jersey Supreme Court overturned its decision in Baures for interstate moves in Bisbing v. Bisbing, 230 N.J. 309 (2017), holding that courts must apply the best interests of the child factors found in N.J.S.A. 9:2-4(c) to interstate moves instead of presuming that such a move was better for the child. However, while this decision made it clear that the best interests of the child standard was to apply to interstate relocations, the Supreme Court did not address intrastate relocations. This question remained until the New Jersey Appellate Division's decision in A.J. v. R.J(commentary) in 2019. 

    Standard for Intrastate Relocations Under A.J. v. R.J.

    In A.J. v. R.J., the mother, who had primary residential custody, moved her child more than 60 miles away from the father's residence but remained in New Jersey. She did not ask for permission from the court or the father. The father filed a motion opposing the relocation, and the trial court issued an order to the mother to move back and live within 15 miles of the father's home so that the father's parenting time with his child would not be disrupted. However, the mother refused. The father filed a motion with the court to transfer custody of the child to him because of the mother's contempt of the court's order. 

    The Appellate Division reversed the lower court's transfer of custody, holding that the trial court relied on Schulze when making its decision. The Appellate Division pointed out that Schulze, which dealt with intrastate relocations, had relied on the Baures factors. Since the Baures case was overturned by the New Jersey Supreme Court, the Appellate Division found that the factors no longer applied. Instead, the Appellate Division held that the best interests of the child factors in N.J.S.A. 9:2-4(c) must be considered to determine whether an intrastate relocation is in the child's best interests.

    While this decision means that both interstate and intrastate relocations now must be analyzed according to what is in the child's best interests instead of giving a presumption that the primary residential custodian's choice to move will likely increase the child's happiness, there is still a difference in which parent has the initial burden. 

    In interstate relocation cases in which a primary parent wishes to move with a child out of state, the parent wishing to move must seek permission from the court by filing a motion to relocate. He or she will then have the burden of proving that the proposed relocation is in the best interests of the child before the court will permit the move. 

    By contrast, in intrastate relocation cases, the primary parent does not have to ask the court's permission before moving with the child within New Jersey. Instead, it remains the other parent's burden to file a motion in opposition to the relocation, and he or she must also present evidence showing that the intended move is inimical to the best interests of the child in order to prevail.


    While it is good that both interstate and intrastate relocation cases are now analyzed under the best interests of the child factors, the difference in who has the burden of proof in interstate vs. intrastate relocation cases seems somewhat arbitrary. For example, if a primary parent decided to move to New York City from Bergen County, New Jersey, the moving parent would have the burden of proof even though the relocation would be relatively close to the alternate parent's residence. 

    If the same parent decided to relocate across the state of New Jersey from Bergen County to Cape May, but remained within the state, the other parent would have the burden of proof regarding that move. Regardless of which parent has the burden of proof, the parent must present evidence about what is in the child's best interests whether the proposed relocation is interstate or intrastate.

  • 1 Jul 2022 1:04 PM | Anonymous

    By Carolyn Daly | Daly & Associates, AAML NJ President

    As I am sworn in as the President of the New Jersey Chapter of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, it occurs to me that many people may not be aware of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML) and who we are. The AAML is a national organization with chapters in most states. There are approximately 1,650 Fellows in the United States and 52 Fellows in New Jersey. The AAML is dedicated to providing and promoting the highest degree of professionalism and excellence in the practice of family law. To be represented by a Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers is to be represented by a leading practitioner in the field of family law. 

    To achieve this goal, admissions standards require that an attorney wishing to become a Fellow must have been practicing for at least ten years and at least 75% of the applicant’s practice must be devoted to family law. The attorney must also be a member in good standing of the state bar. Applicants must demonstrate substantial involvement in the area of matrimonial and family law, beyond just their firm. They do this by teaching, lecturing, serving as court appointed guardians ad litem, serving as mediators and authoring articles on family law. 

    All Fellows must be able to competently handle complex family law cases and have substantial trial experience. However, AAML fellows must also be able to settle cases when appropriate. 

    Importantly, Fellows in New Jersey must also be certified by the New Jersey Supreme Court as a Matrimonial Law Attorney (a designation that only approximately 2.5% of New Jersey attorneys possess). Finally, Fellows must take and pass a National Exam given by the National Academy. 

    Why is any of this important for you and your family law case? Simply put, those who successfully obtain membership in the AAML have devoted themselves to the practice of matrimonial and family law. Many of the Fellows are involved in making or changing laws involving divorce and families in New Jersey. Others are mediators and certified arbitrators who assist families in resolving disputes outside of court. Family law is a complex and high-stakes area of law that often becomes emotionally charged. Contested family law cases often involve the care and custody of children, alimony, child support, life and health insurance, financial protection, and the division of assets such as a business, the family home(s), stock options, restricted stock units, retirement accounts, Bitcoin, NFTs and other assets. To make decisions on these issues you need sound advice from someone who is specialized in the practice of family law. You wouldn’t have just any mechanic service your 1967 Austin Healey.  Having a Fellow as your attorney, you know you have a lawyer who has specialized in divorce and family law who can handle any range of complex issues and who will help you to arrive at a fair and equitable solution so that you can move on with your life.

    Carolyn N. Daly is a Fellow and current President of the New Jersey Chapter of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. She is the Founder and Managing Partner at Daly & Associates in Morristown, NJ and has been practicing family law for more than 25 years. Carolyn’s practice includes complex matrimonial cases, mediation, arbitration, and much more.Visit for more information on her practice and the AAML. 

    No aspect of this advertisement has been approved by the Supreme Court of the State of New Jersey. 

  • 8 Jun 2022 7:31 AM | AAML NJ Administrator (Administrator)

    By Sharon L. Klein, Senior Vice President and Head of National Divorce Advisory Practice | Wilmington Trust, AAML NJ Bronze Sponsor

    Pet custody issues are real! As part of her monthly tip series for Family Lawyer Magazine, Sharon L. Klein leveraged May’s National Pet Month theme to share how proactive planning can help prevent heartache by ensuring that pets are properly cared for, whether a couple stays together or not.

    Link to the article here.

  • 1 Jun 2022 8:22 AM | AAML NJ Administrator (Administrator)

    By Lesnevich, Marzano-Lesnevich, O'Cathain & O'Cathain

    It’s finally spring: tulips are blooming, baseball is back, and spring break is now in the rearview mirror.

    Which makes it the perfect time to talk summer ’22.

    Long, lazy days of sunlight and surf, ice cream and watermelon—everyone loves summer! Memorial Day weekend is on the horizon (seriously, we’re less than two months away…), and then June, with the end end of the school year. Before you know it’ll be July 4th weekend, and we’ll be deep in the heart of suntan lotion, rose, and let’s-just-throw-something-on-the-grill and stay outside. In other words, our favorite season.

    If you’re separated or divorced, what do you need to do now—while we’re still in spring, while there’s still time to do it—to get ready for summer 2022? Here are four steps to take:

    • Talk to your co-parent about what the children’s summer will look like—now is the time. While it’s undoubtedly most children’s favorite season, it’s often parents’ least favorite season, because with summer comes many, many questions: are the children going to camp? (And if so, is it sleepaway or day? And for how long?) If the children are not going to camp, or they attending recreational sport or day-camp put on by the town or a local youth group? Who is the primary caregiver for the children day-to-day, when they don’t have to be at school for the morning bell? Are you (and, potentially, your current significant other) taking the children on a summer vacation somewhere? Who has custody of the children for which summer holidays? Put simply: what are we going to do all day?!

    All these questions are best addressed now. Schedule a time, whether over the phone or over a cup of coffee, to sit and civilly address all these questions with your co-parent. Bring your calendar, your daybook— whatever you use to schedule your busy life. By creating space now to do it, you’ll be able to handle emergencies down the road. For instance, if a plan falls through because of work or a family emergency, you can consult your calendar and adjust, knowing you put in the time prior to be able to do so.

    • Be honest with yourself and your co-parent about what you can afford. Summer fun, while awesome, adds up quickly! Vacations, souvenirs, surf lessons; trips to the beach or the boardwalk— this all costs money, to say nothing of camp costs these days. Talk with your co-parent: is there a way to make one week special? One day special? (A great summer memory could hang on that one mid-week trip to Six Flags Great Adventure. Not in the budget this year? The zoo, an ice cream parlor: anyplace you don’t normally go can go a long way in creating a great summer memory.) If you can, keep a couple bucks on you at all times— you never know when the sound of the ice cream truck may be heard in your neighborhood.

    No matter the budget, look at local library programs, town events (a lot of towns have free outdoor concerts and/or movie screenings this time of year) and other free or free-ish activities to fill those long summer days.

    • Get in touch with your inner child this summer. Separation or divorce takes a toll. Whether it’s running through the backyard with a water gun or making sure you get an ice cream cone as well, be sure to treat yourself with kindness this summer. Be goofy, be silly, be kid-like… it’ll connect you more with your child, and with summer.
    • Get creative about creating summer memories. We talked above about spending some money to create a great summer memory. However, as most parents know, it’s not really about the money, it’s about something more precious: the time. Putting in the time to be with your child—whether by creating a summer scavenger hunt, a DIY picnic or simply setting up the sprinkler in the lawn and taking that box of ice-pops out of the freezer—is what summer is all about. And looking back on it what your child will remember is you taking the time to create a summer memory with them.

    Everyone at our firm hopes you and your family have a safe and amazing summer, creating summer 2022 memories that last a lifetime!

    No matter the season, divorce is hard (and, with all the extra family time, summer may be one of the hardest times). If you need help, reach out to Lesnevich, Marzano-Lesnevich, O’Cathain & O’Cathain, LLC: (201) 488-1161.

    Originally published on April 22, 2022. Link to the original article here
  • 23 May 2022 8:58 AM | AAML NJ Administrator (Administrator)

    By Lesnevich, Marzano-Lesnevich, O'Cathain & O'Cathain

    Divorce is expensive. While there is, of course, an emotional toll, there is also a heavy financial toll for which many clients are not prepared. This is a problem not only for clients but also for the divorce lawyers and experts representing them. Even under the best circumstance, divorce is difficult and costly.

    Options when you can’t afford a divorce

    In a perfect world, both spouses have money set aside, though, in reality, people save for weddings, not divorces. While it would be wonderful if both spouses got along and could agree on how assets should be divided, unfortunately, this is not always the case. It is important for clients to know about options they have to fund their divorce.

    Application To The Court

    As an alternative to saving, the moneyed spouse could be ordered by the court to pay both sides’ legal fees and expert costs, but even getting to motion practice can be expensive and time-consuming. Not to mention, there are no guarantees the client will be awarded fees. Further, many judges defer a decision on fees to the end of the case.

    Credit Cards

    Putting the cost of a divorce on a credit card is another option, but for many, the credit card limit would not meet the cost of the legal fees. Additionally, interim payments have to be made which may not be possible for some clients (and please know that low credit scores may prevent a spouse from being eligible for a credit card after the divorce).

    Home Mortgage

    Clients sometimes look to a bank to refinance the marital home to help pay for their divorce. Litigants may pull equity from a house in order to pay for interim support and legal fees until a divorce is final. Home equity loans can take many months to be approved, and the loss of a home can threaten custody battles. On the other hand, lenders may not approve clients during a divorce, causing a variety of roadblocks to a divorce. Sometimes couples going through a divorce don’t know where to turn.

    Divorce Funding

    For many couples, one spouse has easier access to their combined wealth. Oftentimes the monied spouse will cut off access to funds by the non-moneyed spouse entirely, a court will freeze assets, or assets are not liquid. Divorce funding provides a cash advance of the client’s potential settlement for legal fees, expert costs, and living expenses. It “levels the playing field,” enabling litigants to afford their attorney and expert fees, while maintaining their standard of living. Repayments are not made until a settlement is reached and cases can be funded in as little as two weeks. Divorce funding provides access to this essential capital.

    Clients may not have the liquidity to engage in divorce proceedings and simultaneously afford living expenses, such as mortgage payments, school tuition and other personal costs during the proceedings. These expenses are sometimes used as leverage by the moneyed spouse, forcing clients to agree to an inequitable settlement. With the liquidity of divorce funding, no one is forced into a settlement less than they deserve.

    Nicole Noonan, Esq., CEO of New Chapter Capital Inc., specializes in divorce funding. She formerly served as President of Novitas US. She is a nationally recognized divorce expert and pioneer of divorce funding.  Crowned the “Fairy Godmother of Divorce” by the New York Post. Formerly President of National Divorce Capital, prior to which she was Director at BBL Churchill.

    Originally published on March 25, 2020. Click here for the original article. 

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Glen Rock, NJ 07452


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