The Connection Warren-Watchung Edition Dec 2017/Jan 2018
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DEC 2017/JAN 2018

Divorce Lawyers Dedicated Solely to New Jersey Family Law A firm devoted solely to practicing family law, Shimalla,Wechsler, Lepp & D’Onofrio, LLP, provides exceptional services through both litigation and alternative dispute resolution.We will defend your rights and best interests at every stage of the process, and seek solutions through an intelligent and practical approach to divorce. Dependable Legal Guidance Tailored to Your Needs and Focused on Results Our lawyers provide practical guidance, advice, and recommendations to help our clients establish realistic objectives and understand the various legal options at their disposal. Our attorneys specialize in: • Dissolutions of marriage, civil unions, and domestic partnerships • Child custody, parenting time, and child support • Alimony, palimony, and spousal support • Equitable distribution of assets and liabilities • Domestic violence Litigation and Alternative Dispute Resolution Our attorneys understand that divorce affects every family differently.We will take the time to understand your unique circumstances and devise legal solutions tailored to suit the needs of your family. In all cases, our lawyers will explain the avenues of mediation, arbitration, and collaborative law as non-adversarial alternatives to taking a case to court.When litigation in the courts is the appropriate option, we use our substantial experience and skills to take proactive and decisive action on your behalf. Our firm takes pride in providing results-driven legal services on your behalf and we remain dedicated to your best interests throughout the process. All four of our partners are trained in mediation and collaborative family law. In addition, our firm received a First Tier ranking in New Jersey Family Law Mediation by U.S. News – Best Lawyers ® for the Sixth Edition of Best Law Firms*, and three of our partners are certified by the Supreme Court of New Jersey as Certified Matrimonial Law Attorneys. We are committed to providing superior legal representation that yields favorable results in an efficient and timely manner, while helping to reduce the emotional and financial toll on the family, and focusing on your specific goals to help you build a brighter future. High-Quality Family Law Solutions Backed by 110 Years of Experience Michele E. D’Onofrio Amy Zylman Shimalla AmyWechsler Heidi Ann Lepp Shimalla,Wechsler, Lepp & D’Onofrio, LLP 101 Town Center, Suite 117,Warren, NJ 07059 (908) 922-4238 • Serving clients in most NJ counties including Somerset, Hunterdon, Middlesex, Union & Morris counties. *Best Lawyers® inclusion is based entirely on peer-review. Information on the selection process can be found at No aspect of this advertisement has been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey. Whether you are curious as to what could happen if you decide to end your marriage, or your husband or wife has made that decision and you are forced into the process, you can take steps to protect your interests and understand how divorce will affect your own and your children’s futures. Know Your Finances Wherever you are in life – single, married, or divorced – you should know your finances. After divorce the income that met your family’s needs under one roof will have to cover two households. If you haven’t paid atten- tion to finances, take the time now to examine the family’s income and expenses. Review bank and credit card statements, and keep your cash receipts to establish your budget. Then compare that budget to the family income to see whether you have a sur- plus (savings), a deficit (debts) or basi- cally break even. Obtain Important Financial Documents Most people have access to tax returns, pay stubs, banking records and credit card statements. Other impor- tant documents include health insur- ance cards, life insurance and car insur- ance policies, and retirement account statements. Make copies of these doc- uments and keep them in a safe place. If your spouse handles the family finances and you do not have access to records, you may still be able to obtain them. For example, if your mortgage is in joint names, ask the mortgage com- pany for statements showing the mort- gage balance and monthly payment. Be Careful of Social Media You may be tempted to discuss your divorce on Facebook or Twitter or send texts and emails to friends and family. Avoid the temptation – once you hit “send,” you’ve lost control over where your comments go. Your statements can be used against you later, or can get back to your spouse or – far worse – to your children. Talk to Experts Most parents need guidance on how to help children deal with the stress of divorce. Experienced, licensed mental health professionals can help you manage your own anxiety and coach you on how to tell the children, answer their questions, and insulate them as much as possible from your divorce process. Ideally, you and your spouse will work together with some- one to provide consistency and stabili- ty as your family transitions. Financial planners can advise how to utilize the funds that will be available to you post-divorce. They can help explore how various proposals and options will work for you and your family. The Legal Process An experienced family lawyer can advise you of your rights and obliga- tions regarding both your children and your finances. You don’t have to wage war in litigation or put your fate to a judge who must handle hundreds of cases. Mediation, collaborative divorce and other cooperative processes can save you time and money, and provide an individualized focus on your family’s well-being. In choosing an attorney, make sure it is someone familiar with all the options so you can make an informed choice about the most appropriate way for you to proceed. DIVORCE – GETTING STARTED By: Amy Wechsler, Esq.