What We Do
New Jersey Family Law Firm
Legal services that prioritize family relationships
Going through a divorce, determining child custody, or entering into a prenuptial agreement? It’s a fact of life that you sometimes need a lawyer—but many people worry that bringing an attorney into their family will negatively impact relationships or make an already tenuous situation more difficult.
Family legal matters can be hard on relationships. We help you minimize stress—and seek collaborative solutions wherever possible.
At Jacobs Berger, our team understands the value of family—and our family law practice aims to preserve, not undermine, those relationships.
If you need an attorney to help you navigate family law matters, contact our New Jersey family law firm. Our experienced attorneys can help guide you through your current circumstances—with an eye toward maintaining relationships for the future.
Our Attorneys’ Approach to Family Law
At Jacobs Berger, LLC, we understand that the legal process you and your family are currently working through is only one component of your independent—and interdependent—lives, including in cases of divorce. In order to effectively represent our clients and not lose sight of the relationships they’ve built, we take a creative, multidimensional perspective to family law.
A solution-oriented approach guides our New Jersey family law firm, and we follow a doctrine to help de-stress the divorce process for our clients.
Every family is different, and therefore every family law matter is unique. We believe that recognizing this and factoring it into how we work with clients makes our firm different, too. Contact us with questions or to learn more about our respectful, legal approach to finding family law resolutions.
Our New Jersey Divorce and Family Law Services
We provide several different kinds of divorce and family law services. Whatever your situation, know that we’ll provide practical, individualized, forward-looking legal support.
Unlike what you see in popular culture, the divorce process can be drama-free (or at least “drama-light”). In fact, it can be a wise choice that sets people up for healthier individual futures. This doesn’t mean it’s easy, but it does mean it can initiate some positive steps toward what’s ahead.
We aim to help our clients plan for the future—and avoid long and unnecessary legal battles.
There are many paths through the divorce process. We’ve traveled many of them with our clients before, and based on those experiences, where possible, we encourage all clients to try to reach resolutions through alternative dispute resolution methods like mediation, rather than through litigation. That said, if it’s necessary for you to go to court, we’re also prepared to represent you with the tenacity and vigor that the situation requires.
We believe our approach to divorce helps mitigate the impact of emotional and financial stressors during the process.
If you’re considering getting divorced, contact our Morristown family law firm. Our experienced lawyers can help you commence a respectful, future-focused divorce today.
One of the most common and reduced-impact paths to divorce in Morris County and the rest of New Jersey is through a form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) known as mediation.
In mediation, divorcing parties work with a neutral, third-party mediator to come to a divorce agreement. Both parties will often still work with a family law lawyer during this process. In fact, the mediator can be an attorney too, though not one with any connection to either party or their legal counsel.
Mediation can help divorcing parties reach a resolution more quickly and with less expense than litigated divorce. It also encourages a less adversarial mindset because both parties must work together to reach a resolution.
Additionally, mediation gives the divorcing parties more control. They have final say over what the Marital Settlement Agreement looks like—which in turn creates more flexibility for particular life circumstances than a ruling from a judge.
If you’re interested in learning more about mediation, our family law attorneys have significant experience in providing legal counsel to clients during the mediation process—and in providing services as highly trained mediators.
One of the areas where we’re particularly aware of a need for a forward-thinking and solution-based mindset is with child custody matters.
Our legal team has years of experience in guiding families through the child custody determination process.
The New Jersey legal system prefers, when it’s in the best interest of the children, to facilitate child custody arrangements that give both parents time with and access to their children. This legal precedent holds whether you go through litigated divorce or meditation.
As always, though, the devil is in the details. That’s where our team’s experience comes in. We’ve helped our clients down this road before—and can also help you.
Our New Jersey family law firm can help you work toward a positive solution for you and your family.
The state of New Jersey has a fairly set formula for determining child support payments. While custody decisions impact child support calculations, the guidelines are specific about what data can and cannot be used in the determination.
Some factors in determining child support include:
- The details of each parent’s financial situation. For example, income, tax status, bonuses, etc.
- The age of the child
- How many children each parent is financially responsible for, including from previous relationships
- Where the child is living, as determined by child custody and parenting time agreements
- Child healthcare expenses, including insurance and out-of-pocket
- Childcare expenses that are necessary for a parent to work
Child support payments can be modified in response to major life changes, such as receiving a promotion or being laid off.
At times, supported parents need legal support in pursuing child support enforcement if the co-parent makes late or reduced payments—or stops paying entirely.
At Jacobs Berger, our experienced family law attorneys can help you navigate the child support process. We also work with clients pursuing child support modifications, enforcement, and temporary child support during the divorce process.
Not all families are determined solely by biology. Adoption, reproductive technology efforts, multi-parent families, and lived experience can lead to complex family structures.
When familial relationships are more complex or nuanced than those already defined under the law, legal agreements and counsel may be needed to legally identify and/or preserve them.
The purpose of such agreements is to clearly define rights and responsibilities should family structure change in the future—whether due to divorce, death, or other unforeseen events.
The family law attorneys at our Morristown family law firm can provide creative solutions to help maintain these relationships through legal agreements or representation during a divorce.
The state of New Jersey practices equitable distribution during a divorce—which doesn’t always mean a 50/50 split of assets or liabilities.
Instead, a number of factors are taken into consideration, including:
- Where the assets or debt come from
- The length of the marriage
- Gifts to the marriage from either family
The resulting process can be highly complex—and the divorcing parties’ finances may be impacted by the timing of filing, changes to tax liabilities, when a house is sold, and more.
The attorneys at Jacobs Berger have extensive experience in guiding clients through the nuances of equitable family distribution from a constructive and goal-oriented mindset.
Alimony, also known as spousal support, is a series of payments made between divorcing parties in situations where one person earns more than the other.
There is a huge range in the kinds, lengths, and amounts of alimony payments, but the goal is to ensure that the financial consequences of divorce don’t fall disproportionately on one person.
Alimony agreements depend on many factors, including:
- How long the parties were married
- The supported spouse’s education and workforce training
- Whether or not one partner gave up a career to raise children
Alimony agreements can also be reduced, modified, or ended as a result of significant life changes.
The attorneys at our New Jersey family law firm can help you reach an alimony agreement that protects your financial future through a constructive—not combative—use of mediation and litigation options.
Marital agreements, such as prenuptial agreements, help define individual ownership over certain assets in a marriage.
As the name suggests, prenuptial agreements are signed before marriage. They may be entered into for a whole host of reasons, including defining each party’s financial rights and responsibilities during the marriage.
Although prenuptial agreements can feel like a daunting topic to broach with a future partner, many people ultimately appreciate talking with their partner about finances.
In the event of divorce, prenuptial agreements must meet certain criteria in order to be enforceable in New Jersey—such as both parties knowing they have a right to legal counsel and the agreement not being deeply unfair to one person. These same criteria must also be adhered to in other forms of marital agreements, such as postmarital agreements.
At Jacobs Berger, our family law attorneys can guide you through the process of drafting, reading over, modifying, or challenging a marital agreement.
The New Jersey Prevention of Domestic Violence Act defines nineteen specific actions that constitute domestic violence, yet domestic violence remains underreported in New Jersey for many reasons—including due to common misunderstandings of which repeated actions constitute abuse.
It’s important to understand that domestic violence isn’t always physical. Many forms of aggression, including threats of unwanted physical contact, harassment, and stalking are legally considered domestic violence.
If you have been abused, harassed, or are fearful for your safety, you should call the police. If you have been injured or there is a complaint of domestic violence, a police officer can assist you in requesting a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO). Once a Temporary Restraining Order is set, the judge will set a date for a hearing on a Final Restraining Order (FRO).
The attorneys at our Morristown family law firm have extensive experience in helping clients secure permanent legal protection from domestic violence. We also defend clients who have been falsely accused from the impacts Final Restraining Orders can have.
Although New Jersey courts always aim to adhere to proper procedures and applications of the law, misjudgments happen. If you feel questionable judgment has affected the outcome of a family law matter, you may be able to appeal the outcome.
Family law appeals can be made in the following areas:
- Child custody or parenting time
- Child support
- Asset division
- Final Restraining Orders
- And more
Appealing the outcome of a court ruling is a complex process—and it must happen promptly. At Jacobs Berger, our attorneys have extensive experience in reviewing family law cases and working within shortened timelines to successfully appeal court rulings.
Contact Our Morris County Family Law Firm
Whether you’re going through a divorce, entering into a premarital agreement, seeking to modify a child custody arrangement, or are dealing with any other family law matter, the experienced attorneys at Jacobs Berger, LLC can guide you through the process.
Our New Jersey-based family law firm seeks constructive, creative solutions in order to preserve your relationships—and protect your family’s future.
Contact us today to schedule a ten-minute call with a team member or a strategic planning session with one of our attorneys.