The Connections Bridgewater Somerville Edition Dec 2019-Jan 2020

PAGE 16 THE BRIDGEWATER-SOMERVILLE CONNECTION DEC 2019/JAN 2020 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 focus on: • 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 • Post-Judgment Matters • 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 extensive experience and skills to take proactive and decisive action on your behalf. Our firm takes pride in providing results-driven legal services for our clients 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 by U.S. News &World Report – Best Lawyers ® for the Ninth 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 Shimalla,Wechsler, Lepp & D’Onofrio, LLP 101 Town Center, Suite 117,Warren, NJ 07059 (908) 922-4238 • Serving clients in most NJ counties including, but not limited to, 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. BEST Heidi Ann Lepp Amy Zylman Shimalla AmyWechsler Michele E. D’Onofrio Sarah Mahony Eaton If you are contemplating divorce or separation, you may talk to friends and research on-line to get a sense of what the law provides and what other peo- ple do in similar situations. So, if the information you seek is available on the internet, why would you need a lawyer? Here are a few reasons why. - Accuracy. A client told me he read that New Jersey law set a formula to determine alimony. That’s not accurate, so I questioned the source of this mis- information. He said he had read it in a highly regarded State Bar publication, but that’s not actually what the article said. It only discussed pros and cons of possible alimony guidelines, which we do not have in NJ. I was able to correct the misunderstanding and have a meaningful discussion with him about how alimony is, in fact, determined in New Jersey. - Analysis. Cases decided by courts provide guidance, but every family is different. Lawyers are trained to draw distinctions – which is critical to good legal analysis – to show how our client’s circumstances differ from the facts reported in cases. A judicial opin- ion that at first appears unfavorable to our client may, in fact, be distinguish- able and so it would not even apply to our case. - Understanding Consequences. Experienced lawyers know potential pitfalls of inadequate judicial decisions and negotiated settlements. Clients come to us months or years after divorce when they encounter unantici- pated consequences of court orders or agreements. This may be due to poor drafting or failure to anticipate pre- dictable eventualities. Lawyers can draft comprehensive and detailed agree- ments that address future events or changes, helping to limit later conflict. - Negotiation. Lawyers can negotiate sensitive family issues without being caught up in the emotional dynamic of a couple. Lawyers know the risks of taking a case to trial, and appreciate that the law looks at both sides of a question. Understanding risks helps lawyers more effectively negotiate on behalf of clients. - Realistic Expectations. In the midst of an upsetting situation, clients may expect or demand results out of fear, panic, or anger. They hear of other people’s experiences or surf the inter- net for articles that lead them to believe they can win at all costs, with- out realizing how devastating those costs can be. Lawyers can bring reason to the table. It is our job to explain to clients the reasonable range of likely results and how those results will affect them and their family, on both a short- term and a long-term basis. Clients who see the viability of different options are better prepared to reach practical settlements, or make rea- soned decisions to take a case to trial. Lawyers can fight for the stars, but, when we do, we should make sure our clients know not to expect them. - Support. We should never underes- timate the importance of caring about clients and what happens to them in both the legal process and in the results we achieve for them. With the stress of divorce or separation, clients benefit from being treated with patience and respect. When we and our staff are professional, caring, responsive and respectful, clients are better served. They can’t get that on the internet – at least not yet. (WHY) DO I NEED A FAMILY LAWYER? By: Amy Wechsler, Esq.