About Me

 

skaplanI PRACTICE LAW ONLY IN MONMOUTH COUNTY

I used to do what most other divorce lawyers do, which is take cases in any county. 

The problem that I found with this approach was that each county did some things slightly differently.

For example, most Family Court judges in one particular county keep their courtrooms closed to the public, even though all courtrooms are supposed to be almost always open (except for a limited number of highly confidential cases.)

By way of a second example, some courtrooms in other counties are spread among as many as 4 buildings, making it difficult to keep track of where a particular judge or a particular case on a given day is.

I am fortunate to be very busy here in Monmouth County.

As a result, I decided to get my practice highly focused by taking ONLY divorce cases, and ONLY in Monmouth County.

This allows me to devote all of my time and my energy to focusing on how things are done here in Monmouth County.

To the best of my knowledge, no other lawyer anywhere practices only divorce law, only in Monmouth County.

I think that doing so makes me a unique resource to my clients. 

 

I PRACTICE ONLY DIVORCE LAW

 

I've never practiced criminal law, personal injury law, or any type of law other than NJ Divorce law.

I like the fact that being a divorce specialist lets me to try to help people go through their divorce-related challenges and come out stronger on the other side of the case.

I've always been interested in helping people through the challenges that divorce can bring.

When I was first exposed to the concept of divorce as a child, I remember struggling to understand what it meant, and comforting a friend during his parents' divorce. 

I developed a strong interest in becoming a divorce lawyer during law school in New York City. Every day on my way to law school I walked through downtown past a building called "Family Court." Coming from an intact suburban NJ family, the word "Family" made no sense being next to the word "Court" to me. Why would a "family" need a "court" I naively thought.

During law school, I enrolled in and successfully completing every divorce-related class that was offered.

I also completed a Mediation certification course in 1981, years before "divorce mediation" became popular.

After graduating from law school in 1983, I served a year-long Family Court Judicial Clerkship in the New Jersey Family Court with Judge Ronald B. Graves, J.S.C. 

Here I had an opportunity to obtain first hand experience working closely with a highly-respected Family Court Judge on hundreds of cases involving divorce, custody, alimony, child support, visitation, domestic violence, and related issues.

As a result of that intensive year long experience, I learned how divorce court works "from the inside".

When my clerkship with Judge Graves ended, I relocated to Monmouth County to be with my then girlfriend and her then 2 and 6 year old children (my step-children, who are now 35 and 39.)

Between 1987 and 1996 I worked my way up the ranks, from associate attorney to partner, in the divorce law department of a well-respected Monmouth County law firm.

In 1989, I was invited to serve on the Monmouth County Matrimonial Early Settlement Panel, a group of divorce lawyers who volunteer time helping other lawyers settle their matrimonial cases. I was the Chairman of the Monmouth County Early Settlement Panel for three years between 1994 and 1997.

Since 1997 I have managed my own Monmouth County divorce law firm in Colts Neck.

During my entire 32 year career, at the end of the workday I came home from Court and experienced some of the consequences of divorce personally, both as a step-father and as the husband of a previously-divorced woman.

These personal experiences have helped me to empathize closely with what my clients go through.

 

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