1. Jennifer Weisselberg is a “Disaffected Former Relative”, and for Donald Trump That Should Be Frightening.

    When I represent a wife in a divorce from a self-employed man who is hiding money, I always try to find a “disaffected former employee.”

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  2. Do You Feel Like You Are "Paddling Upstream" With Your Divorce?

    I represent men and women going through the toughest fights of their life.

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  3. Do You Ever Feel Like You Are Paddling Upstream With Your  Divorce Case?

                           

    I represent men and women going through the toughest fights of their life.

    A person going through a divorce often feels frightened, like he or she is paddling upstream against a strong current that is pushing them back. 

    My job is to help them paddle, against the current if we must, to get them to their destination.

    I've been doing this every day of the last 34 years for my clients here in New Jersey.

    The metaphor of "paddling upstream against the current" goes way back for me. I've done it throughout my life. Here's a graphic example.

    The River

    Before I was a lawyer, I actually had to literally paddle upstream once to help two children who were stuck in a river.

    I remember both their fear and panic, as well as my own.

    Here's what happened to me back then, and how the image of having to paddle upstream against the current might apply to you and your divorce case today.

    I spent a good portion of my summers during college leading canoe trips down the Delaware River for a children's summer camp.

    It was a hot July day and I was leading a group of 16 kids and their counsellors, two in a canoe (except for me, as I liked to paddle solo), nine canoes in all, down a moderately challenging part of the Delaware River.

    We were about three hours into the trip and were setting up ahead of a series of moderately challenging rapids.

    Usually we had an experienced guide both in front, to lead the way, as well as another guide in the rear, to help anyone who might have trouble.

    That day I was alone with the group.

    I was in canoe 1 and I went first to lead the way for the others, followed by canoes 2 and 3.  

    All was good.

    However, canoe number four didn't follow the canoe in front of it, deviated from the course that we had outlined, hit a dangerous part of the rapids, and got wedged in between two boulders and flipped over on its side, with the opening facing upstream. 

    It was on its side wedged between two giant boulders, and two people, wearing life jackets but scared and screaming for help, were stuck in the canoe, filled with pounding water, stuck hard between these two rocks and not going anywhere. (Have you ever felt that your divorce case is stuck between two rocks and is not going anywhere? Keep reading...)

    Canoes 5 through 9, had come successfully through the rapids but were unable to offer any assistance to the people in canoe #4.

    It was my responsibility to make sure that these people were safe, and at that moment they were not.

    “Shit..."

    ...I remember saying to myself. 

    I started thinking about what could happen to them. 

    I was really scared. I had to get them out of there quickly, but how?

    The only way to rescue them quickly would be for me to paddle my canoe 200 yards upstream against the strong current, by myself.

    "How the hell am I going to do THAT?" I thought to myself.

    It was one of those "you just do it" moments (kind of like many moments of any given contested divorce case.)

    I knelt down on my right knee and put my left knee up, resting my butt against the canoe seat. This lowered my center of gravity and minimized the chances of me flipping over in the fast moving rapids.

    I used the “J” stroke on the right side of the canoe, which allowed me to get a powerful push forward yet maintain a straightforward direction. 

    To my delight and surprise, it was far easier than I had envisioned.

    I was moving quickly upstream against the current!

    I used the “J” stroke again and again and again and again and again and again and again, and I kept moving upstream.

    I remember the momentum was fast and furious, but my fear kicked in my adrenaline, and I was on a mission.

    Stroke, stroke, stroke, stroke… 

    Then

    ...with no warning, my canoe paddle somehow missed the water, causing me to lose my balance (kind of like what happens in all contested divorce cases at some point: the "curve ball" is thrown! I "didn't see that coming!" Now what?)

    How that is possible to this day I cannot explain. "You missed the water?"

    Yes indeed, I would explain to my dentist during my weekend "emergency" visit that followed.

    I paddled “the air” instead of the water for that one stroke. There was no resistance to my intense canoe stroke.

    As a result, I lost my balance and the top of my fast moving wooden paddle hit me hard on the top row of my teeth, shattering a front tooth.

    I remember the intense nerve pain and the feeling of fragments of shattered tooth enamel filling my mouth while I continued paddling vigorously upstream so as to not immediately drift back down to where I had started from.

    I reached the stranded canoe and circled around behind it, upstream of it, so that the rushing river water pushed me up against the rocks that were stranding the two people.

    I balanced my canoe as they climbed out of their flooded craft and into my dry canoe.

    The three of us then paddled through the rapids together and downstream to safety.

    That Experience From Over 40 Years Ago Has Stayed With Me

    It taught me how fighting hard against even a seemingly overwhelmingly strong adversary pays off.

    As a divorce lawyer, many times I am hired to represent someone whose fear of what they are going through causes them to be  “stuck” somewhere in their divorce case, much like that canoe was "stuck" in the Delaware River.

    It takes creative thinking, a good plan, and hard dedicated work to “save them”.

    That’s what I enjoy most about my job.  

    Steve

    Steven J. Kaplan, Esq.

    Law Practice Specializing In
    Divorce and Related Issues

    5 Professional Circle
    Colts Neck, NJ. 07722

    www.KaplanDivorce.com
    (732) 845-9010

     

    Click Here To Immediately Go To My Free Online NJ Divorce Course

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  4. What The Mayweather/Paul Fight Can Teach You About Your Divorce Case.

    What happened with last night's Floyd Mayweather/Logan Paul 8 round exhibition fight was like the results people sometimes experience in divorce court.

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  5. F. Lee Bailey has died. I almost worked for him. Here's my story...

    Legendary criminal defense lawyer F. Lee Bailey died yesterday. 

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    Topics: F. Lee Bailey

  6. 5 Things You Should Know About Adultery In New Jersey

    As a New Jersey Divorce Attorney, I get many questions from potential clients about adultery.

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    Topics: Alimony, Divorce Court

  7. New Jersey Divorce Mediation Basics

    Divorcing people who are considering divorce mediation often don't understand that they will still need to hire their own personal divorce attorney.

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  8. How Retirement Plans Are Treated in a New Jersey Divorce

    Under New Jersey law, all marital assets and debts will be divided in a way that is “equitable” (i.e., “fair”.)

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  9. Grandparent Visitation Rights In New Jersey

    One of the more heartbreaking situations that occurs with families in crisis is that grandchildren and grandparents can have their relationships damaged.

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    Topics: Visitation

  10. I Will Vigorously Represent Your Interests In Your Divorce Mediation

    In divorce mediation, usually three attorneys are hired: one for you, one for your spouse, and a third attorney to serve as the divorce mediator.

    Instead of beating each other up through the court system, the clients meet with the mediator with the protection of their individual attorneys and work out their differences.

    After the divorce, they often seek mediation if other issues should develop that they can’t resolve on their own as opposed to going back to court for more “matrimonial warfare.”

    Mediation can be the best way to work out a divorce.

    I have found that mediation results in divorces in which the parents are much more effective in co-parenting their children after the divorce.

    Divorce mediation stands in stark contrast to the more traditional types of divorce action.

    In the traditional divorce action, each spouse normally retains his or her own attorney.

    The job of the attorney for each spouse is to negotiate the best deal on all issues for his or her client that is possible. The traditional system analogizes to having two gladiators fighting vigorously to the best of their abilities for their respective clients.

    Somewhere along the line, our judicial system came up with the idea that the clash of these legal titans is the best way for the truth to emerge and for the fairest settlement to develop.

    However, the truth is that experience has taught those of us in the system differently.

    Most serious practitioners of matrimonial law now recognize the limitations that the traditional judicial system has to offer divorcing spouses.

    These limitations include the fact that judges have overburdened calendars, thus often resulting in lengthy delays; the fact that some judges are more well-versed in family law issues when they first become judges than others are, and thus some judges make decisions that are or seem fairer than other judges; and a whole host of other factors.

    If you don't want to pay an attorney to actually attend the mediation with you, I could serve as your “review attorney” if you are planning on attending mediation without having an attorney by your side.

    Your “review attorney” is the person who you rely upon for legal advice. This can either be at the mediation itself if you choose to bring lawyers with you or before or after the mediation session.

    In terms of my mediation background, I completed general mediation training in 1982 through the Metropolitan Assistance Corporation, Victim Services Agency/Travelers’ Aid Services in Brooklyn, New York while I was attending law school and was awarded a “Mediator’s Certification Award” in 1982.

    As such, I am one of the more experienced divorce mediators in Central NJ, having been mediating divorce cases for over 30 years (although I no longer serve as a mediator myself; instead I focus on representing divorce clients in mediation and litigation.)

    Mediation is certainly not for all couples. Cases involving high conflict, spousal abuse, or child abuse may not be appropriate for mediation. Those cases I litigate in Court.

    However, it has been my experience that more and more couples are looking for an amicable divorce. More clients are calling my office and saying, “I want to be fair with my spouse and my spouse wants to be fair with me.”

    It is these people that divorce mediation holds the most promise for.

    I am involved with a significant number of mediated divorces, and I would be happy to discuss divorce mediation with you.

    Please feel free to call (732) 845-9010 or send me an email to discuss this option.

    Steve

    Steven J. Kaplan, Esq.

    www.KaplanDivorce.com

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