1. 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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  2. 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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  3. 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

  4. 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.


    Steven J. Kaplan, Esq.


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  5. 8 Things You Must Know About NJ Alimony Law


    Some of the most common questions that I receive as a New Jersey Divorce Attorney are related to alimony.

    (If you have divorce-related questions, you should sign-up here for my Daily Dose of Divorce email course. It's free. And I think that at this point in your life, it's likely to be the best investment in yourself that you can make.) Anyway...

    Federal law changed tax related issues when it comes to alimony.

    New Jersey state law changed many other factors.

    As a result, I get a lot of questions about alimony.

    "How is alimony in NJ determined?"  

    "Are there NJ Alimony guidelines like there are NJ child support guidelines?

    Is there a New Jersey 'alimony calculator'?

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    Topics: Alimony, Divorce Court

  6. "I'll Go For Your Jugular!"

    Let me share a story with you about a recent client's not-so-unusual case. I think that you may see some similarities to what you are going through...

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  7. Calculating Alimony Pursuant to NJ Alimony Laws In The Coronavirus Age

    With the Coronavirus pandemic in full swing now, I am getting a lot of calls from people who are thinking about getting a divorce.

    (Before I tell you about alimony, let me make sure to tell you that if you are even just considering getting divorce in New Jersey, you should sign up for my Daily Dose of Divorce email course. It will really help you make the right decisions. Now, back to alimony...)

    Some of the most common questions people considering divorce ask me are related to alimony.

    "How is alimony in NJ determined?"  

    "Are there NJ Alimony guidelines like there are NJ child support guidelines, or is there some type of an 'alimony calculator'?"

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    Topics: Alimony, Divorce Court

  8. 4-Way Conferences: Productive Tool or Waste of Time and Money?

    A four-way conference is precisely what it sounds like: four people sitting around the table trying to work everything out.

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  9. What Can You Do If You Need Help From a Judge AFTER Your Divorce Ends?

    Earlier we discussed the fact that someone in a divorce case can seek help from a Judge by filing a custom-made set of papers called "a motion."

    But how can somebody who is already divorced get help from a Judge?

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  10. Exactly What Constitutes a Co-habitation That Would End Alimony?

    Does moving in together automatically end alimony for a financially-dependent ex-spouse?

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    Topics: Alimony