If you have questions about divorce or any other family-related legal matter, contact us to speak with a Turnersville family law attorney in confidence.
If you are considering a divorce, your spouse has filed for divorce or you are facing any other family-related legal matter, our attorneys can help you navigate the process and make informed decisions with your family’s long-term best interests in mind. Whether the issue arose suddenly or you have been dealing with it for some time, there could potentially be many solutions available, and we can help you feel confident in choosing the path forward that best serves your needs and those of your family.
At Helmer, Conley & Kasselman, P.A., we provide skilled, compassionate and personalized legal representation for spouses, parents, grandparents, guardians, and other family members and loved ones in Turnersville, New Jersey. Our attorneys have decades of experience guiding clients through all types of family-related legal matters, and we have helped clients overcome challenging issues under a broad range of family dynamics and circumstances. Whether you are ready to end your marriage, you need help enforcing your rights as a parent or grandparent, or you need protection from domestic violence, you can trust our highly-experienced family lawyers to assist you every step of the way.
Experienced Legal Representation for All Family Law Matters in Turnersville, NJ
A Turnersville family law attorney at our firm is prepared to represent clients in all family law matters, including contested and uncontested divorces, requests for protective orders and enforcement of existing court orders, paternity proceedings, and family-related mediation and litigation. In all matters, we work closely with our clients to understand their unique circumstances and legal needs, and we pursue solutions that are designed to serve those needs as cost-effectively as possible. How can we help you?
- Adoption – We represent prospective parents in all types of adoptions in New Jersey. We provide full-service representation throughout the adoption process, from helping clients chose the most-appropriate type of adoption for their personal and family circumstances to completing the paperwork necessary to finalize the process.
- Alimony – In New Jersey, spouses who are not able to be financially self-supporting can seek alimony both during and after the divorce process. Alimony during the divorce is referred to as, “pendente lite alimony,” and alimony after the divorce can be awarded on either a short-term or long-term basis depending upon the spouses’ respective financial needs and circumstances. We represent divorcing spouses who are seeking to obtain alimony and who are seeking to limit their alimony payment obligations, and we help our clients strategically address the divorce-related implications involved in alimony determinations.
- Child Custody – In New Jersey, all custody determinations must reflect the best interests of the children involved. We represent divorcing parents in custody matters as part of the divorce process, and we assist unmarried parents with custody matters as well. A Turnersville family law attorney at HCK will work to develop parenting time schedules that coincide with clients’ work schedules and other commitments while also serving their children’s best interests, and we ensure that our clients’ custody schedules are comprehensive in order to mitigate the risk of future disputes.
- Child Support – Our attorneys help clients address child support matters within and outside of the context of divorce as well. In New Jersey, child support calculations are subject to a set of fairly-rigid guidelines, and all parents have a legal obligation to provide financial support for their children after a divorce or separation. We help our clients identify all sources of income and all relevant expenses in order to arrive at appropriate and legally-enforceable child support awards.
- College Expenses – Under New Jersey law, all parents may be required to contribute to their children’s college education costs, subject to certain limited exceptions. The amount of each parent’s required contribution is determined through the application of a laundry list of financial factors; and, in the context of a divorce or separation, this required contribution will be established separately from the determination of child support.
- Division of Youth and Family Services Matters – The Division of Youth and Family Services (DYFS), now known as the Division of Child Protection and Permanency (DCPP), handles matters involving allegations of child abuse and other situations in which there is an apparent threat to the welfare of a child. In DYFS matters, things can move very quickly, and parents must promptly engage legal representation in order to mitigate the consequences of DYFS involvement.
- Divorce – When going through a divorce, it is important to make rational decisions with your long-term best interests in mind. We help clients make informed decisions about all aspects of the divorce process, from dividing and protecting their marital assets to securing custody of their children, and we use our experience to keep the process as amicable and straightforward as possible. Many of our senior attorneys have particular experience in high-net-worth divorces.
- Domestic Violence – Domestic violence is a serious issue that requires prompt legal action. If you or a loved one is a victim of domestic violence in Turnersville, our attorneys can quickly go to court to seek the protection you or your loved one deserves (in the form of a domestic violence restraining order). If you have been accused of domestic violence, you are facing severe consequences, and you need to discuss your situation with an attorney as soon as possible.
- Emancipation of Minors – A child seeking emancipation is highly unusual. The law in New Jersey establishes a presumption of emancipation at age 19, absent certain factors that can extend the time to age 23 at most. Still, if your child is seeking emancipation, our attorneys can explain whether he or she is eligible. If you are seeking to have your child declared emancipated, we can assist you with this as well.
- Family & Divorce Mediation – Mediation is an alternative to courtroom litigation that is often an effective tool for resolving family and divorce-related disputes. Our attorneys can help you decide if it is in your best interests to pursue mediation; and, if so, we can represent you throughout the process.
- Fathers’ Rights – In New Jersey, the law does not inherently favor the mother or the father when it comes to deciding which parent should have primary responsibility for raising a child. The law, “encourage[s] parents to share the rights and responsibilities of child rearing,” and this means that fathers have clear and undeniable rights in divorce and separation proceedings. In addition to representing fathers in divorce, we assist with paternity and nonmarital parents’ rights issues as well.
- Guardianship – Guardianship allows family members to provide necessary care and support to adult children with disabilities and elderly loved ones who are no longer able to make financial or medical decisions for themselves. We can help you decide if guardianship (or an alternative to guardianship) is appropriate for your family’s situation, assist you in establishing guardianship, and help you uphold your responsibilities as a guardian in New Jersey.
- Prenuptial Agreements – We represent fiancés in the preparation and negotiation of prenuptial agreements, and we represent spouses in seeking to enforce (or challenge the enforceability of) prenuptial agreements during the divorce process.
- Property Settlement Agreements – When you get divorced in New Jersey, your marital assets are subject to equitable distribution. Unless you are involved in a contentious divorce that ends up getting litigated through trial, the distribution of your marital assets will be formalized in a property settlement agreement. However, even in an amicable divorce, there are several steps involved in reaching a final settlement, and divorcing spouses must carefully address all property-related considerations in order to avoid post-divorce complications.
- Visitation Rights – In addition to representing parents in the establishing of custody, we also provide representation for the enforcement of noncustodial parents’ parenting time. Whether you are a noncustodial parent who has been denied visitation or your child’s noncustodial parent is refusing to comply with the terms of your custody order, our attorneys can take all legal action necessary to preserve your relationship with your child.
FAQs: Getting Divorced and Resolving Other Family Law Matters in Turnersville, New Jersey
Q: Does New Jersey have a waiting period (or “cooling off”) period for divorce?
No. Unlike some other states, New Jersey does not require spouses to remain married for a specified amount of time between the filing of their divorce petition and the finalization of their divorce. Practically speaking, however, getting divorced does take some time. Even in situations where the spouses agree that it is time to end their marriage and they are able to work together to divide their property and establish a parenting plan, ensuring that nothing has been overlooked inherently adds to the duration of the process.
For spouses who are not on speaking terms and who refuse to negotiate with one another in good faith, the time it takes to get divorced can increase substantially. Litigating a divorce means dealing with the court’s schedule, and disputes before trial (which are common) can add to the length of the process as well. In all cases, a Turnersville family law attorney will work closely with the client to find the most-efficient way to bring their marriage to an end, whether that means negotiating a settlement, pursuing mediation or taking their divorce to court.
Q: When will alimony be awarded in a New Jersey divorce?
Unlike child support, which is required in many (but not all) divorces involving minor children, alimony is not necessarily required for divorcing spouses. If the spouses agree that no alimony should be awarded, then no alimony will be awarded. However, in divorces where one spouse is seeking alimony, the amount and duration of the award (if any) will be determined based upon an assessment of factors including (but not limited to):
- The actual need and ability of the parties to pay
- The duration of the marriage
- The age, physical and emotional health of the parties
- The standard of living established during the marriage
- The spouses’ respective earning capacities, educational levels, vocational skills and employability
- The length of absence from the job market of the spouse seeking alimony
- The spouses’ respective custody and visitation rights
Q: What should I do if my fiancé wants me to sign a prenuptial agreement?
Prenuptial agreements can serve a variety of different purposes, and signing an agreement will often be in the best interests of both fiancés. If your fiancé has asked you to sign a prenuptial agreement, we can help you understand the legal implications, and we can help ensure that the agreement is fair for both parties.
Q: What are my options if my former spouse or partner is not paying child support?
If your former spouse or partner has improperly stopped paying child support, you may need to seek legal relief in court. There are a variety of options for compelling payment of past-due amounts (referred to as “arrears”) as well as future payments, and our attorneys can seek an order garnishing your former spouse’s or partner’s wages or any other appropriate legal remedy.
Q: What are my options if I cannot afford my child support or alimony payments?
In many cases, a failure to pay child support or alimony is not a choice, but rather a matter of necessity. If you can no longer afford your child support or alimony payments due to a change in your employment status or other factors beyond your control, you may be eligible to have your financial obligations modified by the court.
Q: What adoption options are available in New Jersey?
New Jersey law recognizes agency adoptions, private adoptions, international adoptions and adoptions by blood relatives. Both “open” and “closed” adoptions are permitted. We have assisted opposite-sex and same-sex couples, stepparents, grandparents, and other clients seeking to adopt under a broad range of circumstances.
Speak With a Family Law Attorney in Turnersville, NJ
If you have questions about divorce, adoption or any other family-related legal issue, we encourage you to schedule a confidential initial consultation with one of our experienced family law attorneys. To request an appointment at our office in Turnersville, please call 856-232-7000 or inquire online today.