We Are Family
The law office of Jeffrey Thomas Massaro, Counsellor-at-Law provides professional and diligent legal representation across the entire spectrum of family law services. Mr. Massaro’s motivation and decision to focus within the matrimonial niche, along with oft-related ancillary practice areas, is rooted in his quest to provide clients with comfort and confidence during one of the most daunting and challenging times of their lives. Our skillful attorneys keep clients informed and involved from the very first day of representation, through to the dissolution of the marriage.
Divorce is not an easy path on which to embark, but the accompaniment of experienced counsel will help make the journey more certain and the challenges less formidable. The compassionate counsel offered at Mr. Massaro’s law firm will alleviate the stress and anxiety of the divorce process. Click here to visit the firm’s divorce page for a virtual roadmap to the divorce process in New Jersey and here to visit the firm's page for frequently asked questions.
Spousal maintenance, as it is now often termed, comes in a variety of shapes and sizes, and varying durations. New Jersey courts must adhere to the alimony statute that provides for alimony payments from one spouse to the other. However, the statute permits alterations when exceptional circumstances are present and which afford the judge that is presiding over your divorce a significant scope of discretion. This is a good thing because no two divorces are alike and no two set of facts are the same. Accordingly, it is crucial for both a providing spouse and a dependent spouse to retain competent counsel to ensure that their respective rights are protected and preserved. Click here to visit the firm’s alimony page for a description of the most common forms of alimony, along with an explanation of temporary alimony during the divorce litigation.
This element of divorce litigation often extends beyond the parties. Relatives, such as aunts, uncles and grandparents, all recognize that child custody may impact their relationship with the child of divorce. Also, the stability that comes with growing up in one home is shaken by the reality of entering into a two-home system. In attempting to minimize the disruption to the child, child custody is often negotiated with the assistance of a parenting time mediator or parenting coordinator. These sessions will attempt to balance the rights and abilities of both parents so that, together, the child’s needs can be fostered and developed. So to reduce the burden upon the child, one parent is typically designated as the parent of primary residence, with the other parent serving as the parent of alternate residence. This does not mean however that the parenting time cannot be near equal. It simply serves to distinguish between which parent will bear the brunt of the daily child-rearing responsibilities. It is also important to note the difference between legal custody and physical custody. Legal custody pertains to the decision-making efforts with respect to the child’s health, education, religion and other critical elements. Physical custody simply quantifies the amount of time the parent spends with the child. Parents with limited physical custody can still maintain joint legal custody of the child so to maintain an influential voice in the child’s development. Click here to visit the firm’s child custody page to learn more about child custody.
Child support is often a function of child custody. While statutorily regulated through New Jersey’s Child Support Guidelines, is often passionately litigated by the parties. It is important to remember that child support is paid for the child’s welfare, and so parents cannot freely negotiate child support as a financial litigation tool. The New Jersey courts have a weighty responsibility to ensure the protection and support of marital children subjected to a divorce, and in doing so, are guided by serving the best interest of the child. This means that child support guidelines can be modified, especially in the instance of a high wage household. Beyond setting monthly payments, child support litigation often includes the enforcement of existing child support orders, as well as the modification of child support orders subsequent to obtaining a judgment of divorce. Click here to visit the firm’s child support page for more information on the role of child support in the divorce process.
Marriage isn’t final and divorce isn’t either. While New Jersey courts strictly seek to enforce the agreements and judgments rendered in the dissolution of a marriage, the courts are sensitive to the potential for significant life changes that occur after a divorce is finalized. In fact, New Jersey has codified the modification process of divorce terms in contemplation of a significant change in circumstances. Post-divorce modifications typically concern the amount of alimony paid or received, amount of child support paid or received, and the parenting time between a parent and a child. Should significant changes occur after a divorce, and should the changes be involuntary and in good faith, application can be made to the court seeking modification to terms of the divorce. Such an application is supported by a showing that the current terms are now greatly unfair, present a significant burden upon one of the parties, or in extreme instances, can no longer be met. Click here to visit the firm’s post-divorce modifications page to learn more about the process involved in re-visiting the terms of a divorce decree.
Additional family law practice areas
In addition to the prominent family law issues highlighted above, the law office of Jeffrey Thomas Massaro, Counsellor-at-Law is keenly adept at assisting clients with family law-related issues pertaining to domestic violence, pre-nuptial & post-nuptial agreements, parental relocation, and lastly wills, trusts and estates. Whatever your family law needs may be, Mr. Massaro's mission to provide every client with comfort and confidence will yield positive results.