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Legal Professionals

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Choosing A Family Law Attorney:

What You Need To Know

By Marla Marinucci, Esq.

Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers® Certified by the Supreme Court of New Jersey as a Matrimonial Law Attorney

In New Jersey, upon passing the State’s bar exam, you are given the authority to practice any type of law that you want. What you don’t realize, when you are a young and naïve law student, is that law school doesn’t really teach you the law. Instead, it teaches you how to think like a lawyer.

When looking for a lawyer to represent you in your divorce, custody, or other family-related matter, it is not enough to find a lawyer who “does” divorce or who “does” custody, and who also dabbles in a myriad of other areas of law. Those types of lawyers oftentimes will take any potential client who walks through their door, even if it involves an area of law with which that lawyer is not familiar. Hiring a lawyer to do something for you that he or she has never done before, no matter how cheap, will not yield a good result. I have said it far too many times to count: disputes involving your children, your assets, and your overall future are far too important to invest in the hands of some attorney who possesses, at best, a basic understanding of family law and has just enough skills to get by. If you, or anyone you care about, find yourself in the precarious and unfortunate position of needing a family lawyer, first and foremost, you need to find an attorney who specializes in family law, which is the only area of law I practice. Don’t listen to friends who give referrals based on cost. As the saying goes, you get what you pay for. Lesser qualified lawyers, or new lawyers, generally charge lower prices than more experienced attorneys. When looking for a competent family law attorney, you should know about two very important what I will call designations, which very few

attorneys possess. In New Jersey, family law practitioners can obtain the status of being a “Certified Attorney” by applying to the New Jersey Supreme Court. It’s a lengthy application process which requires recommendations from judges and peers and, if all goes well, you are approved to take an excruciating exam. If I am not mistaken, less than 3% of all attorneys in this State are certified. I am quite proud of this accomplishment. In addition to being a Certified Matrimonial Attorney, I am also a Fellow of the Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (“AAML”). T In order to even apply for membership in the AAML, you must first have acquired the status of being Certified by the Supreme Court of New Jersey as a Matrimonial Law Attorney. Similar to the process for Certification, there is a lengthy application; a very difficult exam; and ultimately, an interview. The AAML, founded in Chicago in 1962, is a national organization with Fellows in every state across the country. According to its website www.aaml.org: The 1650 AAML Fellows across the United States are generally recognized by judges and attorneys as preeminent family law practitioners with a high level of knowledge, skill and integrity. Academy Fellows enjoy a reputation for professionalism, competence and integrity. It is probably the highest honor a matrimonial law practitioner can attain. In New Jersey alone, there are fewer than 100 lawyers who are Fellows of the AAML. I couldn’t be more humbled or honored to be a part of the talented family law masterminds who make up this amazing organization, which includes my law partner, Richard Russell, Esq. I’ve said it before: your children are your most precious assets. Do your research when searching for a lawyer to represent you in your family matter. Your friend’s referral may not be the proper fit for you— unless they are referring you to me, of course. There are no do-overs in family court, so do it right the first time.

Call my office at 609-398-1900 for a consultation.

Today’s Families Face Many Challenges...

We’re Here to Help Your Family Through Them. Divorce • Alimony • Custody • Child Support • Marital Settlement Agreements • Emancipation Post-Judgment Modifications • Prenuptial Agreements • Appeals • Mediation & Arbitration

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RUSSELL & MARINUCCI S

117 Atlantic Avenue, Ocean City, NJ 08226 • CALL: (609) 398-1900 Fax: (609) 398-7292 • Email: marinucci@OCNJfamilylaw.com Marla Marinucci, Esq.

Certified by the Supreme Court of New Jersey as a Matrimonial Law Attorney

Marla Marinucci, Esq., is a Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. She has been certified by the Supreme Court of New Jersey as a Matrimonial Law Attorney. Her primary focus is Family law matters. She received a B.A. in French from Rutgers Camden, and received her law degree from Rutgers School of Law- Camden.

The County Woman Magazine www.TheCountyWoman.com

January/February 2020

Profile for The County Woman

Atlantic County Woman - January/February 2020  

The County Woman ™ is part of a nationally syndicated publication and has been around for over 31 years. There are over 371 other counties t...

Atlantic County Woman - January/February 2020  

The County Woman ™ is part of a nationally syndicated publication and has been around for over 31 years. There are over 371 other counties t...