Hiring the right matrimonial attorney can be difficult – especially when you are going through a trying and emotional time in your life. Where do you look – in the yellow pages or the newspaper? Do you ask a friend for a recommendation? You might find dozens or even hundreds of attorneys this way. But how do you know if they are qualified or will be the right attorney for you? How do you choose the right attorney to help you through your matrimonial problems?
Finding an attorney with a proficiency in family and matrimonial law is critical. That’s why the Supreme Court of New Jersey has directed the Board on Attorney Certification to carry out the certification program in an effort to raise the level of competence of attorneys in New Jersey. A Certified Matrimonial Law Attorney must pass stringent qualifications.
This certification is not just about taking a test or filling out an application. A Certified Matrimonial Law Attorney must have been a member in good standing of the New Jersey bar for over 5 years, fulfilled ongoing continuing legal education requirements, demonstrated a significant level of experience in matrimonial law, been favorably evaluated by other attorneys and judges familiar with the applying attorney’s work, and have taken and passed a written examination in matrimonial law.
By being certified, it makes it easier to find an attorney who has demonstrated proficiency in family and matrimonial law, and it provides the attorney with a way to publicize their experience to the public and to other lawyers. Certification also encourages the attorney to regularly attend continuing education seminars to stay abreast of new developments in family and matrimonial law.
Because this designation is only achieved by attorneys who have distinguished themselves by demonstrating a high level of experience, knowledge and overall skill in the practice of matrimonial law, and given the rigorous standards associated with obtaining the designation, currently fewer than 1% of all active NJ attorneys hold any type of Board certification. Of the approximate 72,000 active lawyers throughout New Jersey, only 158 are Board Certified Matrimonial Attorneys.
To find the right matrimonial attorney for you, schedule a consultation meeting and bring your questions with you. Know what the fees are and be sure to communicate your expectations. It’s important that there is good synergy between you and your attorney and that you feel comfortable with the firm. Lastly, check your attorney’s qualifications and experience. Is the attorney a Certified Matrimonial Law attorney? Remember, the attorney you select represents you. Take the time to make sure you are hiring the right one!
Vincent C. DeLuca, Esq. is a Certified Matrimonial Attorney and a Partner in the firm Villani and DeLuca located in Pt. Pleasant Beach, NJ. Passionate about the field of family law, DeLuca has been recognized as one of the leading practitioners in the field of matrimonial law throughout New Jersey. He is a member of the Family Law Committee in both the Monmouth and Ocean County Bar Associations, serves as the Vice President of the Jersey Shore Collaborative Law Group and has been admitted to the Roster of Mediators for Economic Aspects of Family Law Cases. He can be reached at 732-965-3350 for a free consultation.