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Do I Need A Certified Matrimonial Lawyer?


Divorce is one of the most difficult times in a person’s life. Even if the marriage has been long dead, or there has been abuse, or when the parties have done everything in their power to save the marriage, divorce is a traumatic event.

Parenting and support arrangements for the children will be made, marital assets and debt will be divided and there often needs to be support paid to one spouse by the other. It’s the job of your lawyer to guide you through the process and reach a fair outcome, either by agreement or by trial before a judge.

The vast majority of divorce cases are resolved by negotiation and that is a good thing. A trial creates animosity between the couple that can last a lifetime. This is particularly difficult when the couple has children and have to continue to deal with each other after they are divorced. We are always aware of the best interests of the children and proceed in representing our clients with that in mind.

Every issue in a divorce is costly, both emotionally and financially. Sometimes it is the unpleasant but necessary duty of your attorney to tell you things you would rather not hear. We strive to give you a realistic view of the outcome of your matter and not create expectations that cannot be met. An example of this would be filing a complaint for divorce based on ‘fault’ grounds, such as extreme cruelty or adultery, hoping to gain an upper hand. Unless you have suffered physical injuries from a physical attack by your spouse, ‘fault’ grounds for divorce almost never do anything other than create animosity.

As for adultery, we understand how emotionally painful that can be but we do not recommend that divorces be filed on the basis of adultery since it requires the divorce papers be served on the extramarital partner. That usually creates more hard feelings and makes your divorce more expensive and harder to resolve.

If using ‘fault’ grounds would give our client an advantage in any part of the case, we would use them but there is no advantage to them except in the rarest of cases. Except in the rarest of circumstances, ‘fault’ will not affect any part of your divorce, not even custody or parenting time.

Most divorces we file are based on irreconcilable differences. That means that for six months you have not gotten along with one another and you do not expect to reconcile. It works and does not create animosity. While the decision is always the client’s to make, we generally recommend irreconcilable differences. You wind up just as divorced but with less animosity and less expense.

At Gruccio, Pepper, De Santo & Ruth P.A., we have the resources to deal with any issue that might arise in your matter: criminal, financial, taxes, estate planning in addition to the more common issues of custody, support and the division of assets. We have on staff a New Jersey Supreme Court-certified criminal trial attorney, an attorney with the advanced legal degree in taxation, three New Jersey Supreme Court-certified civil trial attorneys, attorneys with expertise in estates, business, real estate and in my case, a New Jersey Supreme Court-certified matrimonial law attorney.

I have been admitted to the New Jersey State Bar Association for 31 years, am a trained mediator, am on the roster of mediators utilized by the courts, and have been certified as a matrimonial law attorney since 1999. There is one other Supreme Court-certified matrimonial law attorney in Cumberland County and only a handful in southern New Jersey. As both a mediator and a Supreme Court-certified matrimonial law attorney, I am uniquely equipped to represent you in your family law matter. I handle matters throughout southern New Jersey.

On direction from the New Jersey Supreme Court, the board on attorney certification implemented the certification program in an effort to raise the level of competence of attorneys in New Jersey and to help the public find attorneys who have demonstrated proficiency in specialized fields of law, including matrimonial law.

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