• Biography

    Practicing exclusively family law for over 20 years, Rita has helped hundreds of families with divorce, separation, child support, custody, guardianship, post-judgment, and related matters.

    Each one of her clients can expect their matter to be handled in an efficient, compassionate and empathetic manner.  Rita works collaboratively with clients to identify their personal goals while paying attention to their financial, emotional and practical needs.  With Lawrence Law’s deep bench and team approach, Rita has the resources to handle complex and high net-worth family law cases.  In family law, unlike general litigation, cases rarely have a winner and a loser.  Rita defines success for her clients as moving through the family law process to a better place in life.

    Rita handles divorce litigation matters throughout the State of New Jersey.  She regularly appears in courts in Somerset, Hunterdon, Warren, Morris, Essex, Union, Bergen, Monmouth, Ocean, and Sussex counties.

    Rita is a trained Collaborative Divorce Attorney and a member of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals. She has both trial experience and alternative dispute resolution training in matrimonial actions.

    Recognized by the New Jersey Superior Court as a Qualified Family Law Mediator, Rita is a Panelist for the Superior Court, Early Settlement Panel in Somerset County and is a member of the Executive Committee of the Somerset County Family Practice Committee. Rita has been trained by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers as a Divorce Arbitrator. Rita has also completed training through the State of New Jersey to mediate economic aspects of matrimonial and post-judgment matters in cases where there is a Final Restraining Order, as part of the Court-appointed mediation process.

    Rita is the Current Co-Chair of the American Bar Association’s Section of Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee for the current Bar year and has served in that capacity since 2015. She previously served as Co-Chair of the American Bar Association Family Law Litigation Committee.  She was previously recognized as Outstanding Subcommittee Chair for her 2015-2016 and 2017-2018 terms. Rita has also served as Editor of the American Bar Association Family Law Litigation Subcommittee’s E-Newsletter. She is a member of the ABA’s Diverse Speakers Directory on matrimonial and family law matters.

    Rita is a member of the Family Law Executive Committee of the New Jersey State Bar Association and serves as the Liaison to the American Bar Association for the Executive Committee.  Rita was elected to serve on the New Jersey State Bar Association’s General Council.  She is a member of the Appellate Practice Committee of the New Jersey State Bar Association, Legislation and Domestic Violence Subcommittee, and Advisory Committee on Developments in Family Law in other Jurisdictions Committees. She is also Treasurer of the Somerset County Bar Association and an author of articles and blogs published by the American Bar Association and the New Jersey State Bar Association’s NJ Family Lawyer.

    She was named to the Board of Editors for the American Bar Association’s Section of Litigation Appellate Practice Journal, commencing with the Spring 2018 edition. Rita is also a Member of the Editorial Board of the New Jersey Lawyer Magazine, which is the legal publication of the New Jersey State Bar Association.

    Rita is a frequent lecturer on legal topics, including the New Jersey State Bar Association’s Institute of Continuing Legal Education, at its Hot Tips and Family Law seminars, as well as the American Bar Association. She is also the Vice-Chair of the District XIII Ethics Committee for 2021 – 2023.

  • Education & Career

    Education

    Western New England College School of Law | J.D., 1997
    Drew University | B.A., 1993, cum laude

    Bar Admissions

    New Jersey

    Accreditations

    Collaborative Practice logo

    Professional Affiliations

    American Bar Association

    • Co-Chair, Section of Litigation, Family Law Litigation Subcommittee
    • Editor, Section of Litigation, Family Law Litigation Subcommittee E-Newsletter
    • Board of Editors, Section of Litigation, Appellate Practice Journal

    New Jersey State Bar Association

    • Family Law Executive Committee
    • American Bar Association Liaison
    • Legislation and Domestic Violence Subcommittee
    • Advisory Committee on Developments in Family Law in other Jurisdictions
    • Appellate Practice Committee
    • Member, Editorial Board, New Jersey Lawyer Magazine

    Somerset County Bar Association

    • Family Law Practice Committee
    • Trustee, 2018-2020
    • Delegate to NJSBA General Council

    Morris County Bar Association

    New Jersey Collaborative Law Group

    International Academy of Collaborative Professionals

    New Jersey Women Lawyer’s Association

    Association of Family and Conciliation Courts

    New Jersey Association for Justice

    New Jersey Association of Professional Mediators

    • District XIII Vice Chair
  • Presentations

    “Re-Examining the Child Support Guidelines in 2022″, New Jersey State Bar Association Annual Meeting, May 19, 2022.

    “From the Garden State to the Sunshine State: A Comparison of NJ and FL Family Law.”, New Jersey State Bar Association, Family Law Retreat, March 25, 2022.

    “Virtual ADR: Where we have been and Where we are going.”, Roundtable Breakfast for the ABA Section of Litigation’s Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee, February 18, 2022.

    New Jersey State Bar Association’s Family Law Symposium, Speaker, January 28, 2022.

    “Valuation Reports: Reading and Understanding the Valuation Process”, ABA Litigation Section – Family Law Litigation Committee, July 14, 2021

    “How to Leverage Organizations to Do Good, Network and Find a Job after Law School,” ABA Section of Litigation Panel, November 17, 2020.

    “Hot Tips in Family Law,” NJICLE, New Jersey Law Center, New Brunswick, NJ, November 11, 2020

    “Hot Tips in Family Law,” NJICLE, New Jersey Law Center, New Brunswick, NJ, November 11, 2019

    “Judge, What do You Want to Hear?” A Primer on How to Present Direct and Cross-Examination of a Financial Expert in a Bench Trial, American Bar Association Section Annual Conference, Marriott Marquis, NY, May 3, 2019

    “Discover Yourself – Navigating the First Years of Litigation Practice,” ABA Regional Panel, Seton Hall Law School, March 29, 2019

    “Hot Tips in Family Law,” NJSBA Family Law Section in association with the NJICLE, New Jersey Law Center, New Brunswick, NJ, November 12, 2018

    “Post-Obergefell – Part 2: A Look at Case Law and Recent Developments in 2018,” ABA Section of Litigation Family Law Litigation Committee Roundtable, Call-in, May 30, 2018

    “Shades of Grey: Seniors and Divorce,” NJICLE in cooperation with NJSBA Family Law Section, Hyatt Regency, New Brunswick, January 26, 2018

    “Demystifying the Trial: Preparing for and proceeding to trial in matrimonial and domestic violence matters,” Hot Tips in Family Law, NJSBA Family Law Section in association with the NJICLE, New Jersey Law Center, New Brunswick, NJ, November 10, 2017

    “The Next Round of Litigation after Obergefell: Four Key Cases for 2017,” ABA Section of Litigation Family Law Litigation Committee Call-in Seminar Co-sponsored by the LGBT Litigator and Civil Rights Committees, July 26, 2017

    Second Saturday, The Women’s Institute for Financial Education, Florham Park, NJ, July 20, 2017

    “Using Evidence of Civil Restraints to Support the Claim of Harassment”, “Hot Tips in Family Law The Top 40: New Spins on the Oldies but Goodies,” NJICLE & NJSBA, New Brunswick, NJ, November 11, 2016

    “How to Avoid (or at least manage) Secondary Trauma in Family Law Cases,” “Hot Tips in Family Law,” NJICLE & NJSBA, New Brunswick, NJ, November 11, 2015

  • Publications

    Divorcing Police Officers Face Unique Parenting Time Issues, Lawrence Law Blog November 6, 2019

    “Confidentiality Obligations for Lawyers when Blogging – A Look at the Model ABA Rules” – October 2019 ABA Family Law Litigation Practice Pointer

    “Tips for Family Lawyers to Boost Their Collection Rates,” ABA Section of Litigation, Family Law Litigation Committee, Spring Newsletter 2019

    Where is My Witness? Out of State? Use of De Bene Esse Depositions in Family Law Matters,” Volume 39, No. 1 – April 2019 Edition of New Jersey Family Lawyer, a publication of NJSBA’s Family Law Section


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