Blog

Divorce Issues for New Jersey and Federal Government Officials

For many of us, the first time that we heard of family issues affecting government officials started with the philandering of President Clinton. These days, the media feeds us the personal and private affairs of former Congresswoman Katie Hill and former FBI lawyer, Lisa Page, among others. Going through a divorce is a stressful time for anyone who has experienced it. To compound it with media invading the intricate details of your separation only adds to the stress of a high-profile divorce.

Throughout my career, I have represented elected officials and government employees, or their spouses, who worked both for the State of New Jersey and for the federal government. Having had this experience, I understand the heightened concern for certain circumstances often unique to this group of clients. The first is that privacy and confidentiality are of paramount importance. Nobody wants the details of their personal relationships being displayed in the media. Media attention during a divorce, as well as other related legal matters, can be embarrassing. It could also cause one to lose his or her job, either voluntarily or non-voluntarily.

Most importantly, negative media attention can have a severe impact on children. It is not fair to any child to have their family’s business available for all to see and scrutinize. My philosophy in any family law matter is to figure out what is in the best interest of the children.  Thus, I strive to protect the children of my clients.

Protecting Privacy

One way to ensure privacy and confidentiality during the divorce process is to mediate or arbitrate, or use the collaborative process, the matter and remain out of the courtroom. Litigating through the court creates a public record and is available for all to see. A reporter, or anyone else who intends to simply be nosy, can access these public records. If the goal is to keep a matter private from the public eye, mediation or arbitration are effective methods. All issues are capable of being mediated. For example, issues that may be eligible for negotiation are custody, parenting time, child support, college contribution, alimony/spousal support, and equitable distribution (the division of property and assets).

Financial Issues

The major issues that I tend to come across while representing clients employed by the government involves their income and compensation structure. Most government employees and elected officials do not earn an excessive amount of money in the public office. However, when they leave public office and enter the private sector, there is usually a significant jump in income. The opposite is often true going from the private sector to the public sector. These changes in circumstances can lead to alimony, child support, equitable distribution and other post-judgment issues. Whether I am representing a government official, or spouse of a government official, these financial concerns can be complex.  These issues need to be handled with care and creativity.

Consequently, government officials may have divorce and family law concerns unique than that of private citizens. Lawrence Law has the experience to understand these concerns and accomplish our client’s goals.

Subscribe to Our Blog

SHARE THIS POST:

Related Posts

Blog
We Hope to Eradicate the “not established” Standard

Every year, there are approximately 90,000 allegations of child abuse and neglect in New Jersey. Of  cases reported in 2019, 67,000 were determined to be “not established” by the State’s Division of Child Protection and Permanency (DCP&P). The determination of “not established” is problematic and not much of a legal standard.  The “not established” category…

Read More
Blog
Is January Really “Divorce Month?”

“Divorce Month” Fact or Fiction: Do More Couples Split in January? was a recent article that I came across in the New York Times. The article discusses the belief that January is the busiest month of the year for divorce filings. The article’s information is consistent with my experiences after practicing family law for many…

Read More
Blog
One Year!

One year into owning and running my own firm has been exhilarating, amazing, exhausting with a million other emotions in between. When the news was first announced, many of my friends, who are also solo and small firm owners, reached out to me to try and prepare me for the wild ride I was about…

Read More
Blog
Divorce Consultations – Are You Prepared?

I spend a significant of my day providing initial divorce consultations. This is the most important time I will spend with a potential client. In these consultations, many of the people that come see me are understandably emotional and focused on the part of the relationship that led them to my office. More often than…

Read More
Blog
Divorcing Police Officers Face Unique Parenting Time Issues

Divorcing police officers and firefighters, like other clients, face a multitude of issues.  For most parties, the paramount concern is custody and parenting time when there are children born of the marriage. For most parents who work “9 to 5” jobs, there will be a traditional custody and parenting time arrangement.  This agreement is either…

Read More
Blog
Private School Costs in New Jersey Divorces

In a New Jersey case where the parties’ agreement calls for them to “equally divide…school costs,” and one party does not contribute to the costs for years, even though not explicitly asked to do so, a court can enforce the agreement and compel contribution. In the unpublished Appellate Division case of Fanelli v. Hnatowski, the…

Read More
Call Now ButtonCall Us