South Jersey's Trial Firm
Jacob and Chiarello
856-825-0700
800-303-0701
600 West Main Street
Millville, NJ 08332
If you need a divorce settlement call the law firm of Jacob and Chiarello

Family Law & Divorce

To schedule a consultation call 856-825-0700.

If you are the victim of domestic violence, call the police immediately. Do not wait to see an attorney before you file a domestic violence complaint.

  Introduction To Family Law in New Jersey

If you have chosen to end your relationship, are thinking about it, or someone has made that choice for you, it is important to get sound legal advice if you have a child, assets, debt or expenses. Caring and support for a child, bills and where you live all could look different in a break-up. Even if the decision is a mutual one, it is important to consult with an attorney for advice about your rights and responsibilities, and discuss issues that you may not have considered.


 “Family” Law is really “Break-up” Law. Family Law disputes involve many of the same issues whether couples are married or not. Custody, parenting time with the children (visitation), child support and sharing expenses (alimony/palimony) as well as domestic violence are issues which may arise between intimate unmarried partners, as well as married couples.

I offer a $200 Family Law consultation to review your matter and answer your legal questions - this is not a paid sales pitch, I provide legal advice and answer your legal questions. Television Legal Dramas or your friend's friend who went to Court may not be the best source for advice on your case. Call (856) 825-0782 my assistant, Michele, between 9:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday to schedule an appointment and complete this questionnaire before you arrive. We cannot make appointments by e-mail. Mediation consults (with the opposing party) are $100.

  Children, Custody And Child Support

Unless the parents agree by themselves or in mediation, child custody disputes are decided by a judge in Court trial, determined in the "best interests of the child". Often Judges have their own perception of what is in a child's best interest, may rely on that perception to make a ruling. Usually one parent is designated as the "parent of primary residence" or custodial parent, and the "parent of alternate residence" or non-custodial parent.


Both parents are responsible to support their child. In New Jersey, Child Support is calculated on a worksheet which starts by considering the income of both parents, and includes work-related daycare, the cost of health insurance and other expenses.



Child support is also adjusted considering the parenting schedule.

A Family Law attorney should listen to you in preparing for your custody hearing, provide you with with guidance on dealing with the other parent or a concern, and a Family Mediator can assist parents in reaching an agreement on custody, planning a parenting schedule and calculating child support.

I offer a $200 Family Law consultation to review your matter and answer your legal questions - this is not a paid sales pitch, I provide legal advice and answer your legal questions. Television Legal Dramas or your friend's friend who went to Court may not be the best source for advice on your case. Call (856)825-0782 my assistant, Michele, between 9:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday to schedule an appointment and complete this questionnaire before you arrive. We cannot make appointments by e-mail. Mediation consults (with the opposing party) are $100.

  Divorce

In addition to irreconcilable differences, New Jersey allows for divorce if your spouse has committed adultery, has deserted you, or is addicted to alcohol or drugs, has been institutionalized or imprisoned, has committed deviant sexual acts without your consent, or acts of extreme cruelty, or if you have been separated for a period of eighteen months and there is no prospect of reconciliation. Time is money, the grounds on which you file your divorce complaint are generally unimportant. My focus will be on the details of your marriage (i.e. children, expenses, assets, debts) the prospects of settlement and, if impossible, preparing for litigation.

I offer a $200 Family Law consultation to review your matter and answer your legal questions - this is not a paid sales pitch, I provide legal advice and answer your legal questions. Television Legal Dramas or your friend's friend who went to Court may not be the best source for advice on your case. Call (856)825-0782 my assistant, Michele, between 9:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday to schedule an appointment and complete this questionnaire before you arrive. We cannot make appointments by e-mail. Mediation consults (with the opposing party) are $100.

  Domestic Violence

If you are the victim of domestic violence and need protection FIRST contact your local police department (evenings and weekends). The police are required to provide you with information on protection for domestic violence and call an “emergent” judge for a Temporary Restraining Order. During the day, go to the Domestic Violence Unit of your county courthouse (between 8:30 a.m. and 4:00 hours p.m. Monday - Friday). If you have been served with a restraining order, you get one chance to defend yourself - New Jersey Domestic Violence Restraining Orders are PERMANENT.

A Temporary Restraining Order will protect the victim until a Final Restraing Order hearing in Domestic Violence Court. Usually Final Restraining Order hearings are scheduled in less than a week from the time a Temporary Restraining Order is issued, so there is little time to hire an attorney. If you need legal representation (victim or defendant) ask the judge for a postponement to hire an attorney - first postponements are usually granted to either party.

I offer a $200 Family Law consultation to review your matter and answer your legal questions - this is not a paid sales pitch, I provide legal advice and answer your legal questions. I charge a $1000 flat fee (including the $200 consultation fee) to represent you in a domestic violence matter. Call (856)825-0782 my assistant, Michele, between 9:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday to schedule an appointment. We cannot make appointments by e-mail. After-hours appointments are available for Domestic Violence matters.

  Adoptions

We provide legal representation for Step-Parent Adoptions. The location and consent of the other biological parent makes the process simpler and less expensive. It is still possible to adopt without the other parent’s consent or even over the other parent’s objection in certain circumstances, however, the legal fees and other costs may be significantly higher. In every step-parent adoption, the prospective adoptive parent will need to undergo a criminal background check, fingerprinting, and an agency investigation.

I offer a $200 Family Law consultation to discuss the adoption process and answer your legal questions - this is not a paid sales pitch, I provide legal advice and answer your legal questions. The adoption consultation if the other parent consents is usually brief, so I will typically credit your $200 consultation fee toward the adoption retainer. Call (856)825-0782 my assistant, Michele, between 9:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday to schedule an appointment. We cannot make appointments by e-mail.

  Settlements, Agreements and Family Mediation

If both parties are willing to cooperate, a settlement of a dispute is likely better than a decision from a Judge. Attorneys are aware of what problems may arise in the future, and which resolutions simply are not likely to succeed. If you come to an agreement with your spouse or partner, it is important that at least one of you has an attorney review the agreement to ensure that you have not missed any issues or are being unrealistic.



 I offer a $100.00 Introductory Mediation Session (typically 45 minutes) with either one or both prospective mediation clients, and a $50 follow-up if only one client was present for the Introductory Mediation Session, and the second client wishes to participate in mediation afterwards. Call (856)825-0782 my assistant, Michele, between 9:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday to schedule an appointment. We cannot make appointments by e-mail.

  Family Law Consultation

Your information is protected - what we discuss in a Family Law Consultation will be kept confidential, whether you retain me to represent you or not. Also, the "opposing party" in your case will be refused a consultation and legal representation based on a conflict of interest.

In the consultation, I will discuss your rights and responsibilities and issues with “the opposing party” - the other parent, partner, or spouse. In order to advise you properly, I will ask you about what you want, what you are concerned about, and about your spouse or other parent. I can tell you if your expectations are reasonable, or if you are asking for too much or giving up more than you should.

I can explain the legal process, help you prepare for court tell you what you can expect. In most cases I will quote you a retainer (money paid up-front) to represent you based on the complexity of your matter.

It is important to prepare for your family consultation. If you are concerned about your children, think about when and how you will care for them, and know the details about their school schedule, extra curricular activities, and the relationship of the children with the other parent. If you have financial concerns, you should bring pay stubs, bills, credit card statements and have an idea of the household expenses.

  Grounds For Divorce

We have all heard that 50 percent of all marriages end in divorce. Though it is unlikely that individuals enter into a marriage with the intention to ultimately divorce, it is a realistic possibility. The laws in New Jersey allow for divorce if your spouse has committed adultery, has deserted you, or is addicted to alcohol or drugs, has been institutionalized or imprisoned, has committed deviant sexual acts without your consent, or acts of extreme cruelty, or if you have been separated for a period of eighteen months and there is no prospect of reconciliation. With the categories listed, there are detailed requirements and specific time periods which must be met. Although it is important to establish grounds for divorce, rarely is it the main focus of a divorce proceeding. Typically a contested divorce can take up to a year to come to trial, as opposed to a divorce in which all issues are agreed upon, which takes approximately 3 to 4 months.

  Legal Fees, Retainers and Mediation Fees

My hourly rate is $275, billed on most Family Law cases.


I offer a $200 Family Law consultation to review your matter and answer your legal questions - this is not a paid sales pitch, I provide legal advice and answer your legal questions. Television Legal Dramas or your friend's friend who went to Court may not be the best source for advice on your case.

I offer a $100.00 Introductory Mediation Session (typically 45 minutes) with either one or both prospective mediation clients, and a $50 follow-up consultation if only one client was present for the Introductory Mediation Session, and the second client wishes to participate in mediation.

A summary support or summary Custody matter, an "FD" matter, my standard retainer is $500.

I charge a $1,000 flat fee (including the $200 consultation fee) to represent you in a Domestic Violence matter. Considering the nature of domestic violence proceedings, I do not charge hourly - $1000 flat fee is the full legal fee which covers you from the consultation through to the dismissal of the Temporary Restraining Order or entry of a Final Restraining Order. Legal services provided afterwards are billed at my hourly rate of $275/hr. The standard retainer for a contested divorce ranges from $2,500 to $5,000 depending on the complexity.

If you have a written divorce settlement agreement that was prepared by a lawyer or through Mediation, I charge a flat $1,500.00 fee to "put through" the uncontested divorce and incorporate the settlement agreement into the Final Judgment of Divorce. The fee includes a consultation with both parties (preferably) to explain the process and confirm cooperation, drafting and filing the divorce complaint for the plaintiff, payment of the divorce filing fee, service on the defendant, scheduling the final divorce hearing, finalizing the divorce "on the papers" (no need to appear in court), and a gold-sealed Final Judgment of Divorce incorporating the Final Judgment of Divorce to each party. In most cases a divorce can be finalized in about 3 months.

I charge a flat $1,500 fee to represent a step-parent (spouse of the biological parent) in an consensual adoption. The fee includes the complaint filing fee, representation at the final adoption hearing, and a gold-sealed Final Judgment of Adoption. The criminal background check (always necessary before filing the adoption complaint) and adoption investigation (sometimes required by the judge) is arranged by the client directly and an additional cost that the client will need to pay separately. If we are unable to locate the other biological parent and are required to publish notice of the adoption, the client will need to also pay the expense of publication, although there is no additional legal fee.

A retainer is not a flat fee. Attorneys in family matters normally bill hourly for their services, and a retainer is money that you pay up-front for an attorney's services. A retainer is held in a client trust account, like a bank account.

Upon the conclusion of your legal matter, any balance in your retainer account is refunded to you. If your retainer account is exhausted and you begin to carry a negative balance before the conclusion of your legal matter, or if you still carry a negative balance at the conclusion of your legal matter, I will offer an installment payment plan.

Following the $100 Introductory Mediation Session, Mediation services are billed hourly at $275/hr. Typically sessions run about two hours maximum per day, not including “off the clock” breaks. I provide a complimentary written summary of each session, and prepare the final agreement on a flat fee (typically $1,000). After-hours appointments are available for Mediation.

Call (856)825-0782 my assistant, Michele, between 9:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday to schedule an appointment and complete this questionnaire before you arrive.


Schedule A Consultation

To schedule a consultation with Bohdan Zachariasevych, the Family Law attorney at the firm of Jacob & Chiarello, contact Michele at (856) 825-0782. The flat fee cost of a consultation is $200.00, payable at the time of your consultation. Clients who have retained the services of Bohdan Zachariasevych may contact Bohdan by email.

Disclaimer

The information presented is intended to provide a broad and general introduction to the topic specified, and is not intended as legal advice. Every legal case is unique and this information may not apply to you. You should not rely on it exclusively. There is no substitute for legal advice, one-on-one, from attorney to client and you should have a consultation with a licensed attorney if you want to know your legal rights.