Category Archives: Events of interest

Licensed Clinical Social Workers presentation Joseph C. Noto Bergen County collaborative divorce Lawyer

Joseph C. Noto, a collaborative divorce lawyer in Bergen County, presented to a group of licensed clinical social workers (LCSW) the benefits of a collaborative divorce. He said it went very well and they asked very good questions about the process. They said they would get the word out to their clients about this great alternative dispute resolution process.

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heroestoheroes Joseph Noto now board member

Joseph C. Noto has now become a member of the Board of Heroes to Heroes Foundation, a non-denominational 501(c)(3) organization, which provides a suicide prevention/PTS (post-traumatic stress) management program for wounded veterans through spiritual healing and peer support.  The Heroes to Heroes Foundation serves all combat veterans, regardless of conflict. Veterans of Vietnam, Desert Storm, Afghanistan, and Iraq have all participated in its program. It  welcomes all who are having challenges with PTS or are having challenges returning to civilian life after their time serving our country. The program is designed to help the participants develop social and emotional bonds with one another while exploring their spirituality and pushing themselves phsycially. Teams meet via Skype to get to know one another prior to the journey and stay together via Skype and social media upon their return to the United States.

In Israel, each person can connect to the healing process in many ways:

 

  • Spiritually – Visits to holy sites such as Bethlehem, The Western Wall, Stations of the Cross, Church of the Holy Sepulchre, and the opportunity to be baptized in the River Jordan, offer soul-searching and inner peace regardless of belief.
  • Emotionally – Planting trees for friends and family who were lost and in honor of people still with us (an ancient Jewish tradition) and visiting sites including Masada, battlefields and memorials, Yad Vashem (Holocaust Museum), and the 9/11 Memorial in Jerusalem provide reflection and self-examination.
  • Physically – Cycling, swimming, sailing, kayaking, hiking, and keeping to an itinerary all push each participant physically and is an important part of the team-building experience. 
  • Socially – Team meetings to conclude each day, visits to veterans organizations, and bonding with Israeli partners help to redevelop social skills that may be repressed due to PTS, trauma and depression. Joe Noto, a Viet Nam veteran, is honored to have been selected to this Board and anxiously awaits helping the Board to send the participants to heal after having served our country. For further information, or if intesested to make a donation, go to www.heroestoheros.org.

 

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New collaborative law group formed Bergen County Joseph C. Noto collaborative divorce lawyer

A new collabortive law group has been formed and it is called “Collaborative Divorce Association of North Jersey. Joseph Noto, a collaborative divorce lawyer in Bergen county, is a co-founder and member of the Board of Directors of this group. The group’s President is Larry Esposito. It will be serving clients in North New Jersey and all its 38 members, consisting of experienced attorneys, mental health professionals and financial members are collaboratively trained professionals. Joseph Noto said he is looking forward to meeting prospective clients using this very fine alternative dispute resolution process. Joseph Noto can be reached at 201-847-0999 for further information, or go to his website jnotoesq.com for information on the collaborative process.

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Alimony law study commission Joseph C. Noto divorce attorney Bergen County

The Assembly Judiciary Committee met and voted unanimously this week to release AJR-32, which creates an alimony law study commission.

The following groups testified in support of the resolution:

the NJS Bar Association and:

  • Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC)
  • NJ Coalition for Battered Women
  • Hispanic Bar Association
  • NJ Association for Justice
  • National Organization for Women (NOW)
  • Essex, Morris, Somerset, Bergen, Camden and Burlington County Bar Association were also on record in support of the resolution
 
The NJ Alimony Law Reform Coalition opposed the resolution.
 
Several suggestions were made for amendments that the committee said it would consider:
 
  • the public appointees to the commission should be certified matrimonial attorneys
  • the appointment of members to the commission should not be the Governor’s exclusive choice.  The Governor as well as legislative leadership should appoint commission members.
  • the commission should include someone from the Alimony Reform Coalition

The resolution now moves to the Assembly for approval.

Joseph Noto, a Bergen County divorce lawyer, fully supports such a commission.  He said this is long over due.
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North Jersey Collaborative Law Group Annual Retreat Joseph Noto collaborative divorce lawyer

Joseph Noto, a Bergen County collaborative divorce lawyer with the North Jersey Collaborative Law Group, attended the group’s annual retreat. The subject was “NARRATIVE UNDERSTANDING” and the facilitators were Danielle Spencer and Abby Rosmarin.  Joseph Noto said that In the workshop the group explored what is a narrative, why we create them, and how they work in order to enrich our understanding, our experiences, our selves and our clients.   We learned that before we can help our clients, we, in tandem with them, must first understand how they frame their experience.  Through a combination of discussion and exercises, including short writing prompts, we practiced  how to improve our narrative analytical skills.  The exercises helped to improve mutual understanding and collegiality in the group, and to spur creative reflection on our practice. 

Joseph Noto also said that “Through a narrative, we construct, reconstruct, in some ways reinvent yesterday and tomorrow. Memory and imagination fuse in the process.”

Joseph Noto said it was a fantastic annual retreat and looks forward to using this information in future collaborative divorce consultations. .  

 

 

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New Jersey Family Collaborative Law Act Update Bergen County lawyer Joseph C. Noto

Joseph C. Noto, a Bergen County collaborative divorce lawyer, wants his blog viewers to know that on December 19, 2013A-4586  was introduced in the New Jersey State Legislature.  The bill is sponsored by Asm. Patrick Diegnan (D-South Plainfield) Deputy Speaker/Parliamentarian and sponsor of the Uniform Mediation Act and the act that created a cause of action for irreconcilable differences.  Additional bi-partisan sponsors and co-sponsors include members of the Assembly Judiciary Committee are: 

Asm. Gordon Johnson (D-Teaneck) Assembly Majority Conference Leader and

  • Asw. Annette Quijano (D-Elizabeth)  Assembly Deputy Majority Leader
  • Asm. John McKeon (D-Madison), attorney and member of the Assembly Judiciary Committee 
  • Asw. Holly Schepisi (R-Westwood), attorney and member of the Assembly Judiciary Committee
  • Asm. Michael Patrick Carroll (R-Morris Plains) Republican Parliamentarian 

Joseph Noto, says that this is GREAT NEWS for the citizens of New Jersey!! He also states that It is anticipated that an identical Senate version of this bill will be introduced in the Senate before the end of the 215th State Legislature in January 2014. He will keep his viewers posted as further events occur.

 

 

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Bill on Right to Same Sex Marriage Divorce Attorney Bergen County Joseph C. Noto

Joseph C. Noto, a Bergen County divorce attorney, wants to update his bloggers on the status of Same Sex Marriage and the Bill in NJ.  A bill that would etch into statute the right of same-sex couples to marry in New Jersey is on a fast track in the state Senate. The bill, S-3109, scheduled for a Senate Judiciary Committee vote on Monday, is designed to protect against possible reversal or undermining of the ruling that legalized same-sex marriage in the state.  Joseph Noto says he will keep his bloggers updated on this very important Bill.

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Grandparents rights bill Divorce Lawyers Bergen County Joseph Noto

Joseph Noto, a Bergen County divorce lawyer, wants grandparents to know that that there is a bill regarding their visitation rights before the legislature that would erect High Hurdles to grandarents seeking visitation. The New Jersey Law Journal on December 2, 2013 reports that: “the Legislation that would toughen New Jersey’s statutory standards for granting visitation rights to grandparents, and siblings, over parental objections is drawing closer to final passage. The legislation—approved Monday by the Assembly Judiciary Committee—would codify a decade-old state Supreme Court holding that applicants may be granted visitation only if they prove denial would harm the child.” Joseph Noto will keep his blog viewers posted on the ultimate status of this Bill.

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Joseph Noto Bergen County Divorce Lawyer Update on Alimony Reform Bill

Joseph Noto, a Bergen County Divorce Lawyer, wants to give his blog viewers and update on the NJ Alimony Reform Bill.  In the New Jersey Law Journal an article was written on the Alimony Reform bill which may be of great interest to them. It states: “N.J. Alimony Reform Measure Is Panned by Family Lawyers” written by Mary Pat Gallagher

New Jersey Law Journal

2013-11-26

Lawyers came out in force at a legislative hearing Monday to oppose a bill that would abolish permanent alimony and make other drastic changes to New Jersey law on spousal support.

The measure, A-3909, would set guidelines providing that alimony should generally not exceed the “need” of the recipient or 30 percent to 35 percent of the difference in the parties’ income. Judges could attribute income to a party deemed to be voluntarily unemployed or underemployed, and they could “deviate” from the limit because of advanced age, chronic illness, tax considerations and other “relevant and material” factors set forth in written findings.

It would also make it easier to terminate or modify awards. Judges could reduce or stop alimony based on three months’ cohabitation, rehabilitative alimony would be limited to five years and alimony would end when the person paying it reaches the eligibility age for full Social Security benefits, which is 67 for those born after 1959, and no more than two years sooner for everyone else.

Existing alimony awards could be modified retroactively so long as a motion is filed within two years of the law’s effective date and the parties had not agreed that the alimony should be unmodifiable.

Lawyers and bar association representatives who appeared before the Assembly Judiciary Committee on Monday almost uniformly opposed A-3909 and urged support for an alternative that would replace references to “permanent alimony” with the phrase “alimony of indefinite term.”

That measure, A-4525, provides that modifying or extinguishing an alimony obligation based on actual or prospective retirement would require a showing that the retirement was reasonable and being done in good faith based on factors like the parties’ age and health, their retirement expectations during the marriage and the generally accepted age of retirement in the paying party’s field of employment.

People who lose their jobs would be allowed to seek modification on that ground after 90 days out of work. Any relief ordered could be made retroactive to the loss of the job or income drop.

Cohabitation, even if not full time, could provide a justification for terminating or suspending alimony but there is no specified time frame and how long the couple have been living together would be a factor.

A-4525 is the joint work product of the Matrimonial Lawyers Alliance of New Jersey, the New Jersey State Bar Association’s Family Law Section and the New Jersey chapter of the American Association of Matrimonial Lawyers. Several county bar associations, including Essex, Bergen and Morris, have passed resolutions in support.

Assemblyman Charles Mainor, D-Hudson, the sponsor of A-3909, which has bipartisan support, testified that it was based on a law enacted in Massachusetts in 2011 and reflects a trend toward similar reforms elsewhere, including Connecticut and Colorado. Mainor also said it is consistent with the current reality in which both spouses are likely to be working and equal job opportunities exist for women and men.

The existing law is ripe for abuse and manipulation, Mainor said, adding that he had been told by matrimonial attorneys that the amount of alimony depended on the quality of the lawyer.

Assemblyman Thomas Giblin, D-Passaic, sponsor of A-4525, acknowledged the need to alter the law and said his bill is an attempt to do so responsibly by respecting the ability of judges to take into account the nature of the case and the parties’ circumstances.

He echoed many of the lawyers who expressed concern that A-3909’s guidelines would interfere with judicial discretion, stating “judges must not be handcuffed.”

The bill bases duration of alimony on how long the marriage or civil union lasted. At the low end, five years or less, it provides for support for a period of no longer than half the time the marriage lasted, rising to 80 percent for marriages of 15 to 20 years. For marriages or civil unions lengthier than that, judges would have discretion to award alimony for an indefinite period.

 Jeralyn Lawrence, of Norris, McLaughlin & Marcus in Somerville and chairwoman-elect of the State Bar’s Family Law Section, said A-3909’s “cookie cutter” formula has no place in Family Court, “a place of fairness and equity,” where “circumstances and facts matter.” For instance, A-3909 would treat two marriages of the same length identically even if in one but not the other, twins were born or one spouse sacrifices a career for family reasons. “Commitment matters,” she added.

Lawrence said she and her colleagues represent both those who pay and those who receive alimony and thus have “no ax to grind.” She took issue with Mainor’s assertion of gender equality in the workplace, citing statistics on women’s lower earnings.

Family Law Section chairman Brian Schwartz of Summit told the committee that A-3909 does not address postjudgment litigation over alimony and expressed doubt that women no longer face job bias.

In a subsequent interview, he countered suggestions that lawyers oppose A-3909 out of self-interest, saying its retroactivity would generate lots of work as people sought modifications.

Schwartz and John Trombadore of Somerville, who also testified, said the retroactive aspect is unconstitutional under the ex post facto and contract clauses. A similar bill passed in Florida this year was vetoed on that ground.

Somerset County Bar President Amy Wechsler, of Shimalla Wechsler Lepp & D’Onofrio in Warren, testified that even though A-3909 says judges can deviate on the amount, they are not likely to do so based on how they have adhered to child support guidelines. “Once you have set up guidelines, that’s what people follow,” she said.

David Perry Davis, a Pennington solo and family law practitioner who helped draft A-3909, called it “nonsense” to suggest the bill takes a one-size fits all approach, given the multiple grounds for deviating from the standard award. He suggested that a concern for billable hours underlies the opposition from the bar, contrasting its stance with the strong public support for getting rid of permanent alimony found in a recent Eagleton Institute poll.

In an interview, he said that child support guidelines have worked well and the “bar association won’t admit that the system is broken,” adding there are lawyers who agree with him but don’t want to stand up to the group.

Another lawyer who spoke in support of A-3909 was Karl Piirimae, who does real estate development law at Windels Marx Lane & Mittendorf in New Brunswick. He became involved in the effort based on his own divorce experience, saying it took seven years and hundreds of thousands of dollars to end his eight-year marriage.

Citing statistics that judges decide alimony in fewer than 1 percent of cases, he questioned why guidelines should not be available to help those in the other 99 percent agree on a sum.

Piirimae said a revised and soon-to-be-filed version of A-3909 incorporates parts of A-4525; eliminates maintaining the marital standard of living as a factor in alimony; and exempts incomes of $370,000 and above from the guidelines, conceding they don’t work well when applied to “ultra-high-wage earners.”

Several who spoke, including Christine Bator of the New Jersey Women Lawyers Association and Francisco Rodriguez, president of the New Jersey Association for Justice, supported forming a commission to study the issue first.

Such a commission would have been created by AJR-32/36, which passed the Assembly in June 2012 but stalled in the Senate Judiciary Committee. ?  Bergen County divorce lawyer, Joseph Noto, said he will keep his viewers updated on this Alimony Reform Bill.

 

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Collaborative divorce lawyer Joseph Noto Advance Training

Joseph C. Noto, a collaborative divorce lawyer in Bergen County, presented to a group of collaborative trained professionals advance training on the use of a “facilatator model” when conducting a collaborative divorce.  Joseph Noto explained that in his opinion this is the best model to use in a collaborative divorce.   A team of two (2) collaboratively trained attorneys, a financial person and a mental health professional (the “facilatator”) make up the team. The financial person and the mental health professional are neutrals in the collaborative divorce process and are also retained by the divorcing couples in this  process.  This works so well for the couple, since each discipline does what each does best during the three (3) stages of a divorce: (the legal, emotional and financial stages).  This interdisciplinary model allows the parties “to contol the content and process” while the team “controls the process.”  Joseph Noto says when you meet with a collaboratively trained divorce attorney see which model he/she uses before retaining them.  This model works best whether or not there are children involved and the costs are considerably less since you save money using the neutrals rather than have two (2) attorneys work with you on the collaborative divorce process during these three (3) stages of divorce.

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