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The Journals are the premier publications for high-quality, hyperlocal news and advertising in Monmouth County, New Jersey

May 01, 2017

Leading Monmouth County Divorce Attorney Offers Advice on Choosing a Divorce Lawyer

Joseph J. Russell, Jr., Esq., a shareholder and chair of the family law team at Wilentz, Goldman & Spitzer, is one of New Jersey’s most well-respected and sought-after family law attorneys. He was named a Rising Star by New Jersey Super Lawyers® every year since 2010, selected as one of New Jersey’s Top 40 Family Lawyers Under 40 by The American Society of Legal Advocates, and named Lawyer of the Year by the Middlesex County Bar Association in 2017.

Mr. Russell is a devoted husband, father of three sons, committed to his charitable work with the LADACIN Network (formerly Cerebral Palsy of Ocean & Monmouth County), and serves on the board for Monmouth Medical Center Southern Campus. He was named LADACIN Network’s “Humanitarian of the Year” for starting the Annual Polar Bear Plunge that has raised approximately $800,000 for the non-profit since 2009.

Mr. Russell offers the following 10 guidelines to consider in hiring your divorce attorney.

  1. Be wary of internet marketing and paid internet advertisements: Research the lawyer’s true credentials and be careful that accomplishments and praises are not self-assigned.
  2. Retain a lawyer with substantial experience and knowledge of the law: Your divorce attorney should have extensive knowledge and experience in family law, its trends, the legal system, and the county courthouse.
  3. Retain a “family law exclusive” lawyer: Family law is very specific. An attorney who devotes 100% of his time practicing divorce and family law should have an understanding of the applicable laws, analyzing complex issues, negotiating settlements, and managing the extreme emotions that accompany a divorce.
  4. Every divorce case is different and can present unique issues: High net worth divorce actions, with potentially hundreds of millions of dollars at stake, require an attorney experienced at representing individuals with substantial assets and income. Contested custody actions require an attorney with substantial experience handling contested custody actions. Cases involving stock brokers or financial advisors need an attorney skilled at analyzing the various forms of compensation, such as forgivable loans. Your divorce attorney should have experience representing individuals with comparable issues, assets, and forms of compensation.
  5. Involvement in bar associations: It is an asset to have an attorney who is well-known, well-liked, and respected in the county courthouse. Mr. Russell serves on the Family Law Executive Committee and as an Early Settlement Panelist in Monmouth County.
  6. Strong rapport with your lawyer: You may be spending considerable time together, so you must be comfortable dealing with your lawyer. Mr. Russell strongly believes that, apart from losing a child, a divorce is the most difficult thing a person may experience. Your lawyer should be accessible, easy to communicate with, and truly care about you and your family.
  7. Reputation of the lawyer and the law firm: A lawyer should have a strong reputation for being trustworthy, credible, well prepared, and reasonable. A large law firm with a long history of successfully representing clients is evidence of its strength, durability, and commitment to excellence. A law firm grows on a proven track record of hiring top-flight attorneys and success for clients. The Wilentz firm will celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2019.
  8. Benefits of a full service law firm: A divorce case may require knowledge of additional fields of law such as real estate, criminal law, bankruptcy, business law, personal injury, commercial law, estate and trust, tax law, etc. A large law firm will have immediate access to other departments. Wilentz is a full-service law firm with over 115 attorneys who are at the forefront of their respective practice areas, such as Estate and Trusts, Criminal Law, Commercial Litigation, Tax Law, Business Law, Medical/Healthcare Law, Class Actions, Personal Injury, Real Estate, and Employment Law.
  9. Reach out to trusted sources: Ask friends and family who have been through the stress of divorce for direct referrals of a lawyer.
  10. Trust your intuition: After a consultation, do you feel your attorney is knowledgeable, asked all the right questions, been a patient listener, and cares about your goals? If you feel a strong rapport, hire that attorney.

“As a leading divorce attorney in New Jersey, I combine years of experience, knowledge of the law, intense preparation, and a personal mantra of never being outworked to achieve optimal results for every client. Divorce is a grueling and, at times, devastating process. Even an amicable divorce will have profound impacts on a couple’s assets, income, children, and emotions. I care about my clients and their children. My priority is understanding each client’s goals and tirelessly working to achieve them,” stated Joe Russell, Esq.

Call (732) 726-6236 or email to schedule a consultation with Mr. Russell regarding your divorce or family law matter. Additional information on Mr. Russell and the Wilentz firm can be accessed at