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Kenneth Vercammen & Associates
A Law Office with Experienced Attorneys for Your New Jersey Legal Needs

2053 Woodbridge Ave.
Edison NJ 08817

Personal Injury and Criminal
on Weekends 732-261-4005

Princeton Area
68 South Main St.
Cranbury, NJ 08512
By Appointment Only
Toll Free 800-655-2977

Divorce in NJ

When individuals have family problems, family and service groups can often offer advice and help resolve problems. If separation or divorce is unavoidable, you should see an attorney for advice on how to protect your rights.

Areas to Discuss at Initial Interview

When you first meet with your attorney, you should discuss and ask questions regarding the following:

-Resolving marital problems

-Financial concerns involving child support, alimony, spousal support, pendente lite support and equitable distribution of property acquired during the marriage

-Determining child custody and visitation

-Grounds for divorce

-Domestic Violence Act and Restraining Order

-Legal Rights and procedures in court

-Retaining the attorney and payment for legal services and costs

Emergency Decision By The Court

If necessary the Superior Court can make temporary decisions regarding:

-Restraints to keep a violent spouse from harassing and interfering with your life

-Occupancy of your house, apartment or condominium

-Temporary custody and visitation of minor child

-Temporary financial support for children and spouse

-Injunction against disposal of personal property, real estate and other assets

-Other temporary orders in the discretion of the Judge

Grounds For Divorce

Under NJ laws a divorce may be granted for any of the following causes:


-Willful and continued desertion for 12 or more months, either physical desertion or refusal to have sexual relations with the other spouse may establish this cause.

-Extreme cruelty, including any physical or mental cruelty that endangers your safety or health, or which makes continued living together improper or unreasonable.

-Separation, if separate and different places of living have been maintained for a least 18 consecutive months or more and there is no reasonable prospect of reconciliation.

-"No-Fault" is the familiar term for a divorce based on the separation for at least 18 months. Neither side needs to set forth allegations of fault or abuse. Court appearances are still required.

-Voluntarily-induced addiction or habituation to a narcotic drug or habitual drunkenness for 12 or more consecutive months.

-Mental illness which resulted in the spouse being kept in an institution for 24 or more

consecutive months after the marriage was begun.

-Imprisonment of the spouse for 18 or more consecutive months after the marriage was begun. ( This cause for divorce can be charged after the defendants release from prison only if the husband and wife have not resumed living together after imprisonment of the spouse ended.)

What The Defendant Spouse Must Do

If served with a Complaint or demand letter from an attorney, you should immediately consult an attorney for advice. If you contest any of the statements in the complaint, you must have a formal pleading called an "answer" filed on your behalf. You can contest alimony, custody, child support and/or equitable distribution of property. You can also file your own complaint called a "Counter-Claim." Even if you do not object to the divorce, you should speak with your attorney because other issues could effect you for many years in the future. If an answer is not filed, a default will be entered against you and a judge will make a decision without your opinion. Thereafter, you will bound by the decision of the judge. Failure to obey all portions of the court order can result in financial penalties and arrest.

Case Information Statement

If child support, alimony and equitable distribution are in issue, both spouses must fill out a Case Information Statement (CIS). This demands comprehensive information regarding your weekly, prior year and current assets, and liabilities. The court will use financial information contained in the CIS to make a determination as to the amount of child support.


In addition to the CIS, in a contested matter, Court rules permit the attorneys to require the parties to supply written answers to interrogatories (questions), depositions, (verbal answers), produce documents or admit details.

Property Settlement Agreement

The parties may agree on signing a written agreement dividing marital property and setting forth support payments. A written agreement can be made prior to the complaint or pending trial. The agreement can provide for custody, visitation, alimony, medical expenses and insurance coverage.

After a husband and wife separate, and especially if they intend to divorce, it is desirable for them to enter into a written contract to provide for:

-division of real estate and personal property;

-support, if any, payable to the dependent spouse and children; responsibility for debts and legal fees;

-health and life insurance arrangements;

-custody and visitation of children.

Also included are many other items which set forth the mutual rights and duties of the two people. Such an agreement is a contract, but may be enforced as though it is an order of court, (except certain portions such as child custody, support and visitation, which may be modified by the Court), depending on its terms and contents. It is written by your attorneys and follows negotiations between you and your spouse and your attorneys.

Child Support

The judge will follow written guidelines when determining child support. The judge will look at the income of both parties and make an order compelling child support within the guidelines. The judge could also order medical and dental insurance, the payment of day-care and baby-sitting, private school tuition, and life insurance on each parents life with the child as the beneficiary. The court may also order payment of future college tuition.

Who is responsible for the support of the children?

The law imposes a duty on both parents to support their children. This obligation exist even if the parents are not married, and it continues after divorce. In determining the amount of child support to be paid by one parent to the other, the court will consider the respective incomes, earning capacities, assets and needs of both parents, and the needs of the children. The Judge has a "chart" in which he must follow to determine the amount of support that can be compelled.

What is the procedure for obtaining spouse and child support?

A person seeking spouse and/or child support may file a motion for support in the Family Court, in many cases and in all cases involving welfare, a conference will be held by a hearing officer at which both parties will be required to disclose their respective incomes and assets and prove their respective needs. An attempt will be made by the hearing officer to have the parties reach an agreement as to the amount of support. If an agreement cannot be reached, the usual procedure is for the hearing officer to submit a recommendation to the court.

If either party is not satisfied with the recommendation, he or she may demand a hearing before the court at which the order could be modified. If both parties are satisfied with the order entered by the court on the hearing officers recommendation, it will be the final order.

Can a support order be changed?

Either spouse or parent may seek modification (increase or reduction) of a support order if he or she can demonstrate that a material and substantial change of circumstances has taken place since the order was entered. An increase or decrease in earnings or an increase in the needs of the children as they grow older are examples of material and substantial changes in circumstances. Once a child reaches age 18, and is out of school the parents generally are no longer required to support that child. A motion must be made in the Superior Court to reduce or end support. However, if the child is unable to support himself or herself because of some physical, mental or emotional disability, the duty of support continues beyond 18. Parents may also be required to pay support to a child who is attending college.

Custody And Visitation

The "best interest of the child" is the basis on how the judge awards custody of the child. The mother is no longer automatically given custody of the children. The judge looks at the age and sex of the child, ability of the parent to care for the child, personal relationships and, if older, the wishes of the child. Visitation will also be ordered under most circumstances. An equal sharing of physical custody of children is also possible in appropriate cases.

As children get older, greater weight is given by the court to the childs preference as to which parent he or she wishes to reside. An important factor considered by the court is the continued residency of children in a familiar and stable home environment.

Courts are reluctant to disturbance existing arrangement if the children are doing well. The courts are also reluctant to split children between two parents because courts believe that it is in the best interest of brothers and sisters to remain together even though their parents have separated or are divorced.

Equitable Distribution

Most parties eventually reach an agreement to divide property. In New Jersey, each spouse is entitled to a share of the property acquired during the marriage. There is not an automatic 50/50 split. Rather, the judge will make an "equitable distribution" of property after hearing testimony. There is no magic formula. The judge has discretion.

Final Judgment

Upon agreement or after a trial, the judge will enter a "Final Judgment of Divorce". This will declare that the marriage has ended. The judge will sign the Final Judgment of Divorce and it will be filed with the Superior Court in Trenton.

The Final Judgment will also set forth items agreed upon or ordered, such as custody, support, and equitable distribution. After the Divorce, to make a change in support, custody, visitation etc, a formal motion must be made to the Superior Court. In this motion you must demonstrate a change in circumstances.

Our hourly retainer rates are $300 per hour in office and $325 per hour outside office. Minimum fee in uncontested Divorce $1,750 where the parties have no children and have a written property settlement agreement.

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Since 1985, KENNETH VERCAMMEN has worked as a personal injury attorney, working for injury victims and their families. By taking a hard-hitting, aggressive approach toward the insurance companies, KENNETH VERCAMMEN and our co-counsel have consistently obtained outstanding results for many injured clients over the years I am proud to have worked on cases in various capacities, small and large. While obviously prior results cannot guarantee the outcome of future cases, I can guarantee that you case will receive the same degree of dedication and hard work that went into each of these prior cases.

In direct contrast to the hard-hitting approach we take toward the insurance companies is the soft approach we take toward our clients. I am proud of my compassionate staff as I am of the outstanding financial results they have achieved. For many years, I have watched them treat our clients with patience, dignity and respect. I would have it no other way.

Many years ago, I attended a seminar sponsored by the American Bar Association on Law Practice Management. This was to help insure that each of our clients is always treated like a person -- not a file! We recognize that you are innocent victims and that you have placed your trust in us. Please understand that we understand what you are going through. Feel comforted that we are here to help you.

If you retain KENNETH VERCAMMEN to represent you, we will give you the same advice we give each of our clients -- concentrate on your life, you family and your health. We will take care of everything else. Leave all of the work and worry about your legal rights to us. Trust us. Believe in us. Have faith in us as your attorneys. Understand that we will always to do what we believe is best for you and your case. Helping you is our job. In fact, it is our only job -- guiding injury victims like you through one of the most difficult times of your lives, with care and concern -- while fighting aggressively to the limits of the law to obtain compensation and justice for each of you!

Print our Personal Injury Questionnaire on our Website, Fill it out and Fax back, so we can determine if we can help you obtain an injury settlement. We would welcome an opportunity to prove to you what we have proven to thousands of injured clients -- that you can feel comfortable and secure in the fact that KENNETH VERCAMMEN - Trial Attorney We Fight To Win.

When you have been injured in an accident or collision, you are worried about who is going to pay your medical bills, lost wages, and other damages. The last thing you want is to be taken advantage of by an insurance company. If you dont protect your rights, you may not be able to make a claim.

Insurance companies have attorneys and adjusters whose goal is to pay you as little as they can. You need a New Jersey personal injury lawyer to fight for you. I am dedicated to helping your recover as much money as possible under the law.

You need an attorney who will work hard to protect your rights, maximize your insurance settlement and minimize the hassles of dealing with the insurance companies. You need an experienced and aggressive New Jersey trial lawyer with PROVEN RESULTS who will fight for you. Having an experienced personal injury lawyer can make the difference between getting what you deserve and getting nothing.

Without the threat of a lawyer who is willing to go to trial and seek a big jury verdict, why would an insurance company pay you what your claim is really worth? Lawsuits can be expensive, and many people do not have the money to pursue their claim. In every case, I advance all costs associated with pursuing your case and I do not ask you for a penny until we recover from the other side.

I am an experienced aggressive trial lawyer and a 3rd degree Black Belt. I am not afraid to take your case to trial if that is what it takes to maximize the amount of money your recover for your personal injury. I offer one-on-one service, and I will not hand your case off to an inexperienced lawyer or a paralegal.

Reduce the stress of making a claim.

Personal injury accidents can turn your life upside down. Making a personal injury claim can be difficult and time consuming. Once I take your case, you can stop worrying about dealing with the insurance companies and focus on recovering from your injuries. I take care of all of the paperwork, phone calls, and negotiations, so you can get on with your life.

p.s. For those clients who are afraid or reluctant to go to Court, KENNETH VERCAMMEN also offers a special -- For Settlement Only -- program. This means that if we are unable to settle with the insurance company, we will not go any further -- unless you want us to. You have my personal assurance that there will be absolutely no pressure and no obligation.

We handle personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis.

This means:

Call our office to schedule a "confidential" appointment 732-572-0500

Kenneth A. Vercammen is the Managing Attorney at Kenneth Vercammen & Associates in Edison, NJ. He is a New Jersey trial attorney has devoted a substantial portion of his professional time to the preparation and trial of litigated matters. He has appeared in Courts throughout New Jersey each week on personal injury matters, Criminal /Municipal Court trials, and contested Probate hearings.

Mr. Vercammen has published over 125 legal articles in national and New Jersey publications on criminal, elder law, probate and litigation topics. He is a highly regarded lecturer on litigation issues for the American Bar Association, NJ ICLE, New Jersey State Bar Association and Middlesex County Bar Association. His articles have been published in noted publications included New Jersey Law Journal, ABA Law Practice Management Magazine, and New Jersey Lawyer. He is the Editor in Chief of the American Bar Association Tort and Insurance Committee Newsletter.

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