Practice Areas

Family Law cases are like snow flakes-no two are alike. Family law cases can involve divorce, domestic violence, child support and custody issues, and the division of assets. The State of New Jersey has provided a number of resources for individuals who believe that they can represent themselves. Too often, litigants become overwhelmed with the process and can actually put themselves in a worse position. Representing yourself in a family matter is like operating on yourself—a bad idea. It is important to retain an attorney who specializes in this area of the law who is knowledgeable while at the same time can provide the compassionate service that is required during what can be a somewhat stressful and volatile time. The Law Office of Erin L. Thompson, LLC provides dependable legal services to the residents of Passaic County and surrounding areas. Contact our office today for a Free Consultation.

Divorce Law

The process of obtaining a divorce can feel like a daunting legal process. The legal process of divorce coupled with the emotions and anxiety, will often times leave litigants feeling angry, lost and overwhelmed. The Office Erin L. Thompson, LLC provides quality legal assistant to address the legal matters in your divorce to alleviate the emotional turmoil that you may be feeling. Many times, one party wants to blame their spouse for the dissolution of their marriage. It is important to note that, although the State does provide grounds for filing a Complaint based on fault, the vast majority of Complaints for Divorce are based on irreconcilable differences, which essential means that the parties have differences that lead to the breakdown of the marriage and they desire the end of their marriage. Often times clients are concerned that their spouse will not “consent” to the divorce. Consent is not required because although it takes two people to get married, it only takes one person to get divorced.

Once the Complaint for Divorce is filed, the Court will address all issues that are relevant to your case including the most important-child custody. It is important to retain an attorney who specializes in family law in Passaic County and the surrounding area so that you receive solid legal advice.

Parents Who are not Married

Regardless of whether or not parents are married, the break-up of any relationship involving a child can be traumatic to both the parents and the children. Like cases involving divorce, the breakup of a romantic relationship involving children will require the intervention of the Court to determine custody, parenting time, and child support. Non-married couples seeking the intervention of the Court to address these issues have a totally different legal process and procedure than their married counterparts. These types of cases known as “non-dissolution” or “FD” here in the State of New Jersey often times provide litigants far less access to the Court. While the paperwork required in these matters is far more streamlined than a divorce filing, the actual time in a courtroom is far less than a divorce proceeding. A such, it is important to retain an attorney who has the ability to advocate on your behalf while at the same time recognizing the limitations of the Court.

Domestic Violence

One of the most difficult areas of the law is domestic violence. Here in the State of New Jersey, to obtain a Temporary Restraining Order, you must meet the initial criteria of a dating relationship, married, children in common, or former household members. Although there are often times underlying criminal allegations, obtaining a Temporary Restraining Order and the final hearing to determine whether the Temporary Restraining Order should be converted to a Final Order is heard in Family Division of Superior Court. Unlike other States, once a Plaintiff obtains a Final Restraining Order, that Final Order lasts for the lifetime of the parties unless one party moves to dismiss the Order. This means that a Final Restraining Order can have a long and lasting effect on both parties involved.

There is a two prong test to determine whether or not a person is entitled to a Final Restraining Order: did an act of domestic violence occur and is the Plaintiff in need of the protections of an Order to prevent further acts of domestic violence. Unlike criminal court, the burden of proof is a preponderance of the evidence standard meaning more likely than not. One of the key elements that a Court will access is the credibility of the parties. This is important as litigants are sometimes so overcome by nerves that it effects their ability to testify and could lead a Court to determine that they are not credible based upon their actions. During the hearing, litigants will also be called to testify, present witnesses and evidence, and cross examine witnesses. It is so important to retain an attorney who specializes in this area of the law as a Final Restraining Order is just that-Final.

Contact a Dedicated Passaic County Divorce and Family Law Attorney

The Office of Erin L. Thompson, LLC is ready to represent you in all areas of Divorce and Family Law regardless of the complexity of your case. Ms. Thompson will listen to the circumstances of your specific case and she will advocate on your behalf and in your best interest during this difficult time. To schedule a free consultation contact us at (973) 653-9036. The office is conveniently located in Totowa, New Jersey off of Route 46, Route 23, and Interstate 80 and only minutes from the Passaic County Courthouse in Paterson, New Jersey.