PARSIPPANY, N.J., Feb. 8, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Family law expert Bari Z. Weinberger, founder and partner of Weinberger Divorce & Family Law Group, is raising awareness about smart ways to divorce in 2024 that avoid the problem of significant backlogs in the New Jersey courts.
Writing for the New Jersey Law Journal, Ms. Weinberger’s two recently published articles, “Quick Divorce? How Mediation Could Help Solve the NJ Court Crisis” and “A Child Custody Framework for Avoiding Court Delays and Moving Families Forward,” offer key strategies to help divorcing spouses reach swift settlement agreements using mediation, negotiation and other collaborative out-of-court resolution methods.
“Judicial vacancies and a case backlog that first skyrocketed during the pandemic have left our courts in crisis. Until our overburdened system receives the resources it needs, it’s imperative to provide divorcing spouses with immediate access to fair and just ways to divorce and settle disputed issues, including child custody, out of court. This starts with more awareness around mediation and collaborative divorce,” Ms. Weinberger stated.
In New Jersey, thousands remain waiting for their day in divorce court. According to the latest statistics from the NJ Courts Backlog Tracker, over 5000 divorce cases are currently stuck in legal limbo, a new record high. As Weinberger wrote in the Law Journal, when people seek help for their divorce, “…most are unaware of the turmoil facing the New Jersey family courts and how significantly the challenges of court backlogs and unfilled judicial vacancies could impact their case. It adds frustration to an already complex process.”
Among Weinberger’s recommendations to sidestep the courts’ quagmire and speed up divorce in 2024 are:
- Increase awareness around mediation and other collaborative methods as ways to dramatically reduce the time and cost it takes to divorce compared to getting mired down in the backlog.
- In high conflict divorce matters, look to retired judges and experienced attorneys who provide mediation services that can provide the structure and creative problem solving needed to break time-consuming legal logjams.
- In child custody matters, enlist the help of a child custody expert to negotiate mutually acceptable arrangements that prioritize the best interests of the child. Defuse drawn out custody battles by understanding that shared custody is the new default used by courts in most situations. Explore creative custody solutions, including “nesting” in which parents rotate in and out of the family home while the children stay put.
- When divorcing spouses have a final restraining order in place, New Jersey’s new Domestic Violence Economic Mediation (DVEM) program is being rolled out for added support from mediators specifically trained in domestic violence awareness.
According to Weinberger, “There are so many opportunities to ease our clients’ burden and frustration with the complex process of divorce. Fixing our courts remains a dire and urgent priority, but our strong out-of-court options for divorce, starting with mediation, are available right now. Let’s spread the word about these options and make 2024 the year that we finally leave the backlog behind.”
About Bari Z. Weinberger, Esq.
Award-winning family law expert and certified matrimonial law attorney, Bari Z. Weinberger, is a published author and frequent media contributor on divorce and family law for both local and national audiences. Ms. Weinberger is a certified matrimonial law attorney, a designation held by only about 0.5% of attorneys in New Jersey. She is the founder and managing partner of Weinberger Divorce & Family Law Group, a family law firm serving clients throughout the state.
SOURCE Weinberger Divorce & Family Law Group