We offer knowledgeable, compassionate counsel for all family law issues, including divorces, custody disputes and conflicts over spousal and child support.
For residential and commercial property transactions, our real estate lawyers assist you with your financial transactions, foreclosure litigation.
We provide a full array of estate Probate and Litigation as well as planning services, including Will drafting, and preparation of Advance Medical Directives, Living Wills, and Powers of Attorney.
If you are burdened by overwhelming debt, bankruptcy is a powerful legal tool that can help you make a fresh financial start. Our lawyers will guide you through each step.
If you have a family issue requiring legal counsel this can be a trying time for you. We at The Law Offices of Maureen Vella are committed to guiding you through the legal processes, while preserving your dignity and protecting your rights. We are experienced in handling the following types of matters:
Divorce is the legal dissolution of all marital bonds between two individuals and at times a necessary means of helping you and your spouse to move on with your life. Through litigation, mediation, or the collaborative process, our Law Group helps you gain equitable results from your divorce, including:
New Jersey has developed a legal proceeding called a Divorce from Bed and Board in order to address many concerns. In this type of proceeding, the parties are economically divorced, but they are still legally married. The parties obtain a Judgment that equitably distributes their assets and provides support in the same way that a divorce would. A Divorce from Bed and Board does not terminate or dissolve the marital bond. The Divorce from Bed and Board declares that the parties are legally separated and their assets are legally divided in a final matter. Our Law Offices can help you in determining whether a Divorce from Bed and Board is the right choice for you.
Equitable Distribution is a term that describes the division of marital assets during a divorce in the State of New Jersey. All marital assets are divided fairly and equitably between the two parties by either Court Order or mutual agreement. The Court Orders are decided on a number of factors including, but not limited to the income of the parties, the age and/or health (physical, emotional, etc.) of the parties, and present value of their share of the marital assets. At The Law Offices Maureen Vella, we are well experienced and determined to assist you in maintaining your share of the marital assets.
A clear and binding Prenuptial Agreement, requires the advice of an experienced attorney. Our Law Offices expect the unexpected and will draft a Prenuptial Agreement that protects your interests while not hurting your fiancé. A well drafted Prenuptial Agreement will alleviate stress should you ever divorce. An experienced attorney will help guide you through decision making on the essential terms of the Agreement and whether an Agreement is right for you. These agreements are very closely scrutinized by the Courts, and our Law Offices will help you put together an Agreement which meets the laws specific to New Jersey’s requirements. Having experienced attorneys aid you through this process will enable you and your fiancé to craft a lasting Agreement that you both understand, without leaving either party feeling that they have been taken advantage of.
Child care is every parent’s greatest responsibility and of course, you want what is best for your children. Our attorneys will help you in resolving all aspects of your children’s financial well-being. Our Law Offices are committed to ensuring that both parents are sharing the costs of raising their children.
If you believe you or someone you love is a victim of Domestic Violence, you should seek the advice of an attorney immediately. The New Jersey Prevention of Domestic Violence Act offers protection against domestic violence and domestic abuse. It applies to anyone over the age of 18 who is being abused by a spouse or former spouse, current or former household member, current or former partner, or parent. It is important to understand the differences between various acts of abuse, and your rights. Our Law Offices will help you protect yourself and your loved ones in obtaining a Final Restraining Order against your abuser.
Maureen Vella, Esq. is a collaboratively trained attorney. A form of alternative dispute resolution in family law; a Collaborative Divorce occurs when both parties are represented by attorneys and agree to resolve conflicts through negotiation and non-adversarial methods, in a non-threatening, non-abusive environment. This is a non-litigation alternative to divorce. Your benefits are that through civil negotiations, a Collaborative Divorce is:
You and your partner would commit to a fair, safe and non-threatening process, which is especially important when children are involved. A Collaborative Divorce keeps you out of the Court system until a settlement is reached by both parties. From your collaboratively trained attorney, Maureen Vella, Esq., you will be advised of your rights and responsibility regarding the same issues that are litigated, such as support, custody, access to the children, equitable distribution of property, and financial matters.
A Reconciliation Agreement differs from a Prenuptial Agreement in that a Reconciliation Agreement is made after the marital relationship has deteriorated to the brink of an indefinite separation or a suit for divorce. A Reconciliation Agreement contains a spousal promise which induces a reconciliation that we can negotiate for you.
Ending a long-term marriage is oftentimes a difficult choice. When considering such an action, worrying about where you are going to live or how you are going to manage your expenses should not enter the equation. Allow us to help you maintain the standard of living that you are accustomed to while considering that your family is now made up of two households, not one.
On the other hand, worrying about your ability to pay alimony is disconcerting. We will walk with you to ensure that you are not paying more in alimony than your budget allows.
Our Law Group works toward protecting the best interests of your children by establishing and then enforcing Child Custody and Child Support Agreements. We address all the issues important to your children’s well-being and future, including:
Maureen Vella, Esq. is an Accredited Professional Mediator (APM), as recognized by the New Jersey Association of Professional Mediators. Through Mediation you can manage your settlement outside of the Court system. You maintain your dignity and preserve your ability to communicate while working out your differences together with the assistance of a trained and accredited attorney.
Guardianship is a method of obtaining legal custody of, or decision-making authority over, a minor or incompetent person, and provides protection for your family member or loved one. There are many types of Guardianship actions. Whether you are seeking Guardianship of a minor, a disabled adult, child, an elderly person, or a mentally ill person, our attorneys will guide you through informed decisions that serve the best interests of all involved. In the event you wish to change a Guardianship now or in the future, we can help you with successor guardians and transfer of Guardianship.
Through the use of a QDRO or a Domestic Relations Order (DRO) you will receive a portion of your spouse’s pension or retirement income, including 401k accounts and annuities. This will be accomplished through the divorce process by way of a QDRO or a DRO with the assistance of your attorney.
Even after you and your former spouse have divorced, you may still find yourself in need of legal counsel. If your former spouse has violated the terms of your Agreement, you may need to have an Enforcement Motion filed with the Court. Enforcing your Judgment of Divorce or Marital Settlement Agreement is often complicated and as such, it is important to utilize the skills of an experienced divorce attorney. Our Law Offices will assist you in enforcing your Marital Settlement Agreement to provide:
You may feel that your current Agreement no longer adequately provides for you and your family due to some substantial change in circumstances or unforeseen event. In some instances, a legal modification may be appropriate. If you believe that your current agreement should be modified due to a change, an experienced attorney will be able to assist you. Some such changed circumstances are lay-offs and changes in financial circumstances, emancipation of children, disability, relocation, and re-marriage.
Adoption is a wonderful option for expanding your family, but the laws governing this process can be quite complex. As experienced adoption attorneys, we will:
The Law Offices of Maureen Vella will assist you in the purchase, sale, or refinance of your residential and commercial property. In doing so, we will provide you with the protection and expertise necessary throughout the entirety of the transaction.
The purchase of a home or a business begins with the attorney reviewing your contract to make sure that the terms are acceptable to you, the buyer. The attorney will make sure that Title is ordered and reviewed, a home inspection is reviewed, and repairs are properly negotiated. You should not do this alone or without representation. At The Law Offices of Maureen Vella, we handle this work ourselves and the attorney will appear at the closing of Title to ensure a smooth transaction.
As a homeowner, you may refinance your current mortgage, depending on your loan, to reduce your annual percentage interest rate. As an owner, you may take equity from your home and make use of your equity for payment of your debts or to make repairs to your home.
A short sale is an alternative to a foreclosure or bankruptcy when the mortgage and debt exceeds the value of your home. As a seller, you would be able to sell your home, as long as you have the approval of your Mortgage Company or lender to accept a payoff less than the total amount due. The Law offices of Maureen Vella handles this entire process from drafting a hardship letter on your behalf to the final closing.
Our attorneys will review your sales contract with you. The attorney will review Title and assist you in clearing any Title issues that may be disclosed. Additionally, the attorney will aid you in responding to any repair requests from the buyer as disclosed in their home inspection and will appear at closing with the closing documents prepared by our Law Offices.
A reverse mortgage is a way for homeowners of retirement age to access some of the equity in their home. The recipients of a reverse mortgage can obtain their equity in a variety of ways, including monthly payments, lump sum, a revolving line of credit, or a combination of the above. The Law Offices of Maureen Vella will handle this entire process for you and protect your loved ones after your passing.
The Law Offices of Maureen Vella will assist you in drafting your Estate documents which will provide protections during your life and after your passing
Your Last Will and Testament is a legal declaration by which you name an individual to manage your estate and to provide for the transfer of your property upon your death. Creating or updating your Last Will and Testament with our estate practice group will provide you with a peace of mind which accurately ensures that your final wishes will be carried out. It is recommended that a Last Will & Testament be updated every five years or upon any life-changing circumstances.
A Living Will and a Medical Directive provide for an agent to be appointed with instructions specifying what actions should be taken for your health in the event you are unable to make such decisions for yourself due to illness or incapacitation. This document will govern whether or not you wish to be left on life support indefinitely.
A Power of Attorney authorizes an individual to act on your behalf in a legal or business matter or to handle your financial affairs when you consent. A Power of Attorney may be for a limited purpose or be durable and take effect when you become incapacitated and you are unable to manage your own financial affairs. A Power of Attorney is a very powerful document which allows someone to step into your shoes for all legal and financial matters. Without it, your family may be left to find more expensive legal proceedings to manage your financial affairs when you are incapacitated.
Our estate practice group is well experienced in handling and representing you in probating the Last Will and Testament upon the death of a loved one and addresses any disputes made by the beneficiaries or anyone contesting the Last Will & Testament.
During these difficult economic times, bankruptcy has become a common solution for many people. It is nothing to be embarrassed by. Declaring bankruptcy when one’s financial burden becomes too great is a responsible way of handling insolvency and taking care of yourself and your loved ones.
During these difficult economic times, bankruptcy has become a common solution for many people. It is nothing to be embarrassed by. Declaring bankruptcy when one’s financial burden becomes too great, is a responsible way of handling insolvency and taking care of yourself and your loved ones. The purpose of a bankruptcy is to allow debtors to obtain a fresh start and to lift the weight and pressure caused by creditor calls, letters, lawsuits, garnishments and attachments. With an experienced lawyer, you can take advantage of the protections afforded by bankruptcy laws. We take pride in helping you to understand and decide if bankruptcy is the best solution for you. Our bankruptcy attorneys offer you the personal attention needed from the day of your initial consultation through the conclusion of your legal matter. We will always be available to help navigate the difficulties of resolving your debts. With the care of our competent attorneys and skilled staff, you will find that filing a bankruptcy can be surprisingly painless. Filing a bankruptcy will allow the following to happen:
Generally, those who file a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy keep all or most of their property, except property which is extremely high in value or is subject to a lien which cannot be avoided or paid out over time. A Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is known as “straight” bankruptcy or “liquidation”. It allows you to “exempt” under the law, certain assets so that often liquidation does not take place. Our attorney’s will streamline this process for you.
A Chapter 13 Bankruptcy is a type of “reorganization” used by individuals to pay all or a portion of their debts over a period of years, using their current income. Under a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, we will formulate a plan with the Bankruptcy Court to determine how you will repay your creditors. Sometimes the Court may require that some debts be paid in full, while others may be repaid partially or not at all. This depends on what you can afford and the value of your assets.
Given the current economic state, many banks are now offering borrowers an opportunity to cure their missed payments through loan modifications, which provides you with a new monthly payment more suitable for your budget. Our Law Offices will navigate you through this complex process. In some circumstances, the principal amount of your loan may be reduced.
If Chapter 7 bankruptcy is not right for you because you do not qualify or you have assets that would have to be surrendered, and if you cannot afford the payment plan necessary for a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, we negotiate with your creditors to resolve your debts for a fraction of the total amount.