South Jersey’s newest law firm opened its doors in Haddonfield this spring, though the group already brings years of proven experience and quality legal services to the region’s families. Weinberg Kaplan & Smith, which launched in March of this year, brings together longtime South Jersey attorney Joseph M. Weinberg with two partners: Amy Smith, Esq. and Dawn Kaplan, Esq.
“We bring to the practice various degrees of expertise in multiple subjects,” says Weinberg, formerly of Joseph M. Weinberg & Associates. “By unifying, we could each bring to the practice certain skills that would benefit our clients and aid them in obtaining full and complete service of their case.”
A broad range of services
The law firm specializes in family law in multiple areas, drawing clients from Burlington, Camden, Atlantic and Gloucester counties. Weinberg, a prominent matrimonial attorney in the region, holds an “AV” rating and has been representing clients in the South Jersey area for four decades. His clients turn to him for substantial matrimonial and divorce matters.
Kaplan and Smith each bring approximately 15 years of experience, Weinberg explains, and specialize in unique areas of family law. The practice offers local families and clients professional, experienced legal services in family law practice areas, including alimony and spousal support, child custody and child support, domestic violence cases, divorce (including mediation services), equitable distribution, legal separation, civil unions and more.
“We bring all of that together into one firm,” says Weinberg.
“We handle primarily divorce-related matters, including post judgment matters; meaning we also handle what happens after the divorce, if there are disputes or issues regarding support or custody,” Weinberg explains. “Just because people get divorced doesn’t mean their communication ends, especially if they have children.”
Prenuptial agreements are another service offered by the firm. “People want to protect themselves, so in the event there is a divorce, they are able to control their own destiny. You are deciding issues that affect your life, rather than leaving it to a judge.”
As active members of the Camden County Bar Association and New Jersey State Bar Association, Kaplan and Smith have represented a wide variety of clients and received substantial trial experience in all types of family law matters.
Before entering private practice, Smith served as a law clerk in the family division of the state Superior Court and later spent four and a half years with the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office, where she gained extensive experience in the area of domestic violence; she was named the Burlington County Bar Association’s liaison to the Domestic Violence Working Group of the Prosecutor’s Office in 2009.
Kaplan serves on the Arbitration Statute and Children’s Rights committees of the New Jersey State Bar Association, and is a master in the Thomas S. Forkin Inns of Court. She is also a Matrimonial Early Settlement Panelist for Burlington and Camden counties.
Weinberg, named a South Jersey Magazine “Awesome Attorney,” was former president of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers for New Jersey, a distinction and an honor among legal professionals. He is also a member of the American College of Family Trial Lawyers, an organization of just 100 lawyers from across the country.
Credentials are one thing, but it’s the personal connections that matter, too. “I tell clients to ‘take your time and be sure.’ Don’t rush. Divorce is a big, life-changing decision. Give it some thought,” Weinberg says. “You need somebody to talk to that can deal with the emotional and mental issues of divorce as well.”
Before heading to the firm’s offices, clients need to understand that divorce is a long, difficult process, and a major financial hurdle which requires discussion and forethought about expenses and needs.
“There are no victors. You’re not going to win a divorce,” Weinberg says. “You need to come in looking for reasonable, responsible solutions. If they understand that coming in, that’s half the battle.”
When clients are in a crisis, Weinberg says, sometimes they don’t think as rationally as they should. That’s where the lawyer comes in, helping to keep their “eye on the end game” instead of fighting about the little things and causing greater financial and emotional damage.
“Our firm is dedicated to protecting our client’s rights and providing guidance in preparing for their future,” says Kaplan.
Weinberg Kaplan & Smith, P.A. 109 Haddon Ave.
Published (and copyrighted) in Suburban Family Magazine, Volume 3, Issue 2 (April, 2012).
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