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Andrew M Shaw

Andrew M Shaw

Relentless advocacy. Results-driven strategy.
  • Divorce, Domestic Violence, Family Law...
  • New Jersey
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Summary

Andrew M. Shaw, Esq. is a graduate of Georgetown University Law Center and a former board member of the Georgetown Journal on Poverty Law and Policy, where he published. Andrew served as both a legal intern to Justice Helen Hoens of the New Jersey Supreme Court and as a judicial law clerk to the Hon. Margaret Goodzeit, P.J.F.P.; the Hon. Anthony F. Picheca, Jr., J.S.C.; and the Hon. Michael F. O’Neill, J.S.C., in the Somerset County Family Part.

Between 2015 and 2018, Andrew has published four articles on issues relating to family law in the New Jersey Law Journal, including: (1) Alimony Reform, Cohabitation, and the Untimely Death of the Economic Needs Test; (2) ‘Kozlov’ Test for Piercing Privileges is Alive and Well, which was subsequently republished in the American Bar Association’s Minority Trial Lawyer newsletter; (3) Unintended Consequences: Alimony Reform and Lifestyle Equalization; and most recently (4) Premarital Cohabitation and Duration of Alimony under the Amended Statute.

Andrew is a member of the New Jersey State Bar Association as well as the NJSBA’s Young Lawyers Division and Family Law Section. He is also a member of the Somerset County Bar Association and the SCBA’s Somerset County Family Law Practice Committee.

Andrew serves as an Executive Board Member of Town Clock Community Development Corporation, which owns and operates Dina’s Dwellings, a residential facility exclusively providing long-term housing to victims of domestic violence.

Andrew is rated 10/10 by Justia.com, 10/10 by Avvo.com, and he was selected to the New Jersey Super Lawyers list as a “Rising Star” for 2018 and 2019.

Practice Areas
  • Divorce
  • Domestic Violence
  • Family Law
  • Appeals & Appellate
Fees
  • Free Consultation
  • Credit Cards Accepted
Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice
New Jersey
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Federal Circuit
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Languages
  • English: Spoken, Written
Professional Experience
Managing Attorney
Shaw Divorce & Family Law LLC
- Current
Partner
DeTommaso Law Group
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Judicial Law Clerk
Superior Court of New Jersey
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Education
Georgetown University
J.D. | Law
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Georgetown University Logo
Awards
Rising Star
New Jersey Super Lawyers Magazine
Rising Star
New Jersey Super Lawyers Magazine
Professional Associations
NJSBA - Young Lawyers Division
Member
Current
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NJSBA - Family Law Section
Member
Current
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New Jersey State Bar # 091632015
Member
Current
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Publications
Articles & Publications
Premarital Cohabitation and Duration of Alimony Under the Amended Statute
New Jersey Law Journal
Unintended Consequences: Alimony Reform and Lifestyle Equalization
New Jersey Law Journal
The Kozlov Test for Piercing Privileges Is Alive and Well (republished)
Minority Trial Lawyer
‘Kozlov’ Test for Piercing Privileges is Alive and Well
New Jersey Law Journal
Alimony Reform, Cohabitation and the Untimely Death of the Economic Needs Test
New Jersey Law Journal
Our Duty in Light of the Law's Irrelevance
Georgetown Journal on Poverty Law & Policy
Websites & Blogs
Website
Shaw Divorce & Family Law LLC
Legal Answers
5 Questions Answered

Q. My husband divorced me 14 years ago. I am still living with him because he never paid me my settlement. Can you help me
A: Of course. Although it was signed fourteen years ago, you may wish to enforce the settlement agreement. In the divorce context, settlement agreements are enforceable to the extent they are deemed fair and equitable by the Court. Seeking enforcement would require filing a motion with the Superior Court under Rule 1:10-3 or Rule 5:3-7. You have not disclosed the terms of the agreement, but certain terms remain enforceable. For example, while custody and financial support are generally modifiable based on changed circumstances (which likely have occurred over the past fourteen years), equitable distribution is not modifiable based on changed circumstances. But depending on how the facts and circumstances have changed in the interim, you may not wish to enforce the settlement agreement. For example, it is possible that your ex-husband's income has improved dramatically over the course of fourteen years, or perhaps he has accumulated substantial assets. You will need to evaluate the terms of the document with a qualified divorce attorney to determine whether enforcement or non-enforcement would serve your best interests. Develop a strategy to accomplish your goals, and pursue it. When you move forward, I strongly recommend that you take the matter seriously and retain an attorney. Strategic and aggressive counsel will help to maximize your odds of success in Court. Many of the attorneys here on Justia, including me, would be willing to sit down with you free of charge to explore the facts, explain the law, and address the likely timeline, costs, and range of possible outcomes. Please reach out to one of us.
Q. What do I have to do to collect on back alimony that my ex husband did not pay and is there a time limit on it?
A: To collect unpaid alimony, you must file a motion to enforce the obligation with the Superior Court. Under Court Rule 5:3-7(b), the Court an impose any of the following remedies for nonpayment of alimony: "(1) fixing the amount of arrearages and entering a judgment upon which interest accrues; (2) requiring payment of arrearages on a periodic basis; (3) suspension of an occupational license or driver's license consistent with law; (4) economic sanctions; (5) participation by the party in violation of the order in an approved community service program; (6) incarceration, with or without work release; (7) issuance of a warrant to be executed upon the further violation of the judgment or order; and (8) any other appropriate equitable remedy." There is technically no time limit imposed on the collection of unpaid support. There is, however, something called the Doctrine of Laches, which was described by the New Jersey Supreme Court in the 1982 case of Lavine v. Hackensack as "an equitable defense that may be interposed in the absence of a statute of limitations." Effectively, to prevail under the Doctrine of Laches, your ex-husband would have to establish that you unreasonably delayed the enforcement of your right to alimony and that enforcement now would cause him some kind of substantial harm. As held by the New Jersey Supreme Court in the 2003 case of Knorr v. Smeal, "[t]he core equitable concern in applying laches is whether a party has been harmed by the delay." In deciding whether to apply the doctrine, the Court will consider, among other things, the length of delay, the reasons for delay, and the nature of any resulting harm. Whether the Court applies to the Doctrine of Laches (and in what manner) depends on the unique facts of your case. But one thing is certain: The longer you wait, the stronger your ex-husband's argument under the Doctrine of Laches becomes. You should act to enforce your financial rights immediately. In doing so, I strongly recommend that you take the matter seriously and retain an attorney. Strategic and aggressive counsel will help to maximize your odds of success in Court. Many of the attorneys here on Justia, including me, would be willing to sit down with you free of charge to explore the facts, explain the law, and address the likely timeline, costs, and range of possible outcomes. Please reach out to one of us.
Q. On a CIS is the Joint Life Style the average of how we lived or the way we lived at the end of the marriage?
A: Unfortunately, there is no clean answer to your question. The left column of the expenses section of your CIS is meant to accurately reflect the marital lifestyle. It does not specify what period of time during the marriage should be used to calculate the numbers. That said, the answer should be dictated by your litigation strategy. If you are the spouse seeking support, you should likely incorporate average monthly expenditures based on the latter five months of the marriage after you moved into an upscale apartment. You might choose this route because you hope to convince the Court to establish your spouse's alimony obligation based on this upward trajectory during the course of the marital relationship. In fact, there is case law to support such a claim. For example, in the 2011 Chancery Division case of Dudas v. Dudas, the Court held that "New Jersey case law establishes and recognizes the concept of 'momentum of the marriage' as an appropriate legal principle for consideration in an alimony analysis. 'Momentum of the marriage' recognizes the reality that in many instances, one's occupational efforts often start off by yielding small and modest level earnings. However, these efforts may serve as a strong springboard into higher future earnings." Indeed, the momentum of the marriage might continue beyond the final year of the marital relationship. As stated under the 1992 Appellate Division case of Guglielmo v. Guglielmo, "Where a family's expenditures and income had been consistently expanding, the dependent spouse should not be confined to the precise lifestyle enjoyed during the parties' last year together." If you are the spouse paying support, then you should likely choose to include a longer period of time in the average to decrease the marital lifestyle reflected in your CIS. You might argue that, under the 2000 New Jersey Supreme Court case of Crews v. Crews, "the goal of a proper alimony award is to assist the supported spouse in achieving a lifestyle that is reasonably comparable to the one enjoyed while living with the supporting spouse during the marriage." Thus, a supported spouse should not be permitted to dramatically amend the marital lifestyle based on a mere six months toward the conclusion of the relationship. Regardless of your strategy, I strongly recommend that you take the matter seriously and retain an attorney. Strategic and aggressive counsel will help to maximize your odds of success in Court. Many of the attorneys here on Justia, including me, would be willing to sit down with you free of charge to explore the facts, explain the law, and address the likely timeline, costs, and range of possible outcomes. Please reach out to one of us.
Q. If mother has no custody but visits the child once a month can I file for child support ?
A: Absolutely. Under the 2010 Appellate Division case of Colca v. Anson, "parents are expected to support their children until they are emancipated, regardless of whether the children live with one, both, or neither parent." Notably, child support does not belong to either parent. Under the 2002 Appellate Division case of L.V. v. R.S., "[i]t is fundamental that the right to child support belongs to the child and may not be waived by a custodial parent." I strongly recommend that you take these matters seriously and retain an attorney. Strategic and aggressive counsel will help to maximize the award of child support entered by the Court. Many of the attorneys here on Justia, including myself, would be willing to sit down with you free of charge to explore the facts, explain the law, and address the likely timeline, costs, and range of possible outcomes. Please reach out to one of us.
Q. Hi I’m a recently divorced mom of two children. My divorce was finalized on May 12 and I share custody with my x husband
A: You should likely first have an attorney write a letter to him on formal letterhead, sent via regular and certified mail, demanding immediate payment and threatening to take legal action if he does not comply with the divorce judgment. Second, if he refuses or fails to respond within a specified timeframe, file an enforcement motion pursuant to Court Rule 5:3-7(b). More specifically, that Rule provides as follows: "On finding that a party has violated an alimony, financial maintenance, or child support order the court may, in addition to remedies provided by R. 1:10-3, grant any of the following remedies, either singly or in combination: (1) fixing the amount of arrearages and entering a judgment upon which interest accrues; (2) requiring payment of arrearages on a periodic basis; (3) suspension of an occupational license or driver's license consistent with law; (4) economic sanctions; (5) participation by the party in violation of the order in an approved community service program; (6) incarceration, with or without work release; (7) issuance of a warrant to be executed upon the further violation of the judgment or order; and (8) any other appropriate equitable remedy." Further, pursuant to Court Rule 5:3-5(c), you should demand reimbursement of your counsel fees and costs incurred in filing that motion. Indeed, there is a specific statutory provision in New Jersey law generally requiring reimbursement of counsel fees incurred collecting unpaid child support. (As you may know, the obligation to pay child-related expenses is merely a component of a parent's overall child support obligation.) Under N.J.S.A. 2A:34-23a, "[i]f a party in any action to enforce and collect child support ordered by a court ... has incurred counsel fees, the court shall require the defaulting party to pay those counsel fees unless the court finds that the default was substantially justified or that other circumstances make an award of counsel fees unjust. The court shall determine the appropriate award for counsel fees and shall consider the financial circumstances of the parties and whether each acted in good faith." I strongly recommend that you take these matters seriously and retain an attorney. Strategic and aggressive counsel will help to maximize your odds of success in Court. Many of the attorneys here on Justia, including myself, would be willing to sit down with you free of charge to explore the facts, explain the law, and address the likely timeline, costs, and range of possible outcomes. Please reach out to one of us.
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Contact & Map
Shaw Divorce & Family Law LLC
11 East Cliff Street
Somerville, NJ 08876
USA
Telephone: (908) 516-8689
Fax: (908) 231-8448