What is the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers and Why Should You Hire One of Their Fellows?
Daly & Associates’ Founder and Managing Partner, Carolyn N. Daly, was just sworn in as the current President of the New Jersey Chapter of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. She was recently published in Mendham Neighbors, a local magazine, to discuss the Academy and explain why it can be so important to have a Fellow as your attorney if you are going through a family law issue. That article is re-listed here.
As I am sworn in as the President of the New Jersey Chapter of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, it occurs to me that many people may not be aware of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML) and who we are. The AAML is a national organization with chapters in most states. There are approximately 1,650 Fellows in the United States and 52 Fellows in New Jersey. The AAML is dedicated to providing and promoting the highest degree of professionalism and excellence in the practice of family law. To be represented by a Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers is to be represented by a leading practitioner in the field of family law.
To achieve this goal, admissions standards require that an attorney wishing to become a Fellow must have been practicing for at least ten years and at least 75% of the applicant’s practice must be devoted to family law. The attorney must also be a member in good standing of the state bar. Applicants must demonstrate substantial involvement in the area of matrimonial and family law, beyond just their firm. They do this by teaching, lecturing, serving as court appointed guardians ad litem, serving as mediators and authoring articles on family law.
All Fellows must be able to competently handle complex family law cases and have substantial trial experience. However, AAML fellows must also be able to settle cases when appropriate.
Importantly, Fellows in New Jersey must also be certified by the New Jersey Supreme Court as a Matrimonial Law Attorney (a designation that only approximately 2.5% of New Jersey attorneys possess). Finally, Fellows must take and pass a National Exam given by the National Academy.
Why is any of this important for you and your family law case? Simply put, those who successfully obtain membership in the AAML have devoted themselves to the practice of matrimonial and family law. Many of the Fellows are involved in making or changing laws involving divorce and families in New Jersey. Others are mediators and certified arbitrators who assist families in resolving disputes outside of court. Family law is a complex and high-stakes area of law that often becomes emotionally charged. Contested family law cases often involve the care and custody of children, alimony, child support, life and health insurance, financial protection, and the division of assets such as a business, the family home(s), stock options, restricted stock units, retirement accounts, Bitcoin, NFTs and other assets. To make decisions on these issues you need sound advice from someone who is specialized in the practice of family law. You wouldn’t have just any mechanic service your 1967 Austin Healey. Having a Fellow as your attorney, you know you have a lawyer who has specialized in divorce and family law who can handle any range of complex issues and who will help you to arrive at a fair and equitable solution so that you can move on with your life.