Knowing Your Judge in a Family Law Case in Essex County, New Jersey

New Jersey Superior Court, Family Division of Essex County is the busiest family law courthouse in New Jersey. The diverse county of Essex includes wealthy areas like Short Hills and Livingston and poorer areas in Irvington and Newark. The courthouse is located at 212 Washington Street in Newark, NJ. While there are many different types of family law cases in a family law courthouse, this article will focus on the Judges of the Matrimonial Division which handles divorces and post divorce actions.

Judge Nancy Sivilli is one of the longest standing family law/divorce judges in Essex County. Judge Sivilli was a civil court judge prior to being transferred to the family division where she handles a very heavy docket. Judge Sivilli is a neutral judge that understands both sides of the story as she is married and has children. While it is not critical for a family law judge to have kids, I believe having kids gives you a different persepective than someone that does not. Judge Sivilli make the speech at the early settlement panel to inform litigants of their chance to resolve their matters before having a trial.

The next judge is the Honorable Judge Donald Kessler who has also been on the family law bench of Essex County for a long time. Judge Kessler is a stickler to the rules of the court, but is a very kind and patient person. He does not tolerate yelling or other unruly behavior in his court. He permits people to make their arguments one at a time as a court should be like and not like the Maury Show that some judges permit. Judge Kessler is a family man who really watches out for the needs of the children in each case over anything else.

Judge Michael Casale is the next judge that focuses on matrimonial cases and is a judge that I believe understands the rules of equitable distribution more than most judges. In a recent case, he ruled that the party who invested pre-marital funds into the marital home should retrieve that portion of the equity before dividing anything that may be left. While other judges rule that once you invest money together, the money is “commingled” and the division of the money is lost. This latter argument to me does not make sense in a court of equity. I agree to Judge Casale’s methods and theory.

Whether you have a case before Judge Sivilli, Judge Casale or Judge Kessler, Judge Neil Jasey, Judge Russell, Judge Adobato, the divorce process in Essex can be very long because of the “war between Trenton and Essex” and the lack of judges allotted to Essex which has caused a family court trial backlog. While there is a backlog, the good news is that these judges are very wise and do manage their calendars quite well.…

Emily Bronte: Wuthering Heights

Emily Bronte in her first novel, the Wuthering Heights brought a new sensation to the world of the 18th century. It was a world of divided living, where fine lines were drawn among all the social classes, and material possessions defined the status of the people. In this classified society Emily Bronte managed to draw the image of two people who had confined themselves to the constrict society, but had created a shared world of their own. And this shared world, yielded strong passions, of love, desire and revenge.

Cathy and Heathcliff though came to live together from their early childhood but their social differences made them come into direct conflict with the society. Catherine Earnshaw belonged to the family of aristocrats, and Heathcliff was no other but a gypsy, who was brought to the house, as an act of kindness. Yet very soon Catherine develops a liking for the quiet Heathcliff, as she finds him in harmony with her own self. Whether its playing, eating, singing, or lesson of bible, she finds a tendency to be like Heathcliff more than herself. Growing together in the moors, Cathy and Heathcliff, come together as they learn to share the same perspective towards life. They live in freedom and high spirit in the vast spread lands.

Unconsciously they develop a bond, a connection of love, so strongly that don’t even know themselves.

The conflict arises when Catherine is introduced to Edgar Linton. Catherine and Heathcliff are aware from the beginning that the future holds difficulties for them, but they keep themselves busy in their own happiness until Edgar Linton comes into the picture. Heathcliff becomes agitated and raged by his frequent visits and finds him to be a threat to his dignity while Catherine sees no enemy in Edgar Linton and she soon becomes well acquainted with his way of life. As new realities open to Catherine, she sees a larger world beyond what she had seen with Heathcliff at Wuthering heights.

Catherine is torn between the society and her own world. Edgar Linton seems the right person to marry, as he has wealth, status, and honor. But with Heathcliff she has something beyond all material possessions. She says “Whatever our soul are made of, his and mine are the same.” This was an epiphany for Catherine as for the first time she realized that there was something distinct about her feelings for Heathcliff. She could not separate herself from him in any way, because deep inside she felt that they were no separate beings, but a single soul that occupied two bodies. She says “-he’s more myself than I am.” This was an intense emotional realization. And the forward movement was shaped by it, as Cathy started to think of ways in which she could be with Heathcliff not only emotionally but also in the societal world they lived in.

In an attempt to make relationship with Heathcliff survive the conflict with the orthodox society, Catharine thinks of marriage with Edgar …