Norris McLaughlin Rebuilds NJ Matrimonial & Family Law Department

Norris McLaughlin, P.A. announces the revival of its New Jersey Matrimonial and Family Law Department by welcoming Karolina A. Dehnhard and David R. Tawil as members. They join the firm after leaving the Short Hills based firm of Budd Larner, P.C., where they were shareholders in the Family Law Department.

Dehnhard and Tawil have devoted their entire practice to family and matrimonial law matters, including divorce actions, prenuptial agreements, child custody, parenting time, alimony, child support, and domestic violence issues. They handle same-gender and international custody matters, post-judgment motions, as well as complex business valuation and high net-worth divorces.  The team, who will now have more resources to better serve their clients’ needs, will be based out of the firm’s Bridgewater office, and will also be debuting a new office in Short Hills, to continue serving their clients in Essex County and the surrounding geographic areas. substantial

“We are excited to have Karolina and David join the firm as members, and revamp our New Jersey Matrimonial and Family Law practice. Their extensive knowledge and breadth of experience will be a tremendous asset to the firm, allowing us to offer a full range of services with the personal level of care that our clients have come to know, expect, and appreciate,” said John N. Vanarthos, chairman of the firm.  “For a firm that has always considered personal services to be paramount, we cannot wait for them to be able to provide their experience and legal counsel to our existing clients, and for others, and to tie Bridgewater, our New Jersey flagship office, to Short Hills,” continued Vanarthos, noting that Richard Norris, one of the longest tenured members of the firm, is pleased to see the revitalization of the practice group.

Dehnhard, named chair of the New Jersey Matrimonial and Family Law department, assists with complex financial issues, including valuation of businesses both domestically and abroad; international custody rights; the impact of immigration status on divorcing spouses and their children; addressing and enforcing foreign divorce decrees; and the complexities associated with alimony rights and post-judgment cohabitation.

Dehnhard has appeared on various TV shows and news programs, published articles on family law topics in numerous print publications, including North Jersey Woman Magazine, Industry Magazine, VUENJ, and various Polish publications.  In addition, she has co-authored a chapter in Understanding the Legal Issues Surrounding Same-Sex Marriage. She is the co-host of two radio shows, “The Law Matters,” on WMTR Radio, and “There’s Always a Way Out,” on Radio RAMPA, hosted in Polish.

Dehnhard has been a featured presenter at numerous women in business events on topics including “Women Protecting their Assets,” “Becoming the CEO of your Home,” “Promoting Financial Awareness Before and During Divorce,” and planning for the future. She has also taken part in U.S. delegations to Ireland, Cuba, and Spain, to develop international business relations amongst women in business.  Dehnhard was recognized by the Trade and Investment Section of the Consulate General of the Republic of Poland for her influence and leadership in integrating women owned businesses in both Poland and the United States.  In 2018, Dehnhard launched the Polish American Chamber of Commerce, North East (covering Maine to Florida) with a focus on creating business opportunities for both American and Polish businesses.

This year, Dehnhard  was recognized in Top Women in Law and, in 2017, as one of the Top 25 Leading Intrapreneurs in New Jersey. She has also been selected as a “Rising Star” by New Jersey Super Lawyers®, and the recipient of the 2018 Leadership Award presented by the Multiple Sclerosis Association of America, a charity to which she has dedicated more than a decade of time toward helping.  Recognizing that her clients often require the services of various professionals during, and after, their divorce, Dehnhard created Divorce Dynasty, a self-standing concierge service platform, to provide them, and others, with access to a network of professionals who have specific roles in the divorce process, including realtors, bankers, accountants, financial advisers and mortgage brokers, doctors, private investigators and even a matchmaker.

Prior to entry into private practice, Dehnhard clerked for the Honorable Rosemary E. Ramsay, J.S.C., in Morris County Superior Court, Family Part and Civil Part. While in law school, she interned for the Honorable Michael Ambrecht, J.S.C., in the Supreme Court, Criminal Part, Manhattan, and the Honorable Raymond T. Lyons, United States Bankruptcy Judge for the District of New Jersey.

Tawil, an experienced trial attorney with over seventeen years of focus in Matrimonial and Family Law and domestic violence matters, has previously been a partner at two other law firms in his career; first in a boutique firm in Short Hills and Morristown which limited its practice only to those matters, and then at Budd Larner.  He has an extensive background in handling complex divorce proceedings, including business valuations, custody disputes, high income alimony, child support proceedings, and equitable distribution of assets; including distribution of multi-faceted assets, business interests and deferred compensation.  He has tried numerous family law matters, including domestic violence proceedings, as well as Appellate proceedings, post-judgment cohabitation, alimony modification applications, and also handles cases in all aspects of mediation and arbitration.  Admitted to practice both in New Jersey, as well as New York, Tawil has handled matters in both states.

Tawil is the co-author of both the 14th and 15th editions of the Domestic Violence chapter of the New Jersey Family Law Practice Series, the foremost Family Law treatise in use by family law practitioners in New Jersey.   He, along with Dehnhard, speak regularly on all aspects of matrimonial and family law, including domestic violence and custody issues, financial security, equitable distribution and support.  He is the co-host of “The Law Matters” on WMTR Radio, soon to be entering its sixth season.

Prior to entering private practice, Tawil served as a law clerk for the Honorable Thomas P. Zampino, Judge of the Superior Court, Essex County, New Jersey, one of the longest-tenured matrimonial judges in the State of New Jersey.  A graduate of Rutgers University with dual majors in History and Political Science, Tawil attended law school at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in New York. While in law school, he interned for the Honorable Nicholas H. Positan, for the District of New Jersey.

Selected as a Rising Star by the New Jersey Super Lawyers Magazine annually from 2009 through 2017, Tawil has also volunteered his time for over a decade as a member of the Early Settlement Panels of both Essex and Morris Counties (where he serves as a Blue Ribbon Panelist as well).  He also serves on the Board of Directors of Congregation Etz Ahaim, a long-standing synagogue in Middlesex County in existence for almost a hundred years.

Together, Dehnhard and Tawil intend on not only resurrecting the Matrimonial Law practice with the firm in Bridgewater, but to also grow their second office in Short Hills, where they were shareholders at Budd Larner, to serve clients in that geographic area.

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