A career in law is difficult, and so is the path to get there. Amy Goldstein was inspired to study law by family members who were attorneys long before she headed to the University of Pennsylvania Law School. In fact, law is a family affair for her family.
“I had an aunt on my mother’s side who became a lawyer when it was very uncommon for a woman to do so, back in the 1940s,” said Amy. “She started her career by teaming up with two other women who graduated from law school with her and they started their own law firm in Boston. My uncle on my father’s side also started a commercial litigation law firm in Manhattan in the 1950s. He was a very old-school guy, very proper, very much a gentleman. I always admired and respected both of them, and I think that they were the reasons I decided to go into the law.” Amy’s two siblings are also lawyers.
This love of the law guided Amy to a career in the challenging practice area of family law. Amy’s vast knowledge and experience in family law is recognized in New Jersey and beyond. Amy has been sought out by radio and television news programs for her insights, including The Today Show, Access Hollywood, CNN, MSNBC, Radio Times with Marty Moss-Coane on WHYY, and The Philadelphia Inquirer. She has also written extensively on a wide spectrum of family law issues.
Amy was selected to serve on an eight-member committee appointed by the New Jersey State Board of Psychological Examiners to draft the Child Custody Evaluation Guidelines for mandatory use by all psychologists in the State of New Jersey. New Jersey lawmakers also asked her to assist in the drafting of the New Jersey Alimony Statute, which passed in 2014. As part of that project, Amy testified at hearings before the New Jersey Senate Judiciary Committee regarding the final Amended Alimony bill.
“My experience with clients was actually the biggest motivator for me to assist lawmakers in revising the alimony laws,” recalled Amy. “The biggest issue, as I saw it, was the wide disparity among alimony decisions. Whether they were initial alimony orders or modifications of an existing alimony order, if a client asked me what the range of outcomes might be if the judge decided their case, I could not answer their question and that disturbed me. I strongly believed that more guidance was required in the statute, and we finally achieved that in the final bill that was sent to a vote and passed.”
High-asset divorces may involve closely held businesses, multiple parcels of real estate, investments of various kinds, high level employment benefits and even collections, such as wine or vintage car collections that need to be split. Equitable distribution may seem like a complicated task in these cases. However, Amy has 40 years of family law experience achieving the equitable distribution of all types of assets, no matter how complex.
Matters like child custody agreements, child emancipation, and child removal from the State of New Jersey are all matters that Amy has not only argued, including many cases that were argued in the Appellate Division, but which she has taught in seminars for both the general public and fellow attorneys at legal education organizations, such as the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers and the State of New Jersey Institute of Continuing Legal Education. Amy was also an Associate Editor and a Contributing Editor to the New Jersey Family Lawyer, a publication produced by the New Jersey State Bar Association.
Rated “AV Preeminent” by Martindale Hubbell, Amy’s five-star rating comes from her peers, notably, who rank her at “the highest level of professional excellence.” Likewise, she has been voted among The Best Lawyers in America for over 10 years and has been named to the Super Lawyers list every year since the designation began in 2005. The Super Lawyers organization also named Amy as one of the Top 50 Female attorneys in New Jersey, among all specialties.
A Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML) since 1992, Amy has served as the president of AAML’s New Jersey Chapter, served as an officer in every position on the AAML board, as well as a member of the AAML New Jersey State Board of Examiners, the AAML State Bar Relations Committee, and the AAML Long Range Planning Committee. She has also served as both a member and Chair of the Camden County Bar Association Family Law Committee, Chair of the Camden County Adult Education Committee, and Chair of the Camden County Judicial and Prosecutorial Selection Committee, among the many roles she has held in the legal professional community.
The widespread recognition of Amy’s legal expertise and professionalism is based on the observation shared by many: Amy not only has an extensive working knowledge of the law , but that she also understands how deeply it impacts the people involved.
“The best way to handle any family case is to be completely transparent about possible outcomes and educate our clients about the issues because many clients hear misinformation from their friends, relatives, or on social media,” says Amy.
One could surmise that Amy’s interest in ensuring children’s rights comes from her long experience in family law, but she has always had an interest in the rights of children. During her last year of law school, Amy interned with the Children’s Defense Fund (CDF), created by civil rights icon Marian Wright Edelman. “That was a tremendous experience for me,” said Amy, “It was an honor to be there.”
To this day, the rights of children remain a steady focus for Amy in her work and in her volunteer efforts. Amy was a Board Member of Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) for many years, and she is currently a Board Member of the Camden County Boys and Girls Club, of which she is now President-Elect.
As a parent, stepparent and step-grandparent in a blended family, Amy not only understands the law as it applies, but she knows firsthand how divorce and blended families work in real life. “I would say that my interests in life and in my practice come together well,” said Amy. “I am interested in protecting the rights of children to be children, whether it is a marriage dissolution case or in any other situation and I am exactly where I want to be in my career as a family law attorney.”
- University of Pennsylvania Law School, J.D. (1982)
- State University of New York at Binghamton, Binghamton, New York, B.A. (Summa Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa)
- New Jersey, 1982
- Pennsylvania, 1982
- Accredited Mediator;
- Accredited Collaborative Divorce Attorney;
- Accredited Arbitrator;
- Rated “AV Preeminent by Martindale Hubbell
- American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers New Jersey Chapter, Past President, Board of Managers, State-Bar Relations Committee, and Long Range Planning Committee
- American Bar Association, Family Law Section, Assisted Reproductive Technology Subcommittee
- State of New Jersey Bar Association, Family Law Executive Committee, Children’s Rights Subcommittee and Alimony Guidelines Subcommittee
- Camden County Bar Association, Past Chair of the Camden County Bar Association Family Law Committee, Chair of the Camden County Adult Education Committee, and Chair of the
- Camden County Judicial and Prosecutorial Selection Committee.
- Member of the Camden County Bar Association Professional Responsibility Committee, Camden County Bar Association Advisory Committee to the New Jersey State Bar Association
- Judicial and Prosecutorial Selection Committee, and Camden County Judicial and Prosecutorial Selection Committee.
- Board of Psychological Examiners Committee for Statewide Child Custody Guidelines
- Camden County Boy and Girls Club Board of Trustees, Secretary/Treasurer
- CASA of Burlington and Mercer Counties, Past Board of Trustees
- Judge for the New Jersey State High School Mock Trial Competition sponsored by the New Jersey State Bar Association
- Selected Ethical Issues in Divorce, New Jersey Chapter of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers
- Drafting Property Settlement Agreements, New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education
- The New Limited Duration Alimony Law, New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education
- The Effect of Cohabitation on Alimony, New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education
- Matrimonial Law and Estate Planning Issues, New Jersey Chapter of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers
- Cross Examination of Mental Health Experts, New Jersey Chapter of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers
- Jury Trials in Marital Tort Cases, New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education
- Matrimonial Early Settlement Panels, Association of Trial Lawyers of America-New Jersey Educational Foundation
- Recent Decisions and Estate Planning Issues in Matrimonial Law, New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education
- The Ten Most Effective Ways to Analyze an Expert Report and Cross Examine an Expert (Psychologists), Association of Trial Lawyers of America-New Jersey Educational Foundation
- The Recent Case of Brown vs. Brown (Minority Discounts in Valuing Closely Held Businesses), New Jersey Institute of Continuing Legal Education
- Survivor Benefits in Pension Plans, C.O.B.R.A. Benefits and Health Insurance Plans in Divorce, New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education
- Domestic Violence Case Law Update, New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education
- New Jersey Court Rules Review, New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education
- The New Jersey Rules of Evidence, American Trial Lawyers Association
- “Is It Time to Retire the ‘Parent of Primary Residence Designation’,” New Jersey Family Lawyer
- “Joint Custody: Now That You Have It, What Does It Mean”, New Jersey Family Lawyer“Decisions in Joint Custody Arrangements”, New Jersey Family Lawyer
- “Cross Examination of the Mental Health Expert”, New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education
- “Marital Tort Cases”, New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education
- “Selected Ethical Problems When a Lawyer Divorces,” New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education
- “Recent Decisions and Estate Planning Issues in Matrimonial Law”, New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education
- “The Effect of Cohabitation on Alimony,” New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education
- “Matrimonial Law and Estate Planning Issues,” New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education
- “Survivor Benefits in Pension Plans” and “C.O.B.R.A. Health Continuation Benefits,” New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education
- “Media Access to Family Court Cases,” New Jersey Family Lawyer
- “Harassment Under the Domestic Violence Statute,” New Jersey Family Lawyer