Jennifer Fortunato

Jennifer Fortunato

Phone: 973-586-4941
Fax: 973-627-2858

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Jennifer Fortunato

Jennifer Fortunato is an experienced litigator who focuses her practice on all aspects of Family Law and Education Law with an emphasis on Special Education Law.

Jennifer began her legal career handing Family Law cases and has been practicing in the area of Family Law for over 25 years. Many people facing family law issues want an attorney who is both compassionate and aggressive, a critical combination that is hard to find – unless they engage with Jennifer Fortunato. Jennifer’s empathetic listening style and fact-based approach facilitates a trusting relationship with her clients, many of whom are experiencing one of the most upsetting and complicated times in their lives. Practical and direct, she helps her clients understand the best and worst-case scenarios and all possibilities in between. Jennifer easily conveys this information in layman’s terms so that her clients can determine the best course of action.

Jennifer is a certified matrimonial trial attorney fluent in every aspect of family law, including divorce, separation, domestic violence, child support and custody, palimony, adoption, same-sex marriage, civil unions and other domestic matters. She is well-versed in the complex area of children’s legal issues and is adept at providing sensitive and caring counsel. Her entire career has been devoted exclusively to family law and she extends her involvement beyond the courtroom. Jennifer teaches young adults about the law and provides volunteer counsel to children with special needs. Currently, Jennifer serves on the New Jersey State Bar Association Family Law Executive Committee, as well as on the District Ethics Committee, a position she was appointed to by the New Jersey Supreme Court in 2016 for a four-year term.

In the area of Education Law, Jennifer advocates for children with special needs so that they can obtain the education they need and have a right to receive. Jennifer was drawn to Special Education Law beginning in 2004 due to personal circumstances involving her own children, one who is deaf and the other who has a learning disability. Out of necessity, Jennifer developed the interest and in-depth knowledge of Special Education Law and the rights of special needs children and their families. Jennifer’s advocacy on behalf of children and their families includes counseling and representation on issues arising under the Individuals with Disability ACT (IDEA), Section 504 and other State statutes. Jennifer participates in Individual Education Plan (IEP) meetings and meetings with Child Study Teams. Jennifer also represents clients in enforcing and revising IEPs, obtaining Section 504 Plans, settlement negotiations and mediation with school districts, due process hearings and litigation. Jennifer also handles cases where children are threatened with disciplinary actions or are the target of bullying or harassment. With the right strategies, most education disputes can be resolved through mediation or conferences, but if needed, Jennifer will vigorously fight for the rights of your child through litigation.

Bar Admissions

  • New Jersey, 1993
  • U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey, 1993
  • New York, 1994

Education

  • Wake Forest University School of Law, J.D.,1992
  • Boston University, B.S., cum laude, 1989

Honors & Accolades

  • Certified Trial Matrimonial Lawyer, 2002 – present
  • New Jersey Super Lawyers Rising Star, 2006
  • AV Preeminent rating by Martindale-Hubbell® Peer-Review Rating™ 2017, 2018

Professional Affiliations

  • Member, Ethics Committee, District XA since 2016
  • Member, New Jersey State Bar Association Family Law Executive Committee since 2017
  • Member, New Jersey State Bar Association Family Law Section Sub-committee for Child Support/Probation Legislation
  •  Member, New Jersey State Bar Association since 1992
  •  Member, Morris County Bar Association since 1997
  •  Blue Ribbon Panelist, Morris County  since 2000
  •  Early Settlement Panelist, Morris County since 1997
  •  Member, Passaic County Bar Association 1992-1997
  •  Member, Somerset County Inns of Court, 1998
  •  Member, Passaic County Inns of Court, 1996
  •  Member, Passaic County Bar Association, 1993 – 1998

Community Involvement

  • Member, AG Bell Graham
  • Coach, Kinnelon High School, New Jersey Bar Foundation’s statewide high school mock trial competition, 2015 – 2017
  • Kinnelon Special Education Advisory Counsel, 2010 – 2011
  • Appellate Division Judge for Mock Court at Seton Hall Law School, 1998

Experience

  • Reported Decisions
    •  Italiano v. Rudkin, 294 N.J. Super. 502 (App. Div. 1996) dealing with a modification of child support based upon a showing of changed circumstances namely, an increase in the non-custodial parent’s income, the children’s maturation and an increase in the cost of living since the original child support Order.
  • Seminars/Presentations
    • New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education, Speaker
    • Relocating With Children – an Emerging Phenomena in the 21st Century and Marital Momentum: Taking the Good With The Bad