New Jersey Family Law and Divorce Lawyer


Joanna chairs the Finance and Estate Planning Practice at the firm, including but not limited to matters involving corporate litigation and consultation, and wills, trusts and estates. Further, Joanna’s matrimonial and family law practice focuses on matters including but not limited to appellate practice, special needs families and Qualified Domestic Relations Orders (QDROs).

In her personal life, Joanna is the parent of a child with special needs. As a special needs parent, Joanna has an innate understanding of the nuances, intricacies, issues and concerns of special needs families, including but not limited to special needs trusts, disability benefits and petitions for guardianship of an incapacitated person.

Prior to joining Lyons & Associates, P.C., Joanna worked as an appellate law clerk for the Honorable Susan L. Reisner, P.J.A.D. In her clerkship, Joanna reviewed, analyzed and recommended outcomes for appeals involving an array of legal issues including but not limited to civil litigation, mass tort litigation, land use, criminal law and various family matters including DCPP related abuse and neglect and/or termination of parental rights cases, child support, and domestic violence.

Joanna graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Washington in 2006, and graduated with honors from the Seattle University School of Law in 2016. While in law school, Joanna served as a judicial clerk for the Honorable Theresa M. Pouley, the now-retired Chief Judge of the Tulalip Tribal Court. Joanna also published an article that analyzed how tribal domestic violence convictions could potentially be used in subsequent federal criminal proceedings.

Joanna is admitted to practice in New Jersey. She is also a member of the American Bar Association, New Jersey State Bar Association, Somerset County Bar Association, and Garden State Bar Association.

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Articles Written by Joanna R. Adu

Letter of Intent – A Must Have for Any Special Needs Family

Written by: Joanna Adu, Esq.

If you are the primary caregiver of a person with special needs and passed away tomorrow, is there someone who could pick up where you left off in caring for that person? A letter of intent is a document used to communicate the instructions,

What is a Special Needs Trust and How Can it Help My Family?

Written by: Joanna Adu, Esq.

A Special Needs Trust (sometimes called a Supplemental Needs Trust) or “SNT” is a specific type of trust, created by federal law, that allows an individual with special needs, or someone on behalf of that individual with special needs (commonly parents or grandparents),

How QTIP Trusts Help Blended Families Pass on Assets after Death

Written by: Joanna Adu, Esq.

For individuals who are married but have children from a prior relationship a QTIP Trust should be a point of consideration in your estate planning process. A QTIP Trust, or Qualified Terminable Interest Property Trust, is an irrevocable trust that allows you to use your assets to provide for your surviving spouse until his or her death while still preserving those assets for distribution to your children thereafter.