New Jersey Family Law and Divorce Lawyer


Joanna chairs the Finance and Estate Planning Practice at the firm. Her areas of practice include corporate litigation and consultation, and wills, trusts and estates. Further, Joanna’s matrimonial and family law practice focuses on matters including appellate practice, special needs families and Qualified Domestic Relations Orders (QDROs), and more.

In 2020, Joanna was selected as a New Jersey Super Lawyers Rising Star for her work in family law. Joanna has also presented at various professional continuing education courses in family law conducted by the New Jersey Association of Justice (NJAJ) on matters including child support, pet custody and ethics, among others.

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 issues and concerns of special needs families, including providing for their future care through a special needs trusts, family law issues involving special needs children, and guardianship petitions.

Prior to joining Lyons & Associates, P.C., Joanna served as an appellate law clerk for the Honorable Susan L. Reisner, P.J.A.D. (ret.). In her clerkship, Joanna worked on appeals involving an array of legal issues including 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.

Joanna is admitted to practice in New Jersey. She is a member of the American Bar Association, New Jersey State Bar Association, Somerset County Bar Association, Garden State Bar Association, and Association of Black Women Lawyers. Joanna also serves on the Matrimonial Law Committee for NJAJ and sits on the Board of Directors for SERV Achievement Centers.

Super Lawyers Rising Star
Super Lawyers 2020

The awards and accolades displayed on this website were issued to the attorneys, or the entire law firm by the respective providers of these honors. They are as follows, Super Lawyers®. No aspect of these advertisements have been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey.


Articles Written by Joanna R. Adu

Guardianships – New Background Screening Procedure for Certain Guardianship Petitions

The New Jersey Judiciary has recently issued a directive that for all petitions for guardianship of incapacitated persons filed on or after May 15, 2021, a new background screening policy is in place.

Specifically, for certain proposed guardians, the Court will now require that they be subject to a background check that includes: a check of Judiciary systems,

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),