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Deborah E. Nelson

Attorney Profile

Top Rated Family Law Attorney in West Orange, NJ

Chiesa Shahinian & Giantomasi PC
1 Boland Dr
West Orange, NJ 07052
Phone: 973-325-1500
Fax: 973-325-1501
Selected to Super Lawyers: 2005
Licensed in New Jersey Since: 1985
Practice Areas: Family Law (60%), Alternative Dispute Resolution (40%)


No aspect of this advertisement has been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey. Please visit the Super Lawyers Selection Process for a detailed description of the Super Lawyers selection methodology.

Attorney Profile

Deborah Nelson, a Member with CSG's Family Law Group, has practiced family law for more than 35 years and believes in divorce with mutual respect and civility.  In addition to divorce and custody matters, Deb’s family law practice includes adoptions, child and adult guardianships, relocations, premarital agreements, enforcement of divorce judgments and appeals.  Her reputation is one of experience, knowledge of the law and court system, compassion and dedication to achieving optimal outcomes for her clients, in terms of their long-term financial protection and most important, the welfare of their children.

Some cases must go to trial, like the international kidnapping case that Deb tried and won for her client over a 12-day period in Bergen County Superior Court.  Cases involving custody and parenting time must sometimes go to trial, as well, to promote and preserve a child’s best interests.  Most cases, however, resolve amicably utilizing alternative dispute resolution processes such as mediation and collaborative law.  Deb is frequently retained as an accredited mediator and collaborative law-certified practitioner.  She is also listed on the Court-approved roster of economic mediators, volunteers to settle cases as a panelist in the Court-sponsored  Early Settlement Panel Program,  serves on the New Jersey Supreme Court Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee and has served in leadership roles on the New Jersey State Bar Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee.

Deb strongly believes that by amicably resolving disputes, parties can minimize the impact of divorce on their children and co-parent more effectively during and after divorce, while at the same time achieving their long-term financial goals.

Deb is a former President of the Morris County Bar Association and President of the Morris County Bar Foundation, the charitable arm of the Bar, and has served on numerous Bar Association Committees. She has both lectured and written on numerous family law issues for attorneys and for individuals contemplating divorce.

In continued efforts to give back, Deb volunteers with Susan G. Komen, an organization dedicated to eliminating breast cancer in women and men.

About Deborah E. Nelson

First Admitted: 1985, New Jersey


  • AV Preeminant Rating Video available on line.

Other Outstanding Achievements

  • Admitted, United States Supreme Court, 2004

Bar/Professional Activity

  • Former President, Morris County Bar Association , 2004
  • Master, Worrall F. Mountain American Inn of Court
  • Executive Committee, Legal Services of Northwest Jersey, Inc., 2000
  • Chair and Co-Chair, Morris County Bar Association Alternate Dispute Resolution Committee, 1998
  • Board of Trustees, Morris County Bar Association, 2000
  • Vice-Chair, New Jersey State Bar special Committee on Alternate Dispute Resolution, 2004
  • Vice-Chair, New Jersey State Bar Dispute Resolution Section, 2007
  • Former President, Morris County Bar Foundation, 2003
  • Blue Ribbon and Early Settlement Panelist, 2021
  • Mediator, Court-Sponsored Economic Mediation Program, 2021
  • District X Ethics Committee, 2003
  • Chair and Committeeperson, District X Fee Arbitration Committee, 2007
  • Supreme Court Committee on Alternate Dispute Resolution, 2021
  • Former President Morris County Bar Foundation, 2003
  • Advisory Committee on Mediator Standards, 2019

Special Licenses/Certifications

  • Rutgers University Specialization Seminar on Divorce mediation, 2005
  • Mediation in Domestic Violence Cases, 2019
  • Basic Interdisciplinary Collaborative Family Law Training, 2016
  • Accredited Mediator, New Jersey Court Rules, 2021

Educational Background

  • Rutgers University Specialization Seminar on Divorce Mediation, 2005
  • Illinois Wesleyan University, 1972
  • Basic Disciplinary Collaborative Family Law Training, 2016

Scholarly Lectures/Writings

  • lecturer in PKF O'Connor Seminar: Valuation in Family Law Cases, Lecturer, Valuation in Family law, PKF O'Connor, 2020
  • How to Best Navigate the Virtual Family Law Mediation Process, Author, How To Best Navigate the Virtual Family Law Mediation Process, New Jersey Law Journal, 2020
  • A Silver Lining for Family Law Practitioners and Litigants in These Uncertain Times, Author, LinkedIn, 2020
  • The Evolving Family- How to Protect Your Children and Yourself as Family Dynamics Change, Author, LinkedIn, 2021
  • "What Family Lawyers Can Learn from Tax Returns"  , Presenter, ICLE, 2011

Pro bono/Community Service

  • Susan G. Komen, Volunteer, 2020
  • Vice-President and member of the Board of Governors of the Morristown Club, 2021


  • AV Preeminent Rating, Martindale Hubbell, 2020
  • , Woman Pioneer in the Law Award, Morris County Bar Association, 2019
  • , Top Lawyer, Morris/Essex Health & Life Magazine, Top Lawyers Arbitration & Mediation (2020 and 2021), 2021


  • Extensive record of successfully negotiated and mediated settlements, 2021
  • Reported Decision:  Palmieri v. Palmieri

Industry Groups

  • Former President
  • Former President Morris County Bar Foundation
  • Morris County Bar Association
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Office Location for Deborah E. Nelson

1 Boland Dr
West Orange, NJ 07052

Last Updated: 7/22/2021

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