Joe Russell is a Shareholder and Chair of the Family Law group and a member of the Management Committee at Wilentz, Goldman & Spitzer, P.A. While Joe focuses his practice on high net worth/high profile divorce matters, he has a full service family law practice and represents people from all walks of life. His diverse client base demonstrates the depth of his practice and includes business owners, doctors, attorneys, corporate executives, financial advisors, professional athletes, celebrities, television/radio personalities, teachers, policeman, firemen, accountants and their spouses. Joe is always prepared to litigate at trial, but never at the expense of a client's goals when a settlement that minimizes the financial and emotional costs provides a favorable outcome. Results achieved in prior matters are not meant to be a guarantee of success as the facts and legal circumstances vary from matter to matter.

Joe is immersed in the practice of Family Law and all relevant issues, including divorce, alimony, child custody/parenting time, child support, distribution of assets/liabilities, business valuations, protection of exempt assets, family trusts, domestic violence, same sex marriages and prenuptial agreements.

Joe regularly appears in the Family Part throughout New Jersey and is particularly active in Monmouth, Ocean, Middlesex, Somerset, Bergen, Union, Mercer, Morris, Hunterdon, Burlington and Essex Counties. He possesses an intimate knowledge of these courts and opposing counsel. In addition to having been appointed to serve on the Family Law Executive Committee to the New Jersey State Bar Association, Joe also serves on those committees in Ocean and Monmouth Counties, as well as an Early Settlement Panelist in Monmouth and Middlesex Counties.

Joe is also certified as a R. 1:40 Qualified Mediator where he conducts both private and court appointed mediations for litigants throughout the State of New Jersey.

Joe is very involved with his local community in Monmouth County where he devotes substantial time raising money and awareness for LADACIN Network — Lifetime Assistance for Developmental and Challenging Individual Needs — a non-profit agency whose mission is to provide education, therapeutic, social, residential and support services for people with cerebral palsy or other physical disabilities in Monmouth/Ocean Counties. Joe founded and organizes an annual Polar Bear Plunge for LADACIN. Since 2009, this event has raised over $1,000,000.00 for LADACIN. Joe also serves on the Board of Trustees for the Monmouth Medical Center Southern Campus. In 2010, Joe received the Humanitarian of the Year Award from LADACIN. In 2019, he received the Community Service Award from the Monmouth-Ocean Developmental Council at the 54th Annual Silver Gull Gala.

Since 2020, Joe has been selected for inclusion in the New Jersey Super Lawyers list for Family Law and in its "Rising Stars" list from 2010-2019. He has been selected for inclusion in the Best Lawyers in America list in the area of Family Law since 2019. 

Super Lawyers® ( is published by Thomson Reuters.

Best Lawyers in America® ( is published by Best Lawyers.

A description of the selection processes may be accessed via the above links. The aforementioned organizations are private peer review organizations, not court-specific, public certification vehicles. No aspect of this advertisement has been submitted to or approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey.

In 2018, Joe served as the Editor for the award-winning New Jersey Lawyer Magazine Family Law Edition.


  • Rule 5:8A: Attorney for a Child in a Contested Custody Dispute, New Jersey Lawyer Magazine, February 2018 Edition
  • “A Summary of 2014 New Jersey Family Law Opinions, Statutes and Court Rules,” Wilentz Family Law Case Digest, presented in 2006

Results achieved in prior matters are not meant to be a guarantee of success as the facts and legal circumstances vary from matter to matter.

Testimonials: Joseph J. Russell, Jr., Esq.

Meticulous, zealous advocate. Joe is the real deal. As a lawyer myself, I hold my lawyers to impossible standards. Not only was he meticulous and extremely detail oriented, but he paid close attention to my needs and advocated zealously for me from beginning to end. He is also efficient and practical - two attributes that are very important in legal counsel. Highly, highly recommend.”
— R.G., Hudson County, NJ

“Joe has your back. I'm an Oncologist and am pretty much the last person anyone wants to meet. Divorce attorneys are right up there too. That said, when you need us it's good that we are there. Joe surely was there for me when I needed him. Joe helped get me through the most difficult chapter of my life so I was able to focus on the wellbeing of my children and my patients. He and his staff kept me up to date on all issues in a respectful, professional and compassionate manner. I am indebted to Joe and his team.”— Guiseppe C., Bergen County, NJ

“Joe continually had a firm grasp on the pulse of my case. His insight as to how to proceed with each step was spot on, and proved to be invaluable to me and the settlement of my significantly complicated divorce case. Joe is honest, trust worthy, and demonstrated several times throughout my case his desire to NOT take a course that would have increased his fees-but rather the best course-even if it meant it would minimize legal costs. I would highly recommend his services to my family and friends.” — Gary M., Ocean County, NJ

“Mr. Russell is one of the most professional, compassionate, trustworthy, fair and kind human beings that I have had the pleasure and good fortune to have known and had in my corner during a most difficult time. Joe always went out of his way to be thorough and patient in explaining the process every step of the way. I highly recommend Mr. Russell to friends and family.” — Denise V., Ocean County, NJ

“Joe was extremely professional and knowledgeable throughout the whole divorce process. Joe also showed real compassion, he was honest, practical, patient and very responsive to all my questions and needs, which made the difference, and this difficult time much more bearable. I could rely and trust his advice thus would highly recommend Joe to my friends and family!” — Tsipi F., Essex County, NJ

“I was extremely pleased with the service I received from Joe and his team throughout my divorce process. Whenever I emailed or called with any questions or concerns I was contacted back in a timely manner. Joe’s professionalism and understanding made this difficult process much less stressful. I would highly recommend him (and have) to friends and family in the future.” — Jennifer F., Ocean County, NJ

“After consulting with other attorneys, a friend suggested I reach out to Joe Russell at Wilentz Goldman & Spitzer. Choosing Joe Russell as my attorney was by far the best choice I could have made. Words cannot express how grateful I am to have Joe represent me in my divorce and post-judgment matters.  Joe is the best attorney who helped me through a very difficult time. Joe is extremely knowledgeable of family law and he guided me through the process every step of the way. He is everything you could ask of an attorney, caring, intelligent, strong, professional. He shows a real connection to his clients and I felt stronger having him by my side. Joe has gone above and beyond for me and my daughter and I am forever grateful to him! I have and will continue to recommend him to anyone who needs an attorney.” — Amy S., Ocean County, NJ

“Mr. Russell and his team are excellent to work with. For me they had made my case so much easier to handle and deal with. I was given the best and most practical advice to deal with the mess I was in.”— Raman S., Middlesex County, NJ

“Mr. Russell handled my matter professionally and efficiently. I highly recommend him as a seasoned family law attorney.” — Robert C., Union County, NJ

“Joe was extremely professional and knowledgeable throughout the whole divorce process. Joe also showed real compassion, he was honest, practical, patient and responsive to all my questions and needs, which made the difference, and this difficult.” — Chris H., Morris County, NJ

“I found Mr. Joe Russell to be very professional, caring, and willing to give full and prompt attention to my legal matters. He was supportive and understanding rather than condescending. I never felt like I was being "nickel and dimed." On several occasions he worked over the weekend on one day notice to rush documents to court on my behalf successfully protecting me from unlawful seizure.” Paul B., Monmouth County, NJ

“I spoke with several lawyers before I hired Joe to represent me in my divorce. What I liked most was his straight forward style, ie., he did not tell me what I wanted to hear, but what I needed to hear in order to view the divorce with less emotion and more like a business transaction. I trusted that he was not looking to draw out the process for more legal fees, but to realistically come to a settlement, and was mindful of my priorities throughout the process.
Divorce is emotionally charged and contentious by nature, but at the end of the day the law provides some ground rules and structure, so being mindful of a realistic outcome is important if you do not want to drive up legal fees to only, most likely, get the same results in the long run. I think in a successful / fair divorce settlement both parties leave the table not 100% happy. Joe did a great job in navigating through the emotions and keeping on task, while also fairly representing my best interests. I would not hesitate to recommend Joe and never regretted my choice in placing my trust in Joe.” — Maney F., Somerset County, NJ

“I was very nervous. Divorce is unsettling. You need hope. Joe is one attorney who despite being a great listener is good at communication too. He made complex financial calculations sound so simple. What I really liked about him is his self-confidence and his behavior with the adversary. He is respectful to all and hence wins everyone. I really felt very secure in his presence as Joe was there ready to cover my back. Joe is now like family - what more compliment may I offer!” — Denise M., Monmouth County, NJ