FAMILY LAW

While our office always attempts to settle any kind of issue outside of going to court through mediation, four way conferences and attorney to attorney negotiation, sometimes a settlement is not attainable.

When parties cannot come to an agreement on a family law issue, the filing of a motion is required.

What is a Motion? A motion is an application to the family court asking the court to render specific relief. The most common motions made are to increase/decrease child support, to emancipate a child, to compel payment of health related expenses and to reduce or terminate alimony.

When can a Motion be filed? New Jersey Court Rule provides that all motion papers must be filed and served on the other party within 24 days of when the motion is to be heard. All motions are heard at local county family law courthouse. All motion papers which will be discussed at length below must be filed with the family law clerk at the courthouse. Most county courts hear motions on Fridays although some will only hear motions every other Friday depending on county and/or judge. Any cross-motions or opposition must be filed within 15 days of the motion hearing and any response papers need to be filed at least 8 days of the hearing date.

What are included in the motion papers?
Notice of Motion
The notice of motion is the part of the motion that recites the exact relief that you are requesting from the court.


Certification
The certification is a document that advises the judge of what you want and why you should get it. The certification should be written in the voice of the litigant who signs the end of the document. Exhibits should be attached as they are referenced within the litigant's certification.


Proposed Form of Order
An order needs to be submitted to the court so that the judge can sign it. The order will either award or deny the relief requested in the motion.

Some other important documents that should be a part of a Family Court Motion include:

  • Any prior Case Information Statements
  • Copies of tax returns
  • Copies of pay stubs
  • Copies of any prior court orders
  • A copy of any final judgment of divorce
  • Copies of any bills you are requesting to be paid by the other party
  • Proof of any payment of anything you are requesting to be reimbursed for
  • Copies of any expert reports

  • It is a confusing process to file a motion on your own behalf as the Court Rules are incredibly specific to what is necessary for your papers to be considered. It is also to your benefit to hire experienced counsel to advocate for your needs to the Court. Ms. Sangiovanni can offer you the guidance and advocacy while maintaining a one on one relationship through the entire process.

    DIVORCE

    Motions made during a Divorce When getting a divorce there are plenty of questions that can arise especially when you are not the breadwinner of the marriage. The most frequent that I am faced with from many of my clients are: What happens if my spouse/partner vacate the marital home? Or What if my spouse/partner refuses to pay for the expenses he or she has historically paid? Or What happens if my spouse/partner empties all of our accounts?

    When an issue arises similar to the questions above a pendente lite motion will need to be filed. What is a Pendente Lite Motion? As described in the family law section of our website, a motion is an application to the family court that can ask for certain types of relief. A pendente lite motion is an application that is filed during the divorce proceedings (ie after the divorce complaint is filed but before you have a final divorce decree) The purpose of a pendente lite motion is to keep the status quo and preserve the marital assets.

    A typical pendent elite motion will request the following relief: a) to establish custody, child support and alimony; b) to establish a parenting time plan; c) to request that household and roof expenses be paid such as mortgage and utilities; d) to enforce parenting rights such as visitation.

    Pendente lite orders are temporary in nature until a final judgment of divorce is entered which would be obtained by either the parties reaching a settlement or having a court render a final judgment at trial.

    Motions made after a Divorce There are limitless types of motion that can be made after the final judgment of divorce has been entered. A motion made after the final judgment of divorce has been entered is called a Post-Judgment Motion.

    What are Post-Judgment Motions? The following is a list of the most commonly filed post-judgment motions:

  • Modification of child Support/Alimony
  • Custody and Parenting Time
  • Resumption of Maiden Name
  • Emancipation
  • Termination of Child Support/Alimony
  • Enforcement motion to enforce a prior court order or the final judgment of divorce

    Getting divorced can be an extremely stressful and confusing time where it is of the utmost importance to protect not only your assets that were acquired during your marriage but also to protect your parental rights. Ms. Sangiovanni can provide you with step by step guidance of what your strategy should be throughout the entire litigation and personally work and advocate toward those goals.

    DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

    Domestic violence is unfortunately more frequent than one would think. In fact, most victims either do not think they are truly a victim of domestic violence or are in fear of reporting the domestic violence.

    When domestic violence occurs it can be an extremely confusing situation for the victim and family members. Domestic violence involves violence, abuse or harassment against a spouse, former spouse, a present or former member of the same household or someone in a dating relationship.

    If an individual is a victim of any of the behavior mentioned above they have a right to apply for a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) with the court. A TRO bars any contact between the victim and the person alleged to have committed the offense. A Final Restraining Order (FRO) hearing follows soon thereafter where a judge will make a determination on the facts as to whether a FRO should be entered. An FRO will continue to bar communication between the parties.

    Unfortunately, domestic abuse issues can arise in the context of marital disputes, after a separation, during a divorce or during a relationship where you are the accused. There are also instances where accusations are made against individuals to promote their position in litigation. If an FRO is entered it can paint the accused in the wrong light to the court. More importantly, an FRO will permanently be on your criminal record and will bar you from certain employment or obtaining a firearm.

    Whether you are a a victim of domestic violence or a wrongfully accused and need experienced representation in attaining protection or need to be zealously defended in the restraining order process our office will assist you in obtaining the protection you need.