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April 20, 2023

Call Green & Associates today FOR A FREE CONSULTATION ABOUT YOUR MOTION and ask us about our flat fees for motions at 732-390-0480 or 201-242-1119! 

Whether you are filing a divorce motion, postjudgment divorce motion, family court motion, a motion for relocation, a motion for alimony modification, a motion for alimony termination or a motion for a change in custody, procedurally, at least initially, many of the same things apply.

 Family court motions are generally on a 24 day cycle, meaning initial papers are filed that include a Certification from the party filing, a request for the relief being asked for in the Notice of Motion, and often a request for attorneys fees, two weeks later the other side’s papers are due, which will include an Opposition to the motion and sometimes a cross-motion, which would seek their own relief.  A week thereafter, a reply is filed and a week after that is the return date for the motion.  The Court may hear the motion on the papers, meaning decide it based on the papers submitted only, or the court may set the motion down for a hearing for oral argument.  Generally, the parties must appear with their counsel at oral argument, although, generally, it is counsel that speaks on behalf of the party at oral argument.  Oral argument may be in person or on zoom.  

 Some counties are different, but generally, whether you are in Middlesex County Family Court (serving East Brunswick, Old Bridge, Spotswood, Sayreville, Monroe Township, Piscataway), Bergen Family Court (serving Fort Lee, Cliffside Park, Secaucus, Hackensack), Somerset Family Court (serving Somerville), Monmouth County Family Court (serving Manalapan, Colts Neck) , Hudson County Family Court (serving Jersey City) or Union County Family Court (serving Union, Hillside, Springfield), Essex County Court (serving Newark),  the 24 day cycle for the motion will be used, although, adjournments of a cycle (two weeks) are often granted to allow the other side to respond.

 A Post judgment motion is generally a motion after a divorce has been finalized with a Judgment for Divorce.  Motions after a divorce generally include motions for enforcement of the parties’ Matrimonial Settlement Agreement or Property Settlement Agreement, Motions for Relocation of the parties’ children, motions for a change or modification of alimony or termination of alimony, and motions for a change in the custody of the parties’ children.

 Any of these motions, after filed may cause a court to order further discovery and a plenary hearing, or mini-trial, where the parties will have to present evidence and give testimony.  Exhibits and experts may have to appear depending on the type of motion.

 Motions for Termination of Alimony

 Very often these motions are filed for three reasons, one, there is cohabitation by the ex-spouse receiving alimony, and the obligor is seeking to terminate alimony because of it, or the obligor has had a “substantial change in circumstances” such as losing their employment or a change in health status such that they can’t support the obligation anymore, or, and finally, the obligor has reached an age for a good faith retirement.

 A good faith retirement may be the median age of retirement under social security, generally, around 67.5 years old or it may be reaching full retirement age with your employment.  Either way, an application is necessary generally to request of the court to order a termination of alimony based on the good faith retirement. 

 In cohabitation cases, generally, a detective agency is hired to obtain proofs e.g. video with surveillance of the ex-spouse’s home to show that she is cohabitating with an adult and non-relative.  Other proofs are required and obtained after this “prima facie” case is shown to show support by one of the cohabitants for the other and a marriage like relationship pursuant to New Jersey law and statute (New Jersey’s alimony statute of 2014 changed the law as to cohabitation) to prove cohabitation with a court.  Generally, a court will order discovery and a plenary hearing if a “prima facie” case has been shown of cohabitation upon the motion filing.

 Motions for Relocation

 The law for relocation has also changed of late in the State of New Jersey regarding the standard for relocation.  It is the burden of the party seeking a relocation to show the court that the relocation is “in the best interests of the child”.  The old standard was that you just had to show it was not inimical to the child’s best interests, or not against their best interests.  This was a lower standard that allowed for a good faith showing that the move would for instance allow for the parent seeking the relocation the opportunity to obtain other employment or be near their family.  Those facts may still support a motion, but they must support that this would be in the best interest of the child.  So, proofs of the school the child would be attending and other opportunities for the child must be included in any motion for relocation.  And, you will have to present a parenting time that is reasonable based on the current parenting time of the other parent in order for the Court to see that you will continue to allow parenting time by the non-custodial parent upon your relocation.

 A Court will generally order discovery and a plenary hearing for any relocation motion, so, if you are planning to relocate, give yourself a lot of time to get this motion through the process in the courts.

 Motions for Change in Custody

 Often a parent seeks a change in custody because of a “substantial change in circumstances” from at the time of the divorce.  One party may not be taking their parenting time, or may have a substance abuse issue.  Or, a party may want more time than they could have had at the time of the divorce.

 The other parent is now seeking to now have sole legal custody perhaps, where they alone may make all of the decisions regarding the child, and/or they may be seeking sole physical custody or supervised visitation, in the case of a substance abuse issue.  If a parent is not in a child’s life, it is difficult for the other parent to make decisions with someone who is simply unavailable to make decisions with.

 In those cases where a parent wants more time than the current agreement allows for, they may have changed employment or moved closer to the child and want to now be more of a part of that child’s life.

 Motions for Enforcement of Litigant’s Rights or Motions to Enforce a Matrimonial Settlement Agreement Terms

 Often these motions are to enforce the terms previously agreed upon by the parties, such as paying for the children’s medical care or extracurricular activities or the selling of a home.  Generally, the Court will support the enforcement of a litigant’s rights and may award attorney’s fees for the filing of the motion.

 Whatever your motion, CALL Green & Associates NOW for a FREE CONSULTATION and let us help you fight for your rights!  Call us at 732-390-0480 or 201-242-1119!

 Mr. Green is a family law attorney and a family law lawyer serving all of New Jersey for family law and divorce matters, including, East Brunswick, Old Bridge, Spotswood, Sayreville, Milltown, Monroe Township, Fort Lee, Cliffside Park, Teaneck, and  Leonia.