All About NJ Family Court Motions

1. What is a motion?

A motion is simply an application to the family court. Motions can ask for an endless array of different types of relief. The most common grounds for relief are to increase or decrease child support, to emancipate a child, to compel the payment of health related expenses, and to reduce or terminate alimony.

2. When can a motion be filed?

All family court motions are filed with the Family Court Clerk in the local county court house. All family court motions are considered to be 24-day motions. See, R. 5:5-4(c). This simply means that the motion papers must be filed at least 24 days before the return date. Thus, your legal papers must be served on your ex-spouse and filed with the court at least twenty-four days before the scheduled court date. The motion hearing days are scheduled every other Friday. Some counties have hearings every Friday. To summarize, the motion papers must always be filed 24 days before the hearing date. Any cross-motion or opposition papers must be served and filed fifteen days before the court date. Finally, any reply papers to the cross-motion must be served and filed at least eight days before the court date.

3. What are the important parts of a motion?

A. Notice of Motion

The notice of motion is simply the part of the motion that requests from the court what type of relief you are asking for.The most common types of relief requested are to establish child support, to reduce support payments, to request emancipation, to compel the payment of family household expenses. The notice of motion should be as specific and clear as possible. Remember, the judge reads about 20 to 30 different motions every motion cycle. Thus, all of the motions tend to blur together. Your motion should be written in a clear, concise and punctual manner.

Continue Reading