Demystifying Motions in New Jersey Divorce Cases

A motion is a request for relief from the court. In a New Jersey divorce court, many motions can be filed during the litigation process. Each motion has a different purpose and requests a specific action from the court (e.g. make a decision or issue an order). The party seeking relief from the court can file a motion once the complaint for the case has been filed. In divorce and other family law cases, common motions include:

Pendente Lite Motions. These motions ask the court for temporary relief. Because many divorce cases can take up to a year, spouses can ask the court for temporary child support or alimony or to order the other spouse to pay certain bills, pay attorney fees, provide health insurance coverage, or relinquish certain assets.

Motion for Reconsideration. Motions for Reconsideration ask the judge to reconsider a decision made or an order he or she issued.

Post-Judgment Motions. These are most commonly filed to request a modification or termination of child support or alimony. The party filing the motion must prove there has been a significant change in circumstances to ask the court to modify an order.

Child Custody and Parenting Time Motions. During and after a divorce, motions involving child custody or parenting time are frequently filed. Parents can ask the court to grant or modify custody and parenting time. Modifications of this kind are common because as children age, their needs change, too. Thus, custody and parenting time can be modified when it is in the best interests of the child.

Motion to Compel. Motions to compel ask the court to order a party in the case or a third party to do something. In divorce cases, Motions to Compel can be filed when one spouse wants the other spouse to produce certain pieces of evidence (i.e. discovery), answer certain interrogatories, or make certain admissions.

Motion to Continue. A Motion to Continue asks the court to continue a hearing to a later date.

Filing a motion in a New Jersey divorce case can be a difficult process. You must adhere to strict court guidelines on how to prepare and file a motion. For example, you must file the motion 24 days before the hearing date, so the other side has enough notice. And the Motion isn’t the only document you will need to file. You will also have to file a Notice of Motion, a Certification, a notice for the other party, and a Proposed Order for the Judge to sign. You might have to file additional documents depending on what Motion you file and what relief you are asking for.

If you don’t adhere to these rules, the judge can deny your motion. Consult with an experienced New Jersey matrimonial and child custody attorney if you have questions about motions in your case. Whether you are seeking relief from the court or need to respond to a motion filed by the other party, you should have an attorney help you through the process.

Do you have questions about motions in New Jersey divorce cases? Williams Law Group, LLC can help you file a motion and get the relief from the court you need. Located in Union, New Jersey, Williams Law Group, LLC provides compassionate and dedicated legal services to Union, Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Morris, Monmouth, and Middlesex counties, and the surrounding areas. Our knowledgeable attorneys handle divorce and family law, child custody, and child abuse/neglect cases. Call our office at (908) 738-8734, email us at, or contact us through our confidential online form to schedule a consultation and ultimately get connected with an experienced New Jersey divorce and child custody attorney.

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