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Sarah Jennifer Jacobs
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Sarah Jacobs’s Answers

82 total


  • In a relocation battle my ex husbands lawyer is asking my ex take over custody of our son. How can I prevent this?

    My ex husband and I are going to court Thur on a relocation battle. I do not have a lawyer. I asked to relocate 35 min from my ex from nj to pa. he has a bad history, 3 tros with me, 2 dyfs reports of putting our son in harms way, was ordered to t...

    Sarah’s Answer

    Relocation is a very fact-sensitive issue. Clearly, if you utilized the Baures v Lewis factors in your application, you are aware of the criteria the Court must consider when weighing your request (if in fact this is the correct standard of law). There may be legal reasons why the opposing side asked for custody, but these matters can be complex. You are correct that presentation of pertinent material to the Court is essential so that the Court can have all information at its disposal when rendering a decision. You said you were going before the Court on Thursday but were vague as to what type of appearance it is specifically. It matters if it is a motion versus an actual plenary hearing/trial.

    It seems that at this point, you should consult with an experienced family law attorney, and one who has handled relocation cases, to help you understand the complexities and answer some of the specific questions you have raised in this inquiry. I would suggest doing so sooner rather than later, since time is of the essence.

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  • Can you collect interest on child support arrears in New Jersey?

    My ex has a large amount of arrears to pay through probation but it will take him over 6 years to pay it off. Can I collect interest on that money? How do I go about doing that? Thanks for your help

    Sarah’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    I respectfully provide an exception to the answers provided by my colleagues. Child support is considered a judgment by the recipient against the payor. NJ has a Rule which provides for the calculation of interest on a judgment. While the application of the rule isn't simple, it is possible to apply for, and receive, an Order for interest on a child support judgment. You should consult with an experienced family law attorney to discuss this matter more specifically. Good luck!

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  • How long should I wait from date of the pay reduction before filing a motion to reduce alimony and CS? Chance of success?

    I finalized divorce a few years ago on a marriage of 13 years, agreeing to a settlement rather than rolling the dice on a judge and the possibility of permanent alimony. Since then, I suffered a material pay reduction almost a year ago, but am for...

    Sarah’s Answer

    The case law in NJ provides that even when analyzing a change of circumstances, the change must be more than a "temporary" one. The law has been varied on what a "temporary" change is but generally the change has to have existed for more than a year for the Court to give the application weight.

    The fact that you have a job is reasonably likely to help your application as it appears from the facts you state that you are still pursuing employment at a higher income despite your current job.

    My colleague was correct in staying that the language of your Settlement Agreement is crucial in the analysis of an application for modification of support.

    I suggest you consult with an attorney experienced in family law who can review the Agreement and all of your proofs along wry discussing your current circumstances so you are clear as to the pros and cons and the merits of any application. Good luck!

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  • Will i get half of everything if my husband cheated??? i found proof

    He is the one thats wants a divorce and i recently found evidence of him having a affair. I have been with him for 8 years married 10 years we been together.

    Sarah’s Answer

    I agree with my colleague as to her answer. I simply add this caveat: it is not automatic that you will receive 50% of any marital assets or he assumed to be liable for 50% of marital debt. The equitable distribution statute in New Jersey has several factors which are to be analyzed in determining what percentage is assigned to either spouse. While it is reasonable (to some extent) to assume that we can begin the analysis at 50/50, it is not necessarily the place where the division will end up. It is important to review your assets and liabilities in the context of the facts of your case. I urge you to meet with an experienced family law attorney so as to get specific guidance on the law as applied to you personal circumstances. Good luck!

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  • Can you appeal after a letter for reconsideration in a alimony/emancipation case?

    We had put in a cross motion to oppose emancipation and to reinstate alimony. In april, we went before the judge and she emancipated my daughter based on incorrect evidence. She then had us come back in to decide if a plenary hearing was necessa...

    Sarah’s Answer

    If the Court entered an Order following its consideration of the motions, and your letter, then yes, you can appeal. You need to be careful that you do so within the appropriate guidelines and time frames for appealing a Trial Court decision. There are both appeals as of right and Notice of Motion for Leave to Appeal, depending on whether the Order issued by the Trial Court was final or interlocutory (interim). You should speak with an experienced family law attorney who has done significant Appellate Court work who can review the Orders, and the legal issues, and advise you accordingly.

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  • If a NCP with joint legal custody shows no interest in the child's medical welfare and visitation, can the CP get sole custody?

    NCP will not be forthcoming with his address, etc., and is stating to all of those around him that he reason is that the CP is "crazy" and will harrass him, etc. CP does have his cell phone number and does nothing to contact him other than with i...

    Sarah’s Answer

    If the CP has an existing Order which outlines a current custodial arrangement (physical and legal), in order to change that arrangement, the CP will likely have to prove changed circumstances in order to sway the Court. The facts as presented certainly suggest circumstances which would give rise to serious consideration of sole custody. I caution the CP however, because sole custody is not easy to achieve and is not often granted by the Court. The length of time which has gone by since the establishment of a prior Order and when an application would be made may be relevant to the Court's review. I suggest the CP consult with an attorney experienced in family law who could hide the CP as to both the law and the specific facts of her circumstances. Good luck!

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  • Can I relocate out of state if I have sole custody of my children?

    I have two children and have sole legal and physical custody of both. My twelve year old's father moved to TN from NJ (where my children live with me) ten years ago. He has no paid child support since leaving NJ nor has he had any contact with our...

    Sarah’s Answer

    The requirements of New Jersey law is that you are not allowed to relocate a child outside the state absent permission from the other parent or, in the face of that parent's opposition, a Court Order. While the facts you present certainly seem to indicate that any application would be successful, assuming either parent opposed your relocation, notification is necessary. It would be very prudent of you to consult with an attorney experienced in family law who could guide you as to the case law on relocation and address the specifics of your matter. It is also relevant to review any existing Orders and Judgments with regard to the children, so that you are sure to take into consideration any concerns which may be brought about by relocating to a different state (e.g. child support, medical care, etc.) I strongly urge you to consult with an experienced attorney to help you.

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  • Does ex has the right to "IMPOSE" and "Order" me where, time, How, etc to do over my son during my parenting time on my days off

    we have jnt cust. over our toddler son. Never married, I am the NCP with an established parenting time. Ex has a very controlling attitude over my son. She always give me hard time to see my son if I am off from work. I went to court to complain ...

    Sarah’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    If you do not believe that the current parenting time schedule is in your child;s best interest, and you think that since your last Order there have been circumstances which have changed which would allow you to bring the matter back to Court, you can file a Motion to modify the parenting time and communication schedule, which would set specific times and mechanisms for you to co-parent with your child's mother more effectively. It would be good to consult with an attorney experienced in family law in order to get more guidance about the specifics of your case, and who can advise you, based on your current Orders, how to prepare a substantive application, or who could represent you in doing so.

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  • Seperated from husband 3 years with 5 year old

    My husband is basically AWOL. He left our home 3 years ago but has not filed for divorce. At first he was still good to our daughter. In the last 8 months he has been awful. He often goes 2-4 weeks without seeing her. He finally comes and may only...

    Sarah’s Answer

    The other attorneys who have answered your question are correct in their statements that nothing is "automatic" in NJ, especially not an assumption of "50/50 custody." There are several concerns that you raise in the recitation of your facts above, including the status quo that has been created for you with regard to parenting time and financial support. If you are ready and prepared to move forward with divorce, it would be advisable for you to consult with an attorney who practices in family law, and who can provide you with advice based on your particular circumstances. It is important to not that even if you are not prepared to move forward with divorce, you can have the issues of custody, parenting time, and financial support addressed by a Court so you are not subject to whims or changes without protections. I strongly suggest you meet with an attorney who will be able to guide you accordingly.

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  • In Nj & have custody of our nephew for 5 yrs. want to adopt & mother will sign all rights over, but fathers location is unknown.

    The mother and father both signed custody papers in family court for us to have legal guardianship over 5 yrs ago. Now there has been no contact with the Father, all we know is that he was residing somewhere in North Carolina. My sister (the birt...

    Sarah’s Answer

    As other counsel have stated, notice must be provided to the birth parents before you would be allowed to proceed with an adoption. You would need to file appropriate paperwork with the Court in order to allow for a private adoption. In addition, you should consult with an attorney familiar with adoption and family law to discuss the pros and cons of adoption, especially if you have been appointed as Kinship Legal Guardians because there are financial considerations, as well as emotional and legal considerations, when considering a switch from being kinship legal guardians to adoptive parents. It would be good to consult with an attorney experienced in this area to give you the road map of adoption in general, but taking into consideration the specifics of your particular circumstances.

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