In New Jersey family law cases, laches is a defense which can be claimed by one party when the other party sits on his or her rights for a long time and, as a result, the party claiming laches has been unduly "prejudiced" as a result of the delay.
A court might find such undue "prejudice" when the party claiming laches has changed his or her position or condition based on the other party’s inaction, or where the party claiming laches has suffered financial harm due to the delay.
There are no fixed rules. Whether or not the laches defense will succeed depends on the unique facts of each case.
You have not given any of the facts in your question. I recommend that you schedule a meeting with a very experienced New Jersey Family Law lawyer, go over the facts and get guidance.
I would not necessarily be dissuaded by your ex's threat to "bury you in legal fees." That is a common threat which is not possible most of the time. If your lawyer makes reasonable arguments, and your ex causes you to spend excessive money on legal fees by making unreasonble arguments, the Court may grant your lawyer's application to force your ex to reimburse you for part or all of your legal fees.
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In a family matter you may request he pay your attorney fees under the right circumstances. You should review your situation with an attorney .
Please be advised my answers to questions does not constitute legal advise and you should not rely on it, due to the fact that we have never met, I have not been aprised of the facts in you case nor have I reviewed any documents.
Without having more information regarding the specific facts and circumstances involved in your situation, it is difficult to answer your question. Latches is a defense that one party can use in response to a filing by the other party where it appears that the length of time that has passed between the parties' knowledge of a claim and the bringing of that claim is prejudicial. There is no specific time period that the Court will consider. You would be best served by consulting with a Family Law attorney who can evaluate your claim and guide you accordingly. Please also review the articles liked below for additional information.
The information provided is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. This information is designed for general information only. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your specific situation. We invite you to contact us and welcome your calls, letters and emails. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established.