passage of time

The old adage is that “He who represents himself has a fool for a client.” Family law by nature is an emotional area of the law – custody, alimony, equitable distribution, visitation, child support – these things impact peoples’ lives. As a result, when a party disagrees with the decision by the trial court, they have the right to appeal. When the Appellate Division issues a published decision, that decision becomes binding on all trial courts in the State. Thus, family law is constantly changing and evolving.

For instance, in a recent unpublished appellate decision, a pro se litigant appealed a post-judgment order relating to alimony and custody. In R.K.B. v. C.W.B., App. Div., decided February 8, 2010, Docket No. A-1613-08T1, a pro se defendant, CWB, appealed from an order that: 1) denied his request for a hearing on custody of the parties’ son; 2) found defendant in violation of litigant’s rights and ordered him to pay plaintiff the sum of $5,000 due as reimbursement alimony; 3) restrained him from discussing court proceedings with his son; and 4) directed him to pay $1,750 to plaintiff as attorney’s fees. The Appellate Division affirmed the trial court decision, finding that the trial judge did not abuse his discretion. In addition, the Appellate Court noted that the defendant failed to present sufficient facts to justify a hearing on child custody.

Continue Reading Child Custody, Alimony & Pro Se Litigants