What is and is not an emergency?

When you request emergent relief, by filing an Order to Show Cause, in the family division of the superior court, you must satisfy a four-prong test per a New Jersey Supreme Court case, Crowe v. De Gioia, 90 N.J. 126 (1982).  First, your requests must be emergent in nature.  Second, your request must demonstrate that you are at risk of irreparable harm.  Third, you must demonstrate that the underlying request is well settled law and you have a likelihood of success on the merits of your application.  And, fourth, you must show that the equities weigh in your favor.

Almost more important than what is emergent, is what is not.  Ordinarily, issues of custody and parenting time are not emergent.  This means, if you are supposed to have a vacation with your child but you and your ex-spouse cannot agree on the specific dates, this is not emergent.  It is important to remember that winter and spring vacations occur the same time each year.  Therefore, if on the day before a winter break, you file for emergent relief for parenting time, the court is not likely to grant your application.  You knew that winter break was coming for at least twelve months and could have filed your motion in the ordinary course for the court to address.  This means that your requests are not emergent in nature. Additionally, if you are denied parenting time by the other party, you can always request make-up parenting time from the court in a motion to be decided in the ordinary course.

If you are worried that your spouse has moved money from one account into another account, during divorce litigation, this is not likely to be seen as emergent.  Most litigants believe that this scenario is an emergency, but an issue that can be addressed in monetary compensation will not be considered an emergency.  Additionally, even if one account is compromised, it is more likely than not, another account can be disproportionately divided to make you “whole” at the conclusion of your divorce.

It is important to not sit on your rights.  For example, an emergency can exist on one day, but disappear by the time you get into court.  It is important to not wait too long to file an Order to Show Cause.  At most, you want to make sure an emergency situation is addressed by the court within seventy-two hours of being made aware an emergency exists.

The attorneys of Shane and White, LLC are well qualified and regularly assess emergency family matters and can consult with you about filing an Order to Show Cause.  More importantly, contact the attorneys at Shane and White, LLC in advance so that your emergency can be resolved before reaching the point of no return.

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The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. This website is designed to provide general information only, and does not represent the opinions of Shane and White, LLC attorneys. The information is not guaranteed to be correct, complete or up to date with recent legal developments, verdicts or settlements. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your specific facts/circumstances/case. We invite you to contact us and welcome your calls, letters and emails, but note that contacting us alone does not create an attorney-client relationship. If you would like advice regarding your individual situation, you should contact Shane and White, LLC. to schedule a consultation to obtain legal advice. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established.

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