Court Denies Request To Modify Child Support For Applicant’s Procedural Deficiencies
- August 7, 2014
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In the recent Appellate Division case, Townsend v. Townsend, the Plaintiff, Claude Townsend, appealed from the Family Court’s denial of his Motion seeking: 1) reconsideration of a 2012 Court Order setting his child support arrears and denying his request for a modification of his child support obligation to his former spouse, Defendant Karla Townsend; an 2) a modification of his current child support obligation, but the Appellate Court denied his request because he failed to follow proper court procedure. The Appellate Court affirmed the decision of the Family Court because the Plaintiff failed to provide the court with the parts of the trial court record that were “essential to the proper consideration of the issues,” according to Court Rule 2:6-1(a)(1)(I); Soc’y Hill Condo Ass’n, Inc. v. Soc’y Hill Assocs., 347 N.J. Super. 163, 177-78 (App. Div. 2002). In the Court Order at issue in this case, the Plaintiff’s child support arrears were established and the Family Court judge explained that the Plaintiff had sought and was denied reconsideration of this Order because he did not establish legal grounds for relief. Further, the judge noted that he was denying the Plaintiff’s request for a modification of his child support obligation because the information that was submitted to the court was the same information that had been available to him when he had filed Motions in the past seeking the same or similar relief from the court, of which were denied. On appeal, the only documents that were submitted to the court by the Plaintiff were: 1) the parties’ Final Divorce Judgment; 2) a Certification that the Plaintiff had previously submitted to the court on a prior unidentified cross-motion; 3) a letter from the his union from 2009; 4) the previous Court Order; 5) a letter from a private school from 2013; and 6) a history of his child support payments. In addition, the Plaintiff submitted an appendix with an unpublished legal opinion from 2008. Therefore, the Appellate Court affirmed the decision of the Family Court because the Plaintiff did not submit the proper paperwork or legal analysis for the court to consider his requests. Complex legal matters involving child support, divorce, equitable distribution, and other aspects involved with family law require that litigants submit the proper documents, in acceptable form, and in a timely manner to the court in order for a court to consider the relief he or she is seeking. Therefore, it is imperative that anyone looking to petition a court for relief consult with an experienced legal professional before doing so, to ensure that they are adhering to all of the court rules and procedures that will be required for any court to proceed on an action for relief. For more information about child support, alimony, post-judgment modification, divorce, or other family law matters in New Jersey visit DarlingFirm.com.This blog is for informational purposes and in no way is intended to replace the advice of an attorney.