To obtain temporary or permanent relief relative to custody or parenting time, whether you are divorced or in the process of getting divorced, the time it will take you to present your matter to a judge will be between thirty to sixty days. Even after that, the Court may schedule a hearing which may be between three months to over one year past the date that you initially present your matter to the judge. However, circumstances sometimes occur that present emergencies, i.e., the physical abuse of a child by the other parent or substance abuse or mental health issues of the other parent.
You will be able to present an issue of this sort to the Court, and obtain emergency and temporary relief, on an immediate basis, by way of what is known as a request for “temporary restraints,” or “injunction.” This is also called an “Order to Show Cause.” The laws that we rely upon for this type of relief are as follows:
Pursuant to R. 4:52-1, an An order to show cause shall not include temporary restraints or other interim relief unless the Defendant has either been given notice of the application or consents thereto or it appears from specific facts shown by affidavit or verified complaint that immediate and irreparable damage will probably result to the Plaintiff before notice can be served or informally given and a hearing had thereon. Pressler, Current New Jersey Court Rules, R. 4:52-1 at 1848-1849 (2013). “Briefs shall be submitted in support of the application for an interlocutory injunction.” Id.
An injunction should issue only when: 1. It is necessary to prevent irreparable harm; 2. The legal rights underlying the Plaintiff’s claims are settled; 3. The material facts are not controverted; and 4. The relative hardship to the parties by entering the injunction is non-existent or outweighed by the equitable need to enter the injunction. Crowe v. DeGioia, 90 N.J. 126, 132-34 (1982).
An experienced attorney can help you determine whether your situation warrants immediate, emergency relief from a family law judge in New Jersey.