Discovery In Non Dissolution Cases In New Jersey
There is a separate “docket” in New Jersey for cases that involve those who were never married, such as individuals who have a child or children in common and have custody and child support issues, grandparents who are seeking visitation with their grandchildren, and those seeking “palimony” which is support from an individual with whom they are in a committed but non-marital relationship.
Sometimes, attorneys and the court system diminish the importance of these cases, but parties to these types of cases are entitled to discovery, or the exchange of documents and information, if it is warranted.
“Family part summary actions shall include all non-dissolution initial complaints as well as applications for post-dispositional relief, applications for post-dispositional relief under the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act, and all kinship legal guardianship actions. Applications for post-dispositional relief shall replace motion practice in Family Part summary actions. The court in its discretion, or upon application of either party, may expand discovery, enter an appropriate case management order, or conduct a plenary hearing on any matter.” Pressler & Verniero, New Jersey Court Rules, R. 5:4-4(a) (2014).
It is important to retain an attorney who understands the importance of obtaining all necessary information before settling these types of cases, or conducting a trial.