Jessica Sprague’s Achieves Success In Recent Appeals Division Decisions

Weinberger Divorce & Family Law Group congratulates attorney Jessica Ragno Sprague for her recent success in arguing two appeals matters before the Appellate Division of the Superior Court of New Jersey. 

Affirming an Alimony Order  

In the post-judgment matter of the Kaul vs. Kaul (Sup. Court NJ, App. Div., A-2201-16T1)Ms. Sprague represented the Plaintiff-Respondent. The Defendant-Appellant was appealing a prior order in which his alimony modification request had been denied and Plaintiff’s legal fees had been assessed against him.

In arguing for the Plaintiff-Respondent, Ms. Sprague advocated zealously for her client, bringing to the fore language in the original Property Settlement Agreement (PSA) that precluded modification regardless of defendant’s loss of income. (The Defendant-Appellant was a multimillionaire at the time of the couple’s divorce.) 

The three-judge appeals panel ruled with Ms. Sprague and her client in upholding the 2016 decision on both counts of alimony status quo and assessment of legal fees. As they noted in their decision: Judge Mawla in 2016 found that “[d]efendant has provided no financial documentation necessary to demonstrate a substantial and permanent change in circumstances” and denied the motion “without prejudice.” The judge noted the deficiencies in defendant’s CIS and stated that letters from his relatives and friends did not constitute objective proof that he unsuccessfully sought employment, or was fully supported by others.

Child Support Arrears Reversed and Remanded

In the second recent matter, Cheguer vs. Cheguer (Sup. Court NJ, App. Div., A-2573-16T1), Ms. Sprague argued on behalf of the Defendent-Appellant in a post-judgment matrimonial matter appealing a 2017 order that, among other things, set the amount of Plaintiff’s child support arrears. 

Ms. Sprague successfully demonstrated that no plenary hearing took place before the order setting child support arrears was set. (A plenary hearing is held when a judge is considering a motion by one of the parties that requires a court order. It may be a motion for asset division or to change child support or custody after a divorce.)

Ms. Sprague won for her client a new opportunity to have the courts hear the child support arrears matter and show her evidence at a plenary hearing for the amount she has determined is owed in back payments. 

In their ruling, the appeals panel noted: “We are constrained to reverse and remand because the trial judge did not conduct a plenary hearing to resolve the parties’ sharply conflicting factual assertions concerning the amount plaintiff owed.”

Congratulations on two jobs well done, Jessica! 

Jessica Ragno Sprague is a certified matrimonial law attorney and graduate of Seton Hall Law School. As one of Jessica’s clients wrote about her attention to legal care: 

“Jessica Ragno Sprague was absolutely outstanding. ..Ms. Sprague has integrity and accomplished more in a matter of months than the previous attorney had accomplished in two years.  She was professional, personable, forthright, and presented the case to an arbitrator succinctly and successfully. I recommend her without reservation, and thank her for her exemplary performance.” – Pete B.

Do you have questions about your divorce or a post-judgment matter involving child or spousal support? We’re here to help. Call us at 888-888-0919 to schedule a free consultation with one of our highly skilled attorneys. 

 

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