Ms. Rafuse has been a resident of Sussex County, serving its residents for the vast majority of her legal career. Ms. Rafuse obtained her Bachelor’s Degree from Gettysburg College in 2003 and her law degree from Widener University in 2006. After graduating law school, she served as a judicial law clerk for the Honorable James E. Isman, J.S.C. and the Honorable Robert Neustadter, J.S.C. (ret.) in the Criminal Division of Atlantic County. While clerking, Ms. Rafuse was a member of the Vincent S. Haneman American Inn of Court and served as a mediator for the Atlantic County Civil Courts in Atlantic City. In addition to New Jersey, Ms. Rafuse is also admitted to the District Court of New Jersey and the Pennsylvania bar.
After her clerkship, Ms. Rafuse entered private practice here in Sussex County with a local law firm for well over a decade. A regular fixture in our local courts, Ms. Rafuse has joined the Paris P. Eliades Law Firm practicing primarily in the area of family law. She is experienced in representing clients in all aspects of family law, including divorce, custody and parenting time disputes, child support hearings, child support calculations and modifications, conflicts involving the Department of Child Protection and Permanency, requests to move children out of state, grandparents’ visitation, parenting time modifications and enforcement, reunification issues, as well as post-judgment divorce motions such as enforcement applications, alimony modification issues, child emancipation request and applications addressing children’s college costs.
Ms. Rafuse also frequently represents clients in domestic violence matters. She is skilled at addressing the extreme emotions and stress that are associated with representing both Plaintiffs and Defendants in all aspects of these cases. She has vast experience assisting Plaintiff’s in obtaining Temporary Restraining Orders, representing Defendant’s in their defense of these Orders, conducting the trials and even resolving post-trial issues such as custody and parenting, financial support and applications to vacate Final Restraining Orders.
Ms. Rafuse has represented clients in municipal courts throughout the state of New Jersey and spent a year as the Public Defender in the Hopatcong Borough Municipal Court. She has represented clients on matters such as Driving While Intoxicated, motor vehicle tickets, drug charges, simple assaults, shoplifting, neighbor disputes, and ordinance violations. Once the underlying criminal and municipal matters are concluded, Ms. Rafuse has filed applications seeking to expunge her client’s criminal records, which can give litigants a clean slate and paves the way for greater employment opportunities, professional licenses and the ability to once again possess a firearm.
Among her many skills Ms. Rafuse has experience drafting wills, representing clients in small claims matters, landlord tenant disputes and name change applications.
In addition to representing clients, Ms. Rafuse volunteers her time to the local legal community. She volunteers as an Early Settlement Panelist at the Sussex County Superior Court and a volunteer attorney at Project Self Sufficiency, giving free consultations and free seminars on divorce, custody matters and criminal expungements. She is a member of the Sussex County and New Jersey State Bar Associations. A resident of Stanhope, Ms. Rafuse has also served as a member of the town’s Recreation Commission planning community events ranging for children of all ages.
Areas of Practice:
- Custody Matters/Parenting Time Disputes
- Child Support
- Domestic Violence
- Non-Dissolution Matters
- Post-Judgment Matters
- Name Change Applications
- Municipal Matters (out of county)
- Criminal Matters (out of county)
- Small Claims/Landlord Tenant/Wills
- Sussex County Bar Association
- New Jersey Bar Association
- Sussex County Early Settlement Panelist
- Former Public Defender for the Hopatcong Borough Municipal Court
- Former Member of the Stanhope Recreation Commission