Jackie's late husband was a judge at the Illinois State Court. She appreciated that he never brought work home with him.
Jackie is very protective about her family, especially her son. She is reluctant to believe in her son's corrupt behavior and is hopeful Alicia and her son will reunite and once again become a family. Although she has good intentions, she often comes off as "crazy" when using unconventional tactics to "help" her loved ones, such as allowing her grandchildren to visit their father behind Alicia's back on many occasions throughout the duration of Peter's sentence. She also heard Zach listening to "Muslim music", and thought that his girlfriend Becca had gotten him to be rebellious. Jackie snooped through his room, as she does with Grace's, and found evidence which insinuated that Peter was using drugs, and she destroyed it.
Later when Alicia decided to separate from Peter, Jackie became very angry and accused her daughter-in-law of being selfish. She later tried to manipulate her grandchildren, causing Alicia to forbid her to see them without her approval.
During the fifth season, it is revealed that Jackie's late husband had been having an affair, just like Peter did. Jackie knew about the affair at the time but she stayed married to protect their family, and in addition probably due to the traditional values with which she was raised on.
In last season, she met and fell in love with Howard Lyman, a partner at Lockhart, Agos & Lee. On their first date, she stated that she feels happier than she was in a long time. They decided to get married, and in one of the last episodes, Alicia threw them a party at her apartment. Although delighted with the party, she got schocked when Alicia's mother Veronica Loy told her that Alicia and Peter decided to divorce. At the end of the episode, she thanked Alicia for beautiful party and told her that they won't be seeing each other any more, as Alicia is divorcing her son. Eventually, she smiled and added to Alicia: "...we are more alike than not."