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May 2014 Archives

Case Law Review for the Week of May 19, 2014

Barion v. Nolfi, Appellate Division, Unreported Decision: In this Appellate Division case, the Court reviewed the determination of the trial court as it pertained to retroactive modification of child support. The trial court granted the Plaintiff's request for retroactive modification of child support based upon the significant increase in the Defendant's income which went unreported despite the parties' agreement to provide yearly proof of earnings. The Appellate Division determined that the trial court's decision deserved deference as to the amount of back child support that was owed and the payment schedule, although the Appellate Division did comment that the trial court could have done a better job of specifically addressing the relevant statutory factors in full detail. The Appellate Division reviewed the applicable law with regards to setting a child support obligation when the parties' incomes exceed the maximum amounts covered by the child support guidelines, providing the following synopsis of the applicable case law:

Case Law Review for the Week of May 12, 2014

Quinn v. Quinn, Appellate Division, May 14, 2014 (Unreported Decision): In this appeal from a post-judgment Order from the trial court, in which the trial court found that the Wife had cohabitated thus justifying the elimination of alimony during the period of cohabitation but a resumption of alimony as of the date the cohabitation ended (as opposed to a termination of alimony indefinitely) and in which the trial court permitted the ex-husband to recoup the overpaid alimony and the legal fees awarded through a reduction in future alimony payments, the Appellate Division affirmed the trial court's decision. The Appellate Division, relying upon Konzelman v. Konzelman, 158 N.J. 185 (1999) determined that where an enforceable cohabitation agreement provides for termination of alimony, the economic needs of the dependent spouse at the time of termination are not a relevant factor. Thus, the holding of Gayet v. Gayet, 92 N.J. 149 (1983) regarding the economic basis of terminating alimony does not apply where the parties voluntarily and knowingly entered into a settlement that provides for termination of alimony upon cohabitation, and the settlement is determined to be fair and equitable. The Appellate Division, in focusing on the definition of cohabitation, when on to state:

Case Law Review for the Week of May 5, 2014

Nadhir v. Nadhir, Appellate Division, May 7, 2014 (Unreported Decision): In this action, the Defendant sought appeal of the trial court's denial of his application to declare his marriage void as a matter of law based upon the fact that the Plaintiff had fraudulently signed Defendant's name to the marriage license in 1983. Of particular factual importance, the Defendant had participated in obtaining the license, had participated in a religious ceremony, had discovered the fraud in 1984, and had held himself out as the husband of the Plaintiff until the Complaint for Divorce was filed in 2012. The Appellate Division affirmed the trial court's denial of the Defendant's application finding that (a) the applicable statutes did not render the marriage void as a matter of law, (b) the Defendant was estopped from making the claim, and (c) that the doctrine of laches applied.

Case Law Review for the Week of April 28, 2014

C.C. v. T.W.C., Appellate Division, May 2, 2014, Unreported Decision: In this Appellate Division case, the Court was confronted with an appeal from a denial of a request for entry of a Final Restraining Order. The trial court had concluded that in the midst of an argument between a husband and a wife, who were in the process of obtaining a divorce, regarding the use of a car, (a) the trial court must be cautious in granting a restraining order in the context of a divorce and (b) there was no showing of a purpose to injure. The Appellate Division affirmed the trial court's decision citing the relevant inquiry as follows: