Articles Posted in Divorce

gotcha-1240525In a recent unpublished New Jersey appellate case, a mother appealed an order denying her motion to vacate a judgment of divorce or modify the settlement agreement that had been incorporated into the decree. The mother and father were married for close to 10 years and had two kids when they decided to divorce.

The couple went to a mandatory pretrial settlement conference during which they took care of their property and child custody disputes without a judge presiding over it. The attorney told the coordinator that a settlement had been reached, but the terms of this settlement weren’t placed on the record. Accordingly, a hearing to end the union was scheduled.

The couple followed the agreement. Their home was listed with a realtor and the father brought their mortgage current. The father’s attorney also sent the mother’s attorney a memorialization of the settlement agreement. The couple then disagreed about custody, and the mother took their home off the market.

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sunsetIn a recent New Jersey equitable distribution decision, a wife and husband cross-appealed after their divorce. The husband filed for divorce in 2010 after he’d been married to the wife for less than eight years. He was 61 when they married, while the wife was 50. They came into the marriage with children from prior marriages and worked full time.

The husband was laid off two years into the marriage and ultimately determined he would retire. The wife worked in IT, and her income fluctuated between $62,000 and $120,000 on a yearly basis. She had no health benefits as a contractor and no pension. The husband irrevocably named her a contingent beneficiary of his pension and also provided for the household.

The husband’s accounts paid for renovations and living expenses. She didn’t contribute to his accounts, nor withdraw from them. He paid down the wife’s mortgage. The wife put her earnings into accounts only in her name and contributed to the home by doing most of the chores. They had a nine-day divorce trial, in which the husband’s request for alimony was denied. The defendant filed a motion challenging the distribution to the plaintiff of his own bank accounts.

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wedding ringsIn a recent New Jersey divorce decision, an ex-wife appealed from aspects of a divorce judgment that concluded her marriage of five and a half years. The couple had married in 2006 and had a five-year-old daughter. The husband was a 38-year-old employee of J.P. Morgan Chase, and the wife was a 41-year-old civil engineer employed in the United States but born in China. She came to the country at age 26, and she married two years after meeting her husband. Six months before their marriage, the husband bought a home for the couple, using savings and a loan from his parents to make the down payment.

During the marriage, the wife engaged in domestic violence against the husband. Weeks after they got married, she slapped her husband and bit him in the back of the neck while he was holding their child. She pressured him to write to the prosecutor’s office, asking it to drop the charges. This estranged the husband from his family.

In another incident, the wife got angry with her husband for offering to videotape something for the neighbors. She cornered him and screamed at him for nearly two hours until he lost his temper and punched her in the chest. She had to go to the hospital but wasn’t seriously injured. He was frightened by his anger at her and wrote to her, saying he was going to get professional help, but if it didn’t help, he would leave and assume the expenses to allow her to keep living in their house. He said he would give her the money in their accounts.

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father and daughterIn a recent New Jersey appellate case, a father appealed an order that suspended a therapeutic reunification process with his daughters that was being conducted through Skype. The order awarded the defendant’s former wife attorneys’ fees, penalized the defendant with a $10,000 penalty, and required the defendant to give information about his convictions for financial fraud.

The case arose after the parties married in 1999. The defendant was English, and the plaintiff was Canadian. They lived in England until the plaintiff relocated to the United States with their two daughters, who were 17 and 15 at the time of the appellate court’s opinion. The defendant stayed behind in England and was put in jail for 2 1/2 years for financial fraud.

While in prison, the defendant threatened the plaintiff over the telephone. As a result, the court entered a final restraining order under the Domestic Violence Act, N.J.S.A. 2C:25-17-to-35. Under the order, the defendant wasn’t permitted to contact the plaintiff or their kids. An amended order was later issued, allowing the defendant to have contact with his kids in letters. Reunification visitation therapy was supposed to start. The result was Skype sessions. The defendant started treatment for psychiatric issues, and a reunification therapist was appointed. The defendant’s mother came to New Jersey to visit the kids once.

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