In a recent unpublished New Jersey appellate case, a mother appealed an order denying her motion to vacate a judgment of divorce or modify the settlement agreement that had been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.