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Platt v. Platt

April 11, 2006

EDWIN W. PLATT, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT,
v.
JANE M. PLATT, DEFENDANT-RESPONDENT.



On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Chancery Division, Family Part, Middlesex County, FM-12-1060-02.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Lisa, J.A.D.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

APPROVED FOR PUBLICATION

Argued March 7, 2006

Before Judges Coburn, Lisa and S.L. Reisner.

Plaintiff, Edwin W. Platt, appeals from several aspects of a divorce judgment entered after a four-day trial and from denial of his motion for reconsideration. Plaintiff presents these arguments on appeal:

I. THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN AWARDING DEFENDANT PERMANENT ALIMONY OF $250 PER WEEK

A. The Trial Court Erred By Imputing Additional Income To Plaintiff For Purposes Of Determining Support

B. The Trial Court Erred In Determining Defendant's Need For Spousal Support

II. THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN DETERMINING CHILD SUPPORT BY IMPUTING TO PLAINTIFF A GROSS INCOME OF $100,000 PER YEAR.

III. THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN VALUING THE PLAINTIFF'S IRA AS OF JULY 21, 2004, THE DATE OF THE DECISION, RATHER THAN VALUING THE IRA AS OF THE COMPLAINT DATE PLUS ANY INCREASE OR DECREASE RESULTING FROM MARKET FORCES.

IV. THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN FAILING TO AWARD PLAINTIFF COUNSEL AND EXPERT FEES.

V. THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN DETERMINING THAT MARITAL FURNISHINGS WERE DISTRIBUTED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE FINAL JUDGMENT.

VI. THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN FAILING TO PROVIDE PLAINTIFF WITH AN OPPORTUNITY TO OBTAIN AN APPRAISAL OF JEWELRY AND THE FUR.

VII. IN THE EVENT THE TRIAL COURT TERMINATES PLAINTIFF'S ALIMONY OBLIGATION, PLAINTIFF'S OBLIGATION TO MAINTAIN LIFE INSURANCE MUST ALSO BE MODIFIED.

We agree in part with Point IV and modify the judgment in that respect. We agree with Point VI and remand for further proceedings regarding disposition of the jewelry and fur. We reject plaintiff's remaining arguments and in all other respects affirm. Because of this disposition, Point VII is moot and requires no further discussion. The argument raised in Point V lacks sufficient merit to warrant discussion in a written opinion, R. 2:11-3(e)(1)(E), and we will not discuss it further.

I.

Plaintiff and defendant, Jane M. Platt, were married in 1980. Two children were born of the marriage, Derek in 1994 and Colin in 1997. The parties separated in November 2001, and plaintiff filed the divorce complaint at that time.

When the parties first married, plaintiff was employed by General Motors. In 1988, he left General Motors and started his own business, Platt's Performance Plus (PPP), an automotive repair shop, using $15,000 of marital funds. The shop, which plaintiff leases, is located at 46 Lincoln Avenue in Jamesburg. The structure has been expanded since plaintiff began the business, and it presently contains three-and-one-half bays, with a small office, storage space and waiting area. In the ...


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