On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Chancery Division, Family Part, Monmouth County, Docket No. FM-13-270-04C.
NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Before Judges Stern and Coburn.
Plaintiff, former husband, appeals from portions of an order of the Family Part entered on April 4, 2006,*fn1 which denied his "request for termination of his alimony obligation retroactive to a date prior to [the] filing date" of his motion to terminate his alimony obligation, Da 5,*fn2 and ordered him to "pay the sum of $1,200.00 to defendant's attorney, representing a contribution towards defendant's counsel fees and costs" with respect to the application. In essence, the plaintiff asserts that the trial judge failed "to make appropriate findings of fact with regard to the [income of defendant's] cohabitant" and improperly exercised his "judicial discretion as it relates to [his] decision to impose attorneys fees against Plaintiff and deny retroactive termination of alimony."
On or about February 27, 2006, plaintiff filed his second motion to terminate alimony.*fn3 Defendant filed a cross-motion to enforce litigant's rights. The motion was premised on the wife's new employment and paragraph 9 of the parties' property settlement agreement (PSA), dated June 11, 2004, which provides:
Commencing on the first Friday following the closing in relation to the sale of the former marital residence, Husband shall pay limited duration alimony to Wife in the amount of $110.00 per week, for a period of four (4) years. Husband's alimony obligation shall terminate prior to four years from the date of the closing in relation to the sale of the former marital residence upon the first happening of any one of the following events:
Wife's cohabitation with an unrelated male may result in modification or termination of Husband's alimony obligation in accordance with the cases of Garlinger, Gayet and their progeny. Husband's alimony obligation shall be paid via a wage execution through the appropriate probation department.
After argument on March 31, 2006, the motion judge stated, among other things, the following relevant to this appeal:
The cases such as this of course are difficult in that there are time frames. The attorneys certainly did their homework in the matter involving getting the cases before the Court, getting the documents before the Court. Of course there are proofs that could be obtained with a plenary hearing but the Court doesn't believe that there are substantial issues of fact that would, and neither of you sought a plenary hearing to have a trial in the matter.
The Court will retroactively terminate the husband's spousal support obligation as of the date of filing, which I ...