On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Chancery Division, Family Part, Morris County, FM-14-950-03.
NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Before Judges Skillman and Winkelstein.
Plaintiff Kathe Jados and defendant Irving Isko were divorced on July 2, 2004. The issues on appeal arise out of the interpretation of the parties' 1981 prenuptial agreement (the Agreement). Defendant appeals from two orders of the Family Part, dated October 30, 2006, and November 8, 2006, which required him to pay plaintiff the rental value of an apartment in Manhattan for five years pursuant to the terms of the Agreement. Specifically, the court ordered defendant to pay plaintiff a lump sum of $178,000, "as the present value of rent for the apartment benefit"; a lump sum of $20,000, "as the present value of the furniture"; and the court granted plaintiff's request for counsel fees.*fn1 Defendant also appeals from the portion of the November 8, 2006 order in which the court declined to give him credit for his pendente lite payments toward his rental obligation.
We affirm the court's order that defendant pay a sum equal to the value of rent for five years, but reverse that portion of the November 8, 2006 order that requires payment to be in a lump sum; affirm the court's order awarding plaintiff a lump sum of $20,000 for the furniture; and affirm the order denying defendant a credit for pendente lite payments.
On July 20, 1981, in anticipation of their upcoming marriage the following month, the parties entered into the Agreement, which provided, in pertinent part:
NINTH: In the event that the contemplated marriage of the parties hereto shall end in divorce or separation, the parties hereto agree as follows:
(b) Subject to the provisions of subparagraph (c) following, pursuant to which [plaintiff] shall be entitled to other amounts, [defendant] shall provide [plaintiff] . . . with the following:
(1) a furnished apartment in New York City selected by [defendant] equal or better than the present residence of [plaintiff] and pay the rental and all other maintenance charge[s] each year for a period of five years succeeding, and the furnishings thereof provided by [defendant] shall become the property of [plaintiff] upon the expiration of such five-year period; and
. . . . anything to the contrary notwithstanding, the payments provided for in subparagraph
(1) . . . preceding shall terminate upon the death or remarriage of [plaintiff].
(c) If such divorce or separation shall occur after the first three years of the marriage of the parties to each other, . . . and if the parties shall have been living together in good faith as man and wife continuously without fault on the part of [plaintiff] up to such separation or divorce, then in lieu and instead of the amounts provided for in subparagraph (b) preceding, [defendant] shall provide [plaintiff] with the following:
(1) a furnished apartment in New York City selected by [defendant] equal or better than the present residence of [plaintiff] and pay the rental or other maintenance charge thereon for each year of the five years succeeding . . . and the furnishings thereof provided by [defendant] shall become the property of [plaintiff] upon the expiration of such five year period; and . . . . anything to the contrary ...