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Bombay v. Bombay

May 28, 2008

LILLIAN BOMBAY, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
STEPHEN BOMBAY, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Chancery Division, Family Part, Bergen County, Docket No. FM-02-1182-97.

Per curiam.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted May 5, 2008

Before Judges Collester and C.S. Fisher.

The parties to this matrimonial action were married in 1985, and had one child, who was born in 1988. Their marriage was dissolved by a judgment of divorce entered in 1997.

In 2006, defendant Stephen Bombay moved in this action for, among other things, an order declaring the child to be emancipated; plaintiff Lillian Bombay argued that the motion was without merit because the child was enrolled in college. The trial judge entered an order on December 18, 2006, which (1) denied the emancipation application, (2) reduced defendant's child support obligation from $125 to $108 per week, (3) compelled defendant to pay plaintiff an additional $25 per week against an arrearage that had accumulated, and (4) directed the parties to equally share their child's college expenses. The judge later supplemented his ruling by filing a written opinion pursuant to R. 2:5-1(b).

In this appeal of the December 18, 2006 order, defendant's brief presents a single point for our consideration:

DEFENDANT'S APPEAL SHOULD BE GRANTED IN REVERSING THE TRIAL COURT'S DECISION IN THAT TRIAL COURT ACTED CAPRICIOUSLY AND ARBITRARILY IN DENYING DEFENDANT'S DUE PROCESS REQUEST IN NOT CONDUCTING A HEARING OR CONSIDERING DEFENDANT'S EVIDENTIARY ISSUES REGARDING INCOME AND ABILITY TO PAY COLLEGE COSTS.

In fact, defendant presents multiple arguments under this point heading.

Defendant first argues that he was deprived of due process because the trial judge did not permit oral argument on the return date of the motion. We find insufficient merit in that argument to warrant discussion in a written opinion. R. 2:11-3(e)(1)(E).

Defendant next argues that the judge erred in determining that the parties should equally share their child's college expenses. We reject this as well.

The parties' property settlement agreement contains the following stipulation:

It is specifically understood and agreed by and between the Husband and the Wife that both parties will make a good faith effort to provide for college education of the children should they have the ability and desire, taking into consideration the respective income and assets of the parties at the time the children attain the appropriate age. The parties' financial responsibility for the children's college education costs shall be limited to those expenses one would incur if a student attended Rutgers University. Both parties shall be responsible on an equal basis of the costs and expenses of college education. [Emphasis added.]

The record reveals that the child was enrolled at Rowan University, the cost of which falls within the stipulation regarding the ...


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