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Connell v. Connell

July 30, 2008

CHERYL ANN CONNELL, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
THOMAS CONNELL, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Chancery Division, Family Part, Sussex County, Docket No. FM-19-425-05.

Per curiam.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Argued May 19, 2008

Before Judges Stern and A. A. Rodríguez.

Cheryl Ann Connell (Wife) and Thomas Connell (Husband) were divorced on January 24, 2007, after twenty years of marriage. One son, emancipated as of September 2007, was born of the marriage. Prior to trial, on September 11, 2006, a consent order was entered setting pendente lite support. The order provided, in pertinent part:

The parties will liquidate the [Husband's] IRA and withhold sufficient monies to meet the associated tax obligation. The net monies shall be held in [Wife's counsel's] trust account. These monies shall be used to payoff the debt reflected in paragraph 10 of the proposed Property Settlement Agreement.

In keeping with the consent order, Husband's entire IRA was liquidated. The joint marital debt, most of which arose from Wife's unsuccessful skateboard business, was negotiated with creditors and paid off at a discounted rate. Following the trial, the judge provided the following dispositions in the final judgment of divorce (JOD):

Equitable Distribution

a. Assets

[Husband's] Retirement Accounts

1. [Husband] currently has a Fidelity Retirement Savings account through his former employer, Wacker Corp. The approximate value of that account as of the date of the Complaint for Divorce was $83,000.00. In 2004 [Husband] withdrew $30,000.00 of which a small portion has been accounted for. [Wife] shall receive fifty percent of the value of this account prior to the $30,000.00 being withdrawn; $41,500.00.

After the filing of the Complaint for Divorce, [Husband] removed monies from this account. He paid for the funeral of his father, as well as his own legal expenses. The current balance of the account is approximately $63,000.00. If a qualified domestic relations order is necessary, the parties are to share the cost of same equally.

2. Local 825 Annuity Plan To be divided equally via qualified domestic relations order; [Husband] to pay cost of ...


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