On appeal from Superior Court of New Jersey, Chancery Division-Family Part, Passaic County, FM-16-1681-06.
NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Before Judges Axelrad and Payne.
Defendant Ronald Kacmarcik (father) appeals from an order, entered on April 13, 2007 by Family Part Judge Diamond, denying his motion to emancipate his nineteen-year-old son. On appeal, the father claims that the judge erred when he refused to emancipate the son, and that an amended separation agreement of August 10, 1998 between him and the child's mother, plaintiff Joy Kacmarick (mother), and a subsequent consent order of December 10, 2006 did not change the definition of emancipation set forth in the parties' Pennsylvania separation agreement as incorporated in the Pennsylvania decree of divorce. We affirm.
The parties were married in New Jersey in 1987, and their son was born here. In 1990, the couple moved to Pennsylvania, and in August 1993, they separated. The father returned to New Jersey with the son. The mother and father were divorced in Pennsylvania in April 1994. In connection with their Pennsylvania divorce, the parties entered into a separation agreement, which provided that the father would have primary physical custody of the son. The agreement further provided for the son's emancipation upon the "attainment of the age of 18 years . . . or completion of high school education, whichever event first occurs, but no event beyond the normal date of graduation from high school of the class of the child." Additionally, the agreement stated: "This Agreement shall not be invalidated or otherwise affected by a reconciliation between the parties hereto, or a resumption of marital relations between them unless said reconciliation or said resumption be documented by a written statement executed and acknowledged by the parties with respect to said reconciliation and resumption."
Thereafter, the mother and father reconciled, and they reunited in New Jersey in 1996, but did not remarry. The reconciliation did not last. The parties separated again in 1998, and at that time, entered in New Jersey into an August 10, 1998 "Amendment to Separation Agreement," which provided in relevant part:
WHEREAS, said Decree of Divorce incorporated within its provisions a Separation Agreement signed by the parties on December 10, 1993; and
WHEREAS, the parties are desirous of amending that Separation Agreement in reference to the items concerning custody of their child, visitation, and child support; and
WHEREAS, the amendment of that Separation Agreement is caused by changed circumstances and, what the parties have decided for the best interests and welfare of their child . . . now age ten (10) years.
1. The Parties shall have the joint custody of . . . the minor child of the marriage, with the Mother having Residential Custody of the child, subject to the Father's visitation.
4. Father shall pay directly to Mother, as and for support of the child, the sum of Two Hundred ($200.000) Dollars per month, commencing August 1, 1998. . . .
5. (a) Father and Mother shall be required to provide, at his/her cost, medical/hospital insurance coverage for the benefit of the parties' child until his 18th Birthday, or until he is no longer a ...