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Osorio v. Gonzalez

October 1, 2008

GUSTAVO OSORIO, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
GRISEL L. GONZALEZ, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



On appeal from Superior Court of New Jersey, Chancery Division, Family Part, Camden County, FM-04-1757-07.

Per curiam.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted: September 8, 2008

Before Judges Sabatino and Simonelli.

Defendant Grisel L. Gonzalez (Gonzalez) appeals from the order of November 16, 2007, denying her motion to vacate a Pennsylvania divorce decree. We affirm.

Gonzalez and plaintiff Gustavo Osorio (Osorio) were married on December 18, 1987 in Canabra, Puerto Rico. One child was allegedly born of the marriage, a son, born April 20, 1990.*fn1

On October 4, 2002, Osorio filed a complaint for divorce in Pennsylvania, alleging that he resided at 7630 River Road, Pennsauken; that Gonzalez resided at 109 W. Master Street, Philadelphia (the Philadelphia property); and that Gonzalez was a bona fide resident in Pennsylvania for at least six months immediately prior to the filing of the complaint. A certificate of service, filed on November 4, 2002, indicates that on October 10, 2002, Gonzalez was personally served at the Philadelphia property with the divorce complaint and other documents, including a counter-affidavit under Section 3301(d) of the Pennsylvania Divorce Code.

Gonzalez denied she was served with the complaint. However, she admitted signing the second page of the counter-affidavit on October 10, 2002, the same day service of the complaint was effected. She also admitted that Osorio "approached [her] one day and said that he needed [her] to sign something so we could get a divorce. . . " and that she "knew [she] was signing something to allow him to get a divorce."

Gonzalez claims that she did not see the first page of the counter-affidavit; that she signed it not knowing that Osorio would pursue a divorce in Pennsylvania; and that she did not know she gave up her right to equitable distribution and child support. However, page two contains the following language:

I, Grisel L. Gonzalez, verify that the statements made in this affidavit are true and correct. I understand that false statements are made subject to the penalties of 18 Pa.C.S. Section 4904 relating to unsworn falsification to authorities.

NOTICE: If you do not wish to oppose the entry of a divorce decree and you do not wish to make any claim for economic relief, you need not file the Counter-Affidavit. [Emphasis added.]

The relevant statements referred to on page two, that appear on page one, are as follows:

1(a) I do not oppose the entry of a divorce decree.

2(a) I do not wish to make any claims for economic relief. I understand that I may lose rights concerning alimony, division of property, lawyer's fees, or expenses if I do not ...


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