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Deverman v. Deverman

September 9, 2009

MARINA DEVERMAN, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT,
v.
DOV DEVERMAN, DEFENDANT-RESPONDENT.



On appeal from Superior Court of New Jersey, Chancery Division, Family Part, Bergen County, Docket No. FM-02-386-02.

Per curiam.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Argued June 2, 2009

Before Judges Parker, Yannotti and LeWinn.

Plaintiff Marina Deverman appeals from an order entered on June 5, 2008, amending a judgment of divorce entered on September 18, 2002, in accordance with an agreement placed on the record by the parties on January 17, 2008. We affirm.

The background facts are as follows. Plaintiff gave birth to the parties' child in January 1990. They were married three months later on April 30, 1990. The parties separated on July 4, 2001 and after a domestic violence order and permanent restraints were entered, a judgment of divorce was granted on September 18, 2002. At that time, defendant was directed to pay child support in the amount of $133 for their then twelve-year-old child until he was emancipated. The child support was based upon defendant's imputed income.

Plaintiff filed a number of post-judgment applications to increase support but defendant consistently claimed that he was unable to earn income because he was disabled.

Notwithstanding his representations regarding unemployment and inability to pay child support, in 2006, defendant purchased a condominium in Florida for $685,000. Plaintiff brought another application in July 2007 to increase child support and obtain financial records from defendant. After argument was heard, an order was entered on October 17, 2007 directing defendant to produce his financial information, including state and federal tax returns for the last four years, and deeds and mortgage applications regarding any property owned by him directly or indirectly. The order further directed defendant to produce all bank statements for the past four years and various other financial information. The order provided for plaintiff to depose defendant after receipt of the discovery. Defendant did not produce the discovery as ordered, but finally made himself available for deposition in January 2008.

During his deposition, defendant evaded questions at every turn. The attorneys had a discussion off the record, during which they attempted to resolve the issues. They agreed to place a settlement on the record, but plaintiff claims it "fell apart."

Plaintiff's counsel indicated on the record that plaintiff did not agree to the terms of the settlement as stated by defendant's counsel. Counsel then had another discussion off the record and they attempted to resume placing a settlement on the record. That was apparently unsuccessful as well. After a lunch recess, the parties eventually reached an agreement which was placed on the record.

Thereafter, plaintiff's counsel drafted a consent order to memorialize the settlement agreement. Plaintiff, however, directed him not to proceed because it was her belief that the matter was not fully resolved.

In March 2008, defendant moved to amend the judgment to incorporate the settlement agreement and to terminate child support in accordance with the agreement. Plaintiff cross-moved to continue defendant's deposition and to set the matter down for a plenary hearing. Defendant's motion to enforce the settlement was granted and plaintiff's cross-motion was denied. Plaintiff appeals from that order.

Plaintiff argues that the trial court erred in entering the order enforcing the agreement because (1) specific performance of the agreement was inappropriate under the facts of the case; (2) there was no meeting of the minds; (3) equity should not have enforced the agreement; (4) plaintiff lacked capacity to enter an agreement; and (5) a plenary hearing was required.

We have carefully considered plaintiff's arguments in light of the record and the applicable law. We are satisfied that plaintiff's arguments lack sufficient merit to warrant discussion in a written opinion. R. ...


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