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Dequina v. Ramos

October 22, 2009

DONNA DEQUINA, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
GIL R. RAMOS, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Chancery Division, Family Part, Hudson County, Docket No. FM-09-215-00.

Per curiam.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted September 8, 2009

Before Judges Messano and Alvarez.

Pro se defendant Gil R. Ramos appeals a Family Part order dated September 19, 2008, denying him reconsideration as to certain credits and debits previously applied to his child support account through the Hudson County Probation Department (HCPD). Plaintiff Donna Dequina also appears pro se. For the reasons that follow, we vacate and remand.

Defendant was denied reconsideration of a July 25, 2008, order which states:

HCPD shall hold the amount of $74,617 as a credit for Mr. Ramos until 2014.

Ms. Dequina owes Mr. Ramos $8118 in 2014 if the [$]55000 ( interest) judgment is not enacted.

Today Mr. Ramos owes Ms. Dequina the amount of $269 as an offset of the $6390 he owes her for school & med. her bills for [the oldest child] were $6190 in college expenses.

The September 19, 2008 reconsideration order granted defendant the right to "review all tuition, room, board [and] financial aid records," from the parties' oldest child's college education. The order also memorialized the parties' acknowledgment of $51,175 in loans incurred by their oldest child for her college education.

The September 19 order also required the parties to pay for the college expenses of their youngest children as provided in their December 6, 1999 Property Settlement Agreement (PSA), that made defendant responsible for sixty-five percent of the expenses and plaintiff for thirty-five percent. Defendant's sixty-five percent included college loans the children might obtain in furtherance of their education. The middle child's personal expenses, such as transportation and medical costs, were allocated to defendant, with whom she currently resides.

The costs of living of the youngest child, who resides with plaintiff, were made her sole responsibility. Upon the emancipation of the middle child, support for the youngest child is to be recalculated based on the parties' income at that time. The order contained further provisions not relevant to this appeal.

Some background is necessary before analysis of defendant's contentions. Part 1 of Article I of the PSA, entitled "Support and Maintenance of Husband and Wife," is captioned "Restitution to Wife." That section provides:

A. Husband shall pay to wife for her support of husband through his many years of schooling the one time, non-taxable lump sum of fifty-thousand ($50,000) Dollars. This amount may not be changed for any reason and shall be entered as a judgment against ...


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