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Elizabeth M. Starr v. Joseph J. Starr

April 1, 2011

ELIZABETH M. STARR, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
JOSEPH J. STARR, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



On appeal from Superior Court of New Jersey, Chancery Division, Family Part, Atlantic County, Docket No. FM-01-701-97.

Per curiam.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted March 22, 2011 - Decided

Before Judges Graves and St. John.

In this post-judgment matrimonial matter, defendant Joseph Starr appeals from a Family Part order dated April 30, 2010. The order required defendant "to secure a life insurance policy in the amount of $150,000" with his former wife, plaintiff Elizabeth Starr, named as the beneficiary by August 30, 2010. The order further stated that a $150,000 judgment, voidable upon the death of plaintiff, would be entered against defendant if he failed to obtain the policy. For the reasons that follow, we affirm.

The parties' final judgment of divorce (JOD) is dated August 18, 1998. The JOD states that "the parties knowingly, willingly and voluntarily entered into a Settlement Agreement" and sets forth the terms thereof, including defendant's obligation to "pay permanent alimony to plaintiff in the amount of $3,500.00 per month." After enumerating the terms of the settlement agreement, the JOD provides as follows:

In addition to the terms of the parties' Settlement Agreement which are set forth above;

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED AND ADJUDGED as follows:

F. Defendant shall designate plaintiff as a beneficiary of $150,000.00 of the proceeds of the group life insurance made available to him through his employment. Defendant shall provide proof of this designation by August 15, 1998.

In 2005, defendant was "informed that [his] job was being phased out," and he entered into a written Separation Agreement with his employer. Pursuant to paragraph four of the Separation Agreement, defendant had "thirty-one (31) days from the last day of the month in which he [was] actively at work" to convert his group life insurance policy to an individual policy. However, defendant chose not to exercise the option.

On March 16, 2010, plaintiff filed a notice of motion to enforce litigant's rights pursuant to Rule 1:10-3. In a supporting certification, plaintiff stated that her attorney received written confirmation that defendant had failed to convert his group life insurance policy to an individual policy, and she requested an order:

1. Requiring defendant to secure a life insurance policy in the amount of $150,000.00 naming plaintiff as the beneficiary and to provide proof of same within 14 days;

2. Requiring defendant to provide plaintiff with proof of life insurance on an annual basis;

3. Requiring defendant to give his authorization to the life insurance company to allow plaintiff to ...


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