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Laurence S. Newman v. Lynda Newman

May 31, 2011

LAURENCE S. NEWMAN, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT,
v.
LYNDA NEWMAN, DEFENDANT-RESPONDENT.



On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Chancery Division, Family Part, Morris County, Docket No. FM-14-4568-92.

Per curiam.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Argued November 8, 2010

Before Judges Grall and LeWinn.

Plaintiff appeals from the September 10, 2009 order denying reconsideration of two orders entered on January 16, 2009, which

(1) denied his motion to declare the parties' daughter emancipated; (2) ordered him to pay defendant $3,336.29 for the daughter's unreimbursed medical expenses; and (3) required him to provide health insurance and life insurance for the daughter's benefit. Although he has appealed only from the order denying reconsideration, we deem it appropriate to consider the merits of the issues generated by the earlier orders, "particularly where, [as here,] those issues are raised in the C[ase] I[nformation] S[tatement]." Fusco v. Bd. of Educ., 349 N.J. Super 455, 461 (App. Div.), certif. denied, 174 N.J. 544 (2002). Plaintiff's "motion for reconsideration . . . implicate[d] the substantive issues in the case." Ibid.

The parties were married in 1985 and divorced in 1994; they have one daughter, Emily*fn1 , born in 1989. They executed a property settlement agreement (PSA) that was incorporated into their judgment of divorce.

The PSA addresses emancipation as follows:

The term "emancipation" shall be defined for purposes of this Agreement as . . . the following:

(i) The child's reaching the age of eighteen (18) years, graduation from high school or graduation from a post-secondary school, including four years of college where the child has attended on a continuous, uninterrupted basis (except for normal school breaks) after graduation from high school, whichever shall last occur;

(iv) The child's obtainment of full-time employment, but excluding full-time employment during normal school breaks while the child is pursuing a regular course of academic study.

The PSA also obligated plaintiff to "provide health insurance coverage for the benefit of the . . . unemancipated child . . . in the same manner and form as existed during the parties' marriage." The parties agreed to "share equally the payment of any uncovered, unreimbursed health-related expenses incurred on behalf of the unemancipated child" as long as defendant continued to receive alimony payments (up to two years after the divorce). Once the alimony payments terminated, the parties agreed that plaintiff would be responsible for 75% and defendant would be responsible for 25% of such expenses.

Plaintiff was also required "to maintain a policy(ies) of life insurance in the sum of at least . . . $250,000 . . . naming the child as irrevocable beneficiary and [defendant] trustee thereof." This obligation was to "abate upon the child's emancipation."

In September 2005, a judge entered an order awarding defendant sole custody of Emily, requiring plaintiff to comply with the health and life insurance requirements in the PSA, and ordering him to reimburse defendant $3,336.29 within seven days; this amount represented plaintiff's ...


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