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Lisa Antonucci v. William M. Antonucci

June 3, 2011

LISA ANTONUCCI, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
WILLIAM M. ANTONUCCI, JR., DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Chancery Division, Family Part, Morris County, Docket No. FM-14-11820-90.

Per curiam.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted May 10, 2011

Before Judges Yannotti and Skillman.

Defendant William M. Antonucci, Jr., appeals from an order entered by the Family Part on January 27, 2010, denying without prejudice his motion to terminate or reduce his child support obligation, and granting a cross-motion by plaintiff Lisa Antonucci*fn1 to enforce litigant's rights. We affirm.

This appeal arises from the following facts. The parties were married on March 19, 1982. Three children were born of the marriage -- a girl named Stephanie and twin boys named Zachary and Spencer. The marriage was dissolved by a final judgment of divorce dated November 9, 1990, which provided, among other things, that the parties would share joint legal custody of the children. The judgment additionally provided that defendant would pay plaintiff child support for the children. A post-judgment order entered on August 20, 1993, required defendant to pay $150 per week in child support.

In September 2005, defendant filed a motion seeking an order declaring Stephanie emancipated and reducing his child support from $150 to $100 per week. The motion was supported by a case information statement in which defendant provided certain financial information, including his then-current income. In a certification filed in support of his motion, defendant stated that he and plaintiff had very little communication and he did not have any information concerning her income. Defendant also stated that plaintiff was employed as a "Human Resources Administrator," and according to statistics of the United States Bureau of Labor, persons holding similar jobs earned $26.35 per hour in the New York metropolitan area.

The trial court entered an order dated November 22, 2005, which stated that Stephanie was deemed emancipated and ordered defendant to pay child support in the amount of $189 per week, an amount determined pursuant to the Child Support Guidelines. Defendant appealed from the court's order. While the appeal was pending, defendant filed another motion in the trial court seeking a declaration that Zachary and Spencer were emancipated because they were eighteen years of age and would graduate from high school in June 2006.

The trial court entered an order dated July 17, 2006, denying the motion to emancipate Zachary and Spencer. The court ordered defendant to continue to pay child support in the amount of $189 per week, as provided in the court's November 22, 2005, order. In a statement of reasons appended to the order, the court noted that the twins would be attending college beginning in the Fall of 2006. The court also noted that plaintiff had not sought to compel plaintiff to bear a part of Zachary's and Spencer's college expenses. The court pointed out that, because the twins were not emancipated, they were entitled to continuing support from their father.

Thereafter, in an unpublished opinion, we reversed the provision of the trial court's November 22, 2005, order increasing defendant's child support obligation from $150 to $189. Piszel v. Antonucci, No. A-2150-05 (App. Div. Aug. 1, 2006) (slip op. at 5). In our opinion, we stated that the trial court erred by "failing to require plaintiff to submit a current case information statement reflecting her actual current income and failing to redetermine defendant's current child support obligation in light of that actual income figure." Id. at 4-5. We remanded the matter to the trial court for further proceedings. Id. at 5.

Defendant appealed from the trial court's July 17, 2006, order. In an unpublished opinion, we affirmed the court's order substantially for the reasons stated by the court in the statement attached to the order. Piszel v. Antonucci, No. A-6056-05 (Mar. 15, 2007) (slip op. at 2).

It appears that sometime in 2007, defendant filed another motion seeking an order declaring that Zachary was emancipated. Plaintiff opposed the motion and cross-moved to continue defendant's $189 per week child support obligation in lieu of any additional college expense contribution. The court filed an order dated April 30, 2007, denying defendant's motion and granting plaintiff's cross-motion. In a statement of reasons appended to the April 30, 2007, order, the court noted that it had entered an order on July 17, 2006, denying defendant's motion to emancipate the twins and ordering the continuation of child support in the amount of $189 per week in child support.

The court observed that plaintiff had not sought any additional contribution by defendant towards the twins' college education other than the $189 per week in child support. The court also noted that defendant had appealed the July 17, 2006, order and this court had affirmed the order. Defendant did not appeal from the trial court's April 30, 2007, order.

In January 2009, defendant filed a motion seeking to terminate or reduce his child support obligation due to changed circumstances. In a certification submitted in support of that motion, defendant stated that Zachary and Spencer were adults, were gainfully employed, owned their own vehicles, and were capable of contributing to their own support. Defendant also stated that he had been employed as an automotive technical instructor but was unemployed as of December 31, 2008, and had no "income of any sort." He said ...


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