On appeal from Superior Court of New Jersey, Chancery Division, Family Part, Bergen County, Docket No. FM-02-1506-07.
NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Argued September 20, 201l
Before Judges Payne, Simonelli and Hayden.
In this post-judgment matrimonial matter, plaintiff Stephanie Woolf appeals from the October 29, 2010 Family Part amended order, which denied her motion for enforcement of litigant's rights and attorneys fees and granted defendant Joseph Decilveo's cross-motion for enforcement and attorneys fees. Having reviewed the record in light of the applicable legal principles, we affirm.
From the record on appeal we discern the following pertinent facts. On April 9, 2008, plaintiff and defendant were divorced after twenty-five years of marriage. Under the terms of their property settlement and support agreement (PSSA), incorporated into their judgment of divorce, each party received substantial assets, and defendant agreed to pay plaintiff a minimum of $173,250 per year in alimony as well as a portion of any earned income in excess of $550,000. Each party also agreed to timely exchange all necessary financial and tax information.
In addition, the PSSA provided that defendant would pay child support to plaintiff until the emancipation of the youngest of their four children. In the PSSA, the parties determined defendant would act as custodian of the three unemancipated children's fully-funded trusts. Defendant agreed to establish from the fully-funded trust a separate $10,000 trust account for each child with plaintiff as the custodian and to replenish the funds in the account within eight days of the balance falling below $5,000.
Finally, paragraph seven of the PSSA provided:
In the event that any differences arise out of the interpretation, construction or operation of this Agreement, the parties further specifically agree as follows:
(a) They shall first attempt in good faith to resolve such differences amicably and directly with each other, retaining the right to seek advice of counsel;
(b) If they are unable to resolve any dispute between themselves or with the assistance of counsel, or through mediation, either side may submit same to a Court of competent jurisdiction for resolution.
On January 26, 2010, plaintiff filed a motion for enforcement of litigant's rights with thirty-four specific requests for relief, and defendant filed a cross-motion for enforcement of litigant's rights. On March 19, 2010, the motion judge ordered the parties to contact a mediator within fourteen days, attend mediation, and return to court on June 1, 2010. However, the parties did not attend mediation within the ordered time frame but filed new nearly-identical motions.
On June 23, 2010, Judge McGrogan denied both parties' motions and ordered them to comply with the March 19, 2010 order to attend mediation. Consequently, the parties participated in mediation in July 2010 and reached a comprehensive agreement on the disputed matters. While the mediation settlement was being drafted, an issue arose concerning whether and when additional alimony and child support over the base amount was payable to plaintiff due to payments defendant had received from his new employer in 2010. The parties had not addressed this fresh dispute during the mediation conference.
On August 13, 2010, Judge McGrogan entered the Consent Order, which memorialized the parties' mediation agreement. In the Consent Order, the parties acknowledged that they had addressed and resolved all issues raised in their January and June 2010 motions except for the new issue of supplemental support. The parties settled a number of disputed issues by defendant ...