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Ali v. Ali

Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division

May 24, 2013

NAZER ALI, Plaintiff-Respondent,
v.
JACQUELINE H. ALI, Defendant-Appellant.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Argued April 9, 2013

On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Chancery Division, Family Part, Monmouth County, Docket No. FM-13-1368-09.

Esther M. Sieira-Alvarez argued the cause for appellant (Ms. Sieira-Alvarez, attorney; Linda E. Mallozzi, on the brief).

Gary E. Linderoth argued the cause for respondent (Kantor & Linderoth, attorneys; Mr. Linderoth, of counsel and on the brief).

Before Judges Ostrer and Mantineo.

PER CURIAM

In this post-matrimonial matter, defendant Jacqueline Ali, appeals from the January 20, 2012 and June 27, 2012 Family Part orders denying modification of her child support obligation and additional claims for relief.[1] For the reasons that follow, we affirm in part and reverse and remand in part.

Plaintiff and defendant were married in 1991 and have two children: a son, born in 1993, and a daughter, born in 1995. In December of 2009 the pair divorced. A Property Settlement Agreement (PSA) was incorporated into the final judgment of divorce.

On November 28, 2011, plaintiff filed a motion seeking an order permitting the immediate listing and sale of the marital home. Defendant filed a cross motion seeking twenty separate claims for relief, which included a request to modify child support; a change of the parent of primary residence (PPR) designation from plaintiff to defendant; contribution by plaintiff to the health care costs for the children; and, recalculation of the parties' contribution for roof expenses based on current incomes.

For the purpose of review, we set forth those portions of the PSA that form the basis of the parties' arguments. The PSA provides the parties shall share joint legal custody of the children. "With regard to residential and physical custody, the parties . . . agree . . . that the [h]usband, Nazer Ali, shall be designated the Parent of Primary Residence." The PSA obligates defendant to pay plaintiff $800 per month in child support and further states "[t]he issue of the amount of child support due from either parent for a child who is attending a post-secondary institution, shall be evaluated and determined at that time."

The PSA requires that defendant "shall continue to maintain medical, dental and optical insurance for the . . . children so long as coverage is available through her employer [or] through any future employment." If at any time defendant is unable to provide coverage, "the parties shall split the financial responsibility for any costs incurred providing coverage for the children in proportion to their relative incomes."

With respect to the marital home, the PSA provides the parties would jointly reside in the home until 2013, when it would be listed for sale. Further, from the date of the divorce until the marital residence is sold, both parties "shall be equally responsible for all costs of ownership and maintenance . . . ." To facilitate equal payment of the costs of ownership related to the marital residence, "the [w]ife shall provide the [h]usband with the sum of $3, 200 per month as her 50% share of these expenses" payable the 15th and 30th of every month "until the marital residence is sold."

On January 20, 2012, the return date for the motions, the parties agreed to list the marital home for sale.[2] The court's order disposed of the parties' other claims for relief with the exception of defendant's request for recalculation of child support. The court granted, in part, defendant's motion to reconsider child support. To effectuate a review of the child support obligation, the court ordered the parties to exchange Child Support Guidelines worksheets by February 15, 2012. The court's order continued by stating "[i]f the parties cannot agree on a child support figure, they may return to [c]ourt to have the [c]ourt review the parties' contentions[.]" Thereafter, the parties exchanged worksheets but were unable to agree on a child support award. Per the court's order, defendant's attorney advised the court of this failure by letter dated May 16, 2012, and provided a copy to plaintiff's counsel. Plaintiff offered no ...


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