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Elgart v. Elgart

Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division

August 8, 2013

IRINA B. ELGART, Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
MICHAEL ELGART, Defendant-Respondent.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted April 22, 2013

On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Chancery Division, Family Part, Essex County, Docket No. FM-07-2097-09.

Irina B. Elgart, appellant pro se.

Michael Elgart, respondent pro se.

Before Judges Sabatino and Maven.

PER CURIAM

In this post-judgment matrimonial matter, plaintiff Irina Elgart (Irina) appeals the March 19, 2012 Family Part order, which, among other things, denied amending the parties' Property Settlement Agreement (PSA). We affirm.

I.

The relevant facts are as follows. Irina and Michael Elgart were married on August 17, 1997, and divorced on October 20, 2010. The parties have two children: a son, born in June 2001, and a daughter, born in June 2005.

A complaint for divorce was filed on March 20, 2009. In the months leading up to the divorce, the parties sold the marital home and Irina filed a motion to relocate to Pennsylvania with the children. The parties agreed to the relocation pursuant to a pendente lite consent order on June 19, 2009. This order set forth the parenting time schedule. In August 2009, Irina relocated to Pennsylvania with their children.

The parties attended court-ordered mediation and a parenting education program in July 2009. Also during this time, the parties and their respective counsel attempted to negotiate the PSA. The court held three case management conferences with the Honorable Thomas Zampino, J.S.C., between October 2009 and January 2010 to discuss the status of the PSA.[1]

On March 8, 2010, the judge held a fourth case management conference to discuss the status of negotiations and to establish the factual basis for the dissolution of the marriage.[2]The parties could not agree on several equitable distribution issues, and Michael alleged that Irina had committed fraud with respect to their joint investments. After hearing argument from the parties' counsel, Judge Zampino made the following determinations: the escrow and joint bank account monies would be divided equally between the parties; Michael would attempt to refinance the Harrison[3] property in order to remove Irina's name from the mortgage; Michael would pay Irina alimony in the amount of $1000 monthly for six years; Michael would pay Irina $1350 per month in child support; and Irina had not committed fraud. The judge dissolved the marriage on the record.

Defendant's counsel was directed to draft the final judgment of divorce incorporating the orders set forth on the record by the judge. On April 5, 2010, the parties submitted a consent order drafted by the parties in furtherance of the judge's directives, which only included the provisions pertaining to the Harrison property and child support. Over the next several months, the parties continued their negotiations on the additional issues exchanging numerous drafts of the PSA that incorporated various proposed revisions.

Irina next filed a pro se motion regarding the summer parenting schedule, for which Judge Zampino ...


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