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Henry v. Zekovitch

Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division

September 27, 2013

COLLEEN HENRY and THOMAS HENRY, Plaintiffs-Respondents,
v.
LINDA ZEKOVITCH and MICHAEL ZEKOVITCH, Defendants-Appellants

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Argued June 11, 2013.

On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Chancery Division, Family Part, Camden County, Docket No. FD-04-3017-10.

Dale W. Keith argued the cause for appellants (Grimes & Grimes, LLC, attorneys; Mr. Keith, on the brief).

Colleen Henry, respondent, argued the cause pro se (Maryann J. Rabkin, on the brief).

Before Judges Parrillo and Messano.

PER CURIAM.

Linda Zerkovitch appeals from those provisions of the Family Part's order of April 13, 2012 that: increased the amount of grandparent visitation for Colleen and Thomas Henry (the Henrys) for the summer of 2012; ordered reimbursement to the Henrys of $100 for "airfare expenses"; and granted the Henrys counsel fees, not to exceed $1000. The order also merged the Henrys' application, filed under the non-dissolution (FD) docket, with previous litigation between Linda and her ex-husband, Michael, the son of Colleen Henry, under the matrimonial (FM) docket.[1]

We have considered the arguments raised by Linda in light of the record and applicable legal standards. We reverse and remand the matter for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.

I.

The procedural history, although largely undisputed, requires some explication. Linda and Michael married in 2002 and had two children born in 2003 and 2005. A complaint for divorce was filed by Linda in July 2008. At the time, Michael was in active military service out of the country, and since service was not effectuated, the FM action was placed on inactive status. In February 2010, however, service was effected after Michael was located and served at an Air Force base in North Carolina.

In the interim, relations between Linda and the Henrys deteriorated, leading to the Henrys filing an FD complaint seeking grandparent visitation. On December 14, 2010, the Family Part entered an order that granted the Henrys grandparent visitation from Friday at 4:00 p.m. through Sunday at 6:00 p.m., as well as overnight visitation with the children on alternate Wednesdays.

Linda filed an appeal. However, on March 2, 2011, Michael and Linda entered into a consent final judgment of divorce (JOD). The JOD provided that Michael and Linda would have joint custody of the children, with Linda as the parent of primary residential custody. The JOD also permitted Linda to relocate to California with the children.

The JOD further provided that Michael and the Henrys "shall have reasonable and liberal visitation/parenting time with the children" including "thirty-eight . . . days of summer visitation, at least fourteen . . . of which shall be allocated to" the Henrys "in New Jersey." Michael "and/or" the Henrys were to have alternating Christmas visitation, and Michael "and/or" the Henrys were to have one week of visitation during "spring break." Transportation costs for the three visitation periods were to be shared equally by Linda, Michael, and the ...


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