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Gartenberg v. Gartenberg

Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division

October 3, 2013

ROBIN GARTENBERG, n/k/a ROBIN SACKS, Plaintiff-Respondent,
v.
MITCHELL GARTENBERG, Defendant-Appellant

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Argued September 17, 2013

On appeal from Superior Court of New Jersey, Chancery Division, Family Part, Monmouth County, Docket No. FM-13-884-08 .

Allan Weinberg argued the cause for appellant.

Patrick M. Durning argued the cause for respondent.

Before Judges Fisher and Koblitz.

PER CURIAM

Defendant Mitchell Gartenberg appeals from an October 12, 2012 order denying his application to reduce child support based on his youngest child's attendance at college. Because at the time of their divorce the parties agreed to a set amount of child support until both unemancipated children were emancipated, we affirm.

The parties were married in 1982 and had three children. A property settlement agreement (PSA), was incorporated into their divorce judgment on April 14, 2008, at which time two of their three children were not yet emancipated. The older of the two children was enrolled in her junior year at a four-year university program living away from home. The younger child was in high school. In the PSA, defendant acknowledged he had annual income of "$250, 000 to $300, 000 plus additional bonuses." Plaintiff acknowledged an income of approximately $45, 000. After their long-term marriage, defendant agreed to pay plaintiff permanent annual alimony of $36, 000. He also agreed to pay her 18% of his bonus. Plaintiff has since remarried.

Defendant also agreed to pay plaintiff $36, 000 per year for child support. The PSA reflects that after the payment of alimony and child support, the parties anticipated that plaintiff would have an annual net income of approximately $96, 750 and defendant would have a net income of approximately $122, 600. The PSA states:

6.5 The payment of both alimony and child support as described in this Agreement shall be subject to modification in the event that Husband is no longer employed at BDO Seidman. . .

The PSA also states in pertinent part:

6.6 Child support shall be paid in the amount of $3, 000/month until such time as both children are emancipated, subject to modification as per Section 6.5 above. Husband's obligation to make payments for the support and maintenance of the children . . . shall terminate when the children are emancipated, which shall be defined as occurring at the happening of any one of the following events:
(a) Reaching the age of eighteen (18) years, completion of the child's college education or completion of a vocational ...

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