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N.G. v. N.B.G.

Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division

November 14, 2013

N.G., Plaintiff-Respondent,
v.
N.B.G., Defendant-Appellant.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted October 21, 2013

On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Chancery Division, Family Part, Ocean County, Docket No. FM-15-1488-10W.

Jay Turnbach, attorney for appellant.

Atkinson & DeBartolo, P.C., attorneys for respondent (Matthew R. Abatemarco, of counsel and on the brief).

Before Judges Parrillo and Harris.

PER CURIAM

Defendant N.B.G. appeals from a post-divorce judgment order of the Family Part denying his request for the appointment of a parenting coordinator and more parenting time. For the following reasons, we affirm in part and reverse and remand in part.

Defendant and plaintiff N.G. were married on September 8, 2001, and are the parents of two children, a daughter born in 2007, and a son born in 2008. Plaintiff is a pharmaceutical representative and defendant is a pilot. According to plaintiff, there was domestic violence during the marriage, culminating in an incident in April 2010 wherein defendant "grabbed [plaintiff] and threw [her] to the ground, threw objects at [her], held [her] down on the bed, ripped the phones off the wall and smashed the phones on the ground." As a result of this incident, a final restraining order (FRO) was issued on April 22, 2010.

Fourteen months later, on June 30, 2011, the parties divorced. A property settlement agreement (PSA) was incorporated into the Final Judgment of Divorce (FJD) and included, among other things, finding contained in the preliminary report of Dr. William Frankenstein, whom the parties had hired to perform a custody evaluation. Based on those findings, the PSA provided for joint legal custody of the two children, with plaintiff designated as the parent of primary residence and both parents jointly making decisions "concerning the children's health, education, safety and welfare . . . ."

As to visitation, the PSA provided that defendant would have the children every other weekend and every Wednesday. Pursuant to Section 3.1(b) of the PSA, the parties stipulated that they:

shall revisit the time share schedule in a one year period to provide for a possibility of increased parenting time in accordance with the recommendation of Dr. Frankenstein as incorporated herein. In the event the parties are unable to agree to a modification then either party reserves their right to seek the court's intervention for a de novo review of the parenting schedule.

Despite the existence of the FRO, the PSA further provided, in Section 3.2, that "the parties shall retain a parenting time coordinator to resolve all parenting related issues in the event same is needed."

Predictably, a problem did arise as early as February 2012, due to defendant's work schedule as a pilot, prompting him to request makeup parenting time, as well as additional visitation every Tuesday or Thursday. After repeated requests went unsatisfied, in a July 26, 2012 e-mail, defendant reminded plaintiff of the PSA provision stating that they "would revisit the time share in one year or, 30 June 2012." Plaintiff responded in a July 31, 2012 ...


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