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Finerfrock v. Hicks

Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division

December 9, 2013

PAMELA FINERFROCK, Plaintiff-Respondent,
v.
JUDE HICKS, Defendant-Appellant.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Argued June 11, 2013

On appeal from Superior Court of New Jersey, Chancery Division, Family Part, Gloucester County, Docket No. FD-08-0833-08.

Kourtney A. Borchers argued the cause for appellant (Rebel Brown Law Group, LLC, attorneys; Ms. Borchers, on the brief).

Pamela Finerfrock, respondent, argued the cause pro se. The opinion of the court was delivered by GRALL, P.J.A.D.

Before Judges Fisher and Grall.

OPINION

GRALL, P.J.A.D.

Defendant Jude Hicks appeals an order entered on plaintiff Pamela Finerfrock's motion to increase child support and his cross-motion to decrease child support, alternate the annual tax exemption for their child, [1] allocate medical expenses, and modify his parenting time. For the reasons stated in Part I of this opinion, we affirm the court's denial of defendant's motion to modify parenting time. For the reasons stated in Part II, we remand so the court can address defendant's requests for allocation of medical expenses, which the court apparently overlooked, and for the court to reconsider child support in conformity with this decision. The facts pertinent to parenting time and child support are set forth separately for ease of exposition.

I

The parties have one child, who is now nine years of age. Since entry of the initial custody order in February 2008, the child has been in the joint legal custody of her parents and has primarily resided with plaintiff.

Defendant's parenting time was first delineated in an order of March 2010, which provided for overnight parenting time every Wednesday and on either Friday or Saturday night of alternating weekends. In addition, it provided for vacation time as agreed to by the parties.

Defendant's parenting time was subsequently extended. In August 2010, defendant's alternate weekends were changed to run from Friday evening until Monday morning, and in December 2010 defendant was granted evening visits on the Thursday preceding plaintiff's weekends. In February 2011 the parties attended mediation to discuss parenting time, but they ultimately agreed to continue the schedule already in place.

In the cross-motion at issue here, defendant sought additional time with his daughter on the ground that it would reduce the frequency of his daughter's shifting back and forth between her parents and also minimize her exposure to parental "discord and confrontations" related to transfers of physical custody. While defendant asserted that there was "discord" and "confrontations" and "unpleasant incidents" during "pick up and drop off, " he did not say what occurred or how anything that did occur had any impact on the child. In short, he simply described plaintiff's requests about pickup and drop off as being unpleasant.

The trial court denied defendant's requests on the ground that he had not shown a change in circumstances warranting modification of the schedule in place. Defendant urges us to reverse because the court did not make factual findings supporting the ...


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