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D.W. v. P.W.

Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division

December 19, 2013

D.W., Plaintiff-Respondent,
v.
P.W., Defendant-Appellant

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted November 13, 2013

On appeal from Superior Court of New Jersey, Chancery Division, Family Part, Mercer County, Docket No. FM-11-603-01.

Bernstein & Manahan, L.L.C., attorneys for appellant (James P. Manahan, of counsel and on the briefs).

Szaferman, Lakind, Blumstein & Blader, P.C., attorneys for respondent (Brian G. Paul, of counsel and on the brief).

Before Judges Espinosa and Koblitz.

PER CURIAM

These parties have engaged in extensive trial and appellate litigation resulting in three prior appellate decisions. [D.W. V. P.W.I, No. A-1449-03 (App. Div. July 7, 2005) (D.W. I); D.W. V. P.W., No. A-6227-07 (App. Div. March 10, 2009) (D.W. II); D.W. V. P.W., No. A-2534-09 (App. Div. Nov. 18, 2010) (D.W.III). The plaintiff father, D.W., now has sole custody of the parties' two children, an older daughter and younger son. Defendant mother, P.W., appeals from a January 27, 2012 order denying reconsideration of an amended order entered by the Family Part on November 17, 2011. Although she does not list the November 17 order in her notice of appeal, Points III through X of her brief seek reversal of provisions in that order. We will therefore address the order in the interest of completeness. In pertinent part, the November 17 order reduced her child support but denied her pro se application: to reduce the income imputed to her; to hold plaintiff in contempt; for the court to interview the son and then award her sole residential custody of their son; for plaintiff to reimburse her for overpaid or unproven children's expenses; to require plaintiff to return a coin collection; and for counsel fees. The father's application for counsel fees and costs was granted in the amount of $1, 630. This order amended a November 4, 2011 order only to add the effective date of the reduction in child support.[1] We affirm.

The parties were married in 1986 and divorced in 2003. Although initially they were awarded joint legal custody of the two children, with the mother having primary physical custody, after post-judgment litigation, sole legal and primary physical custody was awarded to the father after an instance of physical abuse by the mother against one of the children.

The mother earned nearly $73, 000 in 2003 working as a tax accountant at a Princeton firm. While she claimed she was unable to pursue work at that level because of emotional and psychological stress, in December 2006 the judge imputed her income at $62, 500, a number based on her prior earnings and her earning capability as reflected in the Occupational Employment Statistics Wage Survey for Mercer County. See N.J. Dep't of Labor and Workforce Dev., Statewide New Jersey Occupational Wages from the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES), http://lwd.dol.state.nj.us/labor/lpa/employ/oeswage/oeswage_index.html (last visited Dec. 6, 2013). We affirmed this decision on appeal. D.W. III, supra, slip op. at 11-12.

The judge continued this imputation of income in 2011, although the mother's child support was reduced from $175 to $134 per week in light of the father's increased income. The judge noted that although the mother had allowed her CPA license to expire, this loss of credential was of her own doing.

The mother raises the following issues in this appeal:

POINT I: THE COURT ERRED BY DETERMINING DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION TO BE UNTIMELY.
POINT II: THE MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION DID ADEQUATELY STATE THE BASIS UPON WHICH IT WAS MADE AND PROVIDED AN ADEQUATE STATEMENT OF THE MATTERS THE COURT HAD ...

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