Submitted: February 28, 2014.
Approved for Publication April 23, 2014.
On appeal from Superior Court of New Jersey, Chancery Division, Family Part, Bergen County, Docket No. FM-02-223-11.
Mark Musella ( Mason & Musella ), attorney for appellant.
Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman, P.C., attorneys for respondent ( William T. Schiffman, on the brief).
Before Judges FISHER, ESPINOSA and KOBLITZ. The opinion of the court was delivered by ESPINOSA, J.A.D.
[435 N.J.Super. 543] ESPINOSA, J.A.D.
We granted plaintiff's application to seek emergent relief from an order that denied his request for the appointment of experts at public expense to testify at an ability to pay hearing conducted pursuant to Rule 1:10-3. Relying upon Pasqua v. Council, 186 N.J. 127, 892 A.2d 663 (2006), he argues that such appointment is constitutionally required because he faces possible incarceration if [435 N.J.Super. 544] the trial court finds he willfully failed to pay his support obligations. For the reasons that follow, we conclude he has failed to show that the appointment of experts at public expense is constitutionally required in this case.
The facts and procedural history, as represented by the parties, can be summarized as follows:
Plaintiff Ariel Schochet was a portfolio manager at several hedge funds before " the market collapse in 2007." However, he dates the downturn in his income to several years later, the year before the parties' 2012 divorce, when he lost a high-paying job. He states that, since then, he has been unable to duplicate that level of income.
The Amended Judgment of Divorce required plaintiff to pay weekly amounts of $1500 for alimony and $390 for child support. Later orders required the payment
of $50 per week toward arrears and increased the child support based upon a cost ...