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Costa v. Costa

Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division

January 12, 2015

SANDRA COSTA, Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
PAULO A. COSTA, Defendant-Respondent

Submitted December 15, 2014

Approved for Publication January 12, 2015.

On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Chancery Division, Family Part, Hudson County, Docket No. FM-09-1139-06.

Mignone Lazaro Law Firm, LLC, attorneys for appellant ( Anita Mignone-Lazaro, of counsel and on the brief).

Paulo André da Silva Costa, respondent, Pro se.

Before Judges SABATINO, GUADAGNO and LEONELEONE. The opinion of the court was delivered by LEONE, J.A.D.

[440 N.J.Super. 2] OPINION

Page 98

LEONELEONE, J.A.D.

Plaintiff Sandra Costa appeals the denial of her motion to terminate defendant Paulo A. Costa's joint legal custody over their children. Plaintiff sought termination due to difficulties in obtaining the appropriate forms to allow the children to visit her parents in Brazil. We affirm.

I.

The parties were married in 1994. They had two children in 1997 and 2000. In 2006, they received a judgment of divorce. In their Property Settlement Agreement (PSA), the parties agreed they would share joint legal custody of the children. Plaintiff received primary residential custody, and defendant received visitation rights. The parties agreed to consult one another regarding education, health, welfare, and other matters of similar importance affecting the children.

In 2009, defendant moved to the city of Tremembé, in the State of São Paulo, Brazil. Defendant maintains telephonic and electronic contact with the children, but he no longer exercises visitation with them.

[440 N.J.Super. 3] In 2013, plaintiff filed a motion for sole legal custody. She alleged the following. In order to travel abroad with the children, she needed defendant to provide a notarized consent form and authorization to renew their passports. As the form was in English, defendant had to obtain notarization from a certified translator in ...


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