Emancipation Does Not Eliminate Child Support Arrearage
- August 15, 2015
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Berthoumieux-Egas v. Berthoumieux, is a post-judgment dissolution matter in which the Defendant, father, appealed from a 2013 Family Court Order that denied his Motion for reconsideration regarding the emancipation of the parties’ daughter and subsequently his child support obligation. The Family Court judge stated in his statement of reasons for denying the Defendant’s Motion that the Order from which the Defendant appealed was the result of the undisputed emancipation of the parties’ only child. The Order was the result of the exchange of Motions in which the Defendant sought his daughter’s emancipation and requested to pay $25 a week towards his support arrears. The Plaintiff sought an Order that directed the Defendant to pay to her $8,000 as reimbursement for payments she made for the child’s college and medical expenses. The Family Court granted the Defendant’s request to emancipate the child, granted the Plaintiff’s request to increase the Defendant’s arrears and denied the Defendant’s request to maintain his current arrears payment of $25 a week. The amount of increase in the Defendant’s arrears payments to $191 a week was equal to his total weekly support obligation for his daughter. The Defendant submitted a Motion for reconsideration which was denied. The Family Court stated that it denied his Motion because it failed to meet the standards for consideration as defined by Court Rule 4:49-2 because the Defendant failed to show where the court erred and failed to provide any case law or statute that was contrary to the court’s decision. The Defendant appealed. According to the Appellate Division, it could not perform its appellate function because the Defendant failed to provide a complete appendix which should have included copies of the Motions he filed with the supporting financial documents. Lacking those documents, the court could not determine if the Family Court improperly denied the reconsideration Motion. The Defendant’s failure to provide these documents breached his “oblig[ation] to provide the court with ‘such other parts of the record . . . as are essential to the proper considerations of the issues.'” Soc’y Hill Condo. Ass’n v. Soc’y Hill Assocs., 347 N.J. Super. 163, 177, 789 A.2d 138 (App. Div. 2002); N.J. Court Rules 2:6-1(a)(1)([I]) and 2:6-3. Therefore, the Appellate Court affirmed the decision of the Family Court. If you are considering action in the NJ Family Court, the process can be complicated. Often the results litigants seek are postponed or denied due to lack of knowledge regarding court procedure or filing requirements making it essential that you consider retaining a family law attorney to represent your interests. For more information about post-judgment modification, emancipation, divorce, or other family law matters in New Jersey visit DarlingFirm.com. This blog is for informational purposes and in no way is intended to replace the advice of an attorney.