ENFORCEMENT OF MARITAL SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT

Defendant appealed the order enforcing the PSA and final judgment of divorce. The parties married in 1988 and had two adult children at the time of the divorce. Defendant started his own business in 2003 and alleged he generated $30,000 a year in profits but did not file tax returns for 2004 through 2017. Defendant moved out of the marital home in 2014 and parties signed a PSA. The PSA affirmed the transfer of the marital home to plaintiff that occurred earlier in the year, both parties waived any right to alimony and defendant assumed all responsibility for certain credit card debt. The PSA did not distribute either defendant’s business or wife’s pension. The parties were not represented by counsel in negotiating the PSA and at signing, defendant stated he had not read it and did not want to. The parties abided by the terms of the agreement for three years until plaintiff filed for divorce. Defendant counterclaimed for alimony and equitable distribution of marital assets. Trial court found defendant lacked credibility, plaintiff was credible and incorporated the PSA into the final judgment of divorce. Court found substantial evidence in the record to support trial court’s legal conclusion as to the enforceability of the PSA and affirmed the trial judge for the reasons stated in her written opinion.

First published in the NJSBA Daily Briefing 3/2/2020

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