We have previously blogged on the issues of counsel fee awards and a trial court’s decision to grant or deny a party’s request for oral argument on a pending motion. Two of these prior postings can be found here and here. Both of these issues framed the Appellate Division’s recent unpublished opinion in Bove v. Bove, found here.
The parties at issue were divorced on June 28, 2001 and three children were born of the marriage (two adult sons and a 16-year old daughter). A supplemental Judgment of Divorce established that the Wife would have sole physical custody and the parties would share joint legal custody. Additionally, the Husband was required to create trust funds for the children’s college expenses and to be responsible for 80% of the daughter’s college tuition.
The Wife sought to enroll the daughter in a private high school, informing the Husband that she could not pay for any part of private school tuition, that she was taking the daughter to open houses and that she asked for the Husband’s "thoughts on the matter." The Husband responded in a letter that he would not contribute to tuition prior to college and was displeased that the issue was broached with their daughter before him. Nevertheless the Wife moved forward with the process and, when the Husband sought to have the Wife confirm in writing that she would not seek contribution from him for high school tuition, she refused. The Wife also contended that the Husband was using the college trust funds for non-college expenses, as defined by the supplemental JOD, and the Husband contended that the Wife ignored, and then hedged, on his timely requests for vacation with the children.