Kenneth Mr. Vercammen was included in the 2020 “Super Lawyers” list published by Thomson Reuters.

To schedule a confidential consultation, email us at, call or visit

(732) 572-0500

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

02—02-09 Donnelly v. Donnelly A-2389-07T3

02—02-09 Elizabeth Donnelly v. Gregory R. Donnelly A-2389-07T3

In December 2003, the parties entered into a property settlement agreement that fixed, among other things, defendant's
support obligations by utilizing an income figure derived from an average of defendant's income from his law practice over the five previous years. In April 2005, defendant moved for a downward modification, claiming a decline in his income. After
a plenary hearing, the trial judge found unconvincing defendant's claim that his income had declined as asserted. Approximately one year later, defendant moved again for a downward modification, citing an additional decline in his income; the trial judge denied that application without a hearing. In this appeal, the court affirmed the denial of the second modification motion, concluding among other things that the trial judge was fully authorized to rely upon his earlier findings as well as defendant's failure in the interim to modify the relatively exorbitant lifestyle he adopted after the divorce -- a fact that played a large role in the denial of the first motion. The court also held that the trial judge correctly found that the alleged decline in income had not been shown to be anything but temporary in light of the brief period of time that had elapsed since he decided the first modification motion.