North Bergen, NJ asked in Family Law and Child Support for New Jersey

Q: The court order and the transcript contain conflicting information

The court order does not specify that I am required to cover insurance premiums or extracurricular activities for the children. However, the court transcript indicates that the judge mentioned I need to bear these expenses. The other party has now filed a motion asking me to pay the bills. Is this claim legitimate? What are my chances of winning this motion?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Richard Diamond
Richard Diamond
  • Short Hills, NJ
  • Licensed in New Jersey

A: If the transcript of the court proceeding contains specific items that the judge told you to take care of, but it appears that he forgot to include those items in his order, presume that he will take the position that the transcript controls and then he will correct his order to reflect those items.

If he was discussing various items on the record and it is not clear whether his final decision on the record was to impose those obligations upon you, then you have a valid defense as to why you did not address them.

If I were you, I would read the transcript over slowly and carefully to see if it was clear as to whether the judge expected you to take care of the items or whether it appears he changed his mind during the argument as to what you should be responsible for.

If it is clear that he expected you to take care of those items, don't wait until you appear before the judge again to take care of them - because he will not be happy with you knowing that you were supposed to take care of those items and you played a game and did not pay for those items, simply because they were not reflected in the order.

This is where you need to apply common sense in reading the transcript as to what was expected of you.

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