NEETI WADHWA v. AMIT SETHI

Annotate this Case

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE

APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

SUPERIOR COURT OF NEW JERSEY

APPELLATE DIVISION

DOCKET NO. A-3121-11T1

NEETI WADHWA,

Plaintiff-Respondent

Cross-Appellant,

v.

AMIT SETHI,

Defendant-Appellant

Cross-Respondent.

______________________________

April 24, 2013

 

S

October 10, 2014

ubmitted December 5, 2012 Remanded

Resubmitted September 23, 2014 Decided

Before Judges Reisner and Koblitz.

On appeal from Superior Court of New

Jersey, Chancery Division, Family Part,

Middlesex County, Docket No. FM-12-1299-11.

Damiano Law Offices, attorneys for

appellant/cross-respondent (Toni Belford

Damiano, of counsel; Ruchika S. Hira,

on the brief).

Hoagland, Longo, Moran, Dunst & Doukas, LLP,

attorneys for respondent/cross-appellant (Brian McFadden-Dinicola, of counsel and on the brief).

PER CURIAM

While retaining jurisdiction, we previously remanded this divorce matter to the trial judge for reconsideration of the determination that defendant Amit Sethi dissipated $355,350 of marital assets between March 2005 and December 2009.1 Wadhwa v. Sethi, No. A-3121-11 (App. Div. April 24, 2013) (slip op. at 18). The trial judge determined upon reconsideration that defendant dissipated $122,357, in part by crediting defendant with premarital funds that he brought to the marriage. Plaintiff Neeti Wadhwa appeals2 from that reconsidered calculation, arguing that the judge was correct initially and we should have deferred to the judge's original calculation. We reject this argument and affirm the recalculated number substantially for the reasons stated by the trial judge as well as those stated in our initial opinion. We correct the number to add back the $63,643 credited to defendant based on the pre-marital funds he brought to the marriage, however, because the judge had previously considered this amount when denying plaintiff a similar sum she sought as her portion of the equity in the marital home, a decision not altered by our appellate decision. In our initial opinion we also rejected defendant's argument that the approximately $63,000 he brought to the marriage should be treated as an immune asset. Wadhwa v. Sethi, supra, slip op. at 20 n.4. When reconsidering, the court erred in awarding defendant credit for this sum. We thus determine that defendant dissipated a total of $186,000 and must pay plaintiff one-half, the proportion of dissipated assets ordered reimbursed to her by the trial judge.

A history of the marriage and the dissipation is set forth in our earlier opinion. Id. at 9-19. Our reasons for remanding the judge's dissipation calculation is also set forth in that opinion. Id. at 21-26. On remand, the trial judge carefully followed our instructions, setting forth her findings and reasons. She made sure that she did not double-count various money transfers to India. She also eliminated from the dissipation calculation funds used for ordinary living expenses, to support the marital home and family, or that were transferred prior to the marital conflict.

The issues raised by plaintiff that do not relate to the $63,643 credited to defendant are without sufficient merit to require discussion in a written opinion. R. 2:11-3(e)(1)(E). Thus we direct defendant to repay plaintiff the amended sum of one-half of $186,000, or $93,000, within sixty days of the date of this opinion.3 The trial judge shall sign an order to that effect. Any request for delay of payment or enforcement should be brought before the trial judge.

Affirmed in part and reversed in part. We do not retain jurisdiction.


1 See Kothari v. Kothari, 255 N.J. Super. 500, 510 (App. Div. 1992) (discussing the proper treatment of dissipated marital assets).

2 We have designated her appeal as a cross-appeal because defendant appealed initially and we retained jurisdiction when remanding. Plaintiff then cross-appealed from the decision after remand. Defendant did not respond to plaintiff's cross appeal.

3 The trial judge originally ordered defendant to pay plaintiff her share of marital assets within sixty days.