20-2-6682 Sercia v. Sercia, App. Div. (per curiam) (9 pp.)

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20-2-6682 Sercia v. Sercia, App. Div. (per curiam) (9 pp.)

New Jersey Judiciary, May 6, 2015

Defendant appealed from a post-judgment matrimonial order denying her motion for payment of supplemental alimony from plaintiff’s annual bonus income. The appellate panel affirmed, finding the language used in the parties Property Settlement Agreement is unambiguous. After identifying the bonus, the timing of its receipt, and quantifying defendant’s interest as one-third of the net cash earned, the limitation provision allows supplemental alimony only when the $100,000 threshold is met. The meaning is not subject to more than one interpretation. The panel rejected defendant’s position that a clarification provision revealed her entitlement to a portion of all bonus income, up to $100,000. The sentence at issue, although awkwardly worded, is not inconsistent with the limitation provision or the motion judges’ conclusions. The clarification provision limits defendant’s one-third interest in one-hundred thousand dollars “earned as a cash bonus.” Thus, her claim that she would not receive supplemental alimony if the total bonus exceeded $100,000 is not tenable, as she would still receive her share of the defined portion of the cash bonus. Although defendant’s position logically could have been what the parties’ intended, she offers no evidence to contradict the express language of the PSA to support her assertion it was drafted in error

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