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When reviewing equitable distribution decisions, the appellate court’s role is to determine whether the court has abused its discretion

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February 21, 2013 at 10:25 am


Law Lessons from CONSTANCE M. CELIA N/K/A CONSTANCE MASON VS. JOSEPH E. CELIA, JR., App. Div., A-4121-09T4 / A-1220-10T4, January 18, 2013:

When reviewing equitable distribution decisions, the appellate court’s role is “to determine whether the court has abused its discretion.” La Sala v. La Sala, 335 N.J. Super. 1, 6 (App. Div. 2000), certif. denied, 167 N.J. 630 (2001). The appellate court must decide “whether the result could reasonably have been reached by the trial judge on the evidence, or whether it is clearly unfair or unjustly distorted by a misconception of law or findings of fact that are contrary to the evidence.” Perkins v. Perkins, 159 N.J. Super. 243, 247 (App. Div. 1978); see also Borodinsky v. Borodinsky, 162 N.J. Super. 437, 443-44 (App. Div. 1998) (“Where the issue on appeal concerns which assets are available for distribution or the valuation of those assets, it is apparent that the standard of review is whether the trial judge’s findings are supported by adequate credible evidence in the record.”).



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