In this family case, the parties were married in August 1973. The wife is presently 52 years of age and the husband is presently 56 years of age. On the date of their marriage, plaintiff was 22 years of age and a college graduate. Defendant was then 18 years of age and a high school graduate. During the course of the marriage, four children were born to the parties, to wit: the eldest daughter, age 32; the eldest son, age 26; the youngest son, age 20; and the youngest daughter, age 13. The two youngest children, the youngest son (presently age 20) and the youngest daughter, remain unemancipated. During the course of the litigation the youngest son resided in Israel or was a resident student at A university.
The husband commenced this action in December 2004 after the wife withdrew an action commenced in November 2004. The parties litigated in Family Court from November 10, 2004, through January 31, 2005. The husband also brought a writ of habeas corpus under a separate index number against the wife and her mother which was dismissed. The Family Court action was consolidated into the Supreme Court action, on consent. The husband was granted a divorce, on consent, after proof, on June 10, 2005, on the grounds of constructive abandonment and shortly thereafter the husband gave the wife a Jewish divorce. A law guardian, was appointed for the youngest daughter, and a neutral forensic evaluator was appointed by the court.
Thereafter, the day set for trial on the issue of custody, all issues of custody and visitation were resolved by stipulation on the record. The agreement inter alia provided that the parties would share joint decision making of the youngest daughter, age 13, that the wife would have physical custody, there would be a parent coordinator and that the husband, the wife and child would separately enroll in therapy. The wife voluntarily, without prejudice, withdrew her request for a temporary order of protection and same was vacated, on consent. The agreement further provided for supervised visitation and a mechanism for the child and father to re-establish their relationship.