Previously, I blogged about the trial in the McGreevey divorce. In that entry, I wondered whether it was the desire for retribution that was driving the case and whether the legal and expert fees exceeded the matters at issue. To see my prior post, click here.
The decision of the Court was released yesterday and unfortunately I was right. As for the one party playing the victim throughout and until the end, that was evidenced by Ms. Matos McGreevey’s statement released even before the decision was released.
As to the decision, it was decidedly in favor of Mr. McGreevey on the major issues raised by his wife. Whether the issues raised were ever real and bona fide issues, that is another story. In any event, the trial judge was clearly frustrated with the parties and it showed in her decision. To read the decision click here.
Some of the highlights of the decision and Judgment of Divorce are as follows:
-There is no obligation to pay alimony. In fact, the Judge found that to the extent that there was a need for alimony, it was caused by the legal fee debt associated with the case.
-Mr. McGreevey’s income for support purposes was $175,000 – approximately $25,000 more than his employability expert opined and significantly more than he claimed he could earn as a seminary student. Child support was based upon that income and his wife’s former income (she was laid off just prior to the end of the trial.) The Child Support Guidelines were used and then enhanced slightly due in large part to the fact that Mr. McGreevey was being supported by his partner. He did not get a credit for the support for his other child because he was not currently paying it.
-The wife’s claim for celebrity goodwill did not fly nor did her claim that marital lifestyle should be fixed based upon the lifestyle provided by the State of New Jersey to the Governor and First Lady.
-Each side had to pay their own legal fees.
-The wife’s fees total fees were more than $525,000 after receiving a courtesy discount of approximately $125,000. Only $50,500 had been paid to date. Mr. McGreevey’s fees totaled $498,000 and he had paid only approximately $170,000.
Given the costs and the results, could it have possibly been all worth it? Based upon the Court’s decision, it seems unlikely. That is, unless there was a desire to drag the other through the mud and exact vengeance in a public arena. If that was the victory sought and received by either or both of the parties, then the system failed.