As the saying goes “Hell has no fury like a woman scorned,” but in a recent unpublished New Jersey Appellate Division decision the opposite was true.  In Weitz v. Weitz, App. Div. Docket No. A-1760-08T1, decided February 25, 2010, the defendant, Arthur Weitz, appealed from orders denying his post-judgment motions to terminate payment of alimony and for reconsideration.

Mr. Weitz and his ex-wife, Susan Weitz, were married in 1966 and divorced in 1994.  As part of the final judgment of divorce, a Property Settlement Agreement was entered into by the parties.  The Agreement required Mr. Weitz to pay alimony from 1994 until 2006, but if he was unemployed for a period exceeding 1 month than he would not have to pay for that month.  However, any months Mr. Weitz did not pay alimony would be tacked onto the termination date of the alimony.  The Agreement also stated that if Ms. Weitz remarried, died, or cohabitated with another man, alimony would immediately terminate.

From 1995 to 2007, Mr. Weitz had been incarcerated and had twenty-two orders entered against him for failing to pay alimony.  By 2008, Mr. Weitz was $15,000 in arrears.  In 2008, he filed a motion to terminate alimony based on Ms. Weitz’s cohabitation with another man.  The Court denied his motion, finding that all the money owed to Ms. Weitz was prior to her cohabitation, which did not occur until 2007. Mr. Weitz appealed.

The Appellate Court affirmed the trial court’s decision, finding that Mr. Weitz had the ability to pay, but Mr. Weitz was “determined not to pay” alimony and was “a committed unemployed or underemployed person.”  The Appellate Court further determined that Ms. Weitz’s cohabitation was irrelevant because it did not occur until after alimony was scheduled to terminate.  As a result, Mr. Weitz was again ordered to pay.

This is an extreme example of what happens when an individual simply refuses to pay alimony.  In this case it appears that hell has no fury like an ex-husbands scorn.

One Response to Hell Has No Fury Like a Husband’s Scorn

That’s odd. You would imagine that being incarcerated wouldn’t count against him as a “committed unemployed/underemployed person” unless he committed the criminal acts with the specific intent not to pay alimony. It seems like the logical thing would have been for him to file for a modification of alimony once he knew he was going to jail. I think it’s fairly safe to say that no one goes to jail for the sole purpose of not working. You can do the same thing, and not be in jail. Maryland has case law that point out that going to jail is not voluntary with regard to the voluntary impoverishment clauses of child support (and possibly alimony).

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