Previously, we have blogged about the Gnall v. Gnall case. In this case, the Appellate Division deemed a 15 year marriage to be “long term” and remanded the matter for consideration of permanent alimony. At the time, I noted that:
When laws get changed, the preamble to the statute and/or the legislative history often tells you the perceived need for the change. As an example, when the palimony law, which we have blogged on numerous times before, changed a few years ago, the preamble of the amendment to the statute mentioned several palimony cases that the law sought to overturn. We have also blogged on the possible alimony reform movement. If the reform now passes, I would not be surprised if it is response to Gnall v. Gnall, a published (precedential) Appellate Division opinion decided on August 8, 2013.
In any event, as we have previously noted, the Supreme Court agreed to hear the Gnall case, and that argument is scheduled for tomorrow – November 12, 2014.
I was fortunate to be one of the authors of the amicus brief filed by the New Jersey Chapter of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML). Interestingly, when we filed the brief, it was before the new alimony reform statute had passed. It will be interesting to see if that shapes tomorrow’s argument, and more particularly for the Gnalls, whether the new law or old law is to be used on the remand. Moreover, given the new statute, does this opinion even matter anymore?
Eric Solotoff is the editor of the New Jersey Family Legal Blog and the Co-Chair of the Family Law Practice Group of Fox Rothschild LLP. Certified by the Supreme Court of New Jersey as a Matrimonial Lawyer and a Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Attorneys, Eric is resident in Fox Rothschild’s Roseland and Morristown, New Jersey offices though he practices throughout New Jersey. You can reach Eric at (973)994-7501, or firstname.lastname@example.org.