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NJ Family Legal Blog Pertinent Information As It Relates To New Jersey Family Laws

Category Archives: Alimony

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Champagne Taste on a Beer Budget: How One Judge Determined Alimony for an Overspending Couple

Posted in Alimony, Child Support, Divorce, Equitable Distribution, Modification, Practice Issues

I’m not usually one to place a lot of stock in celebrity gossip, but I couldn’t help but take notice of the fact that it has been rumored that Amber Heard’s monthly income is $10,000, yet she spends $44,000 a month on shopping, dining out and vacations. Her ask for spousal support: $50,000 per month,… Continue Reading

Watch Out: Judges Start Getting Creative with Non-Complying Litigants and Obstructers

Posted in Alimony, Child Support, Counsel Fee Awards, Custody, Divorce, Equitable Distribution, Interspousal Agreements, Practice Issues

If I’ve heard it once, I’ve heard it a million times: “why don’t judges enforce their own orders or take hard lines against obstructers?” Many times, litigants feel powerless. Powerless to change anything; powerless to have courts take a firm position in favor of those aggrieved; and, powerless to be heard. Clients and attorneys alike… Continue Reading

Appellate Division Upholds Ultimate Price Against Litigant for Playing Discovery Games

Posted in Alimony, Modification, Practice Issues

Too often in family law practice, the discovery process by which one litigant is supposed to procure information from the other litigant becomes a frustrating and costly game where the non-compliant party hopes that the other party will simply give up rather than continue the chase down the rabbit hole of information.  Long-term readers of this… Continue Reading

Appellate Division Finds Payor Spouse Fails to Fulfill Initial Burden of Proof on Cohabitation Claim

Posted in Alimony, Modification

As regular readers of this blog may know, cohabitation has been a hot topic of discussion in recent months with several new cases addressing the subject within and beyond the context of the amended alimony law.  With new case law to consume, one question remains constant – how does a payor spouse fulfill his or… Continue Reading

Court Defines “Prospective Retirement” Under Amended Alimony Law

Posted in Alimony, Modification

The amended alimony law that went into effect in late 2014 raised many questions as to the meaning of its terms and how such terms will be applied, especially as to how a payor’s retirement impacts upon an existing alimony obligation.  As we have previously discussed, the law provides that a payor former spouse may even file an application to terminate or modify… Continue Reading

If You Agree that Alimony Terminates on Cohabitation, It Really Terminates on Cohabitation, Even If the Cohabitation Ends

Posted in Alimony, Modification, Practice Issues

The impact of cohabitation on alimony is often one of the most difficult clauses to negotiate in a marital settlement agreement.  The payor always wants the agreement to read that alimony shall terminate upon cohabitation, while the recipient, if they are allowed to agree to anything, might agree to allow the payor to seek to… Continue Reading

Cohabitation Under the Amended Alimony Statute – Are We There Yet?

Posted in Alimony, Cohabitants' Rights

Suffice it to say, the issue of cohabitation under the amended alimony statute has been a hot topic of late in New Jersey family law. With several recent notable seminars on the topic, and two recently issued Appellate Division decisions (one published and the other unpublished) addressing when the amended law applies, practitioners and potential… Continue Reading

The Forgotten Insurance: Life Insurance to Secure Alimony & Child Support

Posted in Alimony, Child Support, Divorce, Interspousal Agreements, Modification, Practice Issues, Property Settlement Agreements

When we all think of insurance, we often think of medical insurance, car insurance and homeowner’s insurance as these seem to be the necessary and everyday types of insurance. Life insurance, which for some can be synonymous with high premiums, is one of the first costs to go when seeking to reduce your budget. I… Continue Reading


Posted in Alimony, Cohabitants' Rights

While the Appellate Division has yet to address the substantive application and meaning of the cohabitation provisions of the amended alimony law, it has now determined twice when the law may apply. In October, I wrote about how the Appellate Division in Spangenberg v. Kolakowsi, a reported (precedential) decision, held that the cohabitation portion of the… Continue Reading

New Decision Provides Clarity on Impact of Retirement on Pre-Amendment Agreement

Posted in Alimony, Modification

As we have previously noted on this blog, some of the biggest changes in the 2014 alimony reform amendments came in connection with the issue of retirement.  In fact, the amendment to the alimony statute now has three different standards, one for early retirement, one for retirement at the attainment of full retirement age (i.e.… Continue Reading

“Conscious Uncoupling”: An Ode to a Mediated Divorce

Posted in Alimony, Child Support, Custody, Divorce, Equitable Distribution, Mediation/Arbitration, Practice Issues, Privacy and Confidentiality, Property Settlement Agreements

As a lover of all things Coldplay, I was sad to hear that lead singer Chris Martin and his wife of more than 10 years, Gwyneth Paltrow, were divorcing. Gwyneth Paltrow announced the separation on her website Goop.com and used the term “conscious uncoupling” to describe their approach to divorce.  Although the term had been originally… Continue Reading

Beware the Divorce Litigant Who is Watering the Money Tree With The Tears From Cries of Poverty

Posted in Alimony, Child Support, Counsel Fee Awards, Equitable Distribution, Practice Issues

Often, cases are given nicknames, sometimes by judges and law clerks, and sometimes by the attorneys.  Sometimes the nicknames come from who the people are – for instance, a case we had several years ago where both parties were models became the “model case” at the courthouse.  Sometimes, the names come from something that one or both… Continue Reading


Posted in Alimony, Divorce, Modification

Litigants and family lawyers have eagerly awaited each decision from the Appellate Division that could shed some light on the numerous provisions in the amended alimony law that became effective on September 10, 2014.  On November 6, 2015, the Court released an unpublished (not precedential) decision in Court v. Court, wherein the trial court’s order… Continue Reading

Marriage Is an “Adaptive Economic and Social Partnership”; Even After You Have Been Divorced for 19 Years. How Retirement Impacts Present Alimony Obligations.

Posted in Alimony, Equitable Distribution, Mediation/Arbitration

In the recent matter of Perreault v. Perreault, P.P. and R.P. were divorced in 1996, after 22 years of marriage. Following a hearing, the Court ordered R.P. to pay permanent alimony in the amount of $500.00 per week. Neither the April 29, 1996 Final Judgment of Divorce, nor the August 7, 1996 Order provided that alimony… Continue Reading


Posted in Alimony, Cohabitants' Rights

With New Jersey’s amended alimony statute becoming effective on September 10, 2014, many questions have arisen as to how the statute will apply and the meaning of many of the new terms contained therein.  The Appellate Division’s newly reported (precedential) decision in Spangenberg v. Kolakowski provides some insight from the judiciary that we have been… Continue Reading

Reflections On The Alimony Statute One Year Later

Posted in Alimony

Today marks the first anniversary of new alimony law.  One year ago today, September 10, 2014, Governor Christie signed into law Bill A-845 which substantially amended the provisions of the New Jersey alimony statute – N.J.S.A. 2A:34-23. The major changes to the law are succinctly delineated in the following alert by Eric Solotoff and Robert… Continue Reading


Posted in Alimony, Child Support, Divorce, Interspousal Agreements, Modification, Practice Issues, Property Settlement Agreements

As a matter of public policy, New Jersey Courts favor the enforcement of agreements reached between parties. Since Marital Settlement Agreements (“MSA”) are entered into consensually and voluntarily, they are often approached with a predisposition in favor of their validity and enforceability.  That notwithstanding, these agreements are enforceable only if they are fair and equitable.… Continue Reading

Gnall v. Gnall Being Decided On 7/29/15

Posted in Alimony

The long awaited decision in the Gnall case is being released tomorrow (7/29/15).  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. I was fortunate to be one of the… Continue Reading

Imputing Income for Interim Support at the Beginning of a Divorce

Posted in Alimony, Child Support, Divorce

The issue of interim support payments comes up in almost every divorce matter.  The law requires that the so-called “status quo” that existed during the marriage be maintained to the extent possible, but what does that even mean when there may now be two households to support, litigation expenses, and other costs that were never… Continue Reading

H is for HIPAA

Posted in Alimony, Child Support, Cohabitants' Rights, Custody, Divorce, Domestic Violence

Health care information (including mental health information) can be very  important in a family law case in many ways and for many different reasons. In custody matters, the fitness of each parent is front and center of the case.  Often times, a parent’s medical and mental health history will be relevant to the issues that… Continue Reading


Posted in Alimony, Child Support, Practice Issues

What happens when a support obligor shorts his alimony and child support payments and then tax time comes around?  Of course, since alimony is deductible to the payor, he/she is likely to want to claim that most or all of the payments were alimony in order to get the deduction.  Inevitably, if the recipient doesn’t… Continue Reading