With the economic downturn and slow down in the economy since 2008, there has been a lot more post-judgment litigation to reduce alimony and child support. Much of this litigation has been legitimate; other has been brought by opportunists, throwing around buzzwords and crying about the economy when there is really no substantial change of
Can one former spouse obtain a Court Ordered reduction in child support in New Jersey simply by stating that his or her income is no longer what it once was? The simple answer is no, as the payor spouse must show that he has attempted to "improve" on his worsening situation, and an analysis of…
On February 2, 2009, the Appellate Division released a reported (precedential) decision that affirmed a decision of the trial court denying the former husband’s motion for a downward modification of his alimony and child support obligations. The Appellate Division found that the trial judge properly exercised his discretion particularly when viewed against his findings from a multi-day plenary hearing (trial) that occurred less than one year prior. To see the full text of this case, click here.
The parties were divorced in 2003 and entered a Property Settlement Agreement (PSA) where he agreed to pay $1,000 per week in alimony and $350 per week in child support for the parties’ 3 children. In addition, based upon the joint accountant’s finding of the five year average of the husband’s income, he agreed that support was based upon $185,000 for him.
In 2005, the husband moved for a reduction in his support obligation claiming a downturn in his law practice. The plenary hearing on this motion was held over several days in December 2006. After the hearing, the judge denied the husband’s motion finding that during the time that the husband’s income had supposedly decreased, he obtained a new $58,000 Lexus and bought a home for $785,000 with a $600,000 mortgage. The judge also found that based upon the evidence at trial and his CIS, that the husband’s income was more in the $140,000 range and not $100,000. The judge also rejected the husband’s claim that he was indebted to the Internal Revenue Service in the amount of $55,000 because Gregory failed to provide any documentation to
support that assertion.