Permanent Alimony Payments Come to an End
Last week our firm was able to go to court for client and terminate his permanent alimony obligation. Last week's hearing was request for reconsideration of a prior order that terminated our client's alimony. We were successful at the reconsideration hearing and, absent an appeal, a client will no longer have an alimony obligation to his ex-wife. Alimony cases and post judgment modification applications are very fact specific so some background on the case should provide some clarity. Our client was divorced from his first wife in March of 1989. At the time of the divorce our client was 53 years old. (I did not represent our client at the time of this divorce in large part because I was still in college at the time.) The final judgment of divorce obligated the Defendant/Husband to pay $100 per week in alimony. Specifically, the final judgment of divorce said, “Defendant shall pay directly to plaintiff alimony in the amount of $100 per week, effective March 16, 1989. Said alimony shall terminate upon the death or remarriage of the plaintiff, or her cohabitation with an unrelated male other than a border or tenant. In January of 2004, our client retained the firm to determine whether he should file a motion to reduce his alimony obligation. At the time he was 68 years old, no longer working, and was on a fixed income. After an extensive interview of our cleint and an investigation we determined he had a good chance to obtain an alimony reduction. In February of 2004 we filed an application to reduce his alimony obligation. We were successful in showing a change of circumstances and on April 21 2004, the Court reduce his alimony from $100 a week two $50 a week. Since the alimony reduction nearly nine years ago, our client's health began to deteriorate. In recent years his health condition was rapidly deteriorating. Due to his and his current wife's financial circumstances he was ineligible for Medicaid and had to pay a significant portion of his prescription medication costs out of pocket. Over a short period of time the amount of his out-of-pocket prescription payment continued to grow. His and his wife's financial circumstances were deteriorating and our client was going into debt in order to be able to pay his alimony obligation and continue with his medical treatment. At the same time, we had learned that his ex-wife was now living in a nursing home and receiving Medicaid to cover most if not all of her needs. Based on the financial circumstances of the parties we were able to convince the court that there was a change of circumstances that would warrant a review of the alimony obligation.once the court may their review of the facts and circumstances surrounding the parties decided that alimony was no longer appropriate. Accordingly the court ordered that the alimony obligation be terminated. If you or a loved one have questions regarding alimony, the enforcement of alimony orders, or the modification or termination of alimony orders contact us or call us at (856)546-1350 to schedule a confidential consultation with our experienced New Jersey alimony attorneys. The outcome of every alimony case is very fact specific. Your particular case results will vary depending on a wide range of legal and issues and factors. The facts of your case may not apply to or relate to the results of the case described above.