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Old 10-24-2019, 08:28 PM
 
Location: California
738 posts, read 518,114 times
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Hey, question for the older divorced crew in NJ.

A family member of mine divorced in the late 1990s with a grotesquely unfair alimony award. The couple was married 20 years exactly and he ended up paying a permanent alimony to her. They've now been divorced about 20 years and she is still in NJ living in a large house he pays for. He since moved to another state.

He's now within 2-3 years of retirement and she's claiming she can have him pay her during retirement. He already split his 401k with her and because she has worked for decades her social security will be higher than if she gets half of his. Other than a sizeable IRA, he doesn't have much to his name other than a paid off house and some money he inherited from his mother a decade post divorce which the court already ruled is his.

Does he have to file with the court to end it? And can he end it? The law changed in 2015 but I'm not sure if it includes people divorced before that.
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Old 10-25-2019, 12:36 AM
 
3,141 posts, read 2,378,497 times
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You should have your friend talk to a lawyer instead of internet strangers, they'll get actual usable information.
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Old 10-26-2019, 12:24 PM
 
Location: Northern NJ/Amagansett, NY
11,969 posts, read 10,574,096 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaymoney View Post
You should have your friend talk to a lawyer instead of internet strangers, they'll get actual usable information.
I agree. He needs to speak to a lawyer.

For what it’s worth, I have a friend who told me hired a private investigator, who proved his ex wife was cohabitating with a man. Even though they aren’t married, the court treated it like they were married and he got to stop paying alimony. They dont even have to live together all the time, as long as it is like 3 days a week. That might be something for his friend to look into. But again, a lawyer would know how best to handle it.
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Old 10-26-2019, 04:05 PM
 
14,835 posts, read 17,894,499 times
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Originally Posted by AnesthesiaMD View Post
I agree. He needs to speak to a lawyer.
+1
The concept of asking for legal advice from anonymous strangers with unknown credentials and unknown agendas is simply... bizarre... IMHO.
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Old 10-26-2019, 06:04 PM
 
22,690 posts, read 17,515,133 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by njbiodude View Post
Hey, question for the older divorced crew in NJ.

A family member of mine divorced in the late 1990s with a grotesquely unfair alimony award. The couple was married 20 years exactly and he ended up paying a permanent alimony to her. They've now been divorced about 20 years and she is still in NJ living in a large house he pays for. He since moved to another state.

He's now within 2-3 years of retirement and she's claiming she can have him pay her during retirement. He already split his 401k with her and because she has worked for decades her social security will be higher than if she gets half of his. Other than a sizeable IRA, he doesn't have much to his name other than a paid off house and some money he inherited from his mother a decade post divorce which the court already ruled is his.

Does he have to file with the court to end it? And can he end it? The law changed in 2015 but I'm not sure if it includes people divorced before that.
My fiancé is in the same boat, and yes it’s grossly unfair. Unfortunately lifetime alimony means just that. Even if she goes to a nursing home and ends up on Medicaid, the state can require the alimony continue, only it’ll go to them.

Thanks to a group of activists called NJ for Alimony reform, NJ no longer has lifetime alimony, BUT the courts refused to make it retroactive, so it doesn’t change a thing for us. Once there’s a change in income he can petition to have the amount reduced but it’s not an easy process and costs thousands.

If you look up Men’s divorce lawyers NJ you’ll see a lot of attorneys have a bank of articles on their websites about just this. You can also google “getting alimony reduced in NJ and you’ll find resources. But without a change in her circumstances that increased her income, or a change in his end resulting in permanently decreased income, most likely nothing will change.

I worry all the time about this, as my fiancé is 52 and in a very physical job. I’m afraid what will happen when he can’t pay the very high amount he is ordered to pay. If you go on the NJ for alimony reform website, they had a section called “Horror stories” and it’s an apt title. They take people to jail for this. One guy on there had been a high income Wall Street guy who had to pay thousands a month. In 2008 he got downsized and his income was much lower, but they arrested him all the time. He said he just keeps a bag packed at all times.

There was another recent story about a guy in NJ who couldn’t pay because he had brain cancer. He languished in jail for weeks. But that case got publicity and a lawyer took him on pro bono.

So look at all the resources first before you start hiring $400 an hour lawyers. Last time my fiancé went to court, the hearing was delayed for hours, and it cost him thousands in legal fees just to sit there with his lawyer and twiddle his thumbs. They don’t care. And men seem to automatically be cast as the villain n in family court.

My honey was only married 15 years, and she is the one who cheated and left him. He never wanted to get divorced ironically. She actually told him she only stayed married to him for 15 years because that’s how long you needed for lifetime alimony. She is a horrible person and calls the courts if he’s at all late. She tells him he was never more than a meal ticket for her. And there’s not a thing we can do except keep paying her. We can’t even get married because we’re afraid she’ll put a lien on the house if he falls behind (she tells him as much).

Do lots of research, my fiancé has paid so much in legal fees over the years but it didn’t make any difference. They aren’t going to make an older woman who has never worked penniless. They don’t care about the burden to the man. Sorry to be so doom and gloom, but this keeps us up nights with worry.
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Old 10-26-2019, 06:16 PM
 
22,690 posts, read 17,515,133 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnesthesiaMD View Post
I agree. He needs to speak to a lawyer.

For what it’s worth, I have a friend who told me hired a private investigator, who proved his ex wife was cohabitating with a man. Even though they aren’t married, the court treated it like they were married and he got to stop paying alimony. They dont even have to live together all the time, as long as it is like 3 days a week. That might be something for his friend to look into. But again, a lawyer would know how best to handle it.
I don’t think that’s accurate. We too looked into that, and the threshold to prove cohabitation is very high. They have to be living as a married couple including joint bank accounts and comingled assets. The lawyers websites I mentioned that have resources, have a checklist of sorts for what’s needed to prove it. One detailed a case where the man had all sorts of proof but the courts still ruled against him.
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Old 10-26-2019, 06:20 PM
 
22,690 posts, read 17,515,133 times
Reputation: 41996
Quote:
Originally Posted by Retriever View Post
+1
The concept of asking for legal advice from anonymous strangers with unknown credentials and unknown agendas is simply... bizarre... IMHO.
Just like any topic, hearing other people’s experiences is often helpful. It’s not any different than going to Health and Wellness and asking if anyone has found a solution for insomnia. They aren’t asking for medical advice, they are asking others with the same condition their own experiences in dealing with it and resolving it. Same with any board. No one mocks posters on the Real Estate forum for asking questions vs going to ask a realtor. If you don’t have insomnia, don’t answer it. If you don’t have experience with alimony in NJ, don’t answer it. But no one is giving “legal advice”. It’s more “Here’s my experience, and here’s some places I found resources. I advised her to do research and gave some starting places. How is that any different than any forum on this board? Isn’t that the purpose of forums?

Last edited by ocnjgirl; 10-26-2019 at 06:48 PM..
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Old 10-26-2019, 06:45 PM
 
Location: Northern NJ/Amagansett, NY
11,969 posts, read 10,574,096 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ocnjgirl View Post
I don’t think that’s accurate. We too looked into that, and the threshold to prove cohabitation is very high. They have to be living as a married couple including joint bank accounts and comingled assets. The lawyers websites I mentioned that have resources, have a checklist of sorts for what’s needed to prove it. One detailed a case where the man had all sorts of proof but the courts still ruled against him.
How long ago was that case? Perhaps the courts are less stringent now? I’m going by second hand information, so take it for what it’s worth. That is why I said to talk to a lawyer about it.
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Old 10-26-2019, 09:04 PM
 
Location: NJ
4,359 posts, read 9,508,593 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ocnjgirl View Post
I don’t think that’s accurate. We too looked into that, and the threshold to prove cohabitation is very high. They have to be living as a married couple including joint bank accounts and comingled assets. The lawyers websites I mentioned that have resources, have a checklist of sorts for what’s needed to prove it. One detailed a case where the man had all sorts of proof but the courts still ruled against him.
It all depends on how the divorce decree is written. I'm divorced and I pay alimony to my ex-wife for a specified period of time. There is a clause in my divorce decree that states that if my ex-wife cohabitates with another male OR gets married, then the alimony would end early. Even if she is shacking up with another guy a couple nights a week that doesn't matter, as long as they each maintain separate residences in their own name then they are not considered cohabitating.
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Old 10-26-2019, 09:37 PM
 
3,141 posts, read 2,378,497 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ocnjgirl View Post
So look at all the resources first before you start hiring $400 an hour lawyers.
Funny thing about lawyers is that it doesn't cost anything to have an initial consultation. They don't charge you anything if they're not going to work for you.

This isn't a question about not sleeping, this is an actual legal question about a law decision that deserves a real answer from someone with facts and not speculation.
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