Domestic violence is taken very seriously in New Jersey. When a couple is married, divorce may be the most appropriate course of action when there is domestic abuse and counseling has been ineffective. In such cases, issues involving spousal support, also commonly referred to as alimony, will need to be addressed.
In a recent California divorce case that involved domestic violence, the wife had accused her husband of sexually assaulting her. She had evidence of the assault on a tape recording of the incident, and that evidence was used in a criminal trial to convict the husband. He is currently behind bars but is expected to be released in 2014.
In their divorce proceeding, the issue of spousal support came up. The wife in this case supported her husband and family during their 12-year marriage.
Normally, alimony awards are made based on the circumstances of the parties when the award is made. In this case, the judge ordered the wife to pay her husband $3,000 while he was in jail. After the wife successfully argued that this was not necessary because he did not have expenses in jail, the judge decreased the alimony award to $1,000 per month.
Is this result appropriate under the circumstances? If so, under New Jersey law when would alimony be inappropriate? This question is an important one for divorcing New Jersey couples who are also dealing with domestic violence.
Whenever New Jersey family members are involved in domestic disputes they will need an experienced family law attorney who understands New Jersey law. Such a professional can help protect the client’s rights and advocate for an appropriate alimony award, whether it be for the spouse who has suffered from domestic violence, or the person who is accused of domestic violence.
Source: laist.com, “Court Requires Woman to Pay Alimony to Ex-Husband When He Gets Out of Prison For Sexually Assaulting Her,” Emma G. Gallegos, Nov. 12, 2011