Pursuant to the recently decided case of Lombardi v. Lombardi, the New Jersey Appellate Division addressed whether the parties’ history of regularly saving money as part of their marital lifestyle necessitates the inclusion of savings as an element of alimony.
The parties in Lombardi utilized a small percentage of their substantial income to pay their monthly expenses and regularly saved the rest. In fact, their earnings exceeded their monthly expenses by approximately $87,000 per month and they accumulated savings of over $14 million.
The Appellate Division ultimately held that the Court “must in its assessment of a marital lifestyle give due consideration to evidence of regular savings adhered to by the parties during the marriage, even if there is no concern about protecting an alimony award from future modification or cessation upon the death of the supporting spouse.” In other words, the Court must take into account the marital standard of living and allow the supported spouse to save for the future.
However, the Appellate Division further held that the Court “is equally obligated to consider the marital lifestyle and the financial situation of the parties post-divorce as set forth in the statute [N.J.S.A. 2A:34-23].” Therefore, while a savings component of the marital lifestyle must be taken into consideration by the Court in determining alimony, it does not necessarily trump the economic reality of the parties’ financial circumstances after the divorce, as noted by the Court in Lombardi.
For additional information and a cost-free consultation, contact the Morris County, New Jersey law offices of Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark today at 973-828-0829. Our highly experienced New Jersey divorce attorneys regularly assist clients with divorce and related issues such as alimony, division of assets, complex property distribution, and high net worth divorce.