NJ: Alimony Not Automatically Terminated By Spouse’s Killing of Child of Marriage

A sad and unusual scenario.

New Jersey Mother and Father divorce.

Mother is awarded alimony.

Mother and son reportedly get into violent argument at home when Mother is drunk.

Son dies as a result of injuries from fight.

Father is devastated.

Mother goes to jail.

Father falls behind in his alimony payments.

Father seeks modification of alimony obligation, apparently based on the killing of their son. (Not based on substantial change in her needs or his ability to pay.)

The intermediate level appellate court ruled that the killing did not warrant an automatic termination of alimony based on the statute or any legal precedent.

The court did, however, suspend alimony payments pending a final ruling and ordered a lower court hearing on Father’s ability to pay.

It was also noted that the Mother can apply for a modification when she is released from her incarceration.

The court indicated that it is up to the legislature to amend the law if it wants the result sought by the Father.

Read more in this North Jersey Record article: Court cuts alimony to mom who killed her son and this New Jersey Star-Ledger article: Court: No alimony for mom who killed.