Ex-husband physician pays unemployed sixty-five year old woman almost three thousand dollars per month in alimony under court order.
Ex-husband repeatedly files motions to reduce his alimony obligation.
NJ rules require that alimony recipient file a response to other party’s motion to reduce alimony.
Upon receipt of latest such motion, ex-wife’s attorney requests additional time due to a “serious medical condition” afflicting him.
Ex-wife fails to file response to ex-husband’s motion to reduce alimony.
Court apparently denies ex-wife’s request for more time, but ex-wife’s law firm doesn’t realize that.
Court does not permit ex-wife’s law firm to defend against ex-husband’s motion because no response was filed … to this seventh incarnation of ex-husband’s motion.
Accordingly, court grants ex-husband’s motion to reduce alimony.
Court slashes alimony payment to $400 per month.
Court denies ex-wife’s motion to reconsider its ruling.
Appellate court reverses and rules that ex-wife must be given opportunity to defend the motion, because the ex-wife should not be punished for her attorney’s error.