New Jersey Husband and Wife divorce. Husband is ordered to pay alimony, as well as child support for Son.
Wife and teenaged Son argue. Wife is angry and drunk.
Wife allegedly beats Son … to death.
Wife is sentenced to three years’ incarceration for Son’s death.
The trial court suspends Husband’s obligation to pay current alimony, but requires Husband to continue payments of arrearages into Wife’s “prison account”.
An appellate court later suspends Husband’s obligation to make payments on the arrearages, deferring payments of arrearages until Wife’s release from confinement.
The appeals court cannot not find any legal authority authorizing it to terminate Husband’s alimony obligation because of Son’s death.
But the Court invites the state legislature to address the issue by statute.
And address it the legislature eventually does.
A new New Jersey bill terminates alimony to a parent who kills a child intentionally or through abandonment or neglect.
The bill also cuts off a parent’s right of inheritance from a child the parent abandoned, abused, neglected, or endangered.