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It is difficult but not impossible, depending upon your facts. The good news is that the law of cohabitation and alimony was “modernized” in New Jersey back in 2014 which was part of the greatest overhaul I have ever witnessed to divorce and alimony laws since I became practicing divorce lawyer in New Jersey back in 1995.

Attorneys must provide facts and legal arguments to present to a judge of the Superior Court of New Jersey so that the court may consider a number of factors when deciding whether cohabitation exists. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Commingling of finances such as joint back or credit card accounts;
  • Sharing living expenses such as mortgage and rent payments;
  • Friends and family consider the relationship as a committed and intimate one such as attending holidays, weddings or funerals together;
  • How long has the relationship existed;

A major change in the New Jersey’s alimony law and cohabitation is that it is no longer required to prove actual cohabitation. This is because before the changes in the law folks would draft fake leases for apartments they rarely stayed at because the law of cohabitation was so rigid that often this was deemed to be enough proof. Now these games are over.

Nevertheless, it is still hard to prove cohabitation. In the following case, one of the reasons the petitioner failed to prove cohabitation was because he failed to have his private detective update their report before filing his motion.

In Gilles v. Gilles, the parties were married and had four sons born of the marriage. The parties were continuously filing motions with the court regarding financial issues while their divorce was pending. The parties’ divorce was finalized on September 26, 2011, but the extensive motion practice continued.

The Superior Court of New Jersey Family Part determined in an April 7, 2015 order that the ex-wife receives $135,000 per year in alimony, which is subject to increase if the ex-husband earns more than $500,000 per year. In 2013, the ex-husband earned approximately $759,000. The majority of the parties’ post-divorce issues centered around the provision in the parties’ matrimonial settlement agreement (“MSA”), which stated that the ex-husband was to provide the ex-wife with his yearly financial records. The parties agreed to this provision so that the ex-husband’s alimony and child support obligations could be increased if he earned over $500,000 in a year. On at least two occasions, the ex-husband has been found in violation of the MSA. In past years, the ex-husband’s annual income has exceeded $3 million. On April 7, 2015, the court found that the ex-husband violated the MSA. The court awarded the ex-wife $7,200 in attorney’s fees because the ex-husband acted in bad faith by deliberately ignoring the MSA. Also, the court indicated that the ex-husband’s replies to the ex-wife’s requests for financial records were troubling.

The ex-husband hired a private investigator to watch the ex-wife’s home over a ninety-day period from February 9, 2015 to April 4, 2015. The private investigator reported that the ex-wife’s boyfriend had stayed overnight at the ex-wife’s house thirteen times over twenty-nine days. The private investigator also reported that the ex-wife’s boyfriend had helped shovel snow off the driveway, retrieved the mail, and entered the home when neither the ex-wife nor the parties’ children were home. During oral argument, the court noted that the ex-husband did not receive an updated report from the private investigator before filing a motion to terminate his alimony obligation based on cohabitation. The court found that the ex-wife and her boyfriend were not cohabitating. The judge stated that the ex-wife and her boyfriend were not mingling finances, did not share living expenses, and not sharing household duties. Also, the judge stated that the ex-wife and her boyfriend did not even refer to themselves as “boyfriend and girlfriend” to family and friends, although they were clearly in a dating relationship. The judge found that the boyfriend’s activities around the house were merely chivalrous, and that the ex-wife and her boyfriend were just dating and not living together. The judge then found that the ex-husband clearly had the means and ability to pay the ex-wife’s attorney’s fees, since his finances indicated he earned substantially more than the ex-wife. The judge ordered the ex-husband to pay $7,062.17 toward the ex-wife’s attorney’s fees, which totaled $10,593.25.

On appeal, the ex-husband argued that the trial court’s decision was not supported by credible evidence and that the court improperly determined that he had to pay attorney’s fees but not the ex-wife. The New Jersey Appellate Division noted that under N.J.S.A. 2A:34-23, alimony may be suspended or terminated if the person receiving alimony cohabitates with another person in a way that is associated with marriage or civil union. Under the statute, the people cohabitating must be in a jointly supportive, intimate personal relationship. Factors to consider to determine cohabitation include shared bank accounts or intertwined finances, sharing living expenses and responsibilities, recognition of relationship status to family and friends, shared household duties, promises of support, and living together, among others. The Appellate Division stated that a change in circumstances is the same standard to determine modification or termination of alimony as cohabitation because cohabitation is itself a change in circumstances. The Appellate Division also stated that a finding of cohabitation and modification or termination of alimony is up to the Family Part judge’s discretion. The court noted that Family Part judges are experts in the area of law and their decisions should not be reversed when they are supported by credible and reliable evidence. Similarly, decisions to award attorney’s fees are up to the discretion of the Family Part judge. When deciding to award attorney’s fees, the court should consider factors such as the ability of the parties to pay their own legal fees, the financial stability of the parties, the good faith of the parties when engaging in legal proceedings, the extent of the legal fees, any previous fee amounts paid or awarded, and any other factors that help determine fairness.

The Appellate Division agreed with the lower court’s determination that the ex-husband did not demonstrate that the ex-wife and her boyfriend were cohabitating based on the applicable law. The court reasoned that the lower court judge concluded that the ex-wife and her boyfriend were not cohabitating based on the totality-of-the-circumstances. The court stated that the ex-husband showed that the ex-wife’s boyfriend stayed overnight at the ex-wife’s home a number of times, but the number of times was limited and the ex-husband did not show that the boyfriend lived there. The Appellate Division then noted that if the ex-husband did not demonstrate that the ex-wife was cohabitating with her boyfriend, then no plenary hearing or discovery was necessary or justified. Lastly, the Appellate Division stated that the lower court judge could have expanded more on her reasoning regarding awarded attorney’s fees to the ex-wife; however, the court indicated that the lower court judge clearly considered the factors in her decision to award attorney’s fees to the ex-wife.  The Appellate Division stated that the lower court clearly considered that the ex-husband earned five times the amount of money per year that the ex-wife earned, which was only the alimony she received from the ex-husband, totaling $135,000 per year. The court also noted that the lower court indicated that the husband’s motion was not made in good faith. Ultimately, the Appellate Division agreed with the lower court and held that no abuse of discretion occurred.

As cohabitation and alimony are one of the more complex areas of New Jersey divorce law, you want a lawyer who only handles family law matters. The lawyers at our law firm invite your inquiry.

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Under New Jersey alimony law your attorney must demonstrate to a judge of the Family Part, Superior Court of New Jersey, that your disability creates an inability to obtain a job that is similar to what you had done historically in their career. Your lawyer must provide evidence from your treating doctors in order to prove that under New Jersey divorce law, you simply no longer have the ability to pay the alimony that you agreed (or were court ordered). The lawyers at our East Brunswick, New Jersey law firm embrace a detailed narrative report from your treating physician containing not only your complete diagnosis but your prognosis as well. This way your attorney has the evidence to argue your inability to regain similar employment in the future and therefore a reduction or termination of alimony is warranted.

In R.S. v. T.B., the parties were married in 1983 and had two children born of the marriage. Throughout the marriage, T.B. worked various jobs, including in real estate, as a bank teller, a hairdresser, at Jenny Craig, and an administrative assistant. R.S. worked as a restauranteur and a chef. He also took part in various business ventures. During the parties’ marriage, R.S. and T.B. lived a lavish lifestyle. The parties had combined monthly expenses totaling $32,406.99. T.B.’s own, personal monthly expenses were $12,512.

The parties entered into a dual judgment of divorce in March 2005. The dual judgment of divorce included a property settlement agreement, which discussed the division of the parties’ assets as well as alimony and child support. At the time of the parties’ divorce, R.S. was set to receive approximately $909,000 as a buyout of his interest in his business ventures. R.S. reported his income as $580,000 in 2003. In the parties’ property settlement agreement, the parties agreed that R.S. would pay T.B. $3,000 per month in permanent alimony, meaning until T.B. remarried or R.S. retired. Additionally, R.S. agreed to pay college expenses for both children and also agreed to pay $1,600 per month in child support for the parties’ son and $700 per month in child support for the parties’ daughter. T.B. agreed to pay for her own expenses, which included day-to-day expenses, car and clothing expenses, household expenses, and medical expenses. The parties also agreed to be responsible for their own medical insurance and to waive any right to the other’s bank accounts. Also, T.B. was to receive half of the proceeds of the sale of the parties’ marital home, which totaled approximately $55,500 after debts were settled. Lastly, T.B. was to receive the parties’ timeshare in Villa Roma, New York. In total, T.B. received about $416,000 in cash through the parties’ division of assets.

After the parties divorced, R.S. achieved great success. R.S. has made appearances on various television shows as Executive Chef of the TAO Group. T.B., on the other hand, was involved in a serious car accident, after the parties divorced, which resulted in the need for several surgeries and many disabilities. Due to her medical conditions, T.B. received permanent medical disability, totaling about $900 per month. T.B. filed a motion with the Superior Court of New Jersey Family Part seeking to increase her alimony reward based on a change in circumstances. R.S. filed a cross-motion with the court requesting that the court deny T.B.’s motion and grant R.S. attorney’s fees. T.B. argued that she, unlike R.S., had not been able to return to the marital standard of living that the parties shared while married. T.B. stated that R.S. achieved success and has been able to purchase luxurious cars and live a lavish lifestyle. The court denied both parties’ motions in August 2015 without hearing oral argument. The court found that T.B. did not demonstrate or provide proof that her medical condition diminished her ability to secure employment; therefore, the court found that T.B. did not demonstrate a substantial change in circumstances.

T.B. filed a motion with the court for reconsideration in September 2015. R.S. filed a cross-motion, again asking for attorney’s fees and for the court to deny T.B.’s motion. The court heard oral arguments in August 2016. After hearing oral arguments, the court reversed its prior decision. The court ultimately denied T.B.’s request for an increase in alimony after granting partial reconsideration on January 5, 2017. The court also denied R.S.’s cross-motion for attorney’s fees.

On appeal, T.B. argued that the court was wrong to deny her request for an increase in alimony, and that discovery should have been allowed because a change in circumstances existed. The New Jersey Appellate Division stated that its review of the trial court’s decision is limited and that it must give deference to the trial court’s decision because of the trial court’s expertise in family matters. The Appellate Division further stated that it would only reverse the decision of the trial court if the court’s decision were a clear mistake or an injustice. Additionally, the Appellate Division stated that it has the authority to hear and decide alimony and support orders, which are subject to change whenever a change in circumstances has been demonstrated, even if the parties have an agreement regarding alimony. The Appellate Division stated that parties could waive modification of alimony in an agreement, such as a property settlement agreement, by including an anti-Lesis clause. The court would uphold such a clause if certain conditions are met and both parties enter into the agreement with full knowledge of the circumstances and foreseeable circumstances.

The Appellate Division stated that R.S. acknowledged that there was no anti-Lesis clause in the parties’ property settlement agreement and that the trial court judge did not read a clause into the agreement. The court explained that without a clause included in the agreement, the Lepis case allows fair and equitable modification of alimony upon a showing of changed circumstances that demonstrate that the person seeking modification is no longer able to support him or herself. The Appellate Division explained that supporting oneself is understood as the ability to sustain the marital standard of living, which is the way the parties lived during the marriage based on their income. The Appellate Division stated that the parties’ property settlement agreement did not determine the marital standard of living and the trial court judge did not make a determination on the issue. The Appellate Division stated that the parties’ property settlement agreement was entered into voluntarily and under the advice of the parties’ attorneys. The court stated that the trial court judge was wrong to not resolve the issue of marital standard of living.

The Appellate Division further explained that modification would not be necessarily warranted if the party seeking modification was given a large cash payment at the time of the divorce. The Appellate Division found that, absent evidence to the contrary, it could be understood that the large cash payment was meant to cover the cost of living and all future modifications, as in this case. Ultimately, the Appellate Division reversed the decision of the trial court and sent the case back to the trial court to decide the issue of the marital standard of living.

Please contact our law firm if you or a loved one faces an alimony situation here in New Jersey.

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Over the course of my career as a New Jersey divorce lawyer, the 2014 amendments to the alimony laws in our state were the most revolutionary I have ever seen. Specifically, changes were made to New Jersey alimony laws as it pertains to how a New Jersey Family Court shall evaluate cases involving cohabitation of the recipient of the alimony. For a number of reasons, I believe the law was modernized with respect to cohabitation. This attorney breaks down a recent case that illuminates many aspects of this complex area of New Jersey divorce law.

In J.S. v. J.M., the parties were married for twenty years. The parties divorced in 2010 by a final judgment of divorce. Incorporated in the parties’ final judgment of divorce was a property settlement agreement, which laid out the terms of the parties’ divorce, including alimony. The parties agreed in the property settlement agreement that the husband would pay the wife alimony each month until the husband reached normal retirement age. The agreement also stated that the husband’s alimony obligation would end if the wife cohabitated with an unrelated man for a period of thirty or more days.

The husband filed a motion with the Superior Court of New Jersey Family Part to terminate alimony in September 2015. The husband claimed that the wife was romantically involved with the husband’s brother, Nolan, for several years, and that they had moved in together. In support of his motion, the husband attached a lease agreement for an apartment that listed and was signed by both the wife and Nolan as residents from March 2014 to February 2015. The wife opposed the husband’s motion and filed a cross-motion with the court for attorney’s fees. The trial court ordered a plenary hearing, which is necessary when material facts are at issue and the judge needs to hear testimony to resolve the issue. At the plenary hearing, the wife, Nolan, the wife’s former boyfriend, Jack, and the wife’s mother, Millie, testified. The husband and the husband’s sister, Vickie, testified as well.

At the hearing, the wife admitted to the relationship with Nolan beginning in 2010, but she denied that she gave him any money toward rent or other household expenses. The wife stated that she was living at home with her mother, Millie, and only spent a few days at Nolan’s apartment when he moved in. The wife also stated that the relationship with Nolan ended in May 2014, and that she began dating Jack after. She also stated that she did not contribute toward Jack’s rent either. The wife’s relationship with Nolan began again in February 2015, but at that time, Vickie had moved into the apartment with Nolan and things were tense. Jack confirmed the wife’s account of the relationship.

Nolan testified at the hearing that he had a relationship with the wife, and he confirmed that he and the wife never lived together. Nolan stated that he only asked the wife to co-sign his lease because he had poor credit and would not have secured the lease on his own. Furthermore, he testified that the wife did not contribute to rent or any household expenses. The wife’s mother testified that she was aware of the relationship between the wife and Nolan, but that the wife was living with her and rarely stayed the night anywhere else. The mother also stated that she needed the wife’s alimony payments to help and support her. The husband testified at the hearing and stated that his wife had extra-marital affairs. The husband indicated that he performed surveillance on Nolan’s apartment and that the wife had stayed there on several occasions. Vickie testified that the wife stayed at Nolan’s family home one to two nights per week for years before Nolan moved to his apartment. She also stated that after Nolan moved to his apartment and when Vickie was temporarily living there, the wife would stay over the apartment one or two nights per week, and would buy groceries and clean.

The trial court judge found that the only credible witness for the wife was her ex-boyfriend, Jack. The judge found that Millie was told what to say and was not credible. The judge also found that the husband was a credible witness, but that his understanding of the parties’ property settlement agreement was wrong. Lastly, the judge found Vickie’s testimony to be malicious. The judge found that the wife and Nolan had a dating relationship, but that a relationship does not mean that the wife and Nolan cohabitated. The judge found that the wife and Nolan did not comingle funds and that, based on Vicki’s testimony, the wife only stayed at Nolan’s apartment one or two nights per week. The judge denied the husband’s motion to terminate alimony on April 1, 2016.

The husband then filed a motion for reconsideration and the wife opposed and filed a cross-motion for attorney’s fees. Before the motion was heard, the husband filed a motion under Rule 4:50-1 seeking relief. The husband used a letter that Nolan gave him, dated March 15, 2016, that explained Nolan’s testimony at the plenary hearing. In the letter, Nolan stated that the wife did spend some nights at the new apartment and that he hid that from the court because he knew it would cause his brother pain. The judge heard oral arguments on the husband’s motions and denied reconsideration and the husband’s R. 4:50-1 motion stating that Nolan’s letter did not provide any new evidence on the matter.

On appeal, the husband argued that the judge was wrong to deny his motion to terminate alimony. The husband also argued that the judge did not consider decisions in other court cases when determining reconsideration. The New Jersey Appellate Division stated that its review on appeal is limited to the July 18, 2016 order denying both motions. The Appellate Division stated that reconsideration is at the discretion of the court and should be used only when a decision was made based upon an incorrect basis or that the court clearly did not consider all the evidence. Furthermore, the Appellate Division stated that the gravity of the error must have been very great in order for reconsideration to be appropriate. The husband argued that the court failed to consider the wife’s ability to pay Millie’s expenses and whether the wife’s relationship with Nolan increased her standard of living. The Appellate Division stated that cohabitation was not at issue on appeal, only reconsideration of the trial judge’s denial of the husband’s motions.

Additionally, the husband argued that the trial judge should have utilized the 2014 amendments to the alimony statute when determining whether termination of alimony was appropriate. The Appellate Division stated that the amendments were in effect at the time of the plenary hearing; however, the amendments contain a provision stating that the amendments should not be utilized to modify alimony specifically bargained for. The court then noted that the parties negotiated and agreed to a property settlement agreement before the amendments were adopted. Therefore, the Appellate Division held that the trial judge correctly applied the law in regard to alimony. Lastly, the husband argued that his R. 4:50-1 motion should have been granted based on Nolan’s letter. The Appellate Division held that the letter did not provide any new evidence other than Nolan’s sympathies for his brother, and that the letter did not call into question the trial judge’s decision. Ultimately, the Appellate Division affirmed the trial court’s decision to deny both of the husband’s motions.

Please contact my office if you are involved in a situation involving alimony and cohabitation in New Jersey.

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Over the course of my career as a divorce and family law attorney I have watched technology change many aspects of New Jersey law, especially as it pertains to New Jersey’s Prevention of Domestic Violence Act. When I started practicing in my hometown of East Brunswick, New Jersey, in 1996, many restraining order trials were most often “he said, she said” affairs as most times there were not any no witnesses or other proofs. Then technology altered many aspects of our society, including acts of domestic violence.

First, people would send harassing or threatening emails to one another.  Then texting and smartphones came into play and the game changed forever. By 2012 a survey discussed on the Today Show stated that over 90% of lawyers saw a dramatic increase in text messages being introduced as evidence in domestic violence trial. This recent case discusses how a judge of a New Jersey Family Court analyzes text messages during a restraining order trial ranging from the amount of messages, the time frame as well as the content.

In C.O. v. T.O., the parties were married and were divorcing. The New Jersey Appellate Division previously vacated a final restraining order entered by the Superior Court of New Jersey Family Part pursuant to the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act of 1990. The court supported the Family Part’s finding that T.O. committed a predicate act, which is an earlier crime or offense that is similar to the crime or offense being alleged. However, the Appellate Division sent the case back to the Family Part to be re-heard because there was no finding that a final restraining order was necessary to protect the victim from future harm or abuse. At the re-hearing by the Family Part, the judge heard testimony by the parties and reviewed the alleged predicate act. The judge reviewed the messages from T.O. to C.O., which constituted harassment under N.J.S.A. 2C:25-19(a), and found that the testimony revealed a combative relationship between the parties. The judge found that T.O.’s text messages established harassment and that a final restraining order was necessary to prevent C.O. from future harm because the parties’ divorce was going to be very hostile. The judge also found that T.O.’s conviction in March 2016 for violating the restraining order weighed in favor of supporting the need for the restraining order.

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It is difficult but not impossible, depending upon your facts. The good news is that the law of cohabitation and alimony was “modernized” in New Jersey back in 2014 which was part of the greatest overhaul I have ever witnessed to divorce and alimony laws since I became practicing divorce lawyer in New Jersey back in 1995.

Attorneys must provide facts and legal arguments to present to a judge of the Superior Court of New Jersey so that the court may consider a number of factors when deciding whether cohabitation exists. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Commingling of finances such as joint back or credit card accounts;
  • Sharing living expenses such as mortgage and rent payments;
  • Friends and family consider the relationship as a committed and intimate one such as attending holidays, weddings or funerals together;
  • How long has the relationship existed;

A major change in the New Jersey’s alimony law and cohabitation is that it is no longer required to prove actual cohabitation. This is because before the changes in the law folks would draft fake leases for apartments they rarely stayed at because the law of cohabitation was so rigid that often this was deemed to be enough proof. Now these games are over.

Nevertheless, it is still hard to prove cohabitation. In the following case, one of the reasons the petitioner failed to prove cohabitation was because he failed to have his private detective update their report before filing his motion.

In Gilles v. Gilles, the parties were married and had four sons born of the marriage. The parties were continuously filing motions with the court regarding financial issues while their divorce was pending. The parties’ divorce was finalized on September 26, 2011, but the extensive motion practice continued.

The Superior Court of New Jersey Family Part determined in an April 7, 2015 order that the ex-wife receives $135,000 per year in alimony, which is subject to increase if the ex-husband earns more than $500,000 per year. In 2013, the ex-husband earned approximately $759,000. The majority of the parties’ post-divorce issues centered around the provision in the parties’ matrimonial settlement agreement (“MSA”), which stated that the ex-husband was to provide the ex-wife with his yearly financial records. The parties agreed to this provision so that the ex-husband’s alimony and child support obligations could be increased if he earned over $500,000 in a year. On at least two occasions, the ex-husband has been found in violation of the MSA. In past years, the ex-husband’s annual income has exceeded $3 million. On April 7, 2015, the court found that the ex-husband violated the MSA. The court awarded the ex-wife $7,200 in attorney’s fees because the ex-husband acted in bad faith by deliberately ignoring the MSA. Also, the court indicated that the ex-husband’s replies to the ex-wife’s requests for financial records were troubling.

The ex-husband hired a private investigator to watch the ex-wife’s home over a ninety-day period from February 9, 2015 to April 4, 2015. The private investigator reported that the ex-wife’s boyfriend had stayed overnight at the ex-wife’s house thirteen times over twenty-nine days. The private investigator also reported that the ex-wife’s boyfriend had helped shovel snow off the driveway, retrieved the mail, and entered the home when neither the ex-wife nor the parties’ children were home. During oral argument, the court noted that the ex-husband did not receive an updated report from the private investigator before filing a motion to terminate his alimony obligation based on cohabitation. The court found that the ex-wife and her boyfriend were not cohabitating. The judge stated that the ex-wife and her boyfriend were not mingling finances, did not share living expenses, and not sharing household duties. Also, the judge stated that the ex-wife and her boyfriend did not even refer to themselves as “boyfriend and girlfriend” to family and friends, although they were clearly in a dating relationship. The judge found that the boyfriend’s activities around the house were merely chivalrous, and that the ex-wife and her boyfriend were just dating and not living together. The judge then found that the ex-husband clearly had the means and ability to pay the ex-wife’s attorney’s fees, since his finances indicated he earned substantially more than the ex-wife. The judge ordered the ex-husband to pay $7,062.17 toward the ex-wife’s attorney’s fees, which totaled $10,593.25.

On appeal, the ex-husband argued that the trial court’s decision was not supported by credible evidence and that the court improperly determined that he had to pay attorney’s fees but not the ex-wife. The New Jersey Appellate Division noted that under N.J.S.A. 2A:34-23, alimony may be suspended or terminated if the person receiving alimony cohabitates with another person in a way that is associated with marriage or civil union. Under the statute, the people cohabitating must be in a jointly supportive, intimate personal relationship. Factors to consider to determine cohabitation include shared bank accounts or intertwined finances, sharing living expenses and responsibilities, recognition of relationship status to family and friends, shared household duties, promises of support, and living together, among others. The Appellate Division stated that a change in circumstances is the same standard to determine modification or termination of alimony as cohabitation because cohabitation is itself a change in circumstances. The Appellate Division also stated that a finding of cohabitation and modification or termination of alimony is up to the Family Part judge’s discretion. The court noted that Family Part judges are experts in the area of law and their decisions should not be reversed when they are supported by credible and reliable evidence. Similarly, decisions to award attorney’s fees are up to the discretion of the Family Part judge. When deciding to award attorney’s fees, the court should consider factors such as the ability of the parties to pay their own legal fees, the financial stability of the parties, the good faith of the parties when engaging in legal proceedings, the extent of the legal fees, any previous fee amounts paid or awarded, and any other factors that help determine fairness.

The Appellate Division agreed with the lower court’s determination that the ex-husband did not demonstrate that the ex-wife and her boyfriend were cohabitating based on the applicable law. The court reasoned that the lower court judge concluded that the ex-wife and her boyfriend were not cohabitating based on the totality-of-the-circumstances. The court stated that the ex-husband showed that the ex-wife’s boyfriend stayed overnight at the ex-wife’s home a number of times, but the number of times was limited and the ex-husband did not show that the boyfriend lived there. The Appellate Division then noted that if the ex-husband did not demonstrate that the ex-wife was cohabitating with her boyfriend, then no plenary hearing or discovery was necessary or justified. Lastly, the Appellate Division stated that the lower court judge could have expanded more on her reasoning regarding awarded attorney’s fees to the ex-wife; however, the court indicated that the lower court judge clearly considered the factors in her decision to award attorney’s fees to the ex-wife.  The Appellate Division stated that the lower court clearly considered that the ex-husband earned five times the amount of money per year that the ex-wife earned, which was only the alimony she received from the ex-husband, totaling $135,000 per year. The court also noted that the lower court indicated that the husband’s motion was not made in good faith. Ultimately, the Appellate Division agreed with the lower court and held that no abuse of discretion occurred.

As cohabitation and alimony are one of the more complex areas of New Jersey divorce law, you want a lawyer who only handles family law matters. The lawyers at our law firm invite your inquiry.

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