Heymann & Fletcher

Is it possible to get spousal support back?

For many New Jersey spouses, having to provide ongoing financial support to their former partner is one of the most challenging aspects of a divorce. Many people feel that spousal support is an area of family law that needs to be overhauled, and some states are currently considering alterations to existing alimony law. There are certain cases in which a former spouse takes advantage of the financial support of their ex.

An example is found in the case of a man who recently sought advice concerning long-standing spousal support payments. At the time of his divorce, his wife was a stay-at-home mom with multiple children still living within the home. Spousal support was ordered and helped to provide a stable life for the couple's shared children. However, once the youngest child left for college, the mother returned to the workforce and now earns more than $100,000 a year.

She also moved her boyfriend into what was the married couple's former family home. The former husband recently found out that his ex married her boyfriend nearly nine years ago. Despite her change in marital status, she continued accepting alimony payments for all of those years. That leaves the former husband wondering what his rights may be in regard to reclaiming that money.

Should he decide to pursue the return of those payments and to seize ongoing spousal support payments, he will need to take the matter up in a court of law. His story serves as a cautionary tale to New Jersey spouses who are ordered to pay long-term spousal support. Failing to stay on top of developments in the life of a former spouse can translate to many unnecessary payments, and a possible return to family court.

Source: Boston Herald, "Divorce 101: Ex took alimony for years after remarrying", Gerald Nissenbaum, Oct. 23, 2016

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