Wednesday, October 12, 2005

V is for Vomit

Another vomitous legal mess from the mother-state...

Gordon v. Rozenwald 2005: Patricia Gordon files divorce against her hubby in 1986 and they agree to 15 years of alimony at $10,000/year plus child support. The 15 years corresponded to Rozenwald's expected retirement date, and so was acceptable to him.

But Rozenwald was a good father. Better financially than you probably could ever hope. Over the next 13 years he paid Gordon and their two children $ 470,474 above and beyond his obligations under the property settlement agreement (the part of the divorce agreement in NJ that handles money and property and such). Sounds pretty good.

But you know where this story is going. In 1998, probably seeing the end of the alimony period looming, the greedy ex-wife drags the now better-compensated Rozenwald back to court. Of course the Family Part court would never hear of modifying support for a great ex like Rozenwald, would they? I mean, the man went above and beyond, to the tune of almost half a mil!

Not in New Jersey. The family part ordered Rozenwald to pay $6,320/month in alimony, and made it PERMANENT.

So Rozenwald appealed. ...In review of the appeal the family part increased Rozenwald's obligation to $10,000/month alimony, retroactive to 1998, of course, and awarded the gold-digger $61,423 in attorney's fees. Oh, and transferred his life insurance policy to the financial scavenger too.

Lucky Rozenwald is loaded, he decides to take the whole thing for yet another spin. (Hasn't he learned?)

Well the appeals court gobbletygooked it about, remanded part, and vacated a bit, but basically indicated that 'term' (aka 'non permanent') alimony may be considered to be based on an idea that other forms of support will materialize during the 'term', and that if those forms of support don't materialize, then it can be modified, but that the plaintiff (gold-digging ex-wife) would have to show that there was such a concept of expected support.

So most of it got sent back to the same court that goofed it up in the first place for fine tuning, with the huge new amount left in place. The life insurance was restored, and although apparently critical words were in the decision about the attorney's fees that were allotted to Rozenwald, it is reasonable to assume that Rozenwald is still gonna pay.

What's the moral of the story? Never make more money? Never marry? Never go back to a New Jersey Court?

Rozenwald's legal expenses would pay three years of alimony already, I am sure, and by the time the remand is over, they will be double that, no doubt.

Am I saying he shouldn't fight? No. But I don't know why he didn't move out of this morass of a state. It would have been worth his while to buy his ex a house in almost any other state, and pay for her moving costs. Hm.

Here's another case-to-make-you-vomit: RAGAN v. RAGAN. 11-year marriage. Wife filed, of course. Working wife is awarded $6,279 per month in PERMANENT ALIMONY, PLUS attorney's fees. Appeal notes that ex wife's budget should NOT be reduced with respect to reductions in LAWN CARE EXPENSES, RESTAURANTS, HAIR CARE, AND VACATIONS. Appeals court wrote that trial court's conclusions satisfied the "overarching concept of fairness."

In a pigs eye.

But at least you can see that NJ takes that 10-ish-year dividing line between permanent and temporary alimony seriously, and that they also mean it when they talk about both spouses (well, the woman) being able to maintain their standard of living. Hairstyles and all. There is a special hell for that woman and her lawyers and the judge, I am sure.

Next up: greedy ex-wife (sorry, don't mean to insult her, but calling a spade a spade here) demands that the parents of her disabled ex pay her support of $20,000/month. Is Ma Jersey up for it? You know she is, with attorney's fees, too, no doubt.

so disgusted, must... RRrrraaurrrgh!


p.s. New addition on left - NJ Law Blog. A great place to look for current law, and current attitudes in the law. But I think it is fair to say that they don't have a male-positive attitude. Take a look at the last paragraph to their post here.

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