New Jersey Reforms Alimony Law — A Bit

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September 19, 2014

NPO Logo National Parents Organization improves the lives of children and strengthens society by protecting every child's right to the love and care of both parents after separation or divorce. We seek better lives for children through family court reform that establishes equal rights and responsibilities for fathers and mothers.
New Jersey Reforms Alimony Law — A Bit
Kate and Richard Bayer
Robert Franklin, Esq.
By Robert Franklin, Esq., Member, National Board of Directors

It’s only a small victory, but a victory nonetheless. Last Wednesday, Governor Chris Christie signed a bill to reform New Jersey’s very out of date alimony laws. Of course divorce lawyers resisted with every fiber of their beings, but the bill received strong bi-partisan support in the state legislature. Here’s one article on the subject (Washington Times, 9/11/14).

The new law has a short reach. It confines the duration of an alimony order to the length of the marriage as long as it’s under 20 years. Marriages longer than 20 years that end in divorce can still result in permanent alimony for the lower-earning spouse. The law also permits greater leeway in modifying alimony orders, for example, if the paying spouse is unemployed longer than 90 days. Except in unusual circumstances, payers will not be required to pay past the usual age of retirement, i.e. 65 or 66. Alimony will now be considered “transitional,” meaning that recipients will be expected to seek and obtain gainful employment.

In short, the bill is a half measure that, in our usual democratic process, satisfies neither reform advocates nor divorce lawyers seeking to maintain their own cash flow and their comrades in arms, radical feminists seeking to maintain the maximum cash flow from men to women. It’s nowhere near what it should be, but it’s better than nothing.

Where we should be regarding alimony is that it should be nearly non-existent. As I’ve said before, we live in a society that, right or wrong, considers all adults to be capable of working and earning a living. And there are essentially no impediments to anyone’s doing so. Given that, no one should get a free ride. No one, solely by dint of a temporary marriage that can be dissolved for any or no reason, should be able to goldbrick even for a short time. Yes, there should be a period during which one spouse is able to retrain for employment if that’s necessary, but that shouldn’t be longer than a couple of years. And some form of alimony is appropriate if one former spouse is too old and/or infirm to work and earn. But beyond that, the concept of equality between the sexes demands an end to outdated notions like alimony. Read more...

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Family Law Reform Conference

A Personal Message From Founder of NPO Ned Holstein

Attend the Family Law Reform Conference

Dear friends,

Please join me in a rare opportunity for personal growth and social reform: the Family Law Reform Conference hosted by Divorce Corp, November 15-16, 2014 in Alexandria, Virginia!

This will be an unprecedented opportunity for you to learn about family court trends, meet leaders in the reform movement. Read more...


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Divorced Parents Ad

Biased Narrative on Domestic Violence Reflects Biased Narrative on Shared Parenting

September 18, 2014 by Robert Franklin, Esq.
The issue of domestic violence has been much in the news lately, particularly with the hand-wringing about Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice’s punch-out of his then fiancée, now wife. And predictably, essentially all of the commentary follows the standard script that, for some reason, male violence against women should be taken seriously, but female violence against men is fit only to be ignored or laughed off. Read more...


North Dakota: Lawyers Illegally Use State Bar to Oppose Shared Parenting Initiative
September 17, 2014 by Robert Franklin, Esq.
They’re at it again. Lawyers who don’t know the law are bad enough, but to be expected. That’s because there’s simply far too much law to know. Ask a litigator about the fine points of the Internal Revenue Code and you’re likely to get a less than full and perfect answer. The same is true of any profession whose body of knowledge is as vast and detailed as that of the law. Read more...

Photo Essay on Fathers
September 15, 2014 by Robert Franklin, Esq.
Here’s an excellent photo essay on fathers (Huffington Post, 9/10/14). As the lead-in paragraph says, we’re so inundated with portrayals of fathers as stupid, incompetent, lazy, brutal and uncaring that sometimes we just need to be confronted with the everyday truth about fathers. Read more...

British Couple Forced to Flee Country to Get Medical Care for Son
September 14, 2014 by Robert Franklin, Esq.
A British family is fighting a fight that’s becoming all too familiar. They’re fighting governmental authorities over who gets to decide what medical care their child receives — or doesn’t receive. Read about it here (Daily Mail, 9/9/14). Read more...

Nebraska Organization Challenging Anti-Shared Parenting Officials at the Ballot Box
September 12, 2014 by Robert Franklin, Esq.
Yesterday I noted the trend in Nebraska of elected officials embracing shared parenting at least in words. What state Senator Brad Ashford and others will do when the next shared parenting bill comes before them is anyone’s guess, but we’ll know soon enough. Read more...

 

 
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The opinions expressed herein are those of our guest authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Parents Organization or its Board of Directors.
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