Written by: Mark Gabriel, Esq.
A recent story caught my attention where a man who was stabbed by his girlfriend 13 times and almost died from the injuries, now wants to marry his attacker. Some people who are already married may ask the question “Would I still have to pay my wife alimony if she tried to kill me?” Well, the answer to that question is generally, no, you would not have to pay her alimony as this issue is specifically addressed by New Jersey Law. In fact, it appears that you may not have to pay alimony if your wife committed murder, manslaughter, criminal homicide or aggravated assault against one of your “family members.” N.J.S.A. 2A:34-23(i). For purposes of the statute, “family member” “…means a spouse, child, parent, sibling, aunt, uncle, niece, nephew, first cousin, grandparent, grandchild, father-in-law, mother-in-law, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, stepparent, stepchild, stepbrother, stepsister, half-brother, or half-sister, whether the individual is related by blood, marriage or civil union, or adoption….” Id.
In addition, a person who is convicted of an attempt or conspiracy attempts to commit murder against his or her spouse will not be able to obtain alimony from his or her spouse in a subsequent action for divorce. Id. Finally, New Jersey Courts may not make an award concerning the equitable distribution of property on behalf of a party convicted of an attempt or conspiracy to murder the other party. N.J.S.A. 2A:34-23(h). In other words, if your spouse tried to kill you and was convicted of this offense, the Court would not be able to order you to give half of your pension to your wife in a subsequent divorce proceeding.
If you or someone you know is concerned that his or her safety, please call the police immediately. If you or someone you know is going through a divorce and has concerns regarding alimony then call the skilled lawyers at Lyons & Associates, at 908-575-9777 or contact us online. The attorneys at Lyons & Associates, P.C., are experienced with the all facets of divorce including alimony and equitable distribution and will be able to guide litigants through the gauntlet of divorcing in the State of New Jersey.