Category: Adultery

Will the court consider my spouse’s adultery when determining my alimony obligation?

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Will the court consider my spouse's adultery when determining my alimony obligation?

Generally speaking, adultery has no bearing on the amount or duration of alimony awarded by the court or as to whether alimony should be awarded at all.

In Mani v. Mani, 183 NJ 70 (2005), the New Jersey Supreme Court found adultery or other types of marital fault are irrelevant when considering the amount of alimony that is to be awarded except in two narrow circumstances. The first instance is where the fault has affected the parties’ economic life. The second instance is where the fault “so violates societal norms that continuing the economic bounds between the parties would confound notions of simple justice.” See Mani v. Mani, 183 NJ at 72.

With the exception of the above instances, in most cases where adultery has occurred and can be readily proven,the amount or duration of alimony will not be affected. For example,if the spouse that committed adultery was the spouse receiving alimony and adultery was considered a factor in awarding alimony,the receiving spouse could become destitute or a public charge. Under New Jersey case law,this would be a violation of public policy and is not allowed. In addition,if adultery was a factor in awarding alimony,many more alimony cases would be litigated so as to prove fault and possibly lessen the amount of alimony to be paid. This would put an undue burden on our court system.For practical reasons like these,it is not likely the court will change this ruling any time in the near future.

At Lyons & Associates, P.C., we place a premium on personalized attention for your personal matters. For a private consultation, contact us by e-mail or call our office at 908-575-9777.

Former Spice Girl Claims Estranged Husband Abused Her

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A shocking court filing by former Spice Girl, Mel B, claims that her estranged husband, Stephen Belafonte, brutally abused her, and had an affair with their nanny. The court filing instituted a temporary restraining order against her husband for numerous physical attacks throughout their marriage. They were only married for about six months when the attacks began, which coincided with her international success on television. Although the woman known as Scary Spice, whose real name is Melanie Brown, covered for the abuse in the beginning, the violence escalated after the Spice Girls’ appearance at the London Olympics in 2012, which eventually led to a suicide attempt. He threatened her with the release of a sex tape after angrily accusing her of a flirtation with another singer. Belafonte also engaged in sexual relations with the nanny, which resulted in the woman becoming pregnant. At the court filing, Mel B was granted custody of their five-year-old daughter with no visitation for the father until a follow-up hearing.

When domestic violence becomes part of a marriage like in former Spice Girl, Mel B’s marriage, it may lead to the disassembling of the union and leave behind lasting mental and emotional trauma for the victimized party. If children are involved in the dissolution of a marriage, especially with abuse at its foundation, careful planning and consideration is needed to protect the children and the victim.

For more information on domestic violence matters, and how we can assist you, contact our New Jersey divorce lawyers at Lyons & Associates PC at 908-575-9777. To schedule a consultation, contact us online. We represent individuals with unresolved family law matters throughout New Jersey at our offices in Bedminster, Bridgewater, South Plainfield, and Woodbridge.

Woodbridge Divorce Lawyers: Divorce is Not Grounds for Termination

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According to the New Jersey Supreme Court, employers cannot terminate, or discriminate against an employee because he or she is going through a separation or divorce in New Jersey. The ruling stemmed from a case involving a man who was allegedly fired from his position as director of operations at the Millville Rescue Squad because he was in the process of divorcing his wife, who was also an employee of the squad.

The employee in question notified his supervisor that he had been having an affair with another co-worker and was going to divorce his wife. This marked the first time that the state courts included divorces and separations in the definition of marital status. This is significant because of the sheer number of divorces in New Jersey every year.

The employee was allegedly terminated because his supervisor was concerned that the divorce would become acrimonious. Upon notifying the rescue squad’s board, they decided to terminate his employment. He had worked at the rescue squad for 17 years. Other members of his family, including his then-wife, also worked at the squad, but reported to a different manager. When the male employee started having an affair with a volunteer he was supervising, he notified his supervisor of the relationship. The supervisor implied that the affair could have a negative impact on his employment. The board decided to terminate him, citing poor performance and corporate restructuring, rather than the divorce as the reason for his termination.

Acknowledging Separation in New Jersey

The state court of Bridgeton dismissed the case initially, but an appellate court reversed the ruling, saying that marital status includes separation and divorce. The panel ruled in favor of the employee, saying that he was fired because of the stigma associated with a divorce. The Supreme Court’s ruling protects employees from being fired simply because they are in the process of a divorce or a separation. It also means that they can seek damages for things like lost wages.

Woodbridge Divorce Lawyers at Lyons & Associates, P.C. Protect the Rights of Clients Throughout the Divorce Process 

If your employment status is being threatened simply because you are going through a separation or divorce in New Jersey, you are urged to contact the Woodbridge divorce lawyers at Lyon & Associates, P.C. as soon as possible. We are committed to protecting your rights and making sure that your divorce does not jeopardize your employment in any way. Your satisfaction is our top priority and we will not stop fighting until we reach an optimal settlement. We will help you through the divorce process and connect you with a competent co-counsel regarding your employment issues. For a confidential consultation, call us today at 908-575-9777 or contact us online.

With offices in Somerset, New Jersey, we serve clients in Somerset County, Morris County, and Union County, including the towns of Somerville, Bridgewater, Somerset, Basking Ridge, Mendham, and Morristown.

Bridgewater Family Law Firm: How Do I File a Divorce Based on Adultery?

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In New Jersey, people have the right to file for Divorce based on Adultery. But how does that work?

In order to file for divorce under Adultery, N.J.S.A. 2A:34-2, your lawyer will need to draft a Formal Complaint that includes specific examples of the adulterous acts and which also names the person who is committing Adultery with your spouse. In addition, your lawyer also will have to serve upon the other person a formal document called a “Notice to Co-Respondent.” After receiving that formal document, the person will have an opportunity to respond to the allegations in your Complaint. Discovery could ensue and ultimately there could be testimony in open court on the day of your Divorce regarding the details of the alleged Adultery.

All that being said, however, as a practical matter and for reasons of judicial economy, most New Jersey Family Judges do not permit testimony on Adultery, and in most Divorces, the affair has no bearing on the final outcome of the case. There are exceptions if a large portion of marital money was used to fund the Adultery, or if the person that is committing Adultery poses a true and real danger to your children. Therefore, in most cases, the only “advantage” to filing Divorce based on Adultery is the “personal political advantage” that may help with friends, relatives, or the like.

Contact the New Jersey Family Law Firm of Lyons & Associates Today

If you or someone you know has a question about adultery or any other aspect of the divorce process, contact one of the skilled attorneys at Lyons & Associates at 908-575-9777. Call Lyons & Associates for a consultation today at 908-575-9777. You can also fill out our online intake form.