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No Alimony to Embezzling Spouse in NJ

No Alimony to Embezzling Spouse in NJ

When a spouse commits “extraordinary, flagrant economic misconduct during the marriage” the court may deny her any further economic relief in the event of a divorce according the New Jersey Appellate Division’s findings in Clark v. Clark. In Clark, the wife worked as bookkeeper in her husband’s pharmacy and the husband afforded the wife an equal one-half interest in the business. Evidence was presented that a 2006 divorce proceeding filed by the wife was withdrawn when she learned the divorce may lead to discovery of her substantial embezzlement from the business In 2008 the husband filed for divorce and did discover the wife’s embezzlement. Hunterdon County Family Part Judge Hany Mawla found the wife stole approximately $350,000 from the business and ordered her to repay that sum but also found her financially dependent and awarded her $600 per week in alimony. The Appellate Court held that, in spite of the rule that fault is not a bar to alimony, in this case the misconduct was so significant the wife may be barred from receiving alimony. The Appellate Division remanded the case to the Superior Court for reconsideration of the matter with the wife’s misconduct in mind. If you are seeking a divorce and know or strongly believe your spouse’s behavior has drastically altered your lifestyle financially you should speak with an experienced family law attorney immediately to protect your rights. For more information on alimony, support, equitable distribution, child support, palimony, divorce, dissolution of civil union or domestic partnership or other family law matters in New Jersey visit HeatherDarlingLawyer.com. This blog is for informational purposes only and in no way intended to replace the advice of an attorney regarding your specific matter.

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