Post-Judgment Modification Of Alimony And Child Support After Ex-Wife Remarries
- August 6, 2014
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In Pietrontone v. Kiernan, the Defendant, Thomas Kiernan, filed a Motion for post-judgment modification of his alimony and child support payments because he believed that funds were improperly taken from his wages after his ex-wife re-married. The Defendant appealed the decision of three (3) Family Court Orders that were issued in 2012. New Jersey Court Rule 2:4-1 requires that appeals be taken up by the court within forty-five days of the entry of the challenged Court Order or decisions. The Defendant’s appeals of the first two orders were dismissed by the Appellate Court because the appeals were untimely. Regarding the appeal of the third Order, issued on September 14, 2012, the court affirmed in part and remanded for an audit of his account. The September 14, 2012, Court Order was issued following Tina Pietrontone’s Motion to the court requesting various forms of relief regarding issues following the parties’ split. The Defendant submitted a Cross-Motion in response seeking 1) reimbursement for wage garnishments from his salary for alimony after the Plaintiff’s re-marriage in 2012 and for child support; 2) documents reflecting the exact date of the Plaintiff’s re-marriage; 3) a correction of the NJ Child Support Guidelines calculation of his child support obligation due to what he argues was a mistake on the Family Court judge’s part. In the 2012 Order at issue, the Family Court judge found that the Defendant’s Motion to compel the Plaintiff to provide proof of the date of her marriage as well as the issue of the disgorgement of alimony which the Defendant claims he paid after the Plaintiff’s re-marriage were moot. Further, the judge denied the Defendant’s request to modify his child support obligation because of the higher amount of money he paid for the children’s health insurance because the judge found that the evidence submitted did not support his claim. The Appellate Court held that any evidential decisions that were rendered by a Family Court judge are subject to review for abuse of discretion. Hisenaj v. Kuehner, 194 N.J. 6, 12 (2008). The Appellate Division did not find that the Family Court judge abused his discretion when he decided to fix the Plaintiff’s re-marriage date based upon her Certification as opposed to ordering an official document reflecting the information as the Defendant requested. In addition, the Appellate Division found that the Family Court judge’s reliance on paystub figures to set the Defendant’s child support obligation was not an abuse of discretion. According to the Appellate Court, the heart of the Defendant’s appeal is his argument that in lieu of the Court Orders terminating his alimony and child support obligations, he never received an explanation from the court or probation department with regard to the funds that were taken from his wages. Therefore, even though the Appellate Court denied the Defendant’s substantive issues on appeal, it ordered that he be provided with the calculation of his credits and debits as they pertain to his account for alimony and child support. If you anticipate that you may want to petition the court for a modification or alteration of your child support or alimony award or have any questions regarding alimony it is imperative that you seek out the advice of an experienced attorney. For more information about child support, alimony, post-judgment modification, divorce, or other family law matters in New Jersey visit DarlingFirm.com.This blog is for informational purposes and in no way is intended to replace the advice of an attorney.