Lifetime alimony: Is it time for the laws to be updated?

The hard felt economic downturn has affected everyone in the country at some level. Particularly hard hit are a number of individuals in New Jersey who at one time or another were ordered to pay their former spouse lifetime alimony. This disparity has primarily impacted men who over 30-years-ago, when the law was first adopted, were the principal wage earner for the household. At that time, most women were responsible for managing the home and caring for the children. But, today, the roles of men and women in the workplace have changed dramatically. Yet, the existing spousal support laws have yet to catch up with the modern day norm. It is this current imbalance that has precipitated New Jersey groups to garner the attention of some of the state’s politicians. The problem is this, the lifetime alimony laws do not take into account changes in circumstances, like a decrease of income, without a successful petition to the court. With many baby-boomers entering into retirement, those individuals responsible for paying lifetime alimony may not be bringing in the same amount of income as they did the time the spousal support was ordered. This shift in income is causing many payors to slip further into dire financial situations such as bankruptcy and foreclosure. Still, they are responsible for keeping up with their spousal support payments. Nine states such as Arizona, California, Louisiana and Wisconsin are considered community property states — under most circumstances everything is split equally. Massachusetts got rid of their

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Dodgers owner’s high net-worth divorce agreement final?

Seven years ago, Frank and Jamie McCourt moved from Massachusetts to California to buy the Los Angeles Dodgers. At the time, of course, they did not know that a divorce was in their future. But it was. For months now, the couple has been struggling to hammer out the terms of their divorce settlement. On Oct. 17, they finally announced they had reached a settlement in their high net-worth divorce case. Under the agreement, Jamie McCourt will now support a media rights deal for the Dodgers which some estimate could be worth up to $3 billion. At one time, she opposed such a deal. The exact terms of the agreement have not been released, but it is estimated that she could get somewhere in the neighborhood of $130 million. A Los Angeles judge must still sign off on the divorce agreement in order for it to be binding and complete. One reason this high net-worth divorce has taken so long is because it was placed on hold so a Delaware bankruptcy court could take up the financial fate of the Dodgers. Motions on that case began October 31. Major League Baseball wants permission from the bankruptcy judge to file a reorganization plan for the team that would require McCourt to sell the team. This particular divorce illustrates how complex a divorce can become when there are high-net value assets to be considered. Couples who have real estate holdings, stock options, and other valuable marital property often are best served when

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