New Jersey – Alimony Shouldn’t Turn on Fault

The New Jersey Supreme Court says marital infidelity shouldn’t be a factor in awarding alimony in most divorce cases. The court said that judges should pay primary attention to economic factors, that they should only rarely consider who is at fault.

Ruling in the case of Mani v. Mani, Case No. A-53 (April 6, 2005), the court reversed a lower appeals court ruling. The lower court had ruled that the husband, James Mani, couldn’t get an increase in alimony because he had an affair with one of his wife’s friends.

The Supreme Court held that marital fault is irrelevant to alimony “except in two narrow instances: cases in which the fault negatively affects the economic status of the parties and cases in which the fault so violates societal norms that continuing the economic bonds between the parties would confound notions of simple justice. Marital fault is irrelevant to a counsel fee award.”

2 comments

  1. john quigley says:

    I think that is a major problem in this state about fault.
    Falut comes in play with ever other lawsuit in this state and
    this country. The fact that I have to pay PERMANENT ALIMONEY
    for my ex wifes affair I think was very unfair. I am not even
    when it stops. The fact that I am tired to her for the rest of
    my life and she can come back every 3 years for more money is
    wrong if I start making more money. So there is no incetive for
    me to be more sucessful. ps. saw this site and just had to vent
    thanks. j.q.

  2. Private says:

    I am a young female who married someone 13 years old then me. Our marriage lasted five years and now I might have to pay alimony because I chose to leave my husband after hearing his plans to fake diabliltiy and keep iliving off of law suits. I am being punsihed because I tell the truth pay taxes and work hard.
    I am not even 30 years old and I will be paying for a mistake I made when I was 21.
    There are no kids involved and it should be workers comp job to retrain him and support him since i did
    not cause his injury.
    This system needs major help alimony should only be in place when both parties choose to let one stay home and take care of the house. I also believe fault should come into play. One person should not be punished for the others choices.

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