Monday, November 7, 2016
Alimony Modification Denied For Lack Of Changed Circumstances
Jill Bier was seeking an increase in the monthly alimony of $25,000 she was receiving from her former husband Robert Bier. Ms. Bier appealed the denial of her application for upward modification of alimony payments by Robert Bier. The couple's final judgment of divorce, which occurred in 2003, made it clear that Jill Bier's monthly medical expenses would increase. The New Jersey Superior Court, Somerset County, Family Part judge hearing the motion for reconsideration noted the substantial discrepancy between Jill Bier's Case Information Statement (CIS), indicating $17,194 monthly in medical expenses and the certification she submitted in support of her motion which indicated $6,000 per month in medical expenses. Jill Bier provided no documentation of her claimed expenses, her condition or any change therein since the divorce. The judge found Jill Bier's credibility to be questionable in light of conflicting claims of being nearly bed ridden yet purchasing a Mercedes E550 and incurring commuting expenses of $5,500 monthly. In Bier v. Bier, the New Jersey Appellate Division determined that no as there was no prima facie showing of changed circumstances, as required under Lepis v. Lepis, 83 N.J. 139 (1980), no evidentiary hearing was required. The Appellate Division followed Larbig v. Larbig, 384 N.J. Super. 17 (App. Div. 2006) in holding that the decision to modify an alimony obligation based on claims of changed circumstances rests with the family part judge. Finding no reason to disturb the decision, the N.J. Appellate Division affirmed the decision of the trial judge. If you are facing divorce, alimony can have lasting and substantial consequences upon your future whether you are the obligee or the obligor. It is imperative that you obtain an experienced divorce attorney for your divorce or motion for modification in order to ensure that your rights are protected. For more information about divorce, alimony, child support and other family law matters visit DarlingFirm.com. This blog is for informational purposes only and not intended to replace the advice of an attorney.