Monday, August 26, 2013

Unemployed New Jersey Man Jailed for Failure to Pay $78,000 Per Year in Alimony - Could This Happen in Arkansas?

        A New Jersey man is so used to being sent to jail for failure to pay $78,000 a year in alimony to his ex-wife that he has a routine for notifying friends and family and making arrangements to be in jail.

        The man once earned over $1 million a year as a portfolio manager and was ordered by a New Jersey court to pay over $100,000 per year to his ex-wife, about $78,000 of which is alimony.  However, due to the weak economy, the man became unemployed after his divorce.  Under New Jersey law, he was still required to pay the $78,000 a year in alimony or face being held in contempt of court regardless of the fact that he had no job or resources.  The man has since been held in jail at least eight times over the past two years for failure to make his alimony payment.

        Divorce and alimony laws can differ significantly among states.  Could such a scenario happen here in Arkansas?

        An ex-spouse who fails to make alimony or child support payments can be held in contempt of court and jailed in Arkansas.  However, under Arkansas Code Annotated 9-12-312, both the person paying alimony and the person receiving alimony can petition the court for a review, modification or both of the court's alimony order at any time when there is a significant and material change of circumstances.  In other words, when a person who is ordered to pay alimony has a significant reduction in income, he or she may ask the court to reduce the alimony amount.  On the other hand, a person ordered to receive alimony can ask the court to increase the alimony amount upon a significant increase in income of the spouse ordered to pay alimony.  

        Furthermore, alimony terminates in Arkansas upon the re-marriage of the ex-spouse receiving alimony or when that ex-spouse lives full-time with another person in an intimate relationship.

        If you need help with alimony or child support related issues or any other family law matters, contact the attorneys at The Williams Law Group today for a free consultation.  Call 479-633-8421.

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