Alimony & Spousal Support

Suspended Physician Denied An Award Of Alimony And An Increase In Child Support Based On A Change Of Circumstances

In the alimony, child support, family law/divorce case of Ackerman v. Freitag, App. Div. No. 20-2-7342, the Plaintiff appealed from an order that denied her unopposed motion for reconsideration of her request for an award of alimony based on changed circumstances, an increase in child support and reimbursement of child-related expenses. When the parties, both physicians, divorced in 1999, they entered into a separation and property settlement agreement that included a waiver of any and all rights for alimony which either may have against the other, now and in the future. In 2012, the New Jersey Board of Medical Examiners suspended plaintiff’s license to practice medicine. Plaintiff filed a series of motions seeking relief based upon this event and its impact upon her financial circumstances. The trial judge denied plaintiff’s motion for the commencement of alimony and an increase in child support. The judge stated he had required her to submit evidence as to why her license had been suspended, a sworn doctor’s report addressing her ability to work, a properly completed and current case information statement and a written explanation addressing whether her medical condition caused her license to be suspended. Plaintiff failed to comply with the judge’s instructions. The appellate panel affirmed, agreeing with Judge Kessler’s conclusion that in light of plaintiff’s failure to comply with the board’s requirements following her suspension, she was voluntarily unemployed.

Reference: Case & Analysis; New Jersey Law Journal. 223 N.J.L.J. 271 (July 20, 2015)

Filed Under: Family Law; Alimony; Child Support

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