Alimony & Spousal Support

No Change In Alimony And Child Support Order Due To Failure To Demonstrate Inability To Earn The Imputed Income

In the family law, alimony/child support case of Kurkoszka vs. Kurkoska, 20-2-0048 NJ. App. Div. Super, the defendant appealed the Family Part order denying his motion to modify his motion to modify his alimony and child support obligations and awarding attorney fees to plaintiff, his ex-wife. The final judgment of divorce awarded limited duration alimony and child support based on income imputed to defendant after the court found that he had a history of employment as a full-time tile setter but had inexplicitly stopped working after plaintiff filed for divorce. During the 11months after the JOD was entered in response to his four motions, seeking modification to his alimony and child support obligations, the panel affirmed. It found that the defendant failed to demonstrate that he was unable to earn the income that the court had imputed to him and that he made reasonable efforts to obtain employment in more lucrative positions in which he was qualified. Further, the court correctly rejected defendant’s sole reliance on the birth of his new child as a basis for a finding of changed circumstances because he failed to demonstrate that there were any changed circumstances affecting his ability to earn income that was imputed to him by the trial court. Also, the panel found no abuse of discretion in the award of counsel fees to plaintiff, agreeing with the court’s determination that the defendant’s filing of four motions for modification within one year of the JOD, his filing of the present motion within two months of denial of his immediately proceeding motion, and his ongoing failure to offer any evidence of change in the circumstances related to his ability to earn the imputed income justified the imposition of an attorney fee award.

Reference: Case and Analysis, New Jersey Law Journal, 222 N.J.L.J. 2486 (August 8, 2016)

Filed Under: Family Law, Alimony, Child Support, Change of Circumstances, Imputed Income

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