Motion To Terminate Or Modify Alimony and Child Support | Fiore v. Fiore

Fiore v. Fiore

Docket No. A-4672-17T4

Decided July 6, 2020

Submitted by New Jersey Divorce Law Firm, Hark and Hark.

In a recent unpublished decision the Appellate Division reviewed a trial judge decision to force defendant to pay part of her child’s college expenses, reduce the child support she was receiving, and make her pay $10,000 of plaintiff’s attorney’s fees, despite defendant earning only $71,000 and plaintiff earning $500,000.

In Fiore, the parties divorced after 21 years of marriage.  They had one child born of the marriage.  The final dual judgment of divorce (JOD) incorporated their Matrimonial Settlement Agreement (MSA).  The MSA provided defendant to pay plaintiff permanent alimony of $31,400 per year or $550 per week, premised on defendant earning $80,000 and plaintiff imputed income of $25,000. The MSA also provided that upon defendant’s retirement from the fire department, he could apply for recalculation of alimony. Defendant also agreed to pay $154 per week in child support until the child was emancipated.

At the age of 59 and due to pulmonary issues, defendant retired from the fire department after meeting his 25 years of service, allowing him his full retirement benefits. He filed a motion to terminate or modify his alimony and child support.  He argued he was permanently disabled and claimed his retirement was a change of circumstances warranting his retirement.

The trial judge denied defendant’s motion to terminate and modify his financial obligations.  The Judge ruled that it was not a change in circumstances, defendant did not need to retire when he did, and his medical expert was unpersuasive.

Defendant appealed and the Appellate Division affirmed the trial court’s decision on substantially similar grounds.

Most family matters are resolved with agreements including custody agreements, visitation schedules, alimony and child support amounts, property settlement agreements (PSAs), Matrimonial Settlement Agreements (MSAs) and civil restraints.  The agreements, especially PSA and MSA, can be reviewed years later, and are upheld with the exception of significantly changed circumstances or unconscionability.  Therefore, you have to make sure that the agreement is in your best interests.  Make sure you hire an attorney that guide you , protect you, while getting you the best result possible.

At Hark & Hark, we help clients with prenups, divorce, custody, domestic violence, child support, alimony issues and more.

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Michael J. Collis, Esquire

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Criminal Civil Lawyer

Jeffrey Hark is a New Jersey Civil and Criminal Lawyer.

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