November 05, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/
-- Could divorced women be compensated for missed opportunity to have kids?
Alimony law in New Jersey has garnered a fair amount of attention in the last few months. There may be significant changes in spousal support
requirements on the way for many couples divorcing in Monmouth County and other parts of New Jersey. Many people have followed the news as interest groups press for reform, but another case with interesting consequences has not received as widespread of attention. A New Jersey lawyer is seeking money for egg preservation for his divorcing client, and a victory could have implications in many divorces.
Quantifying fertility as an asset
According to the New York Times, the 38-year old woman is asking for $20,000 to cover the cost of preserving her eggs. The couple married with the expectation of starting a family, and they attempted in vitro fertilization without success before making the decision to divorce. Now, the woman is seeking compensation to protect her chance of having a family.
In this particular case, fertility treatments are being presented as part of the standard of living or lifestyle established during the marriage, which is something that is considered when alimony is determined. However, in other cases, the children a woman didn't have during a marriage could arguably be classified as a sacrifice. Divorcing women who gave up money or career opportunities to support their husbands in starting a business or getting an advanced degree often seek compensation. It's interesting to consider whether women who gave up having a family could someday take a similar course.
The New York Times reports that there is no applicable state case law and no direct precedents. If the woman is awarded the money, the decision could change the way that couples with fertility problems or people who gave up on starting a family approach divorce settlements. This, however, is just one of many potential changes in the way that divorce and alimony cases may be settled in New Jersey in the future.
Potential alimony changes ahead
A more immediate concern for divorcing couples is the proposal to change New Jersey alimony law. According to the Huffington Post, the proposed changes would limit what ex-spouses are entitled to by:
-Eliminating permanent alimony
-Limiting alimony awards based on the duration of the marriage
-Capping alimony awards based on what one spouse earns
-Making termination of payments or modification
of payments upon retirement easier
According to the Huffington Post, proponents say that these revisions make sense now that educational access and earning power are not skewed in favor of one spouse. Opponents worry that the changes would punish women who did give up educational or career opportunities for their marriages. Both sides agree that revising New Jersey alimony law would significantly affect many divorcing couples.
Anyone who is going through a divorce should speak with an attorney about dividing assets and alimony. With the current changes in alimony law being considered, it's important for people who are divorcing to work with an attorney to understand both their legal obligations and rights.
Article provided by Steven P. Monaghan, L.L.C.
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