Woman claims alimony from husband's parents...

New Jersey Law Blog brings an interesting case of a woman who is leaving her husband. He lost his job and suffers from a debilitating medical condition. He currently receives about $3600 a month from Social Security and other sources.

For the last two years, however, the husband’s parents have been helping them out, giving them $20,000 a month.

Now that she is leaving her husband, she claims that by providing for their needs for the last two years, the parents have, in effect, taken their son’s place and assumed responsibility of providing not only for their grandchildren, but for her as well.

She was offered $8,000 a month by her husband (which, presumably, the parents would kick in most of if not all). She has refused that and is seeking an amount similar to the amount that was provided for the last two years.

The writer of the blog entry questions how far this would go - to what extent does the generosity of other parties become obligitory. For example, if they allowed the couple use of a summer cottage, would she be able to claim that as well upon divorce?

Zev Steinhardt

Kick her out. Change the locks. Buy a pit bull. I’m usually very sympathetic to a woman getting divorced, but given her greed–AND BRAZEN STUPIDITY (which before no I didn’t know could be brazen)–I hope she winds up living in a Neiman’s box under a bridge.

Well, this has convinced me to nip something in the bud. My son is getting married soon, and I was going to spring for the rehearsal dinner. But I see how that could set a really bad precedent.

The linked article isn’t clear about what part of the offered $8000/month, or larger sum sought by the divorcing wife, would be alimony as opposed to child support. Would it make a difference, legally or ethically, if the grandparents were being billed directly only for child support rather than alimony?

(The disabled, unemployed father gets over $3500/month, or more than $42,000 per year, from Social Security disability and inheritance income? The settlement he offered his wife (presumably with his parents’ assistance) was $8000/month or $72,000/year? His parents have been giving them $20,000/month or $240,000/year for the past two years? Geez, I’m afraid I can’t really feel sorry for the financial tribulations of any of these fatcats. I sympathize with the husband for his debilitating medical condition, though, 'cuz that’s gotta suck no matter how rich you are.)

If only more governments were controlled by loving vegetarian women rather than hateful, aggressive carnivore men … :stuck_out_tongue:

$20,000 a month?

That’s some hard living, by God–however does she manage?
Kick her out and close the accounts. Cut her off. Save that money for the ex-husband who may need it for medical expenses later.

This message brought to you by a bleeding heart feminist liberal.

$8,000 is pretty close to half of the amount that was paid before. So she wants to take the whole nut for herself?

Here’s an idea. If she wants to be supported in the fashion to which she has become accustomed, why doesn’t she stay? I mean there might be good reasons for her leaving (the article doesn’t mention that).

In the ongoing child support thread, the concensus seems to be that only the birth parents should be responsible for child support. Why should that change just because the source of support is wealthy? I suppose that if the granparents were granted equitable parent status, they’d be on the hook for child support. http://www.lectlaw.com/files/fam19.htm

OTOH, in that case, they could also seek custody. Equitable parent doctrine is a sword with two edges.

Article giving more facts and stuff

So, she’s going to walk away from this arrangement, yet she still wants to be paid just the same? If this goes through, I’m going to have to have some words with my boss…

i think she deserves whatever the court decides is adequate to maintain the lifestyle the children have become accustomed to, to a certain extent (ie. private school, care for the autistic child, etc etc).

WAG: would that be about $8k/month?

Is this child so severly autistic that he can provide no care for himself? What kind of services does he require? (it can get very expensive). But 20 grand a month?
Something smells fishy here. Is she unable to work because of…? 20 grand will buy some decent respite care and also let her get a PT job. Heck, I’ll guess that $8000 would do that, as well.

If said child is totally diabled, does he not qualify for social security (disability)?

[hjiack] Nobody else thinks it’s shocking that he retired at age 36???

Anyway, why can’t she work? And are parents responsible for their children’s debts in any other way after the children are legally adults?

Well, he “retired” in the sense that he quit. Then he started doing consulting. His retirement package was probably part of a Reduction in Force effort from his employer (guessing here).

She probably can, but the legal standard treats that as only one factor among many:

Heck, the general rule is that they aren’t liable for their children’s debts even before they are adults.

Link to statute from my previous post

Whoa. That’s not chump change.


I want parents that rich!

Gfactor, or anyone else, stupid question: do men ever get alimony?



A recent case where a court ordered the wife to pay alimony

Why, thank you Gfactor! I had wondered.

Another thing you said: Parents are not responsible for their children’s debts? Really? School loans, credit cards - nothing?