Few people like the idea of having to pay alimony to an ex-spouse, particularly if they believe that the settlement was unfair. However, one woman learned the hard way that you have to be careful how you express your feelings about the situation.
A New Jersey woman who was ordered to pay spousal support to her ex-husband is being sued because of derogatory comments that she was writing on the memo line of the weekly checks. These included things like "loser," "bum," and "alimony/adult child support."
The man is seeking compensation from his ex-wife for infliction of emotional distress. The lawsuit also accuses her of withdrawing $5,000 that he accidentally deposited to an account still in both of their names.
Both ex-spouses say that they are in poor health. An attorney for the 61-year-old man wrote a letter to the ex-wife last summer asking her to stop the derogatory notes on her ex-husband's checks because the stress of the notes had "led to him having sustained heart attacks in recent weeks." He also reportedly has cancer.
The 57-year-old woman, meanwhile says that she is dying from cancer that has moved from her lungs to her bones. She also says that she was abused by her husband during their decade-long marriage, which ended last year.
She claims that he doesn't work and that he receives Social Security Disability benefits. She said, "As far as I'm concerned I can write anything I want on the memo line because it's a note to myself. I was the victim in that marriage."
The woman says that when she left her husband, she couldn't afford to take the divorce to court, so she agreed to pay spousal support of $744 a month for six years just to be able to end the marriage. She says that she asked for a reduction in the support payments because she can barely afford them. However, that request was denied by a judge.
It's generally preferable to get a fair settlement, whether you are the payer or recipient of support, when the divorce is finalized than to go back and try to change it later. That's why it's important to have an experienced North Dakota family law attorney fighting for you.
Source: Daily Record, "Denville man sues ex for writing "bum" on her alimony checks to him," Peggy Wright, Dec. 18, 2015