A bill which would prohibit people from receiving alimony who are convicted of crimes such as murder, manslaughter, criminal homicide, aggravated assault or similar crimes if the crime results in the death of a family member and the crime was committed after a marriage or civil union is moving through the legislature. Under the bill, someone convicted of an attempt or conspiracy to commit murder may not receive alimony from the person who was the intended victim of the attempt or conspiracy. The bill also proposes that the court may not order a retainer or counsel fee of a party convicted of an attempt or conspiracy to murder the other party to be paid by the party who was the intended victim of the attempt or conspiracy.
The bill is S-1645, introduced by Senators Loretta Weinberg (D-Bergen) and Fred Madden, Jr. (D-Camden/Gloucester). The bill also removes a parent’s intestate (will-less) succession inheritance rights and rights to administer the minor’s intestate estate if they have refused recognition of the child,or been convicted of sexual assault or contact, attempted murder or conspiracy to murder, abandonment or endangerment against their deceased minor child.
The proposed law change on alimony stem from the case of Calbi vs. Calbi. In that case, Mrs. Calbi was granted alimony in her divorce against Mr. Calbi after she was convicted of killing their son. The payments are supposed to start when she is released from jail. The court noted there was no prohibition in the law. The proposed inheritance change is the result of a recent New Jersey Appellate Decision, which ruled that a mother of an abused, abandoned child was not entitled to inherit the $1 million inheritance paid by the State to her son’s estate. The court invoked its power of equity, noting that awarding the mother the money would be “cruel, ironic and inequitable,” since that abuse and neglect contributed to the child’s death.