Monday, February 2, 2009
The New Jersey Appellate Division affirmed a finding of the trial court that denied a downward modification of a father's alimony and child support "rendered after a multi-day plenary hearing approximately one year earlier-- that defendant's claim of his law firm's plummeting fortunes was 'unconvincing' " The court notes:
as the judge perspicaciously recognized, the change in [the father's] income, if true, was only one part of the calculus to be considered in ruling upon the motion. Equally important was the fact--despite [his] assertion that changes in the area of law in which he practiced had caused a reduction in income--[he] had taken on considerable debt and adopted a lavish lifestyle inconsistent with the way his law practice was allegedly trending.
The lawyer had bought an expensive new home and a new car: his "inequitable attempt to have [mother] and their children bear the brunt of the luxurious lifestyle [he] adopted with his new wife" did not move the court to find anything untoward about the comments and questions of the trial judge. (Mike Frisch)