In a recent New Jersey equitable distribution decision, a wife and husband cross-appealed after their divorce. The husband filed for divorce in 2010 after he’d been married to the wife for less than eight years. He was 61 when they married, while the wife was 50. They came into the marriage with children from prior marriages and worked full time.
The husband was laid off two years into the marriage and ultimately determined he would retire. The wife worked in IT, and her income fluctuated between $62,000 and $120,000 on a yearly basis. She had no health benefits as a contractor and no pension. The husband irrevocably named her a contingent beneficiary of his pension and also provided for the household.
The husband’s accounts paid for renovations and living expenses. She didn’t contribute to his accounts, nor withdraw from them. He paid down the wife’s mortgage. The wife put her earnings into accounts only in her name and contributed to the home by doing most of the chores. They had a nine-day divorce trial, in which the husband’s request for alimony was denied. The defendant filed a motion challenging the distribution to the plaintiff of his own bank accounts.