Reform Advocates Take Stand Against the Spread of Misinformation About New Jersey Lifetime Alimony Laws
EAST BRUNSWICK, N.J., Jan. 29, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- New Jersey Women for Alimony Reform (NJWAR) fired its latest salvo in a "cold war" against the Family Law Section, with its program "Alimony in the 21st Century: The Myths and the Reality."
Despite the snow, alimony reform advocates came out in force to attend the program on Jan. 25, at the Hilton, East Brunswick Hotel. NJWAR offered its session as an alternative to "Why Alimony is Awarded", a program sponsored by the NJSBA Family Law Section on the same night and in the same venue.
"We knew that the Family Law Section would present only its side of the issue of permanent alimony in New Jersey and we wanted to present the other side," said Sheila Taylor, President of NJWAR, a grassroots organization focused on educating legislators and the public about New Jersey's socially obsolete alimony laws and how they negatively affect both women and men.
"New Jersey divorce law is no-fault, so it doesn't matter who did what to cause a breakup. However, when the family court awards lifetime alimony to a cheating, abusive or lazy spouse, it inadvertently permits marital abuse to continue for a lifetime," Taylor said.
The NJWAR panel included Debbie Leff Israel, who spoke about the similarly archaic laws in Florida and the efforts of her group Florida Alimony Reform to enact change; attorney David Heleniak who spoke about the abuse of the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act to gain strategic advantage in divorce proceedings; and attorney Richard Stokes, who spoke about the process of enacting reform in the New Jersey legislature. Attendees were offered the opportunity to give video testimony of their horror stories in dealing with the family court system.
According to Taylor, the Family Law Section continues to spread misinformation about alimony laws and reformers. On the one hand, they have publicly endorsed the formation of a Blue Ribbon Commission to study alimony reform, while on the other they have aggressively lobbied to derail reform legislation and to cast the issue as a politically toxic campaign against women.
"The Family Law Section has shown us that they intend to thwart change, but that's no surprise," said Taylor, "Divorce is a lucrative business in New Jersey." Taylor and her group endorse alimony guidelines like those in effect in other states to make the system uniform, predictable, efficient and most importantly, FAIR to both parties to divorce. "We believe that no alimony is as unfair as lifetime alimony."
Prior to the start of the Family Law Section program, the moderator opened the session by inviting any alimony reform advocates in the room.
"It's unfortunate that the leaders of the bar refuse to constructively engage with us on this issue. With women out-earning men in many households these days, women will be paying lifetime alimony in ever increasing numbers. The laws need to be updated," Taylor said.
Founded in 2011, New Jersey Alimony Reform was created to encourage the state of New Jersey to update its alimony laws and is based in Rahway, New Jersey. New Jersey Women for Alimony Reform was founded in 2012 and is based in Neptune, New Jersey.
The New Jersey Alimony Reform logo is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=12632
CONTACT: Tom Leustek, President NJ Alimony Reform (908) 866-6527
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