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About Stutzke Law LLC.

Stutzke Law is a boutique family, employment, estate planning, and commercial litigation practice with dual offices located in Parlin and Freehold, New Jersey.

Here at Stutzke Law, your problems become our problems. It’s not about us - it’s about you. We understand that losing a business, a job or a marriage is quite possibly one of the most devastating and demanding times in a person's life. To that end, we strive to be sensitive to the financial and emotional needs of each and every one of our clients.

We more than prepared to see you through these tough times as not only a counselor but as a close friend and an equal. We are very protective of our clients' rights, and work hard to achieve optimal settlement packages for them. But when necessary, we litigate aggressively to protect our clients' interests.

Contact our office today to arrange a free consultation. (732) 952-2903 – Stutzke Law, LLC has Greek and Spanish translators on site. Please let us know if you require translation services for your free initial consultation!

The Tortoise and the Hare: The Importance of Timing in Motions to Modify Alimony

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I can’t help but find it mildly amusing when irony lends itself to legal case names, much less Aesop’s famed fables. This most recent unpublished Appellate Division case is no exception.

In the post-divorce matter of Rich v. Rich, 20-2-5256, the New Jersey Appellate Division affirmed the denial of the lower Court’s refusal to entertain Mr. Rich’s request for a reduction in his alimony obligation to Ms. Rich. The couple were divorced in March of 2011, at which time Mr. Rich stipulated that his gross income was $105,000 per year. In his subsequent application to reduce his alimony payment, he stated that his 2011 income amounted to little over half of that figure.

Citing a lack of evidence of the impetus for changes in Mr. Rich’s business ownership interests, as well unsuccessful efforts to obtain comparable employment, the Court determined that Mr. Rich had failed to meet his burden of proving a substantial change in circumstance sufficient to warrant a review of his alimony obligation. In the absence of proper proofs, his present financial situation was characterized as a temporary downturn.

The Court also affirmed an award of attorney’s fees payable to Ms. Rich in connection with her cross-application for recoupment of $38,000 in unpaid alimony. As such, Mr. Rich departed the Courtroom $2915 less rich, in addition to the $38,000 in unabated outstanding support and whatever other sums he owed his own attorneys, if any.

This case perhaps best underscores the importance of timing and good faith in post-judgment modification motions. While it may seem like an eternity for a “down on his or her luck” payor to wait a hot minute before seeking judicial relief, one is hard-pressed to prove meaningful efforts to locate comparable employment without said stay. And, in the interim, the provision of at least partial alimony payments – consistent with what the obligor is truly able to pay after his or her own necessary expenses – shows the Judge that the applicant is approaching him or her in honest, good faith.

In conclusion, this is one situation where the tortoise beats the hare. Especially the tortoise bearing a check-book.

The Stutzke Law philosophy is that trust is the bedrock of all successful attorney-client relationships. At The offices of Stutzke Law your problems become our problems. We understand that losing a business, job or a marriage is quite possibly one of the most devastating and demanding times in a person's life. To that end, we strive to be sensitive to the financial and emotional needs of each and every one of our clients. We are more than prepared to see you through these tough times as not only a counselor but as a close friend. Working from a framework of mutual trust, communication, and cooperation, it is our prerogative to handle your case in a responsive, thorough and dedicated manner from start to finish.
Amy Stutzke
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Amys website
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