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Sunday, March 1, 2020

S.W. VS. G.M. (FM-20-2163-11, UNION COUNTY AND STATEWIDE) (A-1278-18T3)

In a prior appeal, this court reversed and remanded the trial judge's open duration alimony determination directing him to find the marital lifestyle numerically and, if necessary, adjust the life insurance securing the alimony. The trial judge failed to enumerate the marital lifestyle and instead supplemented the supported spouse's current expenses with some expenses incurred during the marriage. The trial judge also decreased the life insurance obligation and calculated the death benefit using the supporting spouse's full social security age as the presumed end date for alimony.
The court reverses and remands the matter again to the trial judge and holds that N.J.S.A. 2A:34-23(b)(4) requires the judge to numerically calculate the marital lifestyle. The court's decision explains the purpose for and the means by which to calculate the marital lifestyle. The court also reverses and remands the life insurance computation and provides a method for calculating the present-day value of the alimony obligation to determine the life insurance death benefit.