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Women protest Family Court outside Hunterdon Courthouse

Three women marched and carried protest signs in front of Hunterdon Courthouse on the morning of Oct. 26 for several hours. They focused their protest against the state's Family Court. Their biggest issue with the court is that it is putting people in jail who fail to pay alimony when they don't have the money.

The leader of the group has a boyfriend who was jailed on Oct. 17. She said he was only able to afford $5,500 a month in alimony payments. The court had ordered him to pay $8,000 as part of his divorce. He works as a professional engineer, but he had lost his job and had to take one making less money. Meeting the alimony payments was beyond his income. The woman said her boyfriend was put in jail because the court refused to lower his alimony payment after his income dropped.

A written statement from the man in prison stated that last year he was in jail for two months because he could not pay the $53,000 he owed. In 2010, he was jailed for 10 days because he didn't pay the $25,000 he owed at that time.

People often face significant changes in income levels throughout their lives. It may be possible to get post-divorce modifications to these payments. Being aware of one's legal rights and seeking advice from an experienced divorce attorney can often help when facing circumstances like the one in this case.

Source: nj.com, "At Hunterdon Courthouse, women protest jailing people for not paying alimony," Terry Wright, Oct. 29, 2012

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