San Jose Divorce Attorney Comments on Former New Jersey Governor’s Divorce
Former New Jersey Governor James McGreevey’s divorce is final, after a sordid trial involving sex scandals, disputes about employment, and support. This case was litigated in New Jersey, but the issues are common to many if not all divorces, so it is instructive for us here in California.
The first issue was child support. The parties share custody of their daughter, and Mr. McGreevey was ordered to pay $1,075 per month in child support. The child is 6, and Mr. McGreevey has a regular visitation schedule with her.
Spousal Support was another big issue, especially for the former Mrs. McGreevey, also known as Dina Matos. Recall, Mr. McGreevey had been the governor of New Jersey, and the parties lived a very high standard of living. Ms. Matos requested $2,500 per month in spousal support (or alimony, as it is known in New Jersey), as well as reimbursement for the lost time in the governor’s mansion. Ultimately, the Court ruled that Mr. McGreevy, who is now a seminary student, did not have to pay support to Ms. Matos, as he did not have the income. Interestingly, the Court rejected claims that Mr. McGreevey was purposefully underemployed, despite his past career track. The Court also declined to order reimbursement for lost time in the governor’s mansion.
Property division is an issue in nearly every divorce, and this one was no different. Mr. McGreevey was ordered to pay Ms. Matos $109,000 as an equitable distribution of community assets.
California law handles things a little differently than New Jersey, so the outcome could have very well been radically different had the McGreeveys divorced out here. One area that I think would likely have been different is spousal support. The marital standard of living guides spousal support in California, and the McGreeveys had a high standard during marriage. Furthermore, Mr. McGreevey’s return to school raises concerns of avoiding support, and its plausible he would have been under an employment efforts order, his education notwithstanding.
If you are getting divorced in California, and have questions about these issues, or others, call our experienced team of family law attorneys. We handle all types of dissolutions and other family law cases. We have four Bay Area locations, including Redwood City, San Jose, Monterey and Fremont. We offer a free consultation, either in person or over the phone. Call today to schedule your consultation.