To clarify a couple points raised in here all based on Cali family law which I became an internet expert on 8 years ago:
Yes if a women makes more money she can be ordered to pay alimony, my sister did shes a Doc her ex was a surf bum(nice guy though) and a friend has to (she's an IT consultant like me her ex is a pastor go figure).
If you lose your job and you must prove it was not deliberate, you can petition to have your payments lowered but likewise she can petition to have them raised at a later date. Moving to an area that pays less does not matter that was your choice not the courts or ut of your control.
ideliver brough up a good point, has she sought counsel at this point yet? If the laws in NJ are like Cali a lawyer cannot represent her if he has already had a consult with you and vice versa. You could effectively cause her to seek a less qualified lawyer if you consult with all the "movers and shakers" in your area.
And yes you could be held financially responsible for her court fees.
I would caution on one point someone made about moving away and accepting the courts decisions. My kids suffered greatly at the thought their mother bascially up'd and moved out on them, in fact she did so on our son's 13 birthday weekend to boot. They hold deep resentments towards her as a result, they were 13 and 17 at the time. Our daughter is getting married in 16 days and her mom's role in the wedding is minimal at best and she is hurt over it but our daughter told her she did not have any remorse moving out on them and since all her difficult years came on my watch and dime she had chosen to have the ceremony with my self and my long term girl friend(6+ years) as the family focal point. I'm sure that stung and I feel bad for her but in your case carefully weigh what may come up at a later time in you and your daughters life.
Honestly see what can be done legally to reduce the estimate, it can be based on the earnings she should be qualified to make in Cali. Oh and the mediation point, I looked into that as well but what turned me away was they will suggest you both retain counsel and have them review the agreement so in affect you could still get the greedy motive to set in, just imagine in you agree on let's say 2k/month forever and the attorney tells her why the court will give you 3.5K and you can stick him with the costs what do you think the decision will be.
Hang in there, life does exist after divorce. Hell I had to write a check for
426K as her half of the community property and yes I'm still hurting financially compared to before, economic downturn did not help, but I am happier now then in the last 15 years and share my life with a wonderful person who pulls her own weight and is always there no matter what.
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