In Weaver v. Weaver, Brian G. Paul successfully convinced the Appellate Division that in an intermediate length marriage, such as the 10 year marriage in Hughes v. Hughes and the 12 year marriage in Weaver, the Trial Court must be required to analyze what actually occurred to both spouses during their marriage in order to determine whether the public policy reasons behind the creation of a permanent alimony award actually exists in the present case. One of the primary purposes behind the creation of the concept of permanent alimony is to compensate a dependent spouse who has sacrificed their career or educational goals in order to perform the non-economic tasks associated with the marital partnership, such as child rearing and homemaking. Therefore, permanent alimony is meant to compensate the dependent spouse for the “transfer of earning power” that often occurs during a traditional marriage in which the homemaker spouse’s non-economic efforts increased the other’s earning capacity by freeing them to concentrate on their career at the expense of her own. Because the Appellate Division agreed with Brian that the Weaver case lacked the characteristics for which a permanent alimony award is normally granted, it reversed the Trial Court’s decision and remanded the case with instructions to consider a limited duration alimony award instead.
Click here to view the decision in Adobe Acrobat format (PDF).