SENATE JOINT RESOLUTION

No. 41

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

215th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED FEBRUARY 13, 2012

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator  ROBERT W. SINGER

District 30 (Monmouth and Ocean)

Senator  LORETTA WEINBERG

District 37 (Bergen)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Establishes a commission to study alimony law.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


A Joint Resolution creating a commission to study the law on alimony.

 

     Be It Resolved by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.    There is hereby created a commission to be known as the “Study Commission on Alimony” to consist of the Attorney General, or his designee, one member of the Senate appointed by the Senate President, one member of the Senate appointed by the Senate Minority Leader, one member of the General Assembly appointed by the Speaker of the General Assembly, one member of the General Assembly appointed by the Assembly Minority Leader, and four public members to be appointed by the Governor.  The public members appointed by the Governor shall include at least two persons licensed to practice law in the State with a specialization in marital law and at least one retired judge with experience in the Superior Court, Chancery Division, Family Part.

 

     2.    The commission shall organize as soon as practicable after the appointment of a majority of its members and shall select a chairperson from among its members.  The chairperson shall appoint a secretary, who need not be a member of the commission.

 

     3.    Members of the commission shall serve without compensation but shall be reimbursed for necessary expenses actually incurred in the performance of their duties as members of the commission.

 

     4.    a.  The commission shall study all aspects of alimony law in the State, including but not limited to:

     (1)   studying any Statewide trends in court-ordered alimony awards over time, including determining what percentage of court-ordered alimony awards consist of permanent alimony and how often State courts grant a request for modification of an alimony award;

     (2)   studying whether contemporary financial circumstances have affected any Statewide trends in court-ordered alimony awards and, if so, how the Statewide trends have been affected;

     (3)   comparing State alimony law with alimony laws in other states, including whether any other state has a requirement that the amount of alimony should be proportional to the duration of the marriage or civil union;

     (4)   comparing State data and trends pertaining to alimony law with data from other states; and

     (5)   considering any other such issues as the commission may identify as necessary to understanding and improving State alimony law.

     b.    The commission shall propose new legislation, if it deems appropriate.

 

     5.    The commission shall be entitled to call to its assistance and avail itself of the services of the employees of any State, county, or municipal department, board, bureau, commission, or agency as it may require and as may be available to it for its purposes, and to employ stenographic and clerical assistance and incur traveling and other miscellaneous expenses necessary to perform its duties, within the limits of funds appropriated or otherwise made available to it for its purposes.

 

     6.    The commission may meet and hold hearings at the places it designates, at which it may request the appearance of officials of any State agency or political subdivision of the State and may solicit testimony of interested groups and the general public.

 

     7.    The commission shall report its findings and recommendations to the Governor, and to the Legislature pursuant to section 2 of P.L.1991, c.164 (C.52:14-19.1), no later than 12 months following the organization of the commission.

 

     8.    This joint resolution shall take effect immediately and shall expire upon the submission of the report required pursuant to section 7 of this act.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This joint resolution would create the nine-member “Study Commission on Alimony” to review State alimony law, including any Statewide trends in alimony awards, and compare this information with the laws, data, and trends in other states.

     The commission would be comprised of the Attorney General, or his designee, four public members appointed by the Governor, and four members of the Legislature appointed by the Senate President, the Speaker of the General Assembly, and the Minority Leader of each House.  At least two of the public members appointed by the Governor would be required to be attorneys licensed in New Jersey who specialize in marital law, and at least one of the public members must be a retired judge with experience in the Superior Court, Chancery Division, Family Part.  Members would serve without compensation but would be reimbursed for necessary expenses actually incurred in the performance of their duties.

     The commission would organize as soon as practicable after the appointment of a majority of its members.  One of the members would be selected chairperson by the other members and the chairperson would appoint a secretary, who need not be a member of the commission.

     Within 12 months of organizing, the commission would issue a report to the Governor and to the Legislature detailing its findings and recommendations, including any proposed legislation.  The commission would end upon submission of this report.