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NJ Permanent Alimony Termination Litigation Contributed to My Husband's Death

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New Jersey Permanent Alimony Termination Litigation Contributed to My Terminally-Ill Husband's Death. 

Please read our attorney's blog entry on this horror story below:

http://njfamilylaw.foxrothschild.com/2013/10/articles/alimony/terminating-alimony-for-terminally-ill-patient-easy-right-wrong/#.Uml310b_0nA.gmail

My now deceased husband, James Hair, was unjustly, unfairly, and inhumanely treated at the hands of Judge Andrea Carter, Middlesex County Family Court. On May 21st of 2011, my husband was diagnosed with Glioblastoma Multiforme IV, a malignant, extremely aggressive brain cancer.  He had brain surgery on 5/24/11 and began chemotherapy and radiation treatments in June of 2011.  He continued to work through treatment and three hospitalizations in a span of three months due to side effects of treatment. He was forced to stop working in December of 2011 due to his illness, was placed on short term disability.  He was approved for Social Security Disability in less than a month due to his terminal illness status.  Short term disability ended in March of 2012, he couldn't return to work and was therefore terminated.  He began long term disability and loss 35% of his income.

In April of 2012, my husband filed for alimony termination due to: terminal illness, 35% loss of income, Social Security Disability approval, permanently and involuntarily disabled. Defendant, ex-wife, Wanda Simmons-Hair, a South Brunswick New Jersey second-grade school teacher whose salary is $80,000 per year with no dependents,in addition to $20,000 per year in alimony, was now earning more than my husband.  In her cross-motion, she NEVER, NOT ONCE, stated she needed alimony for her own support and maintenance.  The entire cross-motion and sole necessity for alimony was for the support of her 25- and 28-year-old, ADULT, EMANCIPATED sons and two grandchildren. Judge Carter NEVER, throughout the entire litigation, addressed this. They were divorced in 2006. My husband was so traumatized by the divorce proceedings, he NEVER filed for modification or reduction.  In addition, the Judge that presided over the divorce proceedings, Fred Kieser, was removed from the bench for judicial misconduct, a first in New Jersey history.

Judge Andrea Carter refused to terminate alimony even though three months after filing our motion, 8/18/12, my husband had a second brain surgery and the tumor was five times larger. The photo above is my husband in ICU after his second brain surgery. Our attorney filed an emergent motion again requesting alimony termination due to the emergency surgery.  Judge Carter's decision was to garnish his Social Security wages and should he die during surgery, place the life insurance proceeds in an escrow account at our attorney's firm.  Yes, this is unbelievable but it gets worse. 

Upon returning home after my husband's second brain surgery, we were met with a false, fictitious, "Out of State Registration" and "Income Withholding Order" which Defendant filed in New York Family Court, our state of residence, alleging CHILD SUPPORT arrears. This petition threatened an arrest warrant, interception of his income taxes, a negative credit rating, suspension of his license, and revocation of his Passport. I literally had to tuck my husband in bed, head to the computer, and write letters to avoid these actions. Nevertheless, I had to make 10 TRIPS to the NYC Family Court and NYC Child Support Enforcement Agency to prove my husband was NEVER in child support arrears, his ADULT SONS having been EMANCIPATED by Court Order in 2008. Defendant was NEVER prosecuted for these actions and, I'm sure, this lack of prosecution further encouraged her spree of torment against my husband. I submit, an individual such as this Defendant, who takes pleasure in tormenting a terminally-ill person SHOULD NOT be teaching young children.

We submitted several letters from my husband's brain surgeon and oncologists stating the extreme toll this litigation was taking on my husband's health. The exact language of a letter written by his oncologist read, "I therefore request that the patient does not participate in these legal proceedings at this time based on his medical and neurological condition as it poses a significant detriment to his health." He was nauseous and anxious EVERY SINGLE DAY, yet Judge Carter totally disregarded these letters, refused to terminate alimony, and REPEATEDLY requested more discovery and a plenary hearing

In conclusion, a year later, in May of this year, my husband now under hospice care, Judge Carter orders Mediation which she could have done initially. At this time, my husband has lost use of his left side, is in a wheelchair, can't sit up on his own, unable to dress or bathe himself, loss of short term memory, can barely sign his name, YET still forced to litigate! UNCONSCIONABLE!! 

I've filed a Judicial Complaint against Judge Carter in hopes of having her removed from the bench. She and the Defendant literally took stakes and poked holes in my husband until he had no life left in him. I submit, this litigation was such a HUGE CONTRIBUTOR to my husband's decline in health and ultimate demise that it should be listed as a "CAUSE OF DEATH" on his death certificate! 

In addition, we paid over $40,000 in legal fees and were forced to settle and give the ex-wife approximately $34,000 which was unwarranted as my husband met EVERY standard and criteria for termination at the outset.  My husband was the sweetest man on the planet, kind, gentle, compassionate. Judge Carter and ex-wife tortured and robbed him of qualitative life during his last days. When my husband passed away, shortly after forced mediation and settlement of this cruel, unjust litigation, his Social Security Disability wages were STILL being garnished.  Losing my husband is extremely painful but I will find the strength to get justice for him.

New Jersey Alimony Laws are archaic and in desperate need of reform.  I'm fighting for justice for my sweet husband who was repeatedly attacked and treated like lion's prey. There are currently Bills in the Legislature to address NJ Alimony Reform. Hearings should take place before the end of this year. I plan to propose "James' Law" whereas, if a litigant is terminally-ill, upon showing of medical proof and documentation, alimony payments are IMMEDIATELY terminated.

This is a grave injustice and a total disregard for human life! Yes, I'm still traumatized by this litigation! NO ONE should EVER have to experience this type of unwarranted torture and torment at the hands of a Judge or opposing litigant. Please help me get this story out by signing this petition and finally getting "JUSTICE FOR JAMES." 

Thanks, in advance, for your signature and support.

 

Robin Hair

 

 



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