New State Law Bars Alimony, Inheritance for Abusive, Neglectful Parents

Parents who abuse, abandon, neglect or cause the death of their children will be ineligible for alimony and for inheritance benefits from their children’s estates, under a new state law signed by Gov. Jon Corzine on April 17 that takes effect in July. The new law amends N.J.S.A. 2A:34-23 to deny alimony to a person convicted of murder, manslaughter, criminal homicide, death by auto or vessel, aggravated assault or a similar offense in another jurisdiction if the crime results in the death of a child and is committed after the divorce or dissolution of the marriage or civil union. It also amends N.J.S.A. 3B:5-4 to eliminate inheritance rights for a surviving parent who abused, abandoned, negligently endangered the welfare of, or committed a sexual offense against, the child. And it amends N.J.S.A. 34:15-21 to eliminate recovery under worker’s compensation statutes by parents found to have committed the same acts against their child.

Source: April 21, 2009 Edition of the New Jersey Law Journal