Facts of the Alimony Case
As any attorney readily attests, no two legal cases are alike. Every case is unique, although certain cases may appear more familiar than others. The Alimony case of Moustafa v. Moustafa (2022) is certainly one which you cannot easily mistake for any other. In this fascinating case, the couple married in Egypt in 1976 and then divorced in 1985. Then, a year later, the couple remarried in 1986. However, during the interim between the divorce and remarriage, the husband married another woman and then failed to dissolve that marriage before remarrying his first wife.
After their remarriage in 1986, the couple settled in Maryland. Eighteen years later, the wife sought to dissolve the marriage via annulment, contending that the husband committed bigamy. A trial judge granted the annulment in 2005 and developed an alimony payment schedule for the wife. Then, in 2006, they changed this payment schedule to a lower monthly amount. Even with this lowered amount, however, the ex-husband still failed to make his alimony payments consistently. And eventually, an arrearage of over $300,000 was accumulated. The ex-wife brought an action to collect this sum.
The Outcome of the Alimony Case
The husband attempted to argue that the statute of limitations barred the wife’s action. The husband contended that the SOL, which applies to agreements, was operative in this case, and that, therefore, the wife had been barred since 2009 from bringing such a suit. However, both the trial and appellate courts disagreed and held that the SOL for judgments applied in this case and that the wife’s action was not barred on that basis.
The Lesson of the Alimony Case
The husband in Moustafa v. Moustafa may have thought he found a viable avenue to avoid paying alimony simply, but in the end, his efforts were for naught. One lesson is that walking away from alimony obligations is not an easy task and certainly not something any alimony payor should rely upon. If a payor is faced with an obligation, that payor will have a very difficult time skirting around this obligation. This is true even for those who might be able to skirt their obligation for some time, as was the case with Moustafa. The next lesson is that a payor needs to conduct a more thorough legal investigation before combatting an action in court.
If the ex-husband’s counsel had researched the matter more thoroughly, they would’ve possibly ascertained that the ex-husband’s argument would fail. This would’ve been to the ex-husband’s advantage, as his failed attempt in court was undoubtedly expensive. Alimony obligations, even those derived from many years ago, are very difficult to avoid. The law in Maryland assumes that the payee needs the funds from alimony to cover essential expenses, and payors are held to a standard consistent with this level of seriousness. Judges are known to favor payees over payors for various reasons. But, of course, it’s still possible to reduce alimony obligations and even have them eliminated in some cases.
Contact the Murphy Law Firm for More Information
If you’d like to learn more, reach out to The Murphy Law Firm today by calling 240-493-9116.