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Nascar CEO's alimony payments to ex-wife unsealed

For readers in Newton, New Jersey, and elsewhere, divorce can be a difficult thing to go through. Therefore, it is understandable when spouses wish to keep the details of this area of family law private. Recently, the CEO of NASCAR was unable to keep the details of his 2008 divorce confidential when a judge reversed the earlier order of another judge, unsealing the divorce records.

Unhappy with the judge's reversal, the CEO appealed the decision which effectively kept the records sealed until the appeals court ruled. In his appeal, he argued that allowing judges of equal rank to overturn each other's orders would lead to "judicial anarchy." However, the three-judge panel ruled that the decision to unseal the divorce records was valid. The records revealed that the couple's separation agreement included alimony payments of more than $30,000 per month to the CEO's former wife for 10 years and $10,000 monthly child support payments. The former wife also received a payment of $9 million in the agreement.

In a divorce, a judge has the discretion to award alimony. Alimony, also referred to as spousal support, is a monthly obligation that occurs after a divorce. Courts usually award alimony to prevent any unbalanced financial effects resulting from a divorce. Some factors a court may consider in awarding alimony are: the standard of living of the couple during the marriage, the financial status of each spouse, the duration of the marriage and each spouse's earning capacity.

Alimony is often meant to be rehabilitative. This means that the payments will be made to a spouse for as long as needed until he or she receives the necessary training and education to become self-supporting. In cases of a long-term marriage, alimony may be awarded permanently. In these cases payments must be made until the spouse receiving the payment remarries or passes away.

It is not uncommon for individuals going through divorce to face difficult decisions. Of these decisions, alimony can be among the most contentious issues to agree on. However, it is important to remember that it is in the best interests of divorcing couples to work together as best they can so that they may focus on their new chapter in life.

Source: Yahoo! Sports, "Court upholds order on NASCAR CEO's divorce case," Michael Biesecker, Dec. 31, 2012

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