In a closely watched divorce case, the state Supreme Court on Friday struck down the award of significant lifetime alimony to a woman who already makes $72,000 a year.
The trial court originally denied alimony for Johanna Gonsewski who, at the time, was divorcing her husband Craig in 2009 after 21 years of marriage. But on appeal in an unusual ruling, she was awarded $15,000 a year for the rest of her life or until she remarried.
In a unanimous opinion, the Supreme Court reversed that lower-court ruling, deciding the alimony award was inappropriate because Johanna Gonsewski holds a stable, well-paying job and won a considerable amount of property in a division of assets with her ex-husband.
The court rejected the wife’s claim that she was entitled to exactly the same standard of living after the divorce as before. At the time of their divorce, Craig Gonsewski made $100,000 annually as an accountant.
Justice Cornelia Clark wrote that “in many instances, the parties’ income and assets simply will not permit them to achieve the same standard of living...”