Alattiyat v. Qasqas: A Case of Conflicting Information About Income
Lump sum alimony or periodic? Rehabilitative alimony or bridge-the-gap? Low income taken at face value or higher income imputed? These are some of the issues that courts must decide in divorce cases in Tennessee. The Alattiyat v. Qasqas case involves an unusually large number of these issues, especially considering that the couple reached their original divorce agreement with the help of an arbitrator, without litigation. If you need to modify a spousal support agreement, contact a Knoxville alimony lawyer about a post-divorce modification.
Details of the Alattiyat v. Qasqas Case
Adnan Alattiyat and Faiza Qasqas met in Jordan, where they both graduated from law school; Adnan had been born in Jordan, but Faiza was born in Palestine and emigrated to Jordan as a child. They married in 1997, when Adnan was 25 years old and Faiza was 35. Before their marriage, Faiza had a new birth certificate issued, saying that she had been born in 1961 instead of 1965; she did not want Adnan’s relatives to know that she was ten years older than her husband, for fear that they would disapprove of the marriage. They settled in Tennessee, where Adnan’s brothers lived, and had three children together.
Neither Adnan nor Faiza practiced law in the United States. Adnan operated a series of small businesses, mostly convenience stores, often with the help of his brothers. Faiza also worked for the family businesses at times, and at other times, she was a stay-at-home parent. Adnan and Faiza’s relationship ended in August 2014, in a fight that resulted in the police coming to the house and in Faiza getting a protective order against Adnan, who filed for divorce several months later.
At the time of the couple’s 2015 divorce proceedings, Adnan’s monthly income was just over $3,000, while Faiza had no income. Thus, the court ruled that Adnan must pay Faiza $500 per month alimony, plus child support. The divorce was finalized in April 2016, and Adnan filed a motion shortly thereafter to amend the support order. He claimed that Faiza had misrepresented important facts during the divorce proceedings. Most importantly, she had claimed that she had no income, while she was actually receiving $1,690.26, some of which came from her work as a home health aide and some of which was support from the Memphis Islamic Center. In 2016, Adnan also claimed that he has no income, but the court imputed an income of just over $2900, having determined that he was intentionally underemployed.
The court ruled that Adnan should pay Faiza a lump sum of $3000, and then continue the $500 per month spousal support payments indefinitely. It reasoned that, given Faiza’s age and limited work experience (she was 55 years old and had only worked outside the family businesses since the divorce), she remained the economically disadvantaged spouse.
Let Us Help You Today
When determining alimony, there is no such thing as an irrelevant detail; if you think there is something the court should know, it could make a difference in your alimony agreement. Contact Knoxville family law attorney Patrick L. Looper for a consultation and to learn how we can assist you in your case.