122 N.J.L.J. 1246
November 10, 1988
Contingent Fee for Recovery
of Post Divorce Alimony Arrearages
The Inquirer asks whether he may represent a prospective
client who desires to retain him, on a contingent fee basis, to
recover post-judgment alimony arrears. The judgment of divorce was
entered in the Superior Court of New Jersey in 1983, and the debtor
ex-spouse resides in New Jersey. The amount of alimony was
determined by the original judgment of the divorce, and the
contemplated action seeks recovery of the arrearages.
RPC 1.5(d)(1) provides:
(d) A lawyer shall not enter into an arrangement for, charge, or collect:
(1) any fee in a domestic relations matter, the payment or amount of which is contingent upon the securing of a divorce or upon the amount of alimony or support, or property settlement in lieu thereof;... .
We are of the opinion that the foregoing Rule does not preclude the contingent fee representation, since the contemplated action is related to post-judgment alimony, and does not seek the initial determination of alimony or support, which is prohibited by RPC 1.5(d)(1).