Washington, D.C.- Today, Congressman Ted Poe (R-TX), along with Congressman Steve Cohen (D-TN), introduced H.R. 1415, “Jane’s Law.” This bipartisan legislation works to close loopholes that allow individuals to cross state lines after a divorce or separation proceeding in order to avoid paying court-ordered distributions.
The bill’s namesake, Jane Maharam, knows the realities of this all too well. Her husband of 31 years, Robert Maharam, raided their New York home and stole marital assets like money, investments and furnishings. After a 15 year court battle, the court ordered that Robert return millions of dollars back to Jane. However, instead of returning the assets, Robert fled. As long as he does not return back to New York, Jane will never see any of what he owes her because the warrant for Robert’s arrest cannot be enforced over state lines.
“Sadly, Jane’s story is not unique. It’s unfortunate that people every day in this country use this loophole to their advantage, but this would end under Jane’s Law. This much needed piece of legislation will make these lowlife evaders responsible for their crimes. No longer can they outrun the law. Much like the ways child support legislation works, under Jane’s Law, fleeing to avoid payment is a federal crime. It is time to put a stop to this shameful practice,” said Rep. Poe.
“Too many Americans find themselves in the same shoes Jane Maharam was in more than 2 decades ago,” said Rep. Cohen. “By fleeing the state, her ex-husband escaped his legal responsibilities and the courts were unable to enforce the law. It is time we close that loophole and ensure Jane and others like her get the justice they deserve.”