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Alimony in New jersey can have a long-term effect on the quality of life after your divorce is final. The alimony attorneys at Aretsky Law Group, P.C., understand that you are concerned about the effect that the dissolution of your marriage will have upon your finances.
Whether you are the payee or the recipient, the amount of alimony in New Jersey can have a lasting effect upon the lifestyle you are able to enjoy. For that reason, alimony is often one of the most contentious aspects of a divorce.Frequently Asked Questions About Alimony in New Jersey
Our dedicated attorneys will explain all you have to know about these and other questions regarding alimony in New Jersey:
Your Aretsky Law Group, P.C., attorney will assess your situation and advise you as to whether you will likely be ordered to pay spousal support or if you will be the recipient of such support. In either case, we will use our expertise and knowledge of New Jersey family law to craft an agreement that is in your best interests.
Our experienced New Jersey divorce lawyers can also help you enforce an existing agreement or file a motion to modify an agreement if a change in circumstance warrants it.The New Jersey Alimony Reform Act of 2014
Changes in the law that occurred when the Alimony Reform Act of 2014 went into effect make it even more important that you choose a qualified New Jersey divorce lawyer with expertise in these and other issues involved in the dissolution of a marriage.
Call us for an initial consultation at 800-537-4154. We are available 24/7 to take your call.Alimony in New Jersey
As a law firm who focuses primarily in New Jersey divorce and family law, our attorneys are often asked by our clients to explain the basics of alimony and spousal support in order to better understand their options and obligations.
Spousal support, more commonly known as alimony, is money that one spouse pays to the other during a separation, while a divorce is in process, or after a final divorce order has been issued.
The purpose of alimony is to limit any unfair effects of the divorce. Alimony helps ensure that the needs of the spouse with fewer financial assets are met and may also allow that spouse to maintain the lifestyle the couple enjoyed before the separation or divorce.
Under current New Jersey law there are several different forms of alimony:
The court may grant a combination of two or more types of alimony.
Pendente lite alimony is temporary. Its purpose is to allow the recipient to pay for basic expenses during the divorce proceedings. It may or may not be replaced by another type of alimony when the divorce is final.
Open durational alimony replaced permanent alimony when the Alimony Reform Act of 2014 went into effect. It differs from permanent alimony, which is no longer granted in New Jersey, in two important ways:
Limited durational alimony, which is also known as durational alimony or term alimony, has a specific ending date. The Court has the option of extending it, but since the Alimony Reform Act of 2014, the duration of this type of alimony cannot exceed the length of the marriage.
Rehabilitation alimony is awarded as part of the spousal support to enable a spouse become self-sufficient. For example, it might be awarded to allow the spouse to return to school or to have time to find a job.
Reimbursement alimony is sometimes awarded when one spouse contributed to the other spouse’s education or training and the marriage did not last long enough for the one who contributed to benefit financially from that education or training.
See NJ Rev Stat § 2A:34-23 (2016): Alimony, maintenance
There is no set formula that automatically determines if someone will get alimony. When considering whether to award alimony and how much to award, however, New Jersey Courts consider the length of the marriage to be an important factor. It became even more important since the Alimony Reform Act.
When alimony ends depends upon the length of the marriage.
Under the new law—except in unusual circumstances—if a couple was married less than twenty years, the supporting spouse is not obliged to pay alimony for a longer period of time than the length of the marriage.
As noted in the previous section, if a marriage lasted more than twenty years, the dependent spouse is eligible for open durational alimony; permanent alimony did not have the 20-year requirement.
In marriages that lasted more than twenty years, open durational alimony is presumed to terminate when the supporting spouse reaches full retirement age. This is a rebuttable presumption. The burden is on the dependent spouse to convince the court that alimony should be extended.
Even in marriages that only lasted a year, the court might decide that unusual circumstances, such as the chronic illness of the dependent spouse, require an extension of the duration of the alimony.
If a dependent spouse remarries, alimony payments automatically end. The supporting spouse is no longer obliged to continue making spousal support payments. This is true no matter which type of alimony was in effect.
Also, termination that occurs when the dependent spouse remarries is permanent. In other words, even if this new marriage ends in divorce, the original supporting spouse is no longer obliged to pay spousal support.
On the other hand, if the supporting spouse remarries, he or she must continue to make alimony payments.
See NJ Rev Stat § 2A:34-25 (2016): Termination of Alimony
As time goes on, a change in circumstances might lead to the need to reduce alimony payments if you are the supporting spouse or to have your payments increased if you are the dependent spouse. If both agree to the modification, then there is no problem. An agreement would be drawn and the two parties would sign it.
If one of them objects to the change, the party requesting the change must file a motion with the court. That motion must describe the change in circumstance. It must also show that the change was involuntary, permanent, substantial, and unanticipated.
These are some of possible situations that might lead someone to file a motion to modify or terminate spousal support:
Modification of alimony is another area that saw a change with the passage of the Alimony Reform Act. Before that time, if a supporting spouse filed a motion to reduce the amount of alimony, he or she had to prove that the change was necessary. With reform the burden of proof shifted to the dependent spouse, who must convince the Court that the reduction should not be granted.
If you need assistance with the termination or modification of alimony in New Jersey, contact Aretsky Law Group, P.C. Our seasoned divorce and family law attorneys will draft and file the necessary motions and will work vigorously to obtain favorable results.
See NJ Rev Stat § 2A:34-23 (2016): Alimony, maintenance remedies
Alimony is not awarded in every divorce. If your ex-spouse is seeking spousal support and you do not believe he or she is entitled to those payments, contact a qualified New Jersey divorce attorney.
See NJ Rev Stat § 2A:34-23 (2016): Alimony, maintenance
New Jersey courts do not follow a specific formula in calculating spousal support. Instead they consider various factors, which are detailed in New Jersey statutory law.
Since the Alimony Reform Act of 2014 went into effect, New Jersey courts must take these factors into consideration when determining the amount and duration of alimony:
Alimony payments are tax deductible for the supporting spouse, and income from alimony is taxable for the dependent spouse.Is it the Same for Child Support?
No, child support is not considered taxable income for the recipient; therefore, child-support payments are not tax deductible.
It stands to reason that the dependent spouse would prefer to receive more as child support and less as spousal support, and the supporting spouse would prefer to pay more as alimony and less as child support.Civil Unions and Alimony
In New Jersey, partners in a civil union may also be awarded alimony when the civil union is dissolved.
See NJ Rev Stat § 2A:34-24.1 (2016): Court-ordered support, maintenanceIs There Palimony in New Jersey?
Although the term is commonly used, palimony is not actually a legal term in New Jersey. However, if a couple residing in New Jersey were neither married nor in a civil union, and one partner agreed to support the other, the partner being promised support may be entitled to it after the relationship ends.
The first necessity is that the supporting partner promised to provide financial support or to share a home or other property.
If that is the case, then one of two conditions must be met:
S ee Maeker v. Ross | 99 A.3d 795 (2014). Court recognized the enforceability of a palimony agreement against a person who promised to provide future support to a partner with whom he shared a marital-like relationshipEnforcement of Alimony Payments
The first thing that must be done is to file a motion with the court. If you have hired an attorney, then he or she would file on your behalf.Remedies
Your attorney will ask for these and possibly other remedies:
The court may respond in several ways:
See NJ Rev Stat § 2A:34-24.1 (2016): Court-ordered support, maintenance
See NJ Rev Stat § 2A:34-26 (2016): Attachment of property.Call Us For Aggressive Representation in Alimony Cases
If your ex has failed to comply with court-ordered spousal support obligations, then the alimony attorneys at Aretsky Law Group, P.C., are there to fight for your rights. contact us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Whether you are the payee or the recipient, spousal support can have a lasting impact on your lifestyle after your divorce becomes final. The respected family-law attorneys at Aretsky Law Group, P.C., will analyze your case and determine which, if any, type of alimony the Court is likely to grant to either spouse.
If you already have an alimony agreement but believe a modification or a termination is warranted, our dedicated New Jersey alimony attorneys can help. Of course, we can also assist you if you want to fight a motion to modify or terminate your agreement.
We will work closely with you to help you understand your situation and to develop legal strategies to ensure spousal-support arrangements that meet your needs.
If you have questions about alimony or other divorce or family law matters, call us 24/7 at 800-537-4154 to schedule an initial consultation.