Articles Posted in Alimony & Spousal Support

With New Jersey’s Alimony Reform Act of September 2014, the burden of proof in showing why alimony should or should not end with retirement shifted from the payor to the recipient. Before that date the payor had to show why alimony should end at retirement. After that date, it became the recipient’s burden to prove that alimony should not end at full retirement age. The Alimony Reform Act also made it possible for New Jersey courts to consider prospective retirement as well as actual retirement as a reason to terminate or modify alimony.

One of the reasons cited for the change was to give supporting spouses the ability to determine what their financial situation will be upon retirement before making a final decision on when to retire. However, the meaning of the term “prospective retirement” was left open to interpretation.

In April 2016 the concept of “prospective retirement” came before Judge Jones of the Ocean County Superior Court, Family Part, when the case Mueller v. Mueller was brought before him.

According to a decision published by the New Jersey Appellate Division in September 2016, a couple’s habit of saving regularly should be taken into consideration when determining alimony.

For many years, New Jersey case law has recognized that a savings component of alimony is sometimes necessary in order to protect the dependent spouse. Including enough in alimony so that the recipient can save some of the alimony each month, allows that spouse to build up a safety net in case the spousal support stops or decreases.

Lombardi v. Lombardi

NJ alimonyAlimony Modification in New Jersey

Suppose that for the past three years you have been receiving a certain amount per week in alimony. Next suppose that your ex-husband loses the job he held for twelve years. Further assume that he accepts a lower-paying job.

Now imagine that you are the one who has been making the payments. You lost a job that you held for years and after a difficult search, you are offered a job that pays a lot less than you had been earning. You might feel as though you are in a no-win situation. If you accept the lower-paying job, you may be criticized for not trying harder to get a job more comparable to your previous one. On the other hand, if you refuse that job and do not get another offer of employment in a timely manner, you might be admonished for not accepting the first opportunity.

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