Alimony Modification and Appeals Attorney Union County NJ
New Jersey law states that, depending on need, an ex-spouse may be required to pay spousal support or alimony.
In the State of New Jersey, alimony is awarded for the purpose of limiting the often dramatic economic effects of divorce on the spouse who earns a lower wage or none at all. Generally, the duration of alimony does not exceed the length of the marriage however this is decided on a case-by-case basis.
Alimony is usually deemed “rehabilitative,” meaning it is ordered for only so long as is necessary for the recipient spouse to receive training and become self-supporting. If the divorce decree doesn’t specify a spousal support termination date, the payments must continue until the court orders otherwise.
The two most common reasons that a spouse may be obligated to pay alimony are 1) to maintain the other’s standard of living or 2) support their process of becoming financially self-sufficient after a period of financial dependence that often exists in marriages.
Types of Alimony in the state of New Jersey
Alimony falls into four types: open durational alimony, rehabilitative alimony, limited durational alimony, or reimbursement alimony.
The New Jersey Revised Statutes Section 2A: 34-23, list 14 factors that determine the amount and duration of any judgment of alimony awarded in a divorce hearing:
- Financial need and ability of spouses to pay
- The length of the marriage or civil union
- The physical and emotional health and age of the parties
- The standard of living that was enjoyed by the spouses during the marriage
- Career earnings capacity
- The length of time the requesting spouse has been without work
- Parental responsibilities
- The amount of time and financial energies required to prepare the requesting spouse for work
- Historical contributions to the marriage, both financial and non-financial
- Equitable distribution of property
- Each person’s income and assets
- Any and all tax implications
- Legal fees paid by and in support of either party
- Any additional relevant factors
Upon reaching an alimony settlement, there are a number of ways in which alimony can be paid, including a one-time buyout instead of ongoing payments, agreed upon by the recipient of the alimony; as well as property holdings in exchange for alimony payments.
What happens in cases where the paying spouse is permanently injured or loses their capacity to pay?
After a family law court awards alimony to a spouse, it sometimes happens that the partner ordered to pay alimony experiences a serious enough injury or disability to render them unable to work. This often puts them in a situation of limited income and thus unable to pay the ordered alimony determined after divorce. In such cases, the disabled partner and their attorney need to demonstrate to the New Jersey Superior Court, Family Part the following conditions of their status:
- Evidence of medical treatment for their injury
- Evidence that the disability renders the person incapable of procuring a job equal to that of their career profession
- proof that the disability is permanent
New Jersey divorce law states that, in the presence of evidence that a party no longer has the financial capacity to pay alimony to their ex-spouse, a reduction or termination of the court-ordered alimony is feasible.
Alimony can also be terminated automatically if certain circumstances and conditions arise. For example, alimony may automatically terminate if the spouse receiving payments:
- Cohabitates with another (which means they move in with a new significant other)
- Becomes financially independent or self-supporting
Get in Touch with a Union Alimony Attorney Today
If you or someone you know is under a court order to pay alimony and has suffered an injury or disability that restricts their capacity to pay, or your or their spouse who receives payments falls into one of the above-mentioned categories that can determine termination of payments, you should contact an experienced family law attorney today. An experienced attorney will guide you through the next steps in appealing to the New Jersey Superior Court, Family Part, for a reduction or termination of alimony obligations.
At Attorney Edward S. Cooper Firm, our divorce attorneys are experienced in providing our clients across Linden, Elizabeth, Scotch Plains, Westfield, Plainfield, and across Union County. the necessary support to ensure settlement in the area of alimony and spousal support. This includes petitions for modification or termination.
If you would like to schedule a consultation with a member of our team today regarding an alimony award, please contact us online or through our Linden office at (908) 481-4625.