Newark, NJ-The subject of alimony is a touchy one if you happen to be the spouse ordered to the pay. At the inception, alimony was a way to assure, that in the event of divorce, a lesser earning spouse would not be thrust into poverty. But some people believe the country’s alimony are skewed and out of date.
Last week in New Jersey, legislators passed a bill, changing the way alimony is awarded and how long it must be paid. The legislation is heading to Gov. Christie’s desk for his signature, but it is unclear if he plans to veto or will allow the law to be enacted. Some of those who once lobbied for the law change are now trying to convince Christie to veto, according to NJ.com.
One of the biggest complaints about the state’s divorce law was the concept of lifetime alimony was addressed in the new legislation. Under the new law, for a marriage lasting 20 years of less, the duration of alimony cannot exceed the length of a couple’s relationship unless a judge rules otherwise.
Another criticism of the New Jersey’s alimony law was that it allowed an estranged spouse to receive alimony payments even when they were living with a new person and no longer needed the support. Under the new law, alimony payments will cease once the receiving spouse has moved in with a new partner, regardless of whether they are married or not.
If the legislation is passed, it would effectively end lifetime alimony payments for couples, who divorce in the future, unless ordered by a judge or the arrangement was decided prior to the law’s enactment. Once the spouse reaches retirement age, they will no longer be required to pay.
Some of the people who fought for the new law are unhappy with the legislation because, as the Jersey Journal’s Joan Quigley pointed out, the law won’t apply retroactively, only to future cases. Detractors are also concerned judges have too much power to decide how much and for how long alimony is awarded.
The law, however, would not affect how child support is determined or awarded.
Alimony is awarded based on a number of factors, which include the financial needs, obligations and resources of both spouses. When determining alimony, judges consider the earning capacity of each spouse, the duration of their marriage and the reason a couple’s marriage broke down.
For a spouse who devoted their life to their husband, children and household, while putting their career on hold, alimony is way to assure they have the financial support necessary to move on with their lives. Getting the appropriate amount of alimony can be difficult without the help of a divorce attorney.
A divorce can dramatically change a person’s economic situation, many times for the worse. When you retain one of our outstanding divorce attorneys, you can have confidence knowing a legal expert is working on your behalf to lessen the adverse economic impact of your divorce.