What is alimony?

New Jersey has been discussing alimony reform and has recently passed a new law, according to an NJ.com article from June 30, 2014. Alimony, also referred to as spousal maintenance or support, is awarded by a judge as a court order. In New Jersey, the order can have unlimited duration making it permanent. Some view this as a difficult financial burden. In some divorce cases, spousal support is given to one spouse if he or she earns substantially less than the other spouse (or does not earn any money at all). The traditional argument for alimony states that if a spouse gave up his or her career to take care of the family, the children and the house, and then is getting a divorce, then he or she should receive money for his or her contribution to the marriage, an economic partnership.

What is alimony reform?

The new alimony law has to be signed into law by Governor Christie. The law, which sped through the state Senate and Assembly, includes four major provisions. (I) Alimony can only last the length of a marriage for marriages under 20 years. (II) If the recipient of the spousal support moves in with someone, then a judge can cancel all future spousal support payments. (III) If the ex-spouse paying the alimony is unemployed for at least 90 days, then the amount of alimony owed can be lowered by the court. (IV) “Permanent alimony” will now be called “open durational alimony.”

Who supports the new law?

There is a variety of people and organizations that support the law, and there are those who oppose it. The law was a compromise. For example, some wanted a formula to be drawn up to determine alimony. Others preferred giving the judge more discretion, for example.

Jayson Lutzky, P.C.

The law office of Jayson Lutzky, P.C. represents people in New York State divorce cases, both uncontested and contested, and in family matters, including those involving spousal maintenance. The lawyer offers free in person consultations. He has over 30 years of experience practicing law and helping New Yorkers. Call 718-514-6619 to set up a confidential no-obligation appointment. Visit www.MyNewYorkCityLawyer.com for more resources.