Are My Alimony Payments Affected by the New Law?
In September, Gov. Christie had signed an act that reformed the way alimony is distributed to divorcing parties in New Jersey. The new law had replaced the permanent alimony option with an “open durational alimony,” which means alimony ends when the couple reaches retirement age. In addition, the law has made it clear that alimony payments for couples who have been married for less than 20 years cannot exceed the length of the marriage.
The new law is only applied to those currently divorcing or those planning to divorce in the future. However, the new law has brought some confusion to the New Jersey Supreme Court. The justices are having some trouble meshing the new law’s definition of long-term and short-term marriages. The case before the court involves a divorced couple. They had been married for 15 years. The wife had given up her job in order to take care of the couple’s children. When the couple divorced, the judge had called the marriage long-term and had awarded the wife alimony. However, the ruling was appealed and the case has now found its way to the Supreme Court. Since the couple was only married for 15 years, the new law states that their marriage was short-term, not long-term. So how will this affect the alimony? This means the wife is only eligible for alimony payments for up to 15 years. But the couple is already divorced, can the new law affect them? In this case, it can since they are still in litigation.
If you were awarded permanent alimony in the past, be aware that the new law does not affect your case. You will still receive payments for your lifetime. But if you appeal your award, can you fall under the new law? That’s for an experienced divorce attorney to decide.
If you are going through a divorce, you’re going to need some legal advice. For 26 years, the Law Offices of Anthony Carbone has been fighting for the rights of his clients. Contact us today for a free consultation. For more information on the rights of parents going through a divorce, download our free ebook today.