A little over a year ago, Governor Chris Christie signed the New Jersey Alimony Reform Act, introducing significant changes to the spousal support laws in the state. The legislation was prospective, applying only to individuals without a final divorce judgment on the day of enactment, or anyone with a legitimate claim to modify an alimony order on the effective date of the statute.
How the Alimony Reform Act Changes Past Practice
The law contained a number of important revisions to spousal maintenance in New Jersey:
- Under the statute, alimony can be suspended or terminated if the recipient cohabitates with another person, whether or not they are married to that person
- There’s a rebuttable presumption in the new law that alimony ends when the party paying reaches age 67
- The Alimony Reform Act allows judges to reduce spousal support obligations if a payer is without employment for 90 days or more
- For marriages that ended within 20 years, spousal support cannot be paid for a period longer than the marriage itself
- There’s no longer such a thing as “permanent alimony.” Alimony may be referred to as “open durational alimony”, or it may be considered rehabilitative, for a period of time until the beneficiary becomes self sufficient.
Under the new law, though, the court can still consider a variety of factors when determining whether alimony is warranted, such as the length of the marriage, the age and health of the parties, the needs of the recipient and the ability of the other spouse to pay, and the division of marital assets.
Contact the New Jersey Divorce Lawyers of Lyons & Associates, PC
At Lyons & Associates, PC, we bring a high level of personalized service and attention to men and women in New Jersey. For a confidential consultation, contact us by e-mail or call our office at 908-575-9777.