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Increasing or Decreasing Alimony Post Divorce

By Sarah Jacobs, Esq.

Alimony Modification Attorneys Morris County NJ

The duration of alimony usually does not exceed the length of the marriage and is decided on a case-by-case basis.

Alimony Modification Attorneys Morris County NJNew Jersey law states that, depending on need, an ex-spouse may be required to pay alimony or spousal support. In New Jersey, alimony is often awarded to limit any economic impacts of the divorce for the spouse who earns lower wages or none at all. The two primary reasons that a spouse would be obligated to pay alimony are to maintain the other’s standard of living or to support their process of becoming financially self-sufficient after the financial dependence that often occurs for one spouse during marriage. The duration of alimony usually does not exceed the length of the marriage and is decided on a case-by-case basis.

4 Types of Alimony

The four types of alimony are open durational alimony, rehabilitative alimony, limited durational alimony, or reimbursement alimony.

14 Factors of Alimony

According to the 2014 New Jersey Revised Statutes Section 2A: 34-23, there are fourteen factors that determine if a judgment of alimony is awarded in a divorce hearing are:

  1. financial need as well as the ability of spouses to pay
  2. the length of the marriage or civil union
  3. the physical and emotional health and age of the parties
  4. the established standard of living
  5. career earnings capacity
  6. the length of time the requesting spouse has been without work
  7. parental responsibilities of the spouses
  8. time and financial energies required to prepare the requesting spouse for work
  9. historical contributions to the marriage, both financial and non-financial
  10. equal distribution of property
  11. each person’s income and assets
  12. tax implications
  13. legal fees paid by and in support of either party
  14. additional relevant factors

After reaching an alimony settlement, there are several ways in which alimony can be paid, including a one-time buyout in lieu of ongoing payments, agreed upon by the recipient of the alimony; as well as property holdings in exchange for alimony payments.

Can Alimony be Increased or Decreased?

Can Alimony be Increased or Decreased?In short, yes. While alimony modification cases are always challenging for even experienced divorce attorneys, alimony may be increased (or decreased) under certain specific circumstances. If your lawyer can show a change of circumstances (along with the required evidence) alimony payments can be increased in the state of New Jersey.

Increasing Alimony

The factors that the court will consider before increasing an already established alimony award are as follows:

  • An increase in the cost of living
  • Increase or decrease in the supporting spouse’s income
  • Illness, disability or infirmity arising after the original judgment
  • Dependent spouses loss of housing
  • Changes in federal income tax law

Decreasing Alimony

There are also several reasons why a spousal support award may be decreased. In 2014, Governor Chris Christie signed the New Jersey Alimony Reform Act and, as part of the reform, made it easier to obtain reductions or terminations of alimony. Besides unemployment or retirement, there are specific other reasons why the original alimony arrangement can be lowered. Some of these include:

  • Supporting spouse suffers a serious illness or disability that affects your ability to pay
  • A significant increase in supported spouse’s income
  • Supported spouse remarries or begins living or cohabitating with a new partner
  • Economic hardship caused when supporting a spouse’s business fails
  • A substantial change in the compensation package from the supporting spouse’s employer
  • Other significant changes that affect supporting spouse’s ability to pay

Disability is one of the more common grounds for seeking a judgment to lower alimony. However, in order to qualify for this judgment, the disabled partner and their attorney need to demonstrate to the New Jersey Superior Court, Family Part, the following conditions of their status:

  • proof of medical treatment for their injury
  • proof that the disability renders the person incapable of procuring a job equal to that of their career profession
  • proof that the disability is permanent

As previously stated, seeking any modification to an existing alimony judgment is not easy you will need to have a qualified and experienced New Jersey attorney as your Advocate and guide through this often complicated and difficult process. However, if your case falls into any of the above-mentioned situations then you are well within your rights to seek a modification.

Contact Our Morristown Alimony Modification Attorneys Today

At The Law Offices of Jacobs Berger, our team of divorce attorneys brings extensive experience supporting our clients in Florham Park, Tewksbury, Randolph, Morristown, across Morris County or the surrounding areas in alimony modification proceedings.

Our attorneys are experienced in helping our clients maintain financial stability and gain the judgments they need to maintain the standard of living that they are accustomed to.

To speak with our firm today in a comprehensive assessment regarding your alimony modification, please visit the online form or through our Morristown offices by dialing (973) 710-4366 today regarding your alimony, or any other family law-related matter.

Contact Our Morristown Attorneys Today

At Jacobs Berger, our attorneys are experienced in protecting our clients across Madison, Randolph, Tewksbury, Morristown, and the greater Morris County area in all family law-related issues.

To schedule a strategic planning session with one of our experienced team members regarding your particular case, please contact us online or through our Morristown, NJ office at (973) 354-4506.