New Jerseys Alimony Debate Continues Over Proposed Changes

New Jersey’s alimony debate continues over proposed changes

We have previously written that New Jersey’s alimony laws are a subject of much debate, and that critics of the laws are currently working to change them. Unsurprisingly, the proposed changes are also a matter of much debate and controversy.

One of the biggest goals of alimony reform advocates is to do away with permanent alimony. They would also like to establish clear-cut guidelines to direct judges on which type of alimony to award in each case and for how long. Other types of alimony under current New Jersey law include rehabilitative alimony, limited-duration alimony and reimbursement alimony.

The proposed guidelines would basically base alimony duration on the length of a marriage. For a marriage that lasted five years or less, the maximum duration of alimony would be half the length of the marriage (calculated in months). For marriages between five years and 10 years, alimony duration would be capped at 60 percent of the marriage’s length. Longer marriages (more than 20 years) would have alimony awards based largely on the court’s discretion.

The full details of New Jersey’s current laws as well as the proposed changes are too numerous and complicated to discuss in this blog. Suffice it to say that there are plenty of smart people on either side of the debate, and there will be critics regardless of whether or not new laws are implemented.

New Jersey alimony laws may be in flux over the next few years. Therefore, if you are currently going through a divorce or plan to do so in the near future, please check with an experienced family law attorney to get the most up-to-date information on how your case may be affected.

Source: My Central Jersey, “Opponents of proposed alimony law changes say ‘cookie-cutter approach’ won’t work,” MaryLynn Schiavi, Jan. 13, 2014


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