Big Changes May Be Coming To Alimony After Divorce

A recent bill intended to overhaul the current alimony system only has a single hurdle to jump before coming into law — the governor’s signature. After the bill was drafted, it didn’t take long before it cleared both the New Jersey Assembly and the Senate. While previously divorced couples may not be affected should these changes become law, individuals who divorce in the future can expect to see significant changes related to alimony.

Though the bill was drafted and moved forward at a quick pace, an individual involved with the bill asserted that the changes had been discussed and negotiated for more than two years. He even likened the process to an actual divorce, saying that, though they arrived at a compromise, not everyone was entirely satisfied with the outcome. There has been mixed feedback to the new bill.

Some of these changes include a time limit on alimony for marriages that didn’t make it to 20 years. Couples that divorce before the 20-year mark probably shouldn’t expect alimony to last any longer than the marriage did, although a judge might decide that certain exceptional circumstances can prolong the payments. Additionally, if the alimony payer loses their job and is out of work for more than three months, the payments may be reduced.

Even certain wording is getting a makeover, with permanent alimony being renamed to open durational alimony. While some appear to be quite pleased with the changes that are likely to be put into law very soon, others have expressed that these changes might not be the right direction to take. Despite any feelings concerning the potential upcoming changes, those proceeding with a divorce in New Jersey should take note of the possibility that alimony may be changing and move forward with that in mind.

Source:, “Bill to change NJ’s alimony law heads to Christie“, Matt Friedman, June 30, 2014


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