How Will The Changes To Alimony Law Affect My Divorce
How will the changes to alimony law affect my divorce?
Whether it was to stay home with the children, to pursue further education or for any other number of reasons, if you did not work during the course of your marriage, it is understandable that you may be worried about your future finances after a divorce. Typically, if one spouse was financially supported by the other, they are usually entitled to some type of spousal support, otherwise known as alimony. However, don’t take note of how alimony was awarded after a friend or family member’s divorce, as New Jersey recently made significant changes to how alimony is handled.
We last discussed the possibility of changing alimony laws on July 7, 2014 in “Big changes may be coming to alimony after divorce.” Since then, the law officially took place in Sept. 2014. This move toward changing how alimony works was apparently intended to reshape the law toward more modern families.
The changes seek to make alimony more fair and equal for both men and women, as — unlike in previous years — women are typically more capable of becoming financially independent in once male-dominated careers. The law no longer assumes that a divorcing couple has a male worker and female caretaker, but instead initially assumes that both parties will ultimately be responsible for their own financial security. However, this does not mean that alimony will not be granted, which may be a concern to fathers or mothers who chose to stay at home with the kids during their marriage.
While there may be some positives to the new alimony law, others in New Jersey have raised concerns. If the spouse receiving alimony moves in with somebody else, even if they are not married, a judge retains the right to alter or cancel an alimony payment. For those who are simply seeking a roommate to help spread their money a little farther, this could be a serious concern. When determining alimony in a divorce, whether one partner stayed home or was vastly out-earned by the other, these new laws should be carefully considered before proceeding.
Source: northjersey.com, “Reforms to N.J.’s alimony law aim to keep up with the times“, Kibret Markos, Sept. 26, 2014