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New Jersey considering change in alimony laws

New Jersey is joining several other states in their mission to revise current alimony laws. Massachusetts has already made significant reforms to its alimony laws, and Florida attempted to reform its alimony bill, but it was recently vetoed by the state's governor. Legislation is being pushed in New York, and New Jersey is also publicly contemplating changes. Some of these states are considering using special formulas to determine how much alimony should be allocated and for how long.

Alimony is monetary support that one spouse may be court-ordered to provide for another spouse. These funds may provide another spouse with a low amount of income to help them pay for their own living expenses. State laws determine how much alimony should be paid for how long. However, family court judges also have discretion in making these determinations. One of the main components of alimony that proponents are attempting to reform is the existence of permanent alimony, which may make a spouse be required to provide support to the other spouse for the rest of his or her life. Proponents for reform say that it is only fair to provide alimony for a limited, specified period of time rather than as a life-long "sentence" of financial obligation.

However, some individuals are opposed to reforming existing alimony laws. They say that stay-at-home parents may become disadvantaged because they gave up their careers to support their spouse and children and may be unable to find employment after years out of the workforce.

New Jersey family law attorneys may help people who are going through divorce or separation with resolving issues like alimony. They may be able to draft a petition for alimony on behalf of one spouse or seek modifications of an existing alimony order.

Source:, "Is This the End of Alimony?", Cheryl Lock, July 01, 2013

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