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New Jersey lawmakers pass new alimony bill

When couples decide to end their marriage, various decisions need to be made. In addition to making their individual decisions regarding the divorce settlement, couples must deal with the impact of state laws on how certain issues are handled. When it comes to alimony, state laws can limit the length of time a spouse can receive spousal support following a divorce.

Lawmakers in New Jersey recently passed legislation that would limit the duration of alimony payments. The advocates of this legislation believe that this would result in a more fair divorce. The new alimony law states that the duration of alimony payments cannot exceed the length of the marriage. Furthermore, payments of spousal support would terminate when the payor of alimony reaches retirement age, which is currently 67 years old.

The new bill will not apply retroactively to the divorce orders already existing in the state. It will, however, affect those seeking a divorce or those that are currently contesting their divorce settlements. Those who currently enjoy permanent alimony most likely will not be affected by the new legislation either, but if either ex-spouse contests the current arrangement or seeks modification, the new legislation could affect how the issue is resolved.

Those dealing with alimony issues should understand their full financial situation. This is especially true if they seek to modify the payments. Whether they seek to increase or decrease the amount paid each month, modification is often ordered if there is a substantial change in circumstances. This is often due to a change in one's financial resources or income.

Divorcing spouses or divorced spouses dealing with alimony issues should understand how this new law could affect them. Furthermore, they should seek independent advice about how they can address this issue and how it could affect them in the future. This could provide them with the information needed to take appropriate action.

Source: The Inquirer, "N.J. lawmakers pass bill to limit alimony payments," Andrew Seidman, July 2, 2014

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