A Guide to Alimony in New Jersey (Part 2)

In the first part of the article titled “A Guide to Alimony in New Jersey,” we discussed the meaning of alimony, the different types of alimony in New Jersey, and how alimony is calculated in New Jersey. In this second part of the article, “A Guide to Alimony in New Jersey,” we discuss some more crucial things you should know about Alimony in NJ. 

How is Alimony Paid in New Jersey?

In New Jersey, it is up to the court to decide how one party should pay alimony to the other. Depending on the specifics of the case, the court may order the paying party to make a lump sum payment or periodic payments. Receiving or paying alimony in a lump sum might sound like a good option, but this option has its downside. If the court orders alimony to be paid in a lump sum, neither party can request a modification in the future.

If the court orders periodic payments, high chances are the payments will be made through an income withholding order to the payer’s employer.  

Suppose the payer is self-employed, or there are signs that they may fail to make payments. In such a case, and if deemed appropriate, the court may order the payer to establish a trust fund or another type of security to ensure the receiving party gets what is rightfully theirs.

Alimony Modification in New Jersey

A lot of things can happen after alimony has been awarded. Certain life changes can necessitate modifying alimony. Fortunately, New Jersey law allows either party to request alimony modification unless a written agreement explicitly states that parties cannot request a modification. If a party’s financial situation changes substantially, alimony can be modified. Examples of situations that can warrant alimony modification include the following;

  • Substantial involuntary reduction in income
  • Substantial increase in income
  • Remarriage
  • Increase in the cost of living
  • Major health issue that affects earning ability

Cohabitation Can End Alimony

If you are paying or receiving alimony, you should keep in mind that cohabitation can be grounds for terminating alimony. Cohabitation is defined as an intimate relationship that is mutually supportive. Cohabiting entails taking on duties or privileges associated with the formalities of a marriage or civil union. The following are some of the factors courts consider when determining if a couple is cohabiting;

  • Does the couple have joint bank accounts?
  • Does the couple share living expenses?
  • Is the couple recognized as a serious couple?
  • Does the couple live together?
  • Does the couple share household chores?

NJ Bars Certain People from Receiving Alimony

Finally, you should know that certain people cannot receive alimony in New Jersey. According to N.J. Statutes section 2A:34-23(i), if a spouse has been convicted of murder, criminal homicide, manslaughter, or aggravated assault, they cannot receive alimony if the offense resulted in death or severe injuries to a family member of a divorcing spouse and the offense happened after the marriage. Also, if someone was found guilty of conspiracy to commit murder, they can’t receive alimony from the individual who was the target.

Contact a New Jersey Family Lawyer

If you have any questions about alimony in New Jersey, contact our qualified New Jersey family lawyer at The Trabosh Law Firm. 

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