Alimony reform has come to New Jersey.
Governor Christie has executed a bill overhauling alimony in New Jersey.
The law does, at least in part, answer questions as to when or if permanent or "indefinite" alimony may be awarded.
Often times, litigants who have been married 10 to 20 years didn't know whether they were entitled to or obligated to pay "permanent" alimony. The new law answers that question by removing the word "permanent" from the statute and indicating that only marriages in excess of 20 years may result in "indefinite" awards.
This means that 15 year marriages would, perhaps, no longer merit a "permanent" award.
Under the change, alimony for marriages lasting less than 20 years would be paid for no longer than the duration of the marriage.
The law specifically reads that for any marriage of less than 20 years in duration, the total duration of alimony shall not, " except in exceptional circumstances," exceed the length of the marriage.
However, how "exceptional circumstances" will be defined is yet unknown and will seemingly be answered on a case by case basis.
For other components of the new alimony law click on link below:
The attorneys at The Law Offices of O'Toole and Gunteski, LLC are available to answer your questions.