Length of New Jersey Alimony Payments

Length of New Jersey Alimony Payments

Recent changes in spousal support legislation have changed the length of New Jersey alimony payments. Now, an individual no longer has to pay permanent alimony and instead is expected to pay open durational alimony. These changes can have vast implications for those currently going through a divorce. If you want to know more about alimony, consult an adept spousal support lawyer that can advocate for you.

Open Durational Alimony

This law regarding the length of New Jersey alimony payments did change in 2014 in order to limit the legal basis for permanent spousal support. It is a new concept for the courts to consider. Previously, for marriages that were lasting over 20 years in duration, there used to be permanent alimony, meaning that alimony would continue up until the death of that spouse, even after the payor retired.

However, in 2014, the statute was redefined to say that there is no longer permanent alimony. Instead, it states that for a marriage of civil union that is less than 20 years in duration, the term of alimony shall not exceed the length of the marriage and that the permanent alimony was now considered open durational alimony. Open durational alimony means that there is a presumption that alimony will terminate upon the retirement of the payor.

Since the national retirement age is currently 67 years old and that is when an individual can receive full benefits under Social Security, the court can usually set the termination date at 67 years old. Even if an individual has had a long-term marriage, if the payor reaches that retirement age and they are retired, their alimony obligations would be vacated and they no longer will have to be responsible for making that alimony payment.

Alimony Buyouts

Alimony payments made in a lump sum are considered as alimony buyouts and all of their property has to be divided. They are also a way to make irrelevant the issue of the length of New Jersey alimony payments. Depending on the length of their marriage, their large assets would be a house, retirement assets and whether or not alimony is going to be issued, are huge financial implications.

If there is alimony with a proposed alimony buyout, in essence, one party will pay another party a lump sum to cover some sort of equitable distribution. This could cover just the alimony portion or it could be done in a negotiation of covering some of the other equitable distributions such as the retirement assets or the house.

Defined Alimony Period

A divorce is a lot of negotiation going back and forth with regards to what is appropriate for the parties and how they want to divide their assets and the life that they built together. If they find that an alimony buyout or a lump sum payment is appropriate, then the court is not going to object to that either. What they have to consider in terms of the alimony lump sum payment is that if an individual is supposed to be paying, $10,000 a year for ten years, it is not $100,000 that goes to that individual.

That $100,000 does not just go to that receiving spouse, but has to be tax deducted. The Tax Code states that the paying spouse deducts that amount from their annual gross income and the receiving spouse has to add that amount to their annual gross income. It is important to make sure that it has a tax tacked on it so it is not $100,000 going to one spouse.

That is a typical situation where an individual is paying alimony during the defined alimony period on a weekly basis, a monthly basis, or a bi-weekly basis because people typically do not have $100,000 laying around in their bank account to pay off the other spouse. That is how periodic alimony payments are paid through the duration of the alimony payment period.

Value of a New Jersey Alimony Attorney

A skilled New Jersey spousal support attorney can be an invaluable asset during the alimony process. Your attorney can answer any questions you have about the length of New Jersey alimony payments, how alimony payment amounts are determined, and so on. If you need help navigating the alimony process, consult an alimony lawyer today.


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