Alimony That Started After 2014
The latest law was enacted in 2014 and applies to all alimony obligations entered into following the law’s effective date. Under the law, when the alimony payor reaches retirement age as defined by federal Social Security law (currently, age 67 for anyone born 1960 or later), there is a rebuttable presumption that alimony should terminate. The party receiving alimony can rebut the presumption by showing good cause based on a number of factors, including:
- The parties’ ages when they married, when they divorced, and now
- The recipient spouse’s financial dependency during the marriage
- How long and how much alimony has been paid to date
- The health of each party
- Assets, income, and other financial circumstances of each party
- Whether the recipient is also at retirement age
If the judge is convinced there is good cause to overcome the presumption in favor of termination, the judge will weigh the same factors that were considered when entering the original alimony order to evaluate whether the alimony award should be modified or terminated. Importantly, even if the presumption in favor of termination is overcome, the paying party might still obtain modification or even termination of alimony based on all the relevant factors.
If the paying spouse is retiring before reaching the federal retirement age, then they must prove that the retirement is reasonable and made in good faith, based on a series of factors including those listed above, the current ages of each party, and whether the recipient should have provided for their own retirement.
Alimony Started Prior to 2014
If an alimony award was entered before the enactment of the new law in 2014, then whatever terms were entered by the court or the parties at the time will govern. Absent language to the contrary, retirement at full retirement age will be presumptively deemed good faith and the moving party must show that modification or termination is appropriate in light of the financial circumstances of each party and other relevant factors.
Advice and Representation for New Jersey Child Custody Matters
If you’re considering divorce in New Jersey or dealing with child support, child custody, property division, or other family law issues, contact the Englewood family law attorneys Herbert & Weiss at (201) 500-2151.