Divorce can definitely be a welcomed new beginning, but some lawmakers and divorced parties in New Jersey believe that alimony laws in the state make getting that new beginning too expensive and stressful.
Alimony laws vary from state to state. In some areas around the country, seeking what is called a legal modification of spousal support is a routine, relatively common family law process. Especially in an economy like today’s, people’s incomes are not as high as they used to be; therefore, they ask the court to decrease the amount that they owe in support to reflect their current earnings.
In New Jersey, however, it is reportedly not as simple to get a court to approve a modification of alimony. Here, we have what is called lifetime alimony. If a couple is married for 10 years or more before they divorce, the party who earns less individually is entitled to a significant share of their ex’s income. But some critics ask whether that setup should remain unchanged forever.
New Jersey is no different than any other state with a struggling job market and economy. So why shouldn’t it be easier for divorced parties who are making less today to challenge the amount that they were ordered to pay their ex years ago, when they were making much more money?
The president/founder of New Jersey Alimony Reform and a state senator are working to change the controversial alimony laws in the state. They see people struggling to pay their bills and keep their homes due to the alimony that they owe to an ex but can’t truly afford to pay anymore. These people include those who are earning less due to the economy, those who are retired, those who have had to spend much of their money due to medical problems, etc.
The man behind New Jersey Alimony Reform claims that when he was divorced, the judge said, “It’s not fair, but it’s the law,” with regards to lifetime alimony. He and the other critics of the law believe that alimony is definitely an important right to protect. But they also believe that people deserve a law that is fair.
Fox News: “New Jersey lawmaker looks to update alimony rules after advocacy group claims lifetime punishment,” Leah Krakinowski, Jan. 11, 2012