When Can my Alimony Agreement be Terminated?
After a divorce, many former spouses enter into some form of alimony agreement. Alimony is determined based on a litany of factors, but has no hard and fast rules which govern set amounts. Similarly, how and when to terminate alimony agreements is a legal grey area, with a number of considerations coming into play. Today, our divorce and family law attorneys will identify the different types of alimony, how each may be terminated, and what changes in circumstance can lead to a successful alimony modification or termination.
Morris County, NJ Alimony Termination Lawyers Identify Alimony Arrangements
There are several different types of alimony agreement available to couples in New Jersey. Dependent on the nature of your agreement, your Morris County alimony termination lawyer may recommend a different route to alimony termination. The five possible types of alimony agreements are:
- Open duration alimony – an arrangement with no set termination date. Reserved for marriages which lasted 20 or more years
- Limited duration alimony – the most common form of alimony in NJ, limited duration is similar to open duration with the addition of a set termination date
- Temporary or Pendente Lite alimony – during divorce proceedings, spouses may enter into temporary alimony agreement between the date either party files for divorce and the date the divorce is finalized
- Reimbursement alimony – a type of alimony agreement which awards the financial, career, or educational sacrifice of a spouse during a marriage
- Rehabilitative alimony – meant as a way for a defendant spouse to get back on their feet as a financially independent individual
What are the Legal Grounds for Alimony Termination in New Jersey?
There are three guaranteed ways for an existing alimony agreement to be terminated in New Jersey. As per New Jersey Revised Statutes 2A:34-25 – termination of alimony:
- An alimony payee remarries or enters into a civil union. This only applies to open duration and limited duration alimony agreements. While it is possible to terminate rehabilitative or reimbursement alimony on the basis of re-marriage, this action is less common
- Either alimony payor or payee dies
- Your alimony agreement reaches it’s set termination date or your balance is paid in full. For non-open duration agreements, both parties may agree to “settle” your alimony agreement and pay off the balance early
Chester Alimony Modification Attorneys Discuss Changed Circumstances
In addition to the three items above, it may be possible for your Chester alimony modification attorney to successfully modify or even terminate an existing alimony agreement based on a significant change in circumstance. Essentially, alimony agreements are entered into based on the current personal and financial standing of both parties. However, both your and your former partner’s situation may change dramatically in the following years. If either party undergoes a changed circumstance, your agreement may be eligible for modification or termination. Potential changed circumstances may include:
- Loss of employment
- Becoming seriously ill or developing a disability
- Receiving a major promotion and/or pay raise
- Receiving significant assets through an inheritance or other means
- And so on
For example, let’s say a former married couple is in an open duration alimony agreement where the former husband owes $500 per month. This was primarily based on the pay difference between the two parties. The former husband made $100,000 annually and the former wife made $45,000. However, the former wife’s career took off, and she now has a higher salary than the former husband. In this situation, a qualified attorney could almost certainly successfully terminate their existing alimony agreement.
Contact our Morristown Alimony Termination Attorneys Today
The alimony modification and termination attorneys of Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark take pride in serving clients form local Morris County communities including Morristown, Mendham, Chester, Chatham, Harding, Morris Township, and all of Northern New Jersey. Our firm practices family law exclusively, allowing us to focus on the issues which matter most to our clients. We believe in offering alternatives to litigation based conflict resolution including mediation. Our qualified and experienced attorneys seek creative legal solutions to help our clients avoid the many personal, financial, and emotional stresses of the family law and divorce process.
To learn more about how you can terminate an existing alimony agreement or any other family law matter, please contact us online or call our Morristown office by dialing (973) 828-0829 today for a free and confidential consultation.