Do I Need to Pay Alimony if I’m on Disability?
It is rare that a spouse who is on disability would end up paying alimony. These payments are meant as spousal support, and it seems hard to believe that someone who cannot work would have to support someone else who is capable of supporting themselves. Still, there are some ways that disability can affect your divorce agreement and other things that you should understand before you finalize anything. Our Morris County, NJ alimony and spousal support lawyers can look at your unique situation and tell you what you need to know.
Will I Receive Alimony from My Former Spouse?
You probably will not have to pay alimony if you are on disability. However, do not be so sure that you will get alimony from your former spouse. It is definitely a possibility given the probable gulf between your income and ability to earn, but these are not the only factors a court can consider when deciding if alimony is going to be paid out and to whom.
The length of your marriage, the standard of living established during the marriage, and any individual assets possessed by both spouses can be considered along with some other important components before alimony agreements can be reached. These agreements can also be modified later on, so this is something important to keep in mind.
Can an Alimony Agreement Be Modified If a Spouse Goes on Disability?
New Jersey does allow modifications to an alimony agreement. You just need to show that there has been a “change of circumstances” that affects someone’s ability to pay. Getting hurt and taking disability payments often qualifies.
If you are the one who gets hurt and begins taking SSDI payments, know that you have to have a doctor be your witness in the divorce proceeding and that they need to say why you cannot seek employment. Medical records and test results are often not enough on their own to convince the court that this alimony agreement needs to change. If the court is convinced that you are no longer able to work in the same capacity, your agreement can be modified.
Can I Be Forced to Pay Alimony Out of My Social Security Disability Insurance?
In some cases, yes. If you do begin to take SSDI payments and change the alimony agreement, you could still owe money to your spouse. Your SSDI payments actually can be garnished to pay back child support or alimony. So it is important to keep track of your finances and prepare for this kind of situation if you prepare to take disability payments.
Talk to Our Legal Team Today
If you have any more questions about alimony and the divorce process, schedule that consultation with Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark. We can answer any questions that you have and help you protect your interests.