0

Understanding the Different Types of Alimony

The past four years have brought major changes to the New Jersey Alimony Laws. The interpretation of the law and how it is applied and argued in your case is crucial and can, and probably will affect your financial future. Many individuals may not realize however, that there are actually several types of alimony as outlined below:

Limited Duration Alimony:
This involves those situations in which alimony payments are made for a fixed period of time that cannot exceed the length of the marriage. Limited Duration Alimony in New Jersey is reserved for marriages that lasted less than 20 years. The amount of the alimony payments may be modified if a change in circumstances occurs. However, the terms are typically un-modifiable absent unusual circumstances.

Reimbursement Alimony
Reimbursement alimony is awarded when one spouse provides financial support to the other spouse thereby enabling that spouse to pursue a higher level of education. Reimbursement alimony may not be modified.

Rehabilitative Alimony
Rehabilitative alimony allows a financially dependent former spouse to receive alimony payments while undergoing training or education that will allow him or her to become more competitive in the job market. This type of alimony may include paying the cost of a training or educational program such as a new degree. It may be awarded in conjunction with other types of alimony.

Open Durational Alimony
Open duration alimony is awarded when the length of the marriage was twenty years or more and a former spouse has an unequal present or future earning capacity in comparison to the other spouse. Alimony payments may be modified if a substantial change in circumstances occurs. Examples of changes in circumstance include: remarriage, cohabitation, disability and retirement.

It is important to understand the different types of alimony and how they may or may not apply in your particular situation. For this reason, it is very important that you contact a family law attorney with experience handling cases involving each of these types of alimony.

Cherry Hill Divorce Lawyers at the Law Offices of Richard C. Klein, P.A. Can Help with Your Alimony Agreement

At the Law Offices of Richard C. Klein, we provide powerful advocacy and vast experience to protect your rights, and attain an alimony agreement that is fair and manageable. To learn more, complete our online contact form, or call (856) 544-9155. We are located in Marlton, New Jersey, and we work with clients from Mount Laurel, Moorestown, Cherry Hill, Voorhees, Medford, Haddonfield, Maple Shade, Marlton and throughout the state of New Jersey.

0

Alimony Modification

If your financial status changes or your needs change after a divorce settlement, you may find that the financial arrangement you agreed to does not work for you anymore. When this happens, you can ask the court for a modification of your order – although it can be a difficult and challenging process. If your standard of living has changed, and you can no longer maintain the standard of living you were meant to have when the original judgment was awarded, a qualified attorney can help to make things right.

Reasons to Reexamine an Alimony Judgment

There are many ways your financial picture can change. The following changes of circumstance may offer good cause to increase, decrease, or eliminate alimony in New Jersey:

  • Retirement
  • Reduced income or unemployment for either party
  • A substantial inheritance
  • A cost of living increase
  • Illness, disability, or infirmity
  • An increase in income by the person receiving alimony
  • The alimony recipient loses an apartment or a home
  • The party receiving alimony cohabitates in a “marriage-like” situation
The Burden of Proof is On You

If you request an alimony modification, you must be prepared to prove your case. You will need to demonstrate that your change of circumstances has “substantially impaired your ability to support yourself.” This is based on Lepis vs. Lepis, a 1980 Supreme Court case that set the standard for alimony judgment modification.

Cherry Hill Divorce Lawyers at the Law Offices of Richard C. Klein, P.A. Can Help with Alimony Modification

Life is always changing, and sometimes your finances change as well. If you need to make modifications to an alimony agreement, a can help. At the Law Offices of Richard C. Klein, we provide powerful advocacy and vast experience to protect your rights, and modify your alimony agreement to something that is fair and manageable. To learn more, complete our online contact form, or call (856) 544-9155. We are located in Marlton, New Jersey, and we work with clients from Mount Laurel, Moorestown, Cherry Hill, Maple Shade, and Marlton.

0

Gender Neutral Alimony – The Effect on Men Receiving Same

It has been approximately 30 years since the United States Supreme Court ruled against gender discrimination in alimony. However, there have been very few men who have benefited or stepped forward to talk about that entitlement.

The issue has been discussed primarily among celebrities or well known sports figures. In fact, during Joan Lunden’s divorce, the former television personality, when she was ordered to pay alimony to her husband of $18,000 per month in 1992 the question she asked was “Why the courts don’t tell a husband, who has been living off his wife, to go out and get a job is beyond my comprehension.”

This demonstrates the double standard that exists with regard to the perception rather than the reality of receiving alimony. The purpose of alimony is for both spouses to be able to maintain a standard of living as a result of the efforts of either spouse or both which accrued during the marriage. That has always been the underpinning of alimony awards to women and, as there have been societal changes it appears as though the acceptance of the reverse has become much more difficult.

Statistics demonstrate that fewer and fewer men are in fact rejecting any discussion of seeking alimony. In my particular practice, and particularly after the major change in our alimony laws in New Jersey, men do not appear to be ashamed of discussing the issue when there is a striking imbalance in income. Although in 2006 the percentage of men receiving alimony was only 3.6%, it is clear that that percentage has risen as more and more marriages feature a primary caretaker who is female.

In many modern marriages there is a joint decision for one party to help support the carrier advancement of the other spouse often times to one party’s detriment. It is analogous to a wife supporting a husband through medical school, internship and residency. It is obvious, that sacrifices are and can be made by either party. Oftentimes when this occurs based upon the lower income earner’s salary alone, they are unable to maintain a marital standard of living. Certainly, these men are often referred to as deadbeats and simply living off of their ex-wife. This is as far from the truth as a legitimate alimony award to any wife. The standard and analysis is and should be the same. As many feminists argue properly, “We can’t assert rights for women and say that men aren’t entitled to the same rights.”

Although many men don’t want alimony viewing it as an embarrassment, others do not have that issue and are willing to pursue the benefit. Unquestionably, many judges although well versed and understanding of the “gender-neutral” aspect of alimony are often times reluctant to provide the same type of award to a husband as would be given to a wife. It becomes the attorney’s responsibility to demonstrate what the standard of living was and the sacrifices made as well as the opportunity to earn on the part of the husband.

The bottom line is that more and more marriages involve women are highly successful and career oriented. How the marital lifestyle develops as a result of that success must be closely scrutinized by marital counsel.