Should lifetime alimony be awarded in a New Jersey divorce? | Lane & Lane, LLC
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Should lifetime alimony be awarded in a New Jersey divorce?

Many New Jersey residents no doubt know the emotional toll that a divorce can take due to either personal experience or through watching a friend or family member go through one. Of course, the emotional toll may be mostly due to the stress of enduring the court process rather than the divorce, and the person may well be left in a better position after the court process ends. However, a divorce can also take a financial toll, which is where the issue of alimony arises.

Alimony is often helpful when one spouse makes substantially less than the other spouse. Through alimony, a sudden drop in income, and thus in quality of living, may be avoided. However, alimony reform has entered the news a lot recently, and one group has formed here in New Jersey to argue in favor of changing the current laws.

Presently in New Jersey, a judge is able to award lifetime alimony, which strikes some as unfair. In one case, a man who had received support from his ex-wife while he got his Ph.D. and then subsequently helped her in turn was nonetheless ordered to pay her lifetime alimony. This was true even though his ex-wife was professionally employed as a psychologist.

A person may also be required to pay lifetime alimony even in marriages that last less than 10 years. That means that someone who gets married at age 25 and seeks a divorce at age 34 may end up having to pay alimony to the other spouse to the day they die. However, it is also easy to generalize such matters, and it may well be that in some cases, lifetime alimony is appropriate.

Source: CBS Philly, "Group Wants To Reform New Jersey's Alimony Laws," Pat Loeb, April 9, 2012

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