New Jersey divorce: Permanent alimony under fire | Lane & Lane, LLC
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New Jersey divorce: Permanent alimony under fire

New Jersey alimony has been making headlines lately. One of the few states left to allow permanent alimony has placed the practice under a microscope and has some people crying foul. Those who receive permanent alimony after a divorce will receive a check for the rest of their lives, prompting some to forego work or even remarriage. Critics of the practice liken it to winning the lottery.

While there are certainly some cases where the alimony should be allowed, sometimes it is awarded to people who are perfectly capable of earning a good living outside of their marriages. Alimony was initially created as a way to offer support to divorced wives who did not work outside of the home, a practice common a few decades ago. However, now that women are integral in the workplace, some spouses are raising an outcry about the practice and its effects on their lives.

Some states even allow the ex-wife to pursue the earnings of their ex-spouses new spouse, leading some to eschew marriage until alimony laws are changed. Although many states have either abandoned or reformed permanent alimony, many in states that have not are feeling the sting. One man has shelled out almost $1 million in alimony, and now with the poor economy, he is forced to give his ex-wife over half of his income, in spite of the fact he has since remarried.

New Jersey residents fighting a divorce battle where alimony is possible may want to seek out a knowledgeable party for assistance. Permanent alimony can financially ruin someone and cause problems for their lives in the future. Knowing one's rights could help the spouse avoid this possibility and result in an equitable settlement for everyone.

Source: U.S. News and World Report, "Taking the 'Permanent' Out of Permanent Alimony," Geoff Williams, Jan. 23, 2013

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