New Jersey Deals with Alimony Issues

by Admin on August 20, 2012

In New Jersey judges decide whether alimony should be awarded in divorce  cases while also determining how much is paid and for how long. Now, some advocates want the Legislature to limit judicial discretion in alimony decision, arguing that long-term awards can discourage ex-spouses from earning.

However, some alimony recipients say judges have unjustly denied them reasonable payments, causing financial hardship for a family that suddenly loses it breadwinner.

The Assembly unanimously passed a bill to create a commission to study the state’s alimony law. The bill awaits action in the Senate.

According to, the alimony debate came as reform advocate groups are popping up in several states and many are struggling to find work. In state such as Florida, where a measure to substantially alter the state’s alimony laws passed the House but stalled in the Senate, issues of alimony reform are similar.

NJ Alimony Reform, a group of 1,200 divorced people and their second families that has lobbied legislators, wants the state to limit “permanent” alimony, which requires payments for an indefinite period unless there is a significant change of financial circumstance on the part of the payer. Judges sometimes consider job loss a temporary situation, advocates for change said, denying them temporary relief.

Persons divorcing in Thailand, may also be required to provide “alimony or maintenance” to the dependent spouse. However, awards of maintenance are normally lower than in U.S. courts

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