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How Long Do I Have to Pay Alimony?

Both during and after divorce, one spouse may require financial support from the other – which is known as alimony. The purpose enables the supported spouse to maintain a lifestyle that closely resembles what the couple had during their marriage, up until that spouse is capable of supporting himself or herself.

One of the most common questions our Bergen County divorce lawyer at Moskowitz Law Group, LLC receives is, “How long do I have to pay alimony?”

The judge will look at the following factors when determining the amount and duration of alimony in New Jersey:

  • The requesting’s spouse’s actual needs and the other spouse’s ability to pay
  • The duration of the marriage
  • The standard of living during marriage
  • Each spouse’s education level, income, earning capacity, and employability
  • Each spouse’s age, as well as physical and emotional health
  • Each spouse’s financial or non-financial contributions to the marriage
  • Parental obligations
  • The time and expense required to obtain education or training for the dependent spouse to become self-supporting

Most people are worried about being forced to pay permanent alimony. However, New Jersey’s most recent alimony law has eliminated lifetime spousal support. Instead, ex-spouses who are obligated to make payments can apply to have their ordered alimony end or be modified upon reaching the federal retirement age of 67, unless the court says otherwise. Furthermore, the length of the payments cannot surpass the length of the marriage for marriages lasting fewer than 20 years.

If there is a significant change in circumstances, such getting fired from a job, a judge may modify alimony orders. If the recipient spouse begins living with a new partner, even if they are not married, the paying spouse may seek to have those payments terminated.

If you are interested in filing for divorce in New Jersey or seeking to modify a current alimony order, contact our Bergen County divorce attorneys at Moskowitz Law Group, LLC and request a free case evaluation.