Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Bill Aims to Abolish Permanent Alimony


Reform Advocates Are Following the Lead of Other States


New Jersey is taking the lead from other states who are trying to do away with permanent alimony.




Reform advocates say alimony should have some limitations, instead of continuing in all instances. They are seeking a law that would set limits on the amount of alimony and the length of time that a spouse could receive alimony from the other spouse following a divorce.

Such a law would make it more difficult for those in shorter marriages to obtain alimony and would have restricted the duration of alimony payments to a portion of the duration of the marriage.


The bill they are proposing would eradicate permanent alimony, instead establishing guidelines for the term of limited duration alimony that would be based on the length of the marriage.

The proposal seeks the following:


  • If the duration of the marriage or civil union is five years or less, the term of alimony would be a maximum of one-half the number of months of the marriage or civil union;
  • If the duration of the marriage or civil union is 10 years or less but greater than five years, the term of alimony would be a maximum of 60 percent of the number of months of the marriage or civil union;
  • If the duration of the marriage or civil union is 15 years or less but greater than 10 years, the term of alimony would be a maximum of 70 percent of the number of months of the marriage or civil union;
  • If the duration of the marriage or civil union is 20 years or less but greater than 15 years, the term of alimony would be a maximum of 80 percent of the number of months of the marriage or civil union; and
  • If the duration of the marriage or civil union is greater than 20 years, the court would have discretion to award alimony for an indefinite length of time.




Four other states have abolished permanent alimony. Most states look toward a similar law that has been enacted in Massachusetts. Other reform movements are currently underway in Florida, where the governor recently vetoed a measure that would have ended permanent alimony. Reform advocates there vow to continue their battle to modify divorce laws.



Photo credit: umjanedoan

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