In our Blog Post on December 1, 2014, we reported that the New Jersey Alimony Reform Act of 2014 had eliminated the term “permanent alimony” and substituted what is called “open durational alimony.”
In New Jersey divorce cases which are decided after the effective date of the Act (September 10, 2014), that change means that absent “exceptional circumstances,” if you have been married for less than 20 years, the term of the alimony cannot exceed the length of the marriage.
All that is well and good, but what if you have been married for 19 years but you are 60 years old when you decide to get divorced? Does the New Jersey Alimony Reform Act of 2014 provide you with any guidance as to when you may be able to retire and stop paying alimony in New Jersey?
The answer is yes.
The New Jersey Alimony Reform Act of 2014 states that alimony may be “modified or terminated upon the prospective or actual retirement” of the person paying alimony. The Act goes on to create a “presumption that alimony shall terminate” upon the person paying alimony “attaining full retirement age,” which is defined as the age when a person is eligible to receive full Social Security Retirement benefits.
In all likelihood, that age will be 66 or 67. To determine your full Social Security Retirement Age by date of birth, just follow this link: http://www.ssa.gov/retire2/agereduction.htm
The New Jersey Alimony Reform Act of 2014 also allows you to obtain a ruling on the modification or termination of your alimony upon retirement before you actually retire. This change is designed to give those paying alimony certainty and peace of mind regarding their alimony obligations before retiring.
Significantly, the retirement provisions in the New Jersey Alimony Reform Act of 2014 apply to final alimony orders or agreements established both before and after the effective date of the Act.
Therefore, no matter when you were divorced, if you are looking to retire and want to terminate your alimony obligation, you need to speak with an experienced New Jersey divorce attorney to discuss your rights and obligations.
Salvaggio Law Group LLC devotes its entire practice to New Jersey Divorce and Family Law matters, including New Jersey alimony issues.
If you want to talk, please call us at (973) 455-1220 or fill out the Contact Form on our website.