When two individuals get a divorce, sometimes there is an allocation of financial assets. Alimony is defined as a sum of money paid from one spouse to another after divorce. It can be calculated by taking the gross income of both spouses, subtracting it to find the difference, and awarding the lesser-earning spouse about ¼ of that difference. This can vary by case. Please continue reading and reach out to a seasoned Somerset County divorce attorney to learn more about how remarriage can impact alimony and how our legal team can help. Here are some of the questions you may have:
What factors determine alimony?
In NJ, there are a number of factors and several kinds of alimony.
Open durational: The payee, the spouse receiving payment, is unlikely to return to the workforce. This is usually awarded in long-term relationships. It is assumed to end with retirement.
Limited durational: A specific time period in which the alimony is awarded. It could be months or years. It is intended to alleviate stress and support the payee while they work on re-entering the workforce.
Rehabilitative: This directly helps the payee re-enter the workforce and support themselves financially. It could include college tuition, career training, or expenses.
Reimbursement: When one spouse supports another through college, such as law school, and helped pay for things like tuition. This would have the educated spouse become the payor, and reimburse the payee.
How can remarriage affect alimony?
Several things can cause a court to order a modification of alimony. Life changes continually take place. There are many circumstances when you would need to change or terminate alimony payments such as:
- Decrease of income
- Increase in the cost of living
- Involuntary retirement
- Increase in your spouse’s income
- Closing a business
You can ask for a modification in alimony if there have been significant changes. If the spouse receiving money seeks to modify the alimony, he or she would have to provide a reason to the court. Generally, this would be a request for higher alimony payments, such as coverage for an illness. The paying spouse may also seek to modify as well. They can make requests based on a reduction of income, retirement, or marriage of the receiving spouse. A supporting spouse can no longer be financially obligated to pay alimony after the supported spouse enters into a new marriage. Exceptions can be made, such as lump sum payments and rehabilitative alimony. Further, if a paying spouse is not made aware of the remarriage, it may be possible to recover payments made after the marriage took place. It can be more complicated if the payee cohabitates with a new partner, but is not married. In that case, the paying spouse can still petition a court to reduce or possibly stop alimony payments. They would need to prove that the spouse is receiving financial support or housing from his or her current partner. This is referred to as bearing the burden of proof. Each case varies.
Sometimes your original divorce settlement can address these possibilities that may happen in the future. Your lawyer can include stipulations for what can happen to alimony payments if one spouse were to remarry. Call our offices to schedule a consultation with an experienced divorce attorney. We understand the emotional stress that can accompany spousal support negotiations and aim to support you during this time.