Your life situation may, understandably, change in the months and years following your divorce. At the same time, the overall cost of living may change. With this, you may wonder whether your alimony payments may be adjusted for inflation. Read on to discover the possibility of this and how one of the seasoned New Jersey alimony attorneys can help you explore your options.
Will my alimony be adjusted for inflation?
Notably, there is something known as the cost of living adjustment (COLA) clause. This is an alimony order that holds that payments are to increase annually at a rate equal to the annual cost of living increase. Such calculation is done by an economic indicator, like the Consumer Price Index.
With that being said, it is important that you request the COLA clause while you are still undergoing your divorce settlement negotiations. This is because it will be far more difficult to implement this clause after your divorce is finalized.
Why else might my alimony be modified?
In addition to the COLA clause, there are many other ways in which your alimony order may be modified. Some examples are as follows:
- The escalator clause: this is an alimony order that holds that an alimony recipient may receive an automatic, specified share of any increase in an alimony payer’s earnings.
- The temporary modification of alimony: this is an alimony order that holds that payments be temporarily increased or decreased under unforeseen circumstances by the recipient and payer, respectively, and then reverts to its prior terms at the end of the set period.
- The change in circumstances: this is an alimony order that holds that payments be increased or decreased under unforeseen circumstances by the recipient and payer, respectively, like cohabitation, hardship, financial emergency, medical emergency, change in income, change in job, change in medical condition, change in support obligation, etc.
- The retroactive modification of alimony: this is an alimony order that holds that alimony payers be held liable for the full amount of support due and owing.
Of note, the New Jersey family courts rarely rule for the retroactive modification of alimony. This is because they believe that if an alimony recipient was able to financially survive for months or years without support, then they can go without these missed payments now. What’s more, they may even reduce the alimony payer’s order indefinitely.
To reiterate, post-judgment modification is a complex process. So, for more information on how to get your alimony adjusted in accordance with inflation, whether it be during your divorce proceedings or in your post-judgment modification proceedings, then you must reach out to one of the competent Morris County family law attorneys today. We look forward to collaborating with you.