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What Happens If I Can’t Afford My Alimony Payments in New Jersey?

When you and your spouse decide your marriage is no longer working, you may find that alimony is one of the most contentious aspects of your divorce. However, this stress can only increase when you suffer circumstances that impact your ability to make payments. Unfortunately, many people who can’t afford alimony payments are unsure of their options or how to proceed. Luckily, this blog explores what you should know and how New Jersey alimony attorneys can help you if this reflects your circumstances.

How Is Alimony Determined in New Jersey?

There is a common misconception that alimony is automatically granted to the spouse who earns less. However, this is far from the truth. In general, a spouse must request alimony when filing for divorce. If the paying spouse does not agree to the terms, the courts will examine several circumstances to determine whether or not the payments are necessary and if so, how much they should be. As such, they will consider the following factors when determining whether or not alimony is necessary:

  • How long the spouses were married
  • The age and health of each spouse
  • The income of each spouse
  • The earning capacity of each spouse
  • Whether or not one spouse sacrificed their career to support the other
  • Tax implications

If I Can’t Afford Alimony, What Should I Do?

It’s unfortunately not uncommon for people to experience an extreme change in circumstance while making alimony payments. For example, you may have lost your job, been diagnosed with a medical condition, or welcomed a new child into the world. As such, you may find it increasingly challenging to make alimony payments while paying other bills.

If you experience a change in circumstances that impacts your ability to afford alimony, you can petition the courts for a modification to your spousal support obligation. If you can prove that your circumstances prevent you from making payments, they can reduce or revoke your obligation. Until the courts have granted you a modification, you must keep paying alimony.

It is important to note that if you lose your job, you must keep paying support for at least 90 days. Once the 90 days have elapsed, the courts will determine whether or not to grant you a modification. If you made a reasonable effort to seek employment to no avail, they likely will alter the agreement. However, if you did not look or were terminated because of your own actions, they will not grant the change.

How Can an Attorney Help Me?

When you are experiencing trouble making your alimony payments, connecting with an experienced attorney is critical. Unfortunately, many people are unaware that a lawyer can help them file the petition with the court and fight on their behalf to have payments reduced or revoked.

If you need help, Haber Silver Russoniello & Dunn are ready to fight for you. We understand how challenging these matters can be, which is why our team is dedicated to fighting for you. Connect with us today to learn more about this complex process and how we can assist you.

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