If you are divorced or in the process of divorcing, it is important to understand how alimony works in New Jersey should you decide to remarry or live with another person.
Alimony is spousal financial support designed to limit the negative economic effects of divorce by assisting a spouse who is a lower wage earner or non-wage earner for a period of time. This may be because, in many marriages, one spouse has left a career to care for the family and is in a time of transition and job development in order to become self-supportive. In other situations, the alimony is designed to help that spouse maintain the standard of living enjoyed prior to the divorce.
Can I still receive alimony if I remarry?
Generally speaking, if you remarry, your ex-spouse does not have to continue your alimony payments, regardless of whether that is specified in your divorce order. As soon as your new marriage is finalized, your ex-spouse is no longer obligated to pay alimony, even if your new marriage is later annulled or voided. However, in circumstances where your alimony payments are rehabilitative, then your spouse must continue to pay alimony.
Can I still receive alimony if I am living with someone else?
When an unmarried couple shares finances and conducts themselves in a married like relationship, it is considered cohabitation. In many cases, the spouse paying alimony will notify the court regarding the cohabitation of the ex-spouse and alimony may suspended or terminated. The court will consider the following when deciding how alimony should be reduced:
- Intertwined finances such as joint bank accounts and other joint holdings or liabilities;
- Sharing or joint responsibility for living expenses;
- Recognition of the relationship in the couples’ social and family circle;
- Living together, the frequency of contact, the duration of the relationship, and other indicia of a mutually supportive intimate personal relationship;
- Sharing household chores;
- Whether the recipient of alimony has received an enforceable promise of support from another person within the meaning of subsection h. of R.S.25:1-5; and
- All other relevant evidence.
In evaluating whether cohabitation is occurring and whether alimony should be suspended or terminated, the court shall also consider the length of the relationship. A court may not find an absence of cohabitation solely on grounds that the couple does not live together on a full-time basis.
Do I have to keep paying alimony to my ex if I remarry?
Yes. The spouse that is paying alimony must continue to make those alimony payments if they remarry or begin living with another person. Because, as the payer of the alimony, your remarriage has no impact on your ex-spouse’s financial situation or their ability to support themselves, the alimony payments must continue according to the original order. If, however, you are unable to meet the financial obligations of alimony, the court will consider making an adjustment.
Alimony questions? We are here to help
Divorce is complicated and alimony can be complicated, too. Wondering if you should receive more spousal support due to a change in circumstances? Feel that you are paying your ex too much? We are here to help. The experienced family law attorneys at Lomurro Law have been helping New Jersey families through divorce, alimony, child support, child custody, and other family matters for more than 130 combined years. With compassion and understanding, we work with you every step of the way to resolve issues surrounding divorce and other family matters. Contact a member of our team today at 732-482-9285 or online to arrange a free confidential consultation to discuss your situation. Our offices are conveniently located in Freehold and East Brunswick.