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Alimony Modification After NJ Divorce

When a New Jersey couple divorces and there is alimony as part of the settlement, a frequently asked question is whether or not the terms of the alimony are subject to modification. Alimony is designed for one spouse to support the other and there are numerous variations to it. If the circumstances surrounding the individuals changes, then it is possible that the terms of the alimony agreement be increased, decreased or eliminated entirely.

The ability to modify alimony hinges on the type of alimony that was awarded. If the alimony award was subject to conditions limiting whether or not it can be modified in the divorce agreement, then this might limit the changes that can be made. Alimony that can be modified will be subject to the court's discretion and there must be proof of the change in circumstances to justify the alterations to the alimony agreement whether it's a raise, reduction or ending of the alimony.

Different Types Of Alimony In A Monmouth County Divorce

money with wedding ring

There are five different kinds of alimony in New Jersey. In the event that the supporting or supported spouse dies, they will all be eliminated. The different types are temporary alimony (also referred to as pendente lite); open durational alimony; limited duration alimony; rehabilitative alimony; and reimbursement alimony.

Temporary alimony is awarded while the divorce is in progress. Certain situations require that a spouse be given temporary alimony during the divorce to ensure he or she is able to function while the divorce is being litigated. Once the divorce has been finalized, this support ends. It is modifiable.

Open durational alimony is generally used in a long-term marriage in excess of twenty years to allow a spouse who has grown accustomed to a certain standard of living to retain that lifestyle. This alimony will end if the supported spouse chooses to remarry and it is modifiable depending on the situation.

Durational alimony has a previously delineated end date. It is similar to open durational alimony, but is used in situations in which there has been a short-term to intermediate term marriage. If the supported spouse gets remarried, the support ends. A change in circumstances can lead to a modification of the durational alimony agreement. In general, the amount can be changed but not the duration of the alimony. It can also be changed if, for example, the supported spouse was supposed to attend classes to improve job prospects and did not complete the courses.

Rehabilitative alimony is awarded for a set amount of time and is contingent on the supported spouse improving his or her station through job training or education. The intention is to give the supported spouse time to get his or her life in order with the ability to self-support. In certain instances, this is able to be modified and it can even be changed to durational alimony or permanent alimony if the need arises.

Reimbursement alimony occurs when one spouse has paid for the other's education or advancing in a career. If the spouse who is now in need of reimbursement worked while the other went to school or supported the family as a business was being built, there might be reimbursement alimony.

What Does A Change In Circumstances Entail?

blocks the word alimony

For there to be a modification of alimony due to a change in circumstances, the change must be substantial and continuous. In short, if the change in circumstances lasts for a period of several months and is expected to go on indefinitely, then there can be a modification of the alimony terms.

If certain issues arise, there can be a modification of the terms. Examples of this are if there is an increase or an involuntary decrease in income for either the supporting or supported spouse, if the supported spouse's cost of living increases if there is an increase in the financial obligations of the supporting spouse, or if the supported spouse is living with a new romantic interest.

These changes in circumstance could make it reasonable for a supporting or supported partner to request that the terms of alimony be changed and the court will consider such requests for modification and make a decision based on how the circumstances have changed.

Call For Assistance With Alimony Modification In New Jersey

There are many reasons for a spouse to be given alimony as part of the terms of a divorce and if there is a change in the circumstances of either the supporting or the supported spouse, it might be justifiable to request that the terms be changed and the court will consider it. If you or a loved one are receiving alimony or paying alimony in Toms River, Brick or any other New Jersey town and would like to ask the court for a modification of the terms, the attorneys at the Law Firm of Villani & DeLuca, P.C. in Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey can help you.


Whether you are from Monmouth County, Ocean County or any other area of New Jersey, the experienced attorneys at Villani & DeLuca, P.C. can help you if you are receiving support from or giving support to a former spouse. There are options when it comes to modification of your alimony agreement. Villani & DeLuca, P.C. can assist you — call 732-965-3404 today to discuss your case.

Vincent DeLuca, Esq.

As a founding partner at Villani & DeLuca, Vincent DeLuca is one of only a few Certified Matrimonial Law Attorney in Ocean County, New Jersey. Mr. DeLuca has helped many clients navigate the delicate details of their own divorce. Mr. DeLuca is also a trained divorce mediator and collaborative divorce attorney. Call today at (732) 965-3404 to speak to Mr. DeLuca or one of our experienced NJ Divorce Lawyers.

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Rt. 35 South
Point Pleasant Beach, NJ 08742
(732) 965-3404
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