Alimony Modification Attorneys Bergen County, NJ
Serving Clients across Ridgewood, Hackensack, Paramus, Teaneck, Fort Lee, and Bergen County
Alimony is a form of regularly scheduled payment which is made from one ex-spouse to another after a divorce. Alimony (sometimes referred to as spousal support) is intended to help spouses who were traditionally financially dependent on the other spouse to meet their expenses and maintain the lifestyle to which they were accustomed during their marriage.
However, alimony payments are calculated based on the financial circumstances of both parties at the time of the divorce, and as in all aspects of life, these financial circumstances can change after the alimony agreement is already reached. One such common circumstance is the loss of employment. When either the supporting party or the dependent party loses their job, this loss of employment can often be the grounds for modifying the original alimony agreement, either as an increase in spousal support payments or a decrease in spousal support payments.
At The Law Office of Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark, our firm takes pride in helping our clients to successfully resolve all manner of alimony related disputes, including alimony modifications and alimony enforcement issues in New Jersey and Bergen County towns such as Ridgewood, Hackensack, Paramus, Teaneck, Fort Lee. By focusing exclusively on family and divorce law, our attorneys are able to focus on the issues which are most important to you and your family. We believe in a cooperative and compassionate approach to legal representation, and take the time to learn the individual needs and concerns of each client we serve.
Call our office today to discuss your unique situation regarding alimony reduction in a free and confidential consultation.
Loss of Employment and Alimony Modifications
When it comes to a court deciding whether or not a loss of employment should result in an alimony modification, the following factors will be considered:
- Has the individual been out of work for at least 90 days prior to seeking the alimony modification?
- What was the reason for loss of employment?
- What has the individual done in the meantime in order to find a replacement position or alternative means of income?
- Is the individual able to physically and mentally obtain and retain employment?
- Did the individual receive and severance payment from their previous employer?
Of course how much the court weighs the answers to each of these factors, and how those answers impact their final decision in your alimony modification matter depends much upon the evidence and arguments that your alimony lawyer can make and present on your behalf. For this reason, it is highly recommended that you speak with our divorce lawyers anytime you are requesting, or facing, an alimony modification in order to ensure that your individual needs, interests, and concerns are properly taken into account by the deciding court.
Job Losses Which Do NOT Result in Changes to Alimony
Importantly, not every situation in which one party loses their job will result in an alimony modification. For example, voluntarily leaving a job (quitting) is not considered an “unanticipated change in circumstance”, a critical legal requirement for any post-divorce modification.
Similarly, losing a job due to gross negligence or criminal wrongdoing may also preclude an alimony modification. However, there are cases in which the loss of a professional license has resulted in an alimony modification (such as Kuron v. Hamilton), so this is not a hard rule, simply something to consider.
Finally, it is important to remember that rehabilitative alimony can never be modified. If you are paying, or receiving, rehabilitative alimony, no change in circumstance will ever warrant a reduction in what a court has already found to be owed between the parties, although a loss of employment by the party making the alimony payments can result in an extension of the time frame they are given to repay what they owe.
“What if I get another job but it pays less?”
Our alimony modification attorneys have also seen many cases where clients lose their job and find another job, but it does not pay as much as the original job. In this case, the alimony payor may be entitled to an alimony reduction. The factors involved in this decision also call back to those we discussed regarding loss of employment, with some additions.
For example, the payor should show that they attempted to seek equal employment in earnest within their field and this was the best job they could reasonably attain. If that is the case, accepting a lower paying job is better was, under the circumstances, the best that individual could do. Therefore, alimony may be restructured given this new financial reality for both ex spouses.
Contact Our Hackensack Alimony and Post-Divorce Modification Attorneys Today
At Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark, our attorneys have over 75 years of combined experience helping clients with alimony adjustments in New Jersey and Bergen County, including the towns of Paramus, Hackensack, Ridgewood, Teaneck, and Fort Lee.
Whether you have lost your job and are seeking an alimony modification, or are facing an alimony modification request made by your former spouse, our firm is prepared to provide you with the knowledgeable, effective, and attentive legal service that you need and deserve in such important financial matters.
To speak with our legal team today in a free and confidential consultation regarding your alimony modification issue or any other post-divorce modification, please contact us online, or through our Hackensack, NJ office at (201) 397-1750.