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WHAT IS OPEN DURATION ALIMONY IN NEW JERSEY?

| Mar 20, 2018 | Alimony |

There are actually five different types of alimony available to divorcing couples in New Jersey. One of these types is called open duration alimony, which was previously known as “permanent” alimony. Open duration alimony was reformed by the 2014 New Jersey Alimony Amendment Act, setting forth some changes in regulation which may have a material impact on New Jersey residents. This alimony amendment not only changed which couples are eligible for open duration alimony, but also how and when they can make changes to existing alimony agreements. 

Today, our open duration alimony attorneys will define open duration alimony, discuss the 2014 alimony reform, and identify the impact this may have on those going through a divorce in our state.

Morris County, NJ Alimony Attorneys Define Open Duration Alimony

Open duration alimony is a term which refers to alimony arrangements which have no set end date. Prior to the 2014 reform, this was known as permanent alimony. In order to qualify for open duration alimony, marriages must have lasted for a minimum of twenty (20) years.

Divorces between couples who were married for fewer than 20 years may result in a limited duration alimony agreement. As per the 2014 regulations, the length of limited duration agreements will not be greater than the length of the marriage unless “exceptional circumstances” are present. Limited duration alimony agreements must include a set termination date.

Open duration alimony agreements will generally terminate on the date that the dependent party remarries or either party dies. While open duration alimony agreements have no set termination date, a significant change in either party’s circumstance may lead to termination or modification of the existing alimony agreement. Such substantial changes in circumstance might include:

  • Retirement by either party
  • A serious illness, disability, or other situation where the providing party can no longer work
  • A financial event which leads to a significant change in net worth, income, or other financial factors
  • Loss of employment
  • Significant financial gain through inheritance or other means of acquisition

Chatham Open Duration Alimony Lawyers Discuss 2014 Alimony Reform

Our Chatham open duration alimony lawyers are often asked how the 2014 reform will impact them. For divorces which took place before September 10th, 2014, it will not have an impact on the existing terms of your agreement. However, the reform act does shine some light on what will be considered “substantial” changes in circumstance which may lead to a modification or termination of an existing agreement.

The most obvious change made in 2014 was the change of legal terminology. “Permanent alimony” will now be considered “open duration alimony”. This change was made primarily to eliminate confusion for those who assumed their permanent alimony agreement was unchangeable and would last forever.

As previously discussed, open duration alimony agreement may be modified or even terminated in the participants’ lifetime. The term open duration more accurately reflects the situation where no end date has been given, but the possibility of termination exists.

Contact our Morristown Open Duration Alimony Agreement Attorneys Today

At The Law Offices of Laufer, Dalena, Cadicina, Jensen & Bradley, our open duration alimony agreement attorneys have extensive experience serving clients from Morris County towns including Morristown, Chester, Chatham, Mendham, Harding, Morris Plains, and all of Northern New Jersey. Our qualified team of attorneys are frequently named to the Super Lawyers list as it relates to family law. We believe in seeking amicable and practical legal solutions while preparing for aggressive litigation. This unique approach allows us to deliver high quality results for our clients seeking alimony agreement drafting, enforcement, modification, and termination.

For a free and confidential consultation regarding the recent changes to New Jersey alimony and how it may impact you and your family, please contact us online or by calling our Morristown, NJ offices at 973-975-4043 today.