N.J. considers ending lifetime alimony in future divorce cases

 Sponsors of a bill to end lifetime alimony in future divorce cases testify at Assembly Judiciary Committee hearing. (Phil Gregory/ for NewsWorks)

Sponsors of a bill to end lifetime alimony in future divorce cases testify at Assembly Judiciary Committee hearing. (Phil Gregory/ for NewsWorks)

Lifetime alimony will be eliminated for future divorcees in New Jersey if a measure advanced by an Assembly committee becomes law.

 

For those married less than 20 years, the duration of alimony payments would be limited to the same number of years that a marriage lasted.

Sheila Taylor, president of New Jersey Women for Alimony Reform, said the change will remove a sense of long-term entitlement.

“So it will let the payee know that this is not going to be, as they are told now, until the day you die,” Taylor said. “You will at some point have to make plans and be responsible for yourself.”

One aspect of the pending legislation is a disappointment, she said, noting that the end of permanent alimony would not apply to those who are already paying it.

Galloway resident Erich Truax, divorced after a 17-year marriage, agreed.

“It makes it where nobody has the desire to make better money because they’re getting a freebie off of me,” he said. “I’m 41 years old. I’ll be lucky if I can retire at 75 and not have any savings. I’m going to be the one who is destitute.”

The legislation would allow modifications in the amount of alimony after a payer is unemployed for more than 90 days.

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