I was divorced at age 26 after a 3 year marriage, while in college. I had no family around me, and I did not take anything from my husband. What did I do with no family around, nearly no one to help me and no alimony? I worked full-time, continued with studies and made it on my own.
Doing it on your own requires confidence, inner strength, self-respect and the will to succeed. We are not a socialist country. We do not have the right to walk up to someone and say "Give me half of what you have because I don't have it and give me half of your earnings because I don’t earn what you do!" It is unjust to use a mere signature on a marriage license as the caveat for forcing gross amounts of alimony to be paid, permanently and/or long-term.
It is well overdue, the change in alimony laws in New Jersey. The ONLY people who want them to continue on their unfair path are the lawyers, the matrimonial bar, and the omnipotent judges — the first two don't want to lose the income they make by churning sparring divorce parties bank accounts (remember, lawyers see their whole income statements, tax records and know exactly how much their clients earn - and how much they can possibly bill them) by arguing every possible issue in court. And the judges - out-of-touch, omnipotent, egotistical and self-serving on the bench, don't want to lose any of their power: they enjoy showing off their "I-know-it-all" power by delivering lifelong sentences to people guilty of… a failed marriage. Reform in the alimony laws in New Jersey as so overdue. The laws have been crushing innocent people, wrecking lives of former marriage partners and their children - many times for life. Permanent alimony? Even bank robbers get out of jail after 5 years.
It's an outrageous concept! Where to start?! Ex earns more than I do, yet I am ordered to pay her $400/week permanent alimony. Why? Because the payments put me into a financial position where she can now claim, and the complicit judge agrees, I cannot afford to have our 17-year-old daughter live with me. In every regard, there are many more opportunities - faith, academic, family, social, and recreational - for our daughter living with me, not to mention that she desperately wants to live with me. But ex is fighting change of custody with one and only one argument - money.
Looking at permanent alimony from a legal theory perspective, I have to ask how it is applicable absent some stipulation in the marriage contract that very clearly specifies the duties of each party to the contract. Absent such specifics, I challenge the lawful foundation of the concept of permanent alimony to begin with. And, absent that foundation, what we see is an arbitrary application of the rules and the frequent use permanent alimony as a punitive measure. How is that legal?
And women for equality - have you considered the hypocrisy? You want to be equal but you think permanent private welfare from an ex-husband is okay? Are you telling the world that you really can't make it on your own? I would love to hear an explanation.
Dating someone who PAYS the permanent alimony is stressful. Just learning the laws in the past few months have totally upset my future goals. Even if this bill as is gets passed, he is the 20+ group and that states indefinite. Are you kidding? Goodbye retirement and what chance do I have to having a family of my own? "Sorry kids, but since daddy needs to retire/business failing/making less money etc., you can't have a college fund because we have to support your father's ex-wife". She does not work and from my understanding she has no intention. Not to mention the example people like her set: Find someone to work FOR you while you enjoy your leisure. We don't have to take care of our children until they die, why would we have to take care of capable adults until they die? Temporary alimony, sure. I completely understand a ramp up period, but when it's indefinite or until death, what motivation is it for people to move on in their lives and become productive and happy? I for one, have ZERO interest in being responsible for another adult.
Stop and think about it in these terms... at some point (age 18 in NJ) you are no longer financially responsible for your children. Why is it that someone should have to continue to support a person they are no longer married to for potentially the rest of their life? Our children are expected to be able to take responsibility for their lives... why isn't an adult ex-spouse? Rehabilitative or temporary alimony should be awarded only long enough for someone to get back on their feet and get their act together. Permanent alimony MUST GO!
Alimony must end at normal retirement age. Very few people have a pension plan and if they had a 401k it was split at time of divorce! Why should one party win a lottery while the other is a life long slave! They should also look at being forced to pay for college. If one was married no court would make a parent pay, leaving the decisions to a judge will have you paying for your 20 year old to go to dinners with friends trips to Florida, mailing packages and buying cigarettes for your soon to be ex.
Thank you Senator Mainor , Kean and all the Co-Sponsors for your support on Bill A3909. I am a Cancer/Paraplegic survivor paying $3095 in permanent alimony to an able-bodied x-spouse who cohabitates. I live on SSDI and make up the difference from my 1/2 of the marital assets as I diminish my assets retirement will only be a dream. I incur huge medical expenses something the courts call "SPECULATION" because they do not plan for the unexpected when determining alimony. I lost my job due to my disability tried modifying in 2011 cost me $10,350 in attorney fees and was denied reduction due to my marital assets. I feel this is "DOUBLE DIPPING" by court order because all assets were divided at divorce why would I have to diminish my assets to cover Permanent alimony. Alimony Reform is about JUSTICE, EQUALITY, and REALITY of living with UNREALISTIC, ABUSIVE, PERMANENT BONDAGE leading to financial devastation with NO CHANCE for PAROLE. FREE US FROM BONDAGE SUPPORT BILL A3909
I was married for 29 years. The only reason I hung in their was for the kids. I wanted them to go to college and have a good start in their lives.
for 12 of those years I have been paying a rate of 1400.00 a month. I pay now 65 percent of my S.s. benefit to the ex which is 1200.00 a month.
The woman makes 45,000.00 a year. Give me a break.
I am going to court on Apr. 5, to try to do something about this crazy figure. i have been to court five times now and lost every time.
Can any one explain to me as if I were a two year old why did I work so hard it seems like to me , not to be able to retirer.
After a terrible 18 years of marriage, I was railroaded into signing an agreement that left no room for error, I was advised that it was the best I could do and that things would get better , we'll things did not get better, lifetime alimony is archaic and should be abolished!
There are many unjust laws on the books across the nation, and permanent alimony laws are among them. Imagine; the courts in NJ (and a few other states), hand you a lifetime sentence when you have committed no crime! Only NJ Family Law attorneys favor these despicable laws. The rest of the thinking population recognize them for the evil that they are. End the lifetime punishment; its long, long overdue.
Permanent alimony may be appropriate in the rarest of cases but should not be the rule. Objective criteria and set support guidelines are the fairest way to go. Being married for 10 years or more should not sentence one to a lifetime of indentured servitude because your marriage failed!
There is a fundamental problem with a system which mandates, by penalty of imprisonment, that one capable adult must support another capable adult forever due to the failure of their romantic relationship.
Additionally, to be told that if you had another judge hear your case you wouldn't have gotten permanent alimony, to say the least, is disheartening.
It's 2013, let's be done with this arcane system that is perpetuated by self aggrandizing attorneys.
Alimony should be eliminated entirely.The justice system is set up to serve Divorse lawyers.They often create litigation just so they can benefit from other peoples misfortunes.One reason that the marriage rate is down is because people do not want to be subjected to this type of abuse.If they do not eliminate alimony these greedy lawyers will no longer have any business because people will just live together.Often the most responsible party is the one who pays the bigest price for their mistake of marriage,Now there are men who are marrying hard working,rich women just so they can take advantage of the system.Alimony reform is just the beginning of what really has to happen in the family court justice system.
Permanent alimony needs to be abolished. Alimony, at most, should never exceed half the length of the marriage. And that should only be if the recipient is 1) the residential parent of a handicapped child of the marriage or 2) if the recipient did not work during the marriage in order to raise pre-school children of the marriage. Men or women that sacrificed so that their spouse could succeed should receive a one time payment to compensate them presuming they didn't rack up credit card debt while their spouse was working. Ultimately, both parties split the retirement assets at the time of divorce so they are on equal footing. The argument that one spouse won't be able to build on their retirement at the same rate is solved by the one time payment that they can add to it. This bill needs to incorporate reasonableness in attaining modification for change of circumstances and delete language such as underemployed - as if a lawyer or judge is an employment expert- and needs to define "temporary. " Alimony reform is desperately needed in NJ. An ex-spouse receiving alimony has more legal right to control your employment and life decisions than a spouse does! It contradicts the entire point of getting divorced! Frankly, if the person getting up every day, dealing with traffic, colleagues, bosses and stress takes a lesser paying job, whether due to job loss, health considerations or choice there should be a corresponding decrease in alimony. The recipient always has the option of working to supplement the alimony.
Alimony is archaic, anti family and anti marriage. My ex will not marry her boyfriend, because the alimony-welfare check would stop. I cannot remarry as my new wife's income could be used to give my ex a raise in her alimony/welfare check. How crazy is that?? A successful woman would have to support my "entitled" ex??? Stop the craziness, Abolish alimony!
And even if the marriage is longer than 20 years it should end when a person retires.Both parties will have to
live on a fixed income once the party paying alimony retires.The person getting alimony can get 1/2 the social security of the person who's paying the alimony if they want or all of their own.There should be no reason for
a person who finally reaches retirement to be shackled by the courts to pay another person and cut into which is already with our current economy a minimum income. It's a persons right to retire and live on his "earned" income and his living standard not be dictated or diluted by the courts.Your lifetime sentence should end at retirement
I am all for alimony reform and it is well overdue. However, as someone who was married for over 20 years, I don't see much changing for me or others in the same situation if left up to the court system as written in the proposed new bill.
The state does not give welfare for life . Yet the state tells me to pay alimony for life.
These stories disturb me on many levels. As a divorced woman, but one who did not receive alimony or have to pay alimony, I am confused as to why anyone would be entitled to lifetime alimony if they are capable of working and being a productive member of society. I don’t deny, and totally agree, that there may be some level of support warranted after a certain number of years in a marriage, but this should be temporary and decided on an individual basis. People who don’t have the luxury of receiving lifetime alimony (i.e. spouse dies and need to work to make ends meet) would go out and get a job or return to school if they wanted to secure a better job than they are currently suited for. We expect our children to be self-sufficient shortly after completing school. Why wouldn’t we expect the same from grown adults? What message does this send? When separated from my husband I only worked part-time, had a 2 and 3 year old, but I chose to go back to school and take care of my family without being dependent on anyone else, and at the end of the day this is a great lesson for my daughters. By allowing women (or men) to sit and collect money for life just because they were married seems absurd! Where does this entitlement stem from? As a person, I don’t know how these recipients can even feel good about themselves; seems to me we are enabling these folks just like others in society. Anger and bitterness needs to be replaced with self-worth and self-esteem. The saddest part is that there are men and women being locked up for failure to pay this support and legitimately cannot afford to do so. It’s not just that they don’t want to. Circumstances change over time; jobs are lost, people can no longer work, salaries decrease, etc. In many cases, those paying alimony seem to be willing to, or are forced to, downsize and live much more simple lives while the recipients feel they are entitled to the live the life they were accustomed to? What??? Many of these folks end up doing pretty well in the divorce settlement anyway. They should be grateful for a roof over their head in my opinion. How terribly sad to know that many of those paying, after working their entire lives, can never retire and enjoy what the recipients of alimony do for their entire lives post-divorce. I really hope something can be done about this. It is just wrong on many levels.
If I had any idea what was in store for me regarding the laws in this state regarding alimony, I would have never got married. No one ever explained the consequences. It simply would not have made sense to take that kind of risk. Especially not knowing I would end up imprisoned for signing such a contract. If they don't want to pass some common sense laws changing this in this state, then there should be at least a bold print warning on the license stating "FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH THIS CONTRACTS STATE PROVISIONS WILL RESULT IN IMPRISONMENT FOR ENFORCEMENT! " Maybe that'll help avoid unnecessary alimony and imprisonment and avoid the problem! This is serious stuff.......!
Why should only one spouse have to work, and not the other? The corruption needs to end. All people should be treated equally! Mothers / Fathers; Husbands / Wives; Both can work and support themselves. Only children should be supported and even that ends. How can a person teach their children independence and yet not show any work ethic? Obviously the people that vote for lifetime alimony to continue are the ones that are receiving it or they are the people that benefit financially such as lawyers. They fear less billable hours spent fighting and sitting in court. We want fairness! We want structure. We do not want to live a life based on another persons bad choices by refusing to ever remarry again. Or refuse to better themselves and go on with their lives. I don't care if it is $1 a year or thousands of dollars, it is wrong.
Permanent alimony must be abolished no matter the length of marriage. When the legislators changed the laws several years ago to the "friendly divorce" laws allowing for undeclared irreconicble differences it change the premise of divorce. Divorce now is something encouraged rather than discouraged and its costing our society billions. Well that is fine for the lawyers and divorce industry and, I understand the concept, but it has become a means of legal extortion...
I am the victim of the "friendly divorce." My daughters and I were completely blindsided by the "I'm unhappy, I want out". My situation, because of a 20 year marriage however, comes with, "Oh by the way, you're going to pay me for the rest of my life too," and not just a little, but rather a demand that will likely force me into jail or a tremendous life style decline to well below the other party's lifestyle. Please understand these awards aren't limited to just the alimony, but from what I have been told, the obligator will be expected to buy a life insurance policy for the recipent to ensure payment even upon death! Is that justice?
Maybe someone can explain why I should be forced (with the threat of jail) to pay, so the party can seek "happiness" outside of the lifetime commitment that was knowingly and willingly agreed upon. I am not a lawyer but to me most contracts and marriage is a contract, don't include a clause that a party should reward the other party if the other party self determines to terminate the contrcact based on no declared reason. In my situation, I get that the party wants a different life direction, fine, then stand on your own two feet and go get it... I shouldn't have to support the self determined pursuit of "happiness"... No one should, man or woman... This is not a gender situation, its a common sense morality.
There are appropriate cases of alimony awards, however those cases must unequivocally demonstrate justification (stay at home spouses, etc), not simply based on the difference between the party's W-2's. The system of simply pusuing the, "oh well this one makes more than the other does so here take their hard work and give it to the other party," is wrong and is simply lazy. It's used because we have too many divorces in the system, encouraged by our laws rather discouraged..Permanent alimony serves as an inappropriate encouragement...... .
No ones hard work should be turned over for the rest of their life to pay for someone else's pursuit of their individual "happiness." That simply isn't justice. If you don't like the consequence of your anticipated action then don't do it...be self responsible...
Permanent alimony is simply unjust and outdated for the majority of today's divorce situations. If both parties have careers of thier own choosing then the parties should be self reliant upon divorce.
Permanent alimony is unfair, bad law on every level. It is NOT simply given to homemakers. It is NOT just men paying. Permanent alimony is a remnant from the 1950's that has no reason to still be on the books. It is lazy law that breeds lazy judging. The defenders of this cruel punishment say judges need complete discretion because "every case is different". Permanent alimony is not a custom tailored solution. It's a lazy way out for judges and it doesn't have to be substantiated. No accountability. Divorce lawyers love it because of the grey areas in the law. There is no excuse for not having guidelines. Judges have to follow guidelines in sentencing for other types of cases. And make no mistake about it-permanent alimony is a SENTENCE not a solution.
I can see a man or woman who is disabled and really cannot work to get some assistance from the former spouse if the disability happened during the marriage. However, for x-spouses (male and female) who are able to work, then it is time to stop this madness. The marriage is over so why hang around for free money!
Statistically it is the woman that proablably off-ramped her career to take care of her family, taking a hit in earnings potential and career growth. When we see 50 % of men off-ramp their careers for family then it will be the same playing fioeld.
Permanent Alimony is archaic and needs to be abolished. Women are just as capable as men having the education and financial opportunities to support themselves. I was divorced 20 years ago in the State of New York. I was a stay at home mother of a very small child and upon divorce I was granted maintenance and child support. I had to use maintenance to rehabilitate myself so I could support my child and myself. I was capable and did not expect anyone to support me for the rest of my life. The maintenance of the divorce is key to the reform. This way the spouse can rehabilitate themselves so that they can re-enter the workforce. Nobody should expect someone to support anyone for the rest of their life due to a mistake. Even criminals for good behavior get paroled. Permanent alimony is insane and I'm so happy there is hope now to abolish this.
My ex refused to work during our marriage and once it ended. This of course was never addressed. I was told it was irrelevant. How can that be? A person who for years was not a "wife" in our marriage was set up for permanent retirement by the state even though she had not fulfilled her duties as a stay at home mom during the marriage. The premise upon which the permanent alimony was based was completely false thereby negating its validity. The whole process was a sham. The only thing considered was that I was the bread winner so I received the lifetime sentence. I am and always will be responsible for my actions in life. And so should everyone else. Ex-spouses should be given support for a limited time to get on their feet and certainly everyone should be allowed to retire without any further alimony obligations.When permanent alimony was instituted it was done so with the best of intentions. However, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. End permanent alimony now.
My ex wife and I decided to get married when she was 19 and I was 20. We didn't have to get married, we wanted to get married. Well 21 years later we weren't the same 2 people that we used to be. Unfortunately, I was married in the "hand out " state of NJ. Well it has been 10 years now and I have paid over $200,000 in alimony. I do not have a savings account, a 401k, real estate or any other means of retirement investments. I am 52 years old and face a dark financial future with alimony dragging me down. I have also paid for college for 3 grown children. Looking to the future and knowing that eventually my social security will help to fund my ex wife's retirement is rediculous. To add to the corruption is the fact that my ex wife has been living with her boyfriend for the last 9 years. If I were to go back to court it would only cost me lost wages from work, excessive legal fees and ultimately no change in my obligation. You see earning more money now than I was 10 years ago will only hurt me. You can't work hard at your profession and earn more money without the ex wife getting a piece of that. Financial purgatory. I think that by now she could "make it" without me paying her mortgage every month.
Permanent alimony is unfair and should be eliminated.
I was married for 20 years my wife cheated on me and wanted a divore after I found out about her affair. The divorce was final in October of 2011 and I was orderd to pay permanent alimony until I'm 65. I'm only 50 years old so I will have to pay to support her for at least 15 years or maybe more. How is this fair?
She does have a job and granted I make more money then her but I've been working at the same company for 25 plus years working my way up the ladder to better myself. I'm not opposed to limited duration alimony to help her get more training or whatever is neeed but at some point she has to become financially indendent from me.
What's the purpose of going through the entire divorec process, paying all the laywers and other fees involved only to be told you have to support the person you are no longer married to for possibly the rest of your life. Why should I be penalized finanacially for becasue my marriage did not work out?
The New Jersey laws need to be updated to be fair to all breadwinners regardless of gender. A marriage gone bad should not be a financial death sentence for anyone!
Permanent alimony should end no matter how many years you are married. I can see giving the other person temporary alimony if they need it to get back on their feet.
When you give the person permanent alimony that just gives them the freedom to do nothing with their life while the other person is busting his/her butt trying to make payments. If you can't make your payments the courts tell you to get another job. Why don't the courts tell the person who is collecting the alimony to get another job or go back to school to better them selves.
Permanent alimony just ruins lives and gives the person who is collecting it the freedom to do what ever they want too.
Permanent alimony is just like hitting the lottery for life.
The proposed legislation to end permanent alimony in NJ falls way short. It does not fairly consider those paying alimony who were married over 20 years, proposing that the judges will retain their"discretion" to keep it in place. It (proposed law) should eliminate it entirely as the payor reaches retirement age, or is forced into the unemployment ranks for a prolonged period. What if the legislation proposed includes a means test for those married over 20 years to force both parties (payor and payee) to disclose income and assets for a judge to decide. I foolishly gave my ex wife the marital home in 2003 and she made a profit of $250k selling it in 2004. She also was awarded $145k of my retirement savings. This was in addition to a hefty alimony payment for life. I have no doubt she is in much better shape financially, especially since she has been working full time for a number of years. Insanity and unfairness most definately is the appropriate characterization for these antiquated laws.
Regardless of whether who is paying the permanent alimony (yes, both men and women are currently stuck with this!)...this should be done away with, and now! This law/policy is so 1950's-ish it's hard to believe that this state still enforces it! Years ago when the spouse was a stay-at-home wife (as was the case many years ago) maybe this law/policy had some merit. But not in today's world!!
The indentured servitude MUST END!! TOO many lives are being ruined!!
Permanent Alimony should end in ALL cases. Even for marriages lasting over 20 years. It should at the very least end when the payor hits 65 years old. The courts should have NO discretion in those cases of marriages lasting over 20 years. In some states they use a formula of 1 year of alimony for every 3 years of marriage. When the payor hits retirement age alimony should automatically end. At that point the payor is going on social security. The receiving person would be eilgible to receive half of the SS amount. If the marriage was still in tack, when retirement age is reached then both parties would need to figure out how to live on the SS payments. It would be unfair to have the payor STILL have to pay alimony after they reach the 65 year old retirement threshold. Permanent Alimony is akin to slavery where the payor does not have the ability to choose what type of profession he or she may want to transition to. If the payor wanted to lets say change professions and become a teacher making $35,000 a year and leave a $100,000 a year job, they would not be able to do that because the alimony laws are such that they would have to coninute to pay at the $100,000 per year rate. It is not allowing FREEDOM OF CHOICE and is is akin to slavery. END PERMANENT ALIMONY IN ALL CASES IMMEDIATELY!!!!!!
Permanent alimony binds the two former spouses together in an acrimonious manner that benefits neither. The recipient becomes a welfare recipient, the payor becomes the supplier of the welfare funds. It ruins lives. It keeps health individuals from working. It pauperizes hard working former spouses. It is a violation of the constitution which prohibits indentured servitude.
It is funny, States and local governments realize that government workers who put in 20 years then expect to be paid for the rest of their lives, could be over 40 years, is an untenable situation and it bankrupts cities. Just think what it does to individuals who don't have the power to extort money from those around them, like governments can.
The time has come for everyone to grow up and take care of themselves. My children will be provided for, they will grow and become self-sufficient adults, yet the courts seem to think that my ex is somehow less than a child and is somehow infirmed and therefore incapable of providing for herself.
The time has come to end the madness.
Our current system is unfair and antiquated. No one should be sentenced to a lifetime of payments to another person. I thank all of the sponsors for introducing bill A3909. Alimony needs to be fair to both parties under certain circumstances, but not to the extent of a lifetime. Alimony reform is long overdue.
This is the 21st century norms have changed and our laws should reflect the new norms. Both men and women are victims of these antiquated laws. They should also respect some of the old laws like eliminating debtors prisons. This is archaic idea which this country dealt with in the 19th century and Judges are still putting people in debtors prisons because they fall behind in alimony payments because of the loss of a job..
We must make the NJ Bar Association and the AOC realize that this change is good for we the people. These changes will benefit the children because of less financial pressure on the parties. New statutes will help each party to become independent contributing people who do not have their hand in the public dole.
All we want is fairness for all parties. We must realize that when a marriage dissolves that the standards of living will not be the same, how could they be if the financial situations have changed?
This will heal so many wrongs and help us to move on with our lives intact so that we can be better parents our children.
We The People want to thank the Men and Women of the Legislature for sponsoring this bill.
I totally agree back in the day when our mother's stayed home to raise us it was different. nowadays women work and maybe temporary alimony until they are on their feet but permanent is totally ridiculous and unfair ask the judges and lawyers who decide if they would like to be sentenced to life alimony ask them . this state should get up to the present time I support getting rid of permanent alimony ..
Why should another person be a financial slave to another? When ur single you provide for yourself. When your married you help each other. When your single again you should provide for yourself! 13th ammendment states no one can own another person or willed to. Permanent alimony is against the 13th amendment
Permanent alimony is archaic. Not only would its elimination remove the pure horror of permanent alimony, it would also remove the threat of permanent alimony as a bargaining tool to gain leverage during the divorce process. When I was getting divorced, Judge Katherine Dupuis told my attorney that if I didn't agree to an 8 year alimony term she would award my ex lifetime alimony and then it would be on me to seek the modification. My ex and I were both 37 at the time, both teachers, Nd she had only been home for 3 years while having children. It's a scam. The lawyers squeeze the life out of you and the judges want you off the docket. Divorce is an industry in this state. The next grass roots movement should be to eliminate "no-fault" divorce...especially for infidelity.
The days of allowing attorneys to bully people into signing divorce contracts, extorting their money claiming they are 'representing the best interest of the client', that indenture them for life just because the marriage lasted 10 years must end. The ex spouse must be expected to embark on a life of his or her own, and the independence of divorce should include a financially independent lifestyle. Even long term marriages have equally divided marital assets. Any savings for retirement have been equally distributed. Upon retirement, both parties are on the same playing field. Stop the Madness!