Modifying Alimony in Hackensack, NJ
Help for Spouses throughout Bergen County
In New Jersey, alimony awards that are established during a divorce proceeding, and incorporated into a Property Settlement Agreement and/or Final Judgment of Divorce, may be modified after the divorce upon a showing of a substantial change in circumstance.
There is no limit to the varied of changed circumstances that may warrant a modification of alimony. The most common factors in changed circumstances involve:
- Cohabitation by the alimony recipient
- The failure of the alimony recipient to obtain a level of income that was contemplated by the parties’ divorce agreement
- A downward reduction in the alimony payor’s income
Should these situations apply to your circumstance, call our Hackensack divorce attorneys at Laterra & Hodge, LLC. We can be reached at (201) 580-2240.
Proving Changes in Circumstance
When the alimony payor wishes to seek a reduction in his or her alimony based upon a reduction in income, that party must initially establish what is known as a “prima facie” change of circumstances. This is an initial showing, on its face, that circumstances have changed, thereby warranting a more detailed review.
For an alimony payor to make such a prima facie showing of changed circumstances in the form of a reduction of income, that party must show that his or her reduction in income is both involuntary and permanent.
Concerning this first requirement, the change upon which modification is based must not be the result of the party’s voluntary actions. In other words, a party cannot voluntarily quit his or her job and then asset an inability to pay alimony. Likewise, the party cannot voluntarily take a new job that pays significantly less than the job upon which the support obligation was fixed, and then assert and inability to pay alimony.
With regard to the second requirement, the court will not modify support when there is only a temporary change in circumstances. If a party loses his or her job today, he or she cannot expect to be successful in a modification application filed tomorrow.
How Long Do I have to Wait to Modify an Agreement?
There is no set amount of time that the party must wait, but courts want to see not only a passage of time, but a passage of time during which the party has actively and diligently sought out new employment. This requires the submission of evidence such as resumes, cover letters, internet printouts of jobs sought, evidence of headhunters or recruiters employed, and sometimes the submission of reports from vocational experts.
At Laterra & Hodge, LLC, our Hackensack divorce attorneys can help you navigate the procedure for seeking or defending a modification application. We can arm you with the top arguments to assure that your alimony issue is handled in a fair and equitable manner.
Call (201) 580-2240 today to schedule a free consultation.