Not every divorce will result in a support order; however, spousal support, commonly referred to as alimony, may be awarded to a divorcing spouse who has limited ability to support themselves. The concept of alimony, in general, is often debated, and brings up a range of emotional issues.
For example, the payor may feel resentful and unable to move forward financially. At the same time, the payee receiving the alimony could feel that it is not enough to continue the lifestyle they were once accustomed to; or if they feel they should be compensated for personal sacrifices made during the marriage that ended.
Modification of alimony can include:
- An increase in support payments
- A decrease in support payments
- Termination of alimony
- Temporary payment suspension
However, changing a support order is not easy, and the party requesting the modification will need to be prepared to prove to the court that their circumstances, or those of their ex, have significantly changed.
Alimony and Change of Income
If either party has a change of income after divorce, or encounters circumstances that changes their ability to earn, an ex-spouse can request a modification to the spousal support agreement.
For example, if a spouse who is receiving alimony suddenly receives an increase in pay, the spouse paying support can ask for a decrease or termination of alimony. On the other hand, if the payor has an increase in income, under certain circumstances the payee may be entitled to more alimony.
Change of income can result from the following circumstances:
- Pay raise or demotion
- Cost of living increase
- Sickness or injury
Can I Terminate My Alimony Payments If My Spouse is Cohabitating?
Although alimony is usually terminated if the receiving spouse remarries, what many may not be aware of is that the New Jersey Alimony Reform Act of 2014 states that alimony can be suspended or terminated if the payee cohabitates with another person.
Defining what constitutes cohabitation is difficult, and the court may be inclined to terminate alimony even if the couple is not living together on a full-time basis. However, for cohabitation to be a factor in the termination of alimony, a couple’s relationship must be marriage–like, and include the intimacy and responsibilities that married life brings.
To determine if alimony should be terminated due to cohabitation, the court will examine the following factors:
- Combined finances and joint bank accounts
- Shared living expenses
- Recognition of the relationship in the couple’s social and family circles
- The length of the relationship
Call us today at (856) 512-1461 or contact us online. With locations in Marlton and Somers Point, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout the state.