What You Should Know About Durational Alimony

When you think of alimony, you may think of payments that you are required to make to your ex-spouse every month until that person is remarried or either of you passes away. However, some states, such as New Jersey and Florida, have passed new alimony laws. In these states, the courts are now allowed to award durational alimony during or after divorce proceedings. You may be asking, “What Is Durational Alimony”? These are some things you should know about durational alimony.

Permanent vs Durational Alimony

Alimony was never intended to be permanent. However, these payments typically continued until a major life change adjusted your economic status or that of your ex-spouse.

Durational alimony has an end date. It is typically a short-term alimony awarded to cover bills and help the spouse who is economically dependent to improve this status. Typically, these payments continue until the court or both parties agree that they are unnecessary. Durational payments may also be modified based on each party’s circumstances, such as retirement or remarriage.

Deciding Factors

Whether you are seeking alimony or trying to avoid paying it, you should know what factors are considered when determining alimony payments and types. First, the courts will look at your marriage history. A short-term marriage typically lasts less than seven years, a moderate-term marriage lasts seven to 17 years, and a long-term marriage lasts longer than 17 years. The court will also look at your wage and that of your spouse. The judge will review your marketable skills and job histories as well. These factors are carefully evaluated with regard to the economically weaker spouse. Finally, age will be considered. For example, if you or your spouse are near retirement, a more permanent or long-term alimony may be chosen.

Other factors, such as your tax deductions, sources of income and investments will be evaluated. Minor children are also addressed. Each spouse’s emotional conditions may also be considered. The court seeks to determine you and your spouse’s actual need and ability to pay alimony.

Changing Terms

Whether your alimony is durational or permanent, you can ask the court to change its terms. In these cases, a significant economic change is typically required. For example, the type and amount of alimony could be changed if you or your ex-spouse experienced a financial windfall, such as winning the lottery, inheriting substantial assets or receiving a larger wage. In addition, these payments could be adjusted if either party lost a job, became disabled or retired. If the receiving party is remarried, alimony is typically terminated automatically.

Protect your financial future by contacting a legal professional to walk you through the alimony process.