Family law judges in New Jersey have the authority to order alimony or spousal support when couples divorce. A dependent spouse who gave up their career to serve as a stay-at-home parent can rely on payments from their wage-earning ex until they get back on their feet.
The New Jersey courts typically only award alimony for a specific amount of time, but longer marriages and more unusual circumstances may lead to longer support obligations as well. If you have made several years of payments to your ex already and now they are about to remarry, can you end your alimony payments?
Yes, once the courts learn of the remarriage
New Jersey state code specifically addresses remarriage and allows the spouse paying spousal support to terminate their obligations when the recipient remarries. However, you can’t just decide to stop sending payments. You will have to file paperwork with the courts requesting a modification. If you don’t follow the correct process, you could end up in arrears and face enforcement efforts.
It’s also important to understand that engagement or cohabitation won’t necessarily end your obligations. You will typically need to wait until after your ex officially marries their new partner to request an end to the support order. In rare cases, such as when you have agreed to a specific duration of support in a marital agreement or the support is in part to help offset the costs of caring for an adult child with special needs, you may need to continue making payments despite their new relationship.
Understanding the rules that apply to spousal support orders in New Jersey can help those paying and receiving such support.