In 2014, the State of New Jersey amended its alimony statute that made more clear when alimony may be modified or terminated. As a result, alimony modification and termination motions made postjudgment have become more frequent and the New Jersey State Family Courts have in turn created a more defined process as to how they will deal with them. It is likely that any postjugment motion will be pushed to a plenary hearing, a mini-trial of sorts where the parties present evidence and give testimony.
If you have questions regarding alimony termination or modification, from the obligor or obligee perspective, please call Green & Associates at 732-390-0480 or 201-242-1119 to speak with our experienced NJ divorce lawyer. We offer free consultations and appointments at night and on weekends for your convenience in our two offices in East Brunswick and Fort Lee.
Prior to the plenary hearing, the parties will engage in discovery that has been scheduled by the Court. Discovery will include a Notice to Produce relevant documents, potentially depositions, which is sworn testimony under oath with a court reporter, and interrogatories, questions regarding marital lifestyle, income, assets and debts related to issues of alimony and its modification or termination, including cohabitation.
The new alimony statute has a lot to say about cohabitation and how it may or may not affect the termination of alimony, as opposed to previous modification or termination, including the fact that parties no longer necessarily have to be living together if they hold themselves out as a committed relationship as if they were married. After discovery is complete, the parties will then have their plenary hearing, however, a plenary hearing may be over several days and not consecutive days, depending on the Court's calendar. So, parties have to expect a plenary to last potentially many months before the Court decides.
However, often the Court's original ruling on scheduling any plenary for the modification of alimony includes that any future decision will relate back to the date of the filing of the motion and the relief requested at that time. So, if after a plenary hearing the Court decides that alimony should be terminated, that decision will relate back to the date of the filing of the motion and any monies given since that time will have to be refunded to the obligor of the alimony.
Call Green & Associates now and let us help you fight for your rights in any divorce or family law setting in a New Jersey divorce or NJ divorce.