Legislation Clears Committee and Heads to the Assembly Floor
A measure which would advance alimony reform efforts in New Jersey cleared the Assembly Judiciary Committee on Monday. The new legislation (AJR-32) would create an 11-member so-called Blue Ribbon Commission with the express purpose of evaluating New Jersey's alimony laws and controversial reform proposals. “Current alimony laws are antiquated and not reflective of the way society has changed over the years,” said Assemblyman Sean Kean of Monmouth County, the bill's primary sponsor. “Establishing a commission that is composed of various stakeholders is a common sense approach to reforming an outdated system. While there are guidelines for courts to consider in determining alimony, there is not a specific formula for a family court to use in its calculation. Alimony should help a person as they transition to self-sustaining employment. It should not be a lifetime financial obligation on the individual making payments. You can click here to read the text of the legislation. After one year, the commission would be responsible for both developing and producing a report for review by the state legislature and the governor, too, which would include the committee's findings and recommended legislative action. “Issues such as changes in lifestyle, earning power and employment status are factors that need to be examined and updated when determining if, and how much a settlement should be,” continued Kean. “There are too many stories of spouses who have been financially crippled or jailed because their circumstances have changed. We have talked about this issue for several years and I believe the time has come to take action. The law needs to be brought up to date.” We'll continue to keep our eye on future legislative developments. In the interim, we'll continue to help our clients with alimony-related issues including alimony establishment and modification. Experienced help is a quick phone call or email away. If you have any questions regarding alimony, how your finanical situation may affect your support obligations, or have any other general questions regarding divorce, child support or spousal support, please contact us online today or call (856) 546-1350 for a confidential consultation with one of our skilled family court lawyers.