On March 1, 2012, the Alimony Reform Act of 2011 went into effect. If your alimony order predates March 1, 2012, then you may be entitled to modify your alimony order.
To determine if you are entitled to request a termination of your alimony obligation, request a consultation with an attorney at Mavrides Law. The Alimony Reform act identifies a formula for determining the number of months alimony payments could be ordered. First, you must determine the "length" of your marriage, which is the number of months from the date of your legal marriage to the date of service of the divorce/separate support complaint in your case; not the date of your divorce. This is especially important because the number of months/years it took for you to get divorced are not calculated in the determination of how long you may be obligated to pay or receive alimony.
- Marriage of 5 years of less — 50% of the number of months of marriage.
- Marriage of 10 years or less, but more than 5 years — 60% of the number of months of the marriage.
- Marriage of 15 years or less, but more than 10 years — 70% of the number of months of the marriage.
- Marriage of 20 years or less, but more than 15 years — 80% of the number of months of the marriage.
- Marriages of 20 years or more — the court may order alimony for an indefinite length of time which will be presumed to terminate at full retirement age, as defined by social security (United States Old Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance program).
- Once issued, general term alimony orders shall terminate upon the payor attaining the full retirement age.
Please Note: This legislation still gives a judge discretion to set a different alimony termination date or grant an extension for good cause shown. Also, the amount can be adjusted if there is also an order to pay health insurance coverage and/or life insurance as security for the payments.
MODIFICATION REQUIREMENTS: If you have a substantial and material change in circumstance that impacts either
- your ability to pay alimony (if you pay alimony to a former spouse)
- your need for an increased amount (if you receive alimony) you should immediately file a complaint for modification to seek a change (increase/decrease) or termination of alimony. The attorneys at Mavrides Law will provide you with the legal analysis you need to determine whether your circumstances could qualify for an immediate modification of alimony.
However, if your payment of alimony simply exceeds the durational requirements outlined above, then you are entitled to seek a modification of alimony within the following time line:
- Payors who were married to the alimony recipient 5 years or less may file a modification action on or after March 1, 2013;
- Payors who were married to the alimony recipient 10 years or less, but more than 5 years, may file a medication action on or after March 1, 2014;
- Payors who were married to the alimony recipient 15 years or less, but more than 10 years may file a modification action on or after March 1, 2015;
- Payors who were married to the alimony recipient 20 years or less, but more than 15 years, may file a modification action on or after September 1, 2015.
- A Payor who is eligible for the full old-age benefit under the United States Old Age, Disability and Survivor Insurance Act or who become eligible for said benefit on or before March 1, 2015 may file a modification action on or after March 1, 2013.
There are many complex legal considerations that should be reviewed by an experienced family law attorney. At Mavrides Law, we provide services that range from full representation to hourly consultations.
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