My Ex Got a Promotion, Does that Mean My Alimony Will Increase?
In order to have an alimony or spousal support order modified in New Jersey, you need to petition the family court judge. Of course, you will need to have all of your documentation and reasons why you believe your alimony payment should be increased. However, even with supporting evidence, there is no guarantee that the judge will award you more in alimony just because your ex may be earning more.
When you get divorced, there are many circumstances that may dictate the necessity for alimony. In New Jersey, there are several types of alimony and many are temporary or at least set in place for a particular period of time. If your court order includes verbiage that makes the amount of your spousal support non-modifiable, then you will not have much luck petitioning the court for a change. Barring that type of language, you may be able to convince a judge to make a change.
New Jersey family court judges base alimony orders off of many factors, including the lifestyle the couple enjoyed during the marriage, who earned how much, education, and ability of each spouses to obtain future employment to sustain themselves after the divorce. If for example, one spouse gave up working to take care of the children and the home, but has the means and education to re-enter the workforce, alimony may be ordered for a temporary amount of time. This way they will have the financial assistance to allow themselves to get a job and get back on their feet financially.
Spousal support orders are based on the judge’s discretion and understanding of the current situation at the time of the divorce (and not on specific guidelines that dictate monetary amounts). Therefore, in order to get more alimony — even if your ex can afford more due to a raise or promotion — you would have to be able to show that your financial circumstances have changed significantly. In fact, to get a judge to modify an order for spousal support, you will have to prove that the amount originally ordered is not enough for you to live on.
You can’t just want more money because they might have it to give. To build upon the aforementioned example, if the stay-at-home spouse has the ability to gain employment but opts against it, they may have trouble convincing a judge to modify the alimony order. It’s important to note, however, that a raise or promotion may allow you to get a child support order modified. Talk to a knowledgeable child support lawyer to learn more.
Talk to a qualified alimony and child support lawyer who knows family laws in New Jersey and will fight for your rights and safeguard your financial interests. Call Ronald Graziano of Cherry Hill, NJ-based Graziano & Flynn for a consultation about your personal situation.