A life event like becoming disabled or getting divorced can feel like life has thrown us a huge curveball. Having both occur either simultaneously or close to it can feel doubly overwhelming. In recognition of how much may change in our lives after a disability, courts are willing to modify an alimony agreement depending on life events experienced by either the payor or the payee. If you would like to modify your alimony agreement, contact a Union County alimony attorney today. We know the stressors and challenges of bringing the legal process into your personal life, and we will use our knowledge and skills to make sure you get the best result possible.
Learning About Alimony: What Alimony Payment Options Exist if I’m Receiving Disability?
Alimony refers to financial support that a court will direct one of the parties in a divorce to provide for their spouse after their separation. The payor is the party who pays alimony and the payee is the party who receives alimony.
If you’ve been disabled, or even if another significant change in your life has happened (see below), New Jersey courts allow you to request a reduction in alimony. You would need to go through another trial by the Family Court wherein you present evidence to support the argument.
You’re even permitted to ask for an alimony nullification, but courts are more reluctant to grant this. Though a nullification will be more difficult to argue, it is still permissible depending on the specific circumstances. Courts are aware that individual cases can differ widely.
The Impact of Lepis v. Lepis (1980) On Alimony Law
Lepis is a landmark case in New Jersey family law, which went a long way to making clear which situations allow a change in alimony. In Lepis, the court listed some examples that would warrant an alimony modification:
- The payor’s income changes
- The cost of living increases
- The dependant begins working
- The health of either party changes
Note that any change in health, not exclusively becoming disabled, can be cause for an alimony modification, provided you submit sufficient and adequate evidence to substantiate the request. Some useful types of evidence in this case would be:
- Your medical records
- Agreeing to and undergoing a new examination
- Financial records to indicate how recent changes make the current alimony amount burdensome
Before the court makes a final decision, the payee must also submit their financial information.