Sunday, August 21, 2016

Permanent vs. Open Durational Alimony

Arvo, a legal information and lawyer directory site, has an interesting question on their legal research section asking if permanent alimony is always awarded in New Jersey for marriages over 20 years. Three lawyers answered pointing out that New Jersey got rid of permanent alimony several years ago and replaced it with open durational alimony, which may, emphasis on may, be awarded in cases where the marriage lasted more than 20 years.

I was married less than 20 years when Spring divorced me yet have to pay permanent, as in until I die, alimony but I was unfortunately married in Minnesota.

Back to New Jersey. Some say that there is little difference between permanent and open durational alimony other than the words as permanent alimony was never meant to really be permanent. I disagree.  The words matter.  "Open durational" strongly implies that it will be changed in the future. "Permanent" implies the opposite.

Only a minority of states still have permanent alimony. Hopefully the rest will change their laws soon.

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