Will Moving Out Of State Affect My Alimony Payments?

In short, no, moving out of state will most likely not affect your NJ alimony payments.

This, however, ultimately depends on the circumstances surrounding your move and the terms and conditions within your marital settlement agreement (MSA).

Alimony in NJ is intended to allow a dependent spouse to maintain his or her reasonable standard of living. Following a divorce, it may be possible to increase or decrease alimony if a dramatic change in circumstances exists. The spouse seeking a modification in the support order must file an application to do so.

In the absence of certain life events, simply moving out of state is not necessarily a “change in circumstances.”

Some common examples of a “change of circumstances” include, but are not limited to, major health and medical issues, a significant and long-term decrease in income, the loss of employment, or retirement, to name a few.

New Jersey Marital Settlement Agreement

Properly drafted MSAs are designed and intended cover all the issues that may arise both as part of a divorce, and even in the years following a divorce.

It is critical to understand the terms of MSAs as they will dictate, for example, what circumstances may spark a change in an alimony order.

The courts of New Jersey historically allow parties of a divorce to create their own written marital settlement. Upon the MSA being signed by each spouse, the court will attach it to their Judgment of Divorce, and it will have the same impact as a court order, which can be enforced or modified by the court as the law permits

The spouses who can agree on the terms of their own MSA generally have more freedom in deciding its terms and conditions than if a court is called upon to decide the issues between the parties Once drafted, a court generally does not review an MSA before incorporating it into the parties’ divorce decree. Instead, the court makes sure that both parties understand the terms of the MSA, agreed to the terms voluntarily, and believe it to be fair and equitable, in consideration of the all the facts surrounding the parties’ divorce.

Referring To Your Marital Settlement Agreement For The Answer

You can typically find references in the MSA that describe what happens to New Jersey’s jurisdiction over your divorce/alimony case if someone leaves the state. However, in most cases, New Jersey will likely keeps its jurisdiction over your alimony situation, even if you or your ex-spouse leave the state. That generally means if either ex-spouse wishes to enforce or modify an alimony award, he or she must file a motion in the same county in which the parties’ divorce was finalized, regardless of where either ex-spouse resides at the time of the motion.

Hire A Central New Jersey Divorce Attorney

In the absence of a MSA, the court with jurisdiction over your case will examine the circumstance of the out-of-state move. If there is a change in circumstances, such as the ones listed above, the alimony in your case may be affected.

If you are facing issues with alimony such as the ones listed above, it is critical that you hire an experienced Family Law Attorney. Contact the Law Office of Steven M. Cytryn, LLC for assistance with your case. Proudly Serving Central New Jersey, including Middlesex, Monmouth, Somerset, Union and Mercer Counties.

Steven M. Cytryn
About the Author: Steven Cytryn
Steven M. Cytryn is the Managing Member of The Law Office of Steven M. Cytryn, LLC, and primarily focuses his practice on divorce and family law matters.