If you're self-employed, and you're not paying yourself, then it certainly sounds like an alimony obligation is unfair at this point. It sounds like you are stuck with a long-term obligation, and yet nobody is analyzing the real numbers. We would be happy to crunch the numbers, examining present and future value of alimony and house proceeds, etc. I think if a judge saw the real numbers, it might persuade him or her to take another look at the situation.
Our law firm is based in Burlington County. I wrote a book entitled the Portable New Jersey Alimony Handbook. Please feel free to contact me if you'd like to discuss this further.
MARK S. GURALNICK
If the alimony is contractual, you can stop payment but be exposed because you are breaching the agreement. You may be able to work something out in negotiation once you show your situation, before or after stopping payment.
If the alimony was court ordered, you can file to modify the court order.
You will need to take those papers to a NJ attorney to confirm the nature of the alimony.
Alimony questions are generally tough to answer on this list because it's a somewhat complicated area of Family Law .... even without the fiasco you're describing with an equitable distribution trade-off, working for yourself, etc. As much as I hate punting questions with the "get a consult with a lawyer" answer, I don't think anyone can really responsibly help you out here. Think of it this way, since you're in construction -- if I asked what a good type of wood is to build a table, you'd be happy to shoot me an answer. But if I asked how to arrange cinder blocks to make a foundation because I'm building my own house addition, you'd probable say "uhhh... you need a pro to at least look at it and go over it with you." What you're asking is closer to the foundation issue than the table-wood issue.
In Medford (Burlington?), I generally suggest Susan Dargay - don't know if she's on Avvo, but you can Google her for more info. I don't think she charges anything for a consult. .... And I WOULD advise you to get one before ceasing or reducing payments under an agreement. You may want to file first rather than defending an enforcement motion (or you may be able to mediate a resolution with the ex without anyone filing).
You should consider filing an application to reduce alimony if your income is down through no fault of your own, and it is an ongoing situation.
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