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The Factor of Long-Term and Short-Term Marriages in a Divorce

The Factor of Long-Term and Short-Term Marriages in a Divorce

Interviewer: What is the delineation between a long-term marriage and a short-term marriage?

Long-Term Marriage and New Jersey’s Lifetime Alimony Statute

Tanya: That is also a sort of nebulous concept in current times. If you look at the age of the parties who got married when they’re 20 and they were divorced when they’re 30, should one party be responsible for lifetime alimony? Of course not, that’s ridiculous.

The problem is that there are judges that would award alimony permanently and there are judges that would not, given that set of circumstances. That’s a situation where a case becomes protracted because the wife’s lawyer might and I’m being sexist here, say, “Listen, it’s a 15 year marriage, it’s a long-term marriage. You put aside your career to raise the children and so on.” That might be true but the wife is only 40 years old and could easily work for 20 years.

How Fair Is the Current Alimony Statute?

In my opinion, it would be much better if there was a statue that said unless you’re disabled, you receive 50% of the number of years of the marriage. So if you are married for 30 years, you receive 15 years of alimony.

Because if you’re married, truthfully, for 30 years and you get 15 years of alimony you’re getting alimony until you’re 65 anyways and that is the retirement age. Unfortunately, that statute has not been created yet. So that’s why we have to keep arguing.

Interviewer: I see why you’re saying judges’ decisions can go in either direction because there are just so many variables and arguments to be made.

Tanya: Correct. And everybody’s circumstances are slightly different. For example, what if somebody has a debilitating illness? Let’s just say a person has M.S., but currently they’re functional.

Should that be a factor in determining alimony? Conversely, how about somebody who has an alcohol problem, but kept his or her job? Do you allow for that? Do you not allow?

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  • "Without Tanya and her time, the really unpleasant experience of getting divorced would have been even worse. They were able to settle the matter very quickly and helped me fit this into my tight schedule allowing me to leave to move abroad for my dissertation research on time without having to delay the trip because of the divorce. They also did all of it within my very tight budget. Thank you so much for your help and dedication to my legal matter!"  - AG

  • "Tanya and her Associates are outstanding! What I admire most about Tanya is her knowledge of the law with her keen negotiation skills to foster mediation. Her strategies efficiently resolve conflict leading to the resolution of cases. She and her team have an outstanding work ethic, know what data are needed, and get the job done. It is a pleasure to work with such wonderful professionals."  - Tara, Whippany

  • "I found Ms. Helfand's knowledge and tenacity most reassuring during the ordeal of my divorce. She was steadfast in her guidance and was very effective in her negotiations on my behalf. I would recommend her without a second thought. "  -Jonathan

  • "Ms. Helfand was very professional and helpful with our bankruptcy case. Her advice was very useful and helped us make the proper decisions for our situation. In addition, she was very supportive during a very difficult time for us. Finally, she set very specific fee expectations and there were no surprises when it was completed. I would use her services again and would recommend her, without question."

  • "She is Incredible, very quick responding to the other party. Very professional and courteous. I highly recommend her. She has a great passion and love for every single case."

  • "Tanya and her team were very professional handling my divorce proceedings. She was very proactive in making the other attorney finally get the process moving forward. I would recommend her to anyone looking for legal services. "  -Scott

  • "Ms. Helfand strategized & processed, both, my Divorce & Chapter 13 Bankruptcy. As both cases were emotionally and legally challenging, Ms. Helfand proved to be an empowering Mentor along the path to clarity for which I am truly grateful. I highly recommend her legal expertise to anyone who is seeking a confident, savvy & caring attorney to become at peace with self and any legal matters."  -Vas

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