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Exceptional Circumstances for Alimony Purposes

Divorce written out in blocks

In 2014, the statute governing alimony was amended, modifying certain provisions.  One change dealt with the length of time alimony would be paid and received.  Consistent with the statute, and absent exceptional circumstances, the length of alimony may not be longer than the length of the marriage.

In the recent Appellate Division case of B.G. v. E.G, the court found exceptional circumstances and awarded open-durational alimony in a 14-year marriage where the parties dated for 12 years prior to their marriage.  Including both the dating relationship and the marriage, the parties were together for 26 years before filing for divorce.  The length of relationship prior to their marriage, coupled with the fact that one of their four children had severe autism, led the appellate court to affirm the trial court’s decision of open-durational alimony.  The court also affirmed essentially an equalization of the parties’ incomes in analyzing the amount of alimony to be paid.

Alimony, a very case-sensitive issue, is often one of the more challenging financial issues in a case.  Should you have any questions or concerns regarding alimony, please do not hesitate to contact me at