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Say that you have incurred a physical or mental impairment that requires you to collect Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA). Well, in the event of a divorce, you may assume that you are not in the right financial position to be ordered to alimony payments. However, it is not unheard of for the New Jersey family court to determine this. Continue reading to learn whether you will have to pay spousal support while on disability benefits and how an experienced Bergen County alimony attorney at McNerney & McNerney can fight for your case.

Will I be ordered to pay alimony if I get SSDI benefits?

Put simply, it is a very real possibility that the New Jersey family court will order your SSDI benefits to be garnished to pay for alimony following your divorce. More specifically, this outcome may be likely if the following circumstances are proven true:

  • You and your former spouse were married for at least 10 years.
  • Your former spouse is at least 62 years of age.
  • Your former spouse has yet to remarry.
  • Your former spouse is not eligible for a larger amount of SSDI payments on their own.

How long will I be ordered to make alimony payments?

More often than not, the New Jersey family court will not order alimony payments to last longer than the length of your marriage. Nonetheless, the court may also look at the following factors:

  • Your and your former spouse’s health concerns.
  • Your and your former spouse’s abilities to maintain gainful employment.
  • Your former spouse’s financial dependence on you during your marriage.
  • The overall standard of living established by you and your former spouse during your marriage.

Of note, your alimony order may remain in place regardless of whether you continue to receive SSDI benefits from SSA or not.

What else should I know about my alimony order?

First of all, the same way your SSDI benefits may be garnished for alimony payments, the same may apply for child support payments. It is also worth mentioning that, if your former spouse collected spousal SSDI benefits during your marriage, then these payments may remain the same for them following your divorce.

In addition, upon your unfortunate passing, your former spouse may still be eligible to receive alimony payments via your SSDI benefits. Again, this is so long as you and your former spouse were married for at least 10 years; they have yet to remarry; and they are not eligible for greater SSDI payments. But also, your former spouse must be at least 60 years of age or 50 years of age with a physical or mental disability.

In the end, the first step you should in your divorce is to retain the services of a skilled Bergen County family law attorney. So call us at McNerney & McAuliffe today.

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