The rules about assigning alimony leave a lot up to judges. They can often make decisions about how long you have to pay and how much based on what they learn about your marriage and financial situations.
In the past, some judges would order permanent alimony or lifetime alimony. However, things are changing, and NJ.com notes that lifetime alimony is not a thing of the past.
The issue with lifetime alimony was it did not match today’s family structures. It originated because wives did not work, so they relied on their husbands financially. After a divorce, they found it very difficult to secure employment. This left them financially unstable, and the courts decided that awarding permanent alimony was the best solution.
In today’s families, both spouses often work. They come out of the marriage more equal or at least both spouses have a better chance of securing employment if needed. The outdated policy of awarding alimony for life just does not make a lot of sense anymore.
Due to the concerns about how permanent alimony can disadvantage one spouse, the opinions about it changed. The law does not look at it as a way to support a spouse long term anymore. It is now seen as a rehabilitative step to assist a former spouse until he or she can get his or her feet financially.
Because of this, the law changed. It no longer permits judges to issue a permanent alimony order. The longest a judge may order it for is until you reach the age of 67.