How Does Medicaid Treat the Alimony Obligation of a Former Spouse?

HNWApplying for Medicaid Long Term Care Benefits

alimony obligations in medicaidA client’s father has been paying permanent alimony for about 20 years and is now remarried.  Both he and his current wife are receiving long-term care and will both be applying for Medicaid.  How will Medicaid treat a longstanding permanent alimony award (particularly when the payor is remarried) when qualifying for Medicaid?  The court-ordered alimony takes almost all of his income.

The short answer is the state considers the obligation to pay all non-exempt income to a care facility superior to the alimony order so that unless the payee spouse sues for her alimony and makes new law, the alimony won’t get paid.

While the alimony payments aren’t considered an “uncompensated transfer during the 5 year look-back” because they were paid in consideration of the property settlement agreement/divorce under the post-eligibility regulation, NJAC 10:71-5.1, there is no authorized income deduction for the support of an ex-spouse.

Should the husband seek court approval to stop paying alimony?  I don’t think a court filing to be relieved of paying alimony after Medicaid approval is necessary.  Medicaid won’t recognize the alimony order.  The husband can’t pay it and will be judgment proof so why waste legal fees on an application?

To discuss your NJ Medicaid matter, please contact Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq. toll-free at (855) 376-5291 or email him at  Please ask us about our video conferencing or telephone consultations if you are unable to come to our office.

By Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq. of Hanlon Niemann & Wright, a Freehold Township, Monmouth County, NJ Applying for Medicaid Attorney

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