Spouses worry about how they’re going to support themselves during a divorce and after the divorce is finalized. These worries are especially scary if a spouse sacrificed their career or education in order to support the other spouse. Fortunately, there are different types of alimony in New Jersey for spouses who need help paying the mortgage, rent, and daily living expenses. Alimony in New Jersey is separate from the equitable distribution of marital property and is separate from child support.
The types of alimony in New Jersey
New Jersey (NJ) alimony laws provide for the following types of alimony:
- Open duration alimony. This type of permanent alimony in New Jersey requires that one spouse/partner pay the recipient regular alimony payments indefinitely. The recipient is generally entitled to this type of alimony in New Jersey until either spouse/partner dies or the recipient remarries.
- Limited duration or term alimony. Alimony in New Jersey for a limited duration considers the amount of time it should take for the recipient to “improve his or her earning capacity to a level where limited duration alimony is no longer appropriate.”
- Rehabilitative alimony. Spousal support in New Jersey in the form of rehabilitative alimony is “based upon a plan in which the payee shows the scope of rehabilitation, the steps to be taken, and the time frame, including a period of employment during which rehabilitation will occur.”
- Reimbursement alimony. This type of alimony in New Jersey may be awarded under circumstances where one spouse/partner supported the other spouse – “through an advanced education, anticipating participation in the fruits of the earning capacity generated by that education.”
A New Jersey family court judge can award temporary alimony while the divorce is pending so that a spouse with substantial assets or income can’t pressure the other spouse into an unfair alimony agreement.
Factors that determine the right to alimony in New Jersey
Our New Jersey alimony lawyers understand what factors determine whether a spouse/partner is entitled to New Jersey alimony payments. The factors are set forth in the New Jersey state statutes. Our experienced attorneys fight to maximize the weight of each factor and to show that claimants are either entitled to permanent alimony in New Jersey or one of the three types of limited/short-term alimony payment methods that are for a specific length of time.
The factors used to determine how alimony is calculated include:
- One spouse’s need for alimony and the ability of the other spouse to pay it.
- The length of the marriage.
- The age and physical and emotional health of the spouses.
- The standard of living that existed during the marriage and the likelihood that each spouse will be able to have a comparable standard of living after the divorce.
- The earning ability, education, and job skills of the spouses.
- How long the spouse seeking alimony has been out of the job market if he or she is unemployed.
- The division of parental responsibilities and the custody arrangement.
- The length of time needed and the cost of obtaining education or training for the spouse seeking alimony to become employable, as well as the availability of training and jobs. The court also considered the spouse’s resources.
- The non-financial contributions the spouse seeking alimony made to the marriage through childcare or homemaking and how this interrupted his or her employment and/or education.
- How the property was equitably divided.
- The available income for each spouse through assets or investments.
- The tax consequences of alimony.
- Any other relevant factors.
There are a few factors that could affect the amount of alimony in New Jersey that aren’t directly listed in the state alimony statute. Our seasoned alimony lawyers answer the following questions:
- Is there are rule of thumb for alimony in New Jersey?
- Does cohabitation before the award is entered or after the alimony award is entered affect the right to alimony in New Jersey?
- How is alimony in New Jersey affected if either spouse/partner has a new spouse/partner or children with a new person?
- How can alimony be modified?
- What happens if the payor spouse refuses to pay alimony?
At DeTorres & DeGeorge Family Law, our family lawyers fight to obtain the correct alimony awards when there is a claim for alimony in New Jersey. We work to properly assess the contributions each spouse made to support the other spouse and the ability of each spouse to earn a living. To discuss alimony in New Jersey, call us at 908-691-2104 or complete our contact form to schedule an appointment. We have offices in Clinton and Florham Park.