In New Jersey, there are actually different types of alimony that are used for different circumstances. When a marriage lasts for at least 20 years, open durational alimony might be appropriate. When a marriage lasts for less than 20 years, we have to consider whether limited duration or term alimony is applicable. The third type of alimony is called reimbursement alimony. Reimbursement alimony may be awarded under circumstances in which one party supported the other through an advanced education, anticipating participation in the fruits of the earning capacity generated by that education. An award of reimbursement alimony cannot be modified in the future for any reason.
What is Rehabilitation Alimony?
The fourth type of alimony in New Jersey is rehabilitative alimony or rehabilitative spousal support. Rehabilitative alimony is awarded when a dependent spouse needs more support from the breadwinner to rehabilitate their employment skills or education so they can improve their earning potential. In considering whether rehabilitative alimony is appropriate, the person seeking rehabilitative alimony must present a plan in which they show the scope of rehabilitation, the steps to be taken, and the time frame, including a period of employment during which rehabilitation will occur. An award of rehabilitative alimony, unlike reimbursement alimony, can be modified based either upon changed circumstances, or upon the nonoccurrence of circumstances that were supposed to occur at the time of the rehabilitative award. The most common situations we use rehabilitative alimony are when a spouse has stayed at home and needs time to improve their earning potential. There are no set rules for how long rehabilitative alimony should last or how much it should be for. Each case is different.
In New Jersey, courts have the authority to award open durational alimony, limited duration alimony, rehabilitative alimony or reimbursement alimony, separately or in any combination, as warranted by the circumstances of the parties and the nature of the case.
Regardless of the type of alimony under consideration, there are extensive factors a court must consider when making an award of alimony under N.J.S.A. 2A:34-23:
(1) The actual need and ability of the parties to pay;
(2)The duration of the marriage or civil union;
(3)The age, physical and emotional health of the parties;
(4)The standard of living established in the marriage or civil union and the likelihood that each party can maintain a reasonably comparable standard of living, with neither party having a greater entitlement to that standard of living than the other;
(5)The earning capacities, educational levels, vocational skills, and employability of the parties;
(6)The length of absence from the job market of the party seeking maintenance;
(7)The parental responsibilities for the children;
(8)The time and expense necessary to acquire sufficient education or training to enable the party seeking maintenance to find appropriate employment, the availability of the training and employment, and the opportunity for future acquisitions of capital assets and income;
(9)The history of the financial or non-financial contributions to the marriage or civil union by each party including contributions to the care and education of the children and interruption of personal careers or educational opportunities;
(10) The equitable distribution of property ordered and any payouts on equitable distribution, directly or indirectly, out of current income, to the extent this consideration is reasonable, just and fair;
(11) The income available to either party through investment of any assets held by that party;
(12) The tax treatment and consequences to both parties of any alimony award, including the designation of all or a portion of the payment as a non-taxable payment;
(13) The nature, amount, and length of pendente lite support paid, if any; and
(14) Any other factors which the court may deem relevant.
Give us a call today at DeTorres & DeGeorge Family Law to schedule your appointment and discuss your rehabilitative spousal support with an attorney.