Simple Guide to Understanding Alimony in NJ

Alimony, or spousal support, is support paid by one spouse (or ex-spouse) to the other so he or she can continue to maintain a lifestyle comparable to the one enjoyed during the marriage.  Alimony can be awarded to either party, for a limited or open period of time. Whether you believe you should be awarded alimony, or believe you should not be required to pay it, Ann Fabrikant can help.

There are two basic types of alimony:

  1. Open Durational

Open durational support may be awarded if:

  • The marriage lasted for at least twenty 20 years;
  • One party is financially dependent on the other spouse; or
  • The party is permanently disabled, or lacking in skills or work experience and is unable to work.

If awarded open durational alimony, you typically would receive this support until you remarry, live with another person as if you are married (cohabitation), or the paying spouse reaches retirement age or dies. After the divorce, either party may ask the court to change the amount of alimony if there is a change of circumstances.

2.  Limited Duration Alimony.

Temporary alimony may be awarded:

  • If there is a significant disparity in incomes between the parties;
  • Until the occurrence of a post-divorce event, such as employment or obtaining an education (rehabilitative alimony); or
  • If one party supported the other during school or training and expected to benefit from the spouse’s increased income after the education or training ended (reimbursement alimony).

Limited duration alimony normally does not last longer than the marriage. The court may change the alimony amount if there are changes in circumstances or the expected event fails to occur. However, it is rare for the alimony term itself to change.

If you are considering a divorce and have questions about alimony, contact our office so we can discuss your situation and how the law may apply in your case. Ann Fabrikant has represented many parties in alimony disputes and she will work hard to ensure your rights and interests get the full protection of the law.

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