Some would say that the issue of alimony is one of the more painful aspects of divorce. It may not cause actual pain but it ranks pretty high on the list of the most negative outcomes following a divorce, for both parties even. The battle for alimony is a subject worthy of its own blog. For now, we will discuss the basics of alimony in the state of New Jersey.
Types of Alimony in NJ
There are five types of alimony in the state of New Jersey:
Open duration alimony (previously referred to as Permanent alimony): Oftentimes one spouse makes sacrifices in his or her career in order to advance the career of the other during a marriage. After a lengthy enough marriage, this can have near fatal consequences for the former’s career and lay waste to any chances of a revival. Other times, both spouses work but one makes significantly more than the other causing a very large disparity in their respective incomes. Open duration alimony typically applies to marriages over twenty years. In these cases, the Judge will address certain factors (see below) and determine what amount of alimony to award.
Limited duration alimony: In marriages less than 20 years or in cases where the Judge determines that open duration alimony is not appropriate, he or she may still award limited duration alimony. The Judge will review the same factors and determine the amount of alimony, as well as set a limited number of years for the alimony to be paid.
Reimbursement alimony: Divorce may prevent some serious career planning. For example, if one spouse had been paying for the other to return to school for a degree in pursuit of a new career, it is very likely said spouse expected to benefit from this investment. With a divorce, this will no longer be possible and thus, that spouse may seek reimbursement alimony.
Rehabilitative alimony: Divorce often leaves one of the individuals at a major financial disadvantage, with a pronounced need for the means to rectify the situation. The term ‘rehabilitative’ clearly refers to that need to get back on one’s feet but what is very significant about a request for rehabilitative alimony is the inherent cost, the steps that must be made clear to the court. What training and education will be necessary? What steps must be taken? What is the time frame? What level of employment will be maintained during said time frame?
Temporary alimony (or Pendente lite support): Just like the wedding, divorce proceedings cost money. It is very well possible that one spouse may struggle financially in order to cover this cost. If there is a significant disparity between the parties’ incomes, the Judge may grant pendente lite support (support pending the litigation), to help with the monthly expenses and cost of litigation.
Just what are the factors a judge takes into account before rendering alimony decisions?
- What is one’s spouse’s actual needs and can the other spouse actually pay?
- How long did the marriage last?
- How old is each spouse? How is their physical and emotional health?
- What level has each spouse reached in terms of income, earning capacity, education level and employability?
- What was the standard of living during the marriage?
- How does the couple share parental responsibilities?
- How long will it take for the dependent spouse to become self-supporting? What will that expense be?
- What has each spouse contributed, both financially and otherwise, to the marriage?
If the pain of alimony seems perpetual, fear not. While there is no calculator or precise science to carrying out the process, there is the next best thing: a divorce attorney. You may have entered rocky waters but navigation through such waters is our specialty. Contact this office if you are in need of assistance.
Fabrikant Law Is Here To Help
Before going forward with any divorce, be aware of your options and consequences regarding alimony in New Jersey. Please contact this office for assistance.