NJ Alimony Considerations
In determining alimony in New Jersey, the Family Court judge assigned to your case must evaluate two important issues. First, what is the fair amount of the alimony? And second, for how long should the alimony payments be made? In making this determination, the judge is required to consider thirteen factors as set forth in the New Jersey alimony statute.
These factors include, but are not limited to, the income level and health of the people involved, the duration of the marriage, parental responsibilities, and more. Every marriage is unique and each involves various factors that are not replicated in other cases. It is for this reason that New Jersey has not adopted a formulaic approach to calculating alimony awards.
As New Jersey has yet to adopt a formulated approach to determining alimony, there is no definitive answer to the question “how is alimony calculated?”. A trained mediator or experienced matrimonial law attorney will be able to give you some insight as to how a judge would assess the statutory factors as denoted in the alimony statute and how they relate to the specific facts of your case.
Judges May Weigh Factors Differently
Different judges weigh certain factors in the alimony statute more heavily than others. For instance, a judge may deem the ability to pay on behalf of the paying spouse and the need on behalf of the payee spouse as the most relevant and important factors, and they may analyze those two factors with more scrutiny than other factors. As a result of the subjective nature of alimony, it is very important that you retain a divorce lawyer who is experienced in this aspect of the law and has some familiarity with the judge assigned to your case. A divorce lawyer who has appeared before the judge assigned to your case on a number of occasions may be able to provide some insight as to how to best present or defend the alimony aspect of your case.
Types of Alimony in New Jersey
There are four types of alimony awarded by the courts in New Jersey. Below is a description of each type of alimony.
- Permanent alimony – Most often awarded in marriages of long term duration, i.e. marriages in excess of fifteen to twenty years. Permanent alimony would remain in effect until such time as the paying spouse retires from his or her employment at a reasonable retirement age. In certain instances, the duration of an alimony award can exceed the duration of the parties’ marriage. If, in fact, you have been married for a long period of time, the duration of your alimony payments may be one of the most crucial aspects of your divorce case. It is absolutely essential that you have a thorough understanding of the intricacies of permanent alimony and how best to either put forth your position that you are entitled to receive it or, in the alternative, that you should not be obligated to pay it.
- Limited duration alimony – Awarded for a specific period of time, with a definitive end date. Limited duration alimony is often times utilized in marriages of short or mid-term duration. It is awarded when permanent alimony would not be deemed to be appropriate.
- Rehabilitative alimony – Designed to assist the payee spouse in reintegrating himself or herself into the work force, typically rehabilitative alimony is awarded when the individual is in the process of attending some type of professional school, i.e. nursing school, etc. The expectation with rehabilitative alimony is that the need for the alimony will end sometime in the foreseeable future. Rehabilitative alimony can be quite dangerous to the paying spouse, as often times the anticipated rehabilitative event does not occur which would warrant an extension of the alimony term. Should you be the payor and you are faced with rehabilitative alimony, you need to consider the implications of the rehabilitative term being extended.
- Reimbursement alimony – This is the least common type of alimony that is granted in New Jersey and is, often times, awarded in situations when one spouse has paid for the other spouse’s schooling and, as a result of same, he or she may be entitled to compensation.
Call Villani & DeLuca About Your Alimony Concerns
If you have any questions about alimony or you are considering filing for divorce in New Jersey, please contact the attorneys at Villani & DeLuca. Villani & DeLuca has three attorneys who solely practice in the area of family and divorce law and have an aggregate of over forty-five years of experience. Villani & DeLuca’s main office is conveniently located in Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey. Please call 732-965-3350 today for your free initial consultation. One of the firm’s divorce lawyers will answer all of your questions about alimony.
If you would like to review more commonly asked alimony questions, you can check out our New Jersey Alimony Frequently Asked Questions.